Bed bugs have become more prevalent in the last decade, making them a larger concern for many residents, travelers, business owners, and other organizations. They infest many different spaces, including:
- Day care facilities
- Nursing homes
- College dorms
- Transportation vehicles
Bed bugs are extremely mobile and can travel quickly from room to room or home to home, by hiding in luggage, clothing, furniture, boxes, bedding, and other items.
Here are 5 key facts about bed bugs that expose the impact these creatures have on public health in the United States, and the challenges that remain in treating and eradicating them.
- Bed bug infestations are likely seasonal
An article in Time magazine cited a study that showed bed bug infestations were higher during the warmer seasons. Bed bugs are more prone to reproduction and circulation during these hotter months.
This study and knowledge about infestation patterns will help us find effective ways to get rid of bed bugs.
- The top 3 places bed bug infestations occur
Bed bugs are consistently reported most in the following places:
- Single-family homes
Other top places where bed bugs are encountered are listed in this Travel Channel article. An increase in frequency and proximity of travel may also be part of the reason for more bed bug infestations.
- Bed bugs are difficult to treat, more so than other pests
According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a 2015 Bugs Without Borders Survey conducted by the University of Kentucky showed 68 percent of people stated that bed bugs are the hardest pest to defeat.
Treating bed bugs is a complex situation, and these elements may determine your success in getting rid of bed bugs:
- The degree of the bed bug issue
- The quantity and amount of clutter in the space
- Infestations with neighbors
- If you’re dealing with a shared space, and can everyone be part of the treatment plan?
- Bed bugs are hard to detect
Because of their small size, life cycle changes, behavior, ability to hide, and fast reproduction rate, bed bugs can easily go undetected. Plus, they usually feed when people are sleeping.
- Bed bugs can be resistant to some treatments
Over time, many bed bugs in different regions have become immunity or resistance to some treatment options available for getting rid of the tiny critters. Scientists have tested foggers and other products and found some to be ineffective.
This presents a challenge in getting rid of bed bugs, as many treatment methods may need to be used in conjunction with one another and the multi-layer treatment process can take longer.