A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of the National Pest Management Association indicates that a majority of Americans are now taking precautions against the proliferation of bed bugs.
More than 2,000 people over the age of 18 responded to the survey. The numbers are important because public awareness is critical in dealing with infestations.
Nearly 60% of those surveyed said that they currently take some form of precaution to prevent bed bug outbreaks.
Of those, 34% closely look at bed linens and mattresses as soon as they check in. 33% make sure to wash their clothing in hot water upon arriving home from a vacation. 29% stay away from homes or establishments that are known to have had a bed bug problem. 28% are consciously aware of where they place their belongings while in public areas. 12% vacuum their luggage after a trip. And 8% keep their suitcases in a plastic garbage bag or a different protective cover while staying in a hotel.
The survey also found that 95% of American adults would take action to mitigate a bed bug infestation.
69% said that they would wash their linens and any other affected bedding in hot water. 64% would clean their bedrooms and also vacuum the floors. 62% would contact a pest professional in hopes of finding a solution. 40% would purchase an over-the-counter bed bug eradication product. 30% would simply throw away the affected mattress and buy a new replacement.
In commenting on the survey, the NPMA went on to note that, because of their highly mobile nature, including bumming a ride on travelers’ luggage, bed bugs are very difficult to control. Especially because of their ability to quickly reproduce and their tendency to gravitate toward hard-to-see places. Bed bugs have been known to hide behind headboards, baseboards and mounted artwork. They also prefer the kind of tight, secure spaces afforded by electrical outlets and box springs.
Depending on the severity of the problem, it can take several treatments to fully get rid of a bed bug infestation, making early detection and consultation with a professional an absolute must.