Bed Bugs at the Olympics

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Bed bugs continue to be on the rise throughout the United States and have even made headlines in the Albany, Schenectady and Troy area. A recent article warned visitors headed to the London Games of bed bugs. Despite the heightened publicity and media coverage, there are still misconceptions and information to be learned about bed bugs.

The National Pest Management Association’s "Bed Bugs in America" survey identifies the bed bug resurgence is impacting the lives of Americans. Here are key survey highlights:

1. Americans who have encountered bed bugs tend to be younger, live in urban areas and rent their homes. The incidence of bed bugs is three times higher in urban areas than in rural areas due to factors such as larger population size, apartment living and increased mobility, which are conducive to the rapid spread and breeding of bed bugs.

2. Bed bugs are found in all 50 states.

3. Most Americans are concerned about bed bugs and believe that infestations in the United States are increasing.

  • Nearly 80 percent are most concerned about encountering bed bugs at hotels.
  • 52 percent on public transportation.
  • 49 percent in movie theaters.
  • 44 percent in retail stores.
  • 40 percent in medical facilities.
  • 36 percent in their own homes.
  • 32 percent equally pointed to places of employment and friends' homes.

4. As the public's awareness of the bed bug resurgence grows, many Americans are modifying their behaviors to minimize their risk of an infestation:

  • 27 percent have inspected or washed clothing upon returning from a trip.
  • 25 percent have checked a hotel room for bed bugs.
  • 17 percent have inspected or vacuumed a suitcase upon returning from a trip.
  • 12 percent have altered or canceled travel plans because of concern about bed bugs.
  • 16 percent inspected second-hand furniture they have brought into their homes.
  • 15 percent have checked dressing rooms when trying on clothing.
  • 29 percent have washed new clothing immediately upon bringing it home from a store.
  • Of the 13 percent of respondents who said they knew someone who had a bed bug infestation in their home, 40 percent said they avoided entering the infested home and 33 percent discouraged those who had the infestation from entering their own home.

5. Despite the availability of information, most Americans still have misconceptions about bed bugs.

  • Nearly half of respondents incorrectly believe that bed bugs transmit disease. However, research conducted to date has shown that bed bugs do not transmit disease to their human victims, although some people may experience itchy, red welts due to bed bugs bites.
  • 29 percent inaccurately believe bed bugs are more common among lower income households.
  • 37 percent believe bed bugs are attracted to dirty homes.
  • Bed bugs do not discriminate in regard to household income and are found in both sanitary and unsanitary conditions.

If traveling to the games this summer or hitting the road for vacation, follow these bed bug travel tips to minimize the risk of a bed bug infestation to occur. Thomas Pest Services, a QualityPro company a designation from the National Pest Management Associations (NPMA) prides it’s self as a leader in bed bug control and removal. A bed bug infestation is serious and should be treated by a licensed, trustworthy pest control company. At the first bed bug signs, contact Thomas Pest Service for a free inspection. Proudly serving Albany, Northern Columbia County, Fulton, Montgomery, Renneselear, Saratoga, Schenectady, Washington, and Warren Counties.

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