Results show 97 percent of U.S. pest professionals treated for bed bugs in past year; customers frequently call for concern of another pest only to find it’s really bed bugs
The Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA), which serves as the public outreach arm of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), today released the findings of its 2018 Bugs Without Borders survey, to educate consumers about these hitchhiking pests during Bed Bug Awareness Week, June 3-9. This annual designation is recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events and is observed throughout the pest management industry. To better understand the current landscape of bed bug infestations and treatment, PPMA commissioned a survey of pest control professionals and will utilize various media relations and social media tactics to help educate the public on the importance of bed bug prevention.
“With 97 percent of U.S. pest professionals reporting they have treated for bed bugs in the past year, it’s clear that bed bugs remain a pervasive problem,” said Cindy Mannes, executive director of PPMA. “What’s more alarming, is that an overwhelming majority of bed bug calls originate as a customer calling for another type of pest, such as fleas. This extreme rate of misidentification underscores the need for public understanding of how to spot an infestation, and to hire a professional before it gets out of hand.”
Below are some key highlights from PPMA’s 2018 Bugs Without Borders survey:
1. Almost all (97 percent) pest professionals have treated bed bugs in the past year. A majority of them say that overall bed bug service work (69 percent) and the prevalence of these pests (66 percent) are increasing.
2. Bed bugs may be easily confused with other pests, as 84 percent of pest control professionals were initially contacted about a different type of pest before identifying them as bed bugs. The majority of these contacts (71 percent) were about fleas, followed by cockroaches (28 percent).
3. More than half of pest control professionals noted that they receive the most bed bug complaints during the summer, as increased travel during this time of the year may help spread bed bugs from vacation destinations to homes or even college lodgings to homes as students go on summer break.
4. The top three places where pest professionals encounter bed bugs are single-family homes (91 percent), apartments/condominiums (89 percent), and hotels/motels (68 percent). However, bed bugs can be found in high numbers in a variety of other places:
- Nursing Homes – 59 percent
- Schools & Day Care Centers – 47 percent
- Office Buildings – 46 percent
- College Dorms – 45 percent
- Hospitals – 36 percent
- Public Transportation – 19 percent
5. Bites are the most commonly reported sign of an infestation (92 percent) and more than half of people reach out for treatment after discovering bites and welts on their bodies. Although some people immediately develop a skin reaction to bites, others may take two to three days before showing obvious symptoms or any symptoms at all, meaning that people could be unaware of a bed bug problem until a full-blown infestation has taken root.
6. Typically found in couches and bed frames, bed bugs can also be found in some of the most unexpected places, including stuffed animals, wheelchairs, airplanes, school buses, purses and even inside bedside lamps.
PPMA is leading the charge for public vigilance with the launch of various media relations and social media campaigns. Industry members are encouraged to join the cause by devoting their company social media pages to bed bugs during Bed Bug Awareness Week and using the hashtag #BedBugWeek on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
The toolkit, available for download on http://ppmamainframe.org/, contains a customizable press release, suggested social media content, Bed Bug Awareness Week logos, high resolution photography, media training documents and a list of video content that can be directly embedded on a company’s website.
For more information about PPMA and its marketing programs or to subscribe to Mainframe, please visit http://www.NPMApestworld.org/PPMA.
About the Professional Pest Management Alliance: The PPMA was founded in 1997 to defend, protect and grow the pest management industry. As the voice of the professional pest management industry, PPMA continues to proactively provide the public with information on the value of professional pest management through its media relations, public service announcement, advertising and online communications programs it conducts on behalf of the National Pest Management Association. For more information, please visit PPMAMainframe.org or NPMAPestWorld.org/PPMA.
About the National Pest Management Association: The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 5,500 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health, food and property from the diseases and dangers of pests. For more information, visit PestWorld.org or follow @PestWorld on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.