What Are the Current USA Bed Bug Statistics?
Until fairly recently, bed bugs were considered a misery of the past; one we were very happy to leave behind, like outhouses and whale-boned corsets. But in the last 15 years, we’ve been alarmed to discover that bed bugs are back in a big way. Some probable causes for the return of the creepy little creatures, ones which literally feast on our blood when we are at our most vulnerable, are the disuse of DDT, and the increased prevalence of air travel. Bed bugs are easily transported in boxes and baggage, facilitating their sneaky return to torment Western society.
The U.S. Takeover Operation of Bed Bugs
Once Bed Bugs began their covert operations to infiltrate the United States, they first targeted urban areas. In densely populated regions, bed bugs can easily move from one apartment to a neighboring one, and then back into the original once the pesticides have dissipated.
Once well-established in a home or apartment building, bed bugs can easily be carried to public transportation, creating cells in schools, colleges, and daycare centers by hiding in clothing, purses, and backpacks. They then begin to form colonies in new locations, eventually causing widespread infestations of urban areas, and even into rural counties.
But how likely are you to encounter these crafty six-legged vampires in your own bed? Below are some current statistics that could make you immediately begin to itch and begin an anxious inspection of your own mattress, or they might even make you sleep a little easier.
Bed Bugs In the USA
One out of five Americans have reported either encountering bed bugs in their own homes, or knowing someone else who has dealt with an infestation or have encountered bed bugs in a hotel room.
- 97% of pest control professionals reported treating a residence for bed bugs in the past year.
- 84% of pest control professionals reported being mistakenly contacted to treat a different sort of pest, such as roaches, before identifying the culprits as bed bugs.
- Only 33% of people experiencing bed bug infestation report openly warning people not to enter their homes.
- 91% of reported infestations occur in single family homes, 89% in apartments or Condominiums, and 68% in hotels/motels.
- 92% of victims reported bites as their first signs of a bed bug infestation.
- Over 50% of bed bug infestations are reported in the summer months, possibly due to increased travel, and/or the return of students home from college dorms who are traveling with hidden stowaways.
- 1 out of 3 humans do not feel bed bug bites. This is likely due to the anesthetic contained in the saliva of these wily pests. They thoughtfully numb the targeted area before biting and then inject an anticoagulant to promote blood flow, for a swift and painless feeding.
- Bed bugs can survive for more than 500 days without feeding.
- 68% of pest control professionals report bed bugs to be the most difficult pest to get rid of.
- Bed bugs thrive and lay the most eggs when their environment is around 80 degrees, but can survive nearly freezing temperatures and temperatures up to 120 degrees.
- Besides the most obvious places, like beds and couches, bed bugs are also found in carpets, stuffed animals, bus seats, wheelchairs, movie theater seats, and even bedside lamps, alarm clocks and behind wallpaper.
- 43% of pest control professionals have reported bed bugs in schools, daycare centers, and hospitals.
- Bed bugs suck blood for approximately five minutes before crawling off to digest.
- A common way to discover a bed bug infestation is to find small black or rust-colored stains on mattresses. These stains are left behind by the feces of bed bugs.
- Though bed bugs are most active during the night, it’s been discovered that they are attracted to human carbon dioxide, so a night shift worker who sleeps during the daytime is still a target for these insects.
Where do the most bed bugs bite?
Bed bugs are found in all 50 states in the U.S., with the highest number of reports found in New York, Maryland, California, Florida, Ohio and New Jersey.
The cities with the highest numbers of reported bed bug infestations are New York City, Washington DC, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Columbus, Ohio, Cincinnati, and Detroit.
The statistics definitely indicate that living in urban areas increases your risk of discovering a bed bug infestation in your home. However, the rapid spread of bed bugs throughout the U.S. has begun to be far-reaching, even into rural and remote areas. The best way to stop an infestation before it becomes serious is to be aware of the statistical likelihood of your own family’s exposure to bed bugs and to recognize the early signs of an infestation.