The past several years has seen a dramatic rise in the number of bed bug infestations in North America, yet many people still don’t know how to detect bed bugs or how to prevent infestation.
If you’re among those who haven’t given much thought to bed bugs, consider the prominence of bed bugs in the news this year. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, as the saying goes. The recent frequency of media reports about bed bugs not only highlights the problem, it serves as evidence of its spread.
For example, just this month The Baltimore Sun reported about a jury’s order for a furniture store to pay $225,000 to a family that bought a pair of wood-frame twin beds infested with bed bugs, while the Patriot News in central Pennsylvania ran an article with the ominous headline, “Bedbugs continue to bedevil Harrisburg School District.” Similar stories have become all too common.
In fact, ABC News felt the issue important enough to feature a ranking of the worst 50 U.S. cities in terms of bed bug infestation, released in March by a leading pest control company. (The top five were 1. Cincinnati, 2. Chicago, 3. Detroit, 4. Denver, 5. Los Angeles). Each city’s inclusion on the list prompted numerous local media reports to spread the word about the predicament.
In a look at the bed bug problem by National Geographic earlier this month, an info-graphic provided by bedbugs.org states that the U.S. bed bug population has increased by 500 percent during the past several years, but that only 54 percent of people have made any change in their behavior as a result.
The info-graphic also includes useful tips about how to detect bed bugs and keep them from spreading—crucial information considering that the public’s knowledge of this information is one of the most important aspects of the fight against bed bugs. Another recent report detailed the discussions at a “bed bug summit” held earlier this year, and among the conclusions were that 2012 will be a critical year in the battle against bed bugs and that a better-educated public will be needed to win that battle.
So take the time to learn about how to detect bed bugs and what you can do to avoid infestation. This is classic case of “better safe than sorry.”
Photo Credit: NS Newsflash via Flickr