July 29, 2010 -- The bedbugs are biting, and not just in New York City.
The largest-ever survey on bedbug infestations suggests that the creepy, blood-sucking creatures are being found and fought all over the United States -- in single-family homes, apartment buildings and condos, hotels and motels, retail establishments, and even schools and churches.
The survey, sponsored by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), found that bedbug-related calls to exterminators have risen by 81% over the last decade and by 57% over the last five years.
Questionnaires were sent to nearly 6,000 pest control businesses across the country between January and April of this year. Just over 500 responded.
According to the results:
95% of the responding companies reported treating bedbug infestations during the previous year. Infestations occurred in all regions of the U.S.
20% of companies reported treating for bedbug infestations more than 100 times during this time period -- up from 6% just two years prior.
Nearly 90% said they had treated infestations in houses, apartments, or condos, while 67% had treated for bedbugs in hotels or motels, 17% in office buildings, 12% in hospitals, and 10% in primary/secondary schools.
And survey respondents from all over the country overwhelmingly reported the belief that bedbug infestations were increasing in their region.
“A few years ago, many of our members were getting just a few bedbug-related calls a year or none at all, but that has changed” NPMA spokeswoman Missy Henriksen tells WebMD. “This study confirms the reach of these bugs is certainly broadening.”