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The 2011 Bugs Without Borders Survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky, has found that bed bug infestations have increased and are now being found just about everywhere. The study, which surveyed U.S. pest management professionals, found that 99 percent of respondents encountered bed bug infestations in the past year. More than eight of out ten noted that bed bug infestations are increasing across the country. This represents a sharp increase in prevalence as only a mere 11 percent of respondents reported receiving bed bug calls more than 10 years ago. One of the most significant findings is that bed bug encounters have become much more common in public places than the previous year, in some instances increasing by 10, 20 or nearly 30 percent.

“The increase in bed bug encounters is likely due to a combination of factors, but one thing is clear — this pest shows no signs of retreating,” noted Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Of most concern are the places where pest professionals are encountering bed bugs, such as, schools, hospitals, and hotels/motels. In many cases the numbers of professionals who have reported treating certain types of businesses and commercial facilities has seen double digit growth.”

“Increased public awareness, education and vigilance are key in detecting and preventing bed bug infestations as these pests tend to travel undetected from place to place, breed quickly and remain one of the most challenging to treat,” added Henriksen. “NPMA advises consumers against the ‘this can’t happen to me’ attitude, because bed bugs are equal opportunity pests.”

Bed bugs are the size and color of a flat apple seed, like to travel and will hide in suitcases, boxes and shoes to be near a food supply (humans). In addition to the mattress and headboard, bed bugs can be found behind baseboards, electrical switch plates, picture frames, wallpaper, upholstery and in furniture crevices.