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Are Bed Bug Infestation Rates In The US Increasing Or Decreasing With Time, And How Are Louisiana Lawmakers Combatting The Pests?

Last year the National Pest Management Association conducted a nationwide survey of pest control professionals in order to determine the prevalence of bed bug pest issues within homes and buildings in the US. According to the results, 97 percent of pest control professionals surveyed claimed to have managed bed bug infestations during 2018, and 70 percent claimed that bed bug infestations had become more common during this time. That same year, 91 percent of pest control professionals managed bed bug infestations within single family homes; 89 percent managed the pests in apartments and condominiums, and 68 percent managed infestations in hotels and motels.

According to the results of a 2011 nationwide survey that asked American homeowners about their experiences with bed bugs, 20 percent claimed to have fallen victim to a bed bug infestation within their home, or they know someone who has encountered bed bugs within their home or within a hotel or motel. This survey also revealed that bed bugs had established a sizable population in all 50 states only 10 to 15 years after the pests reemerged in the country. More specifically, 17 percent of respondents living in the northeast claimed to have encountered bed bugs, while 19 percent of western respondents reported bed bug encounters, and 20 percent of respondents in both midwestern and southern regions claimed to have encountered the pests.

Not long after it became clear that bed bugs were going to reestablish a sizable population in the US, pest control professionals, urban entomologists, and public health officials launched a bed bug awareness campaign that aimed to educate Americans about bed bug control tactics. This campaign worked, as a subsequent series of surveys conducted throughout the country a little more than a decade ago revealed that nearly ⅓ of all Americans began to practice bed bug control tactics after hearing the warnings. The most common bed bug control tactic involved the inspection and laundering of all potentially infested articles of clothing that had been taken into hotels during vacations. New Orleans consistently appears on professionally compiled lists of the most bed bug-infested cities in the US, and unfortunately, bed bug infestations are only becoming more common in every area of the US, particularly in Louisiana where bed bug infestations are epidemic. However, Louisiana state lawmakers have been aggressive about combating bed bugs in the state and the rest of the country, as they established the Louisiana Bed Bug Task Force which works with other state and federal entities to develop area-wide bed bug control programs.

Have you managed to avoid bed bug pest issues within your home?

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