Entomologists Expect Bed Bugs to Spread During Holiday Travel Season, Hotels Seen as Top Source of Exposure to Infestation

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The results of a new survey reveal that entomologists and pest control experts expect bed bugs to spread during the upcoming holiday travel season, and that hotels are considered by far the greatest risk of exposure to the fast-spreading parasite. The survey was conducted by Bed Bug Super Dogs, a leading bed bug inspection firm serving individuals and owners and managers of commercial, residential and retail property. The company, which uses highly trained NESDCA-certified scent dogs and handlers, included a list of ways to prevent bed bug infestation this holiday.

“Public awareness and early detection are the best ways to prevent or limit the spread of bed bugs during the holidays, when travel and retail purchases increase exposure to infestation.”

The results of a new survey reveal that entomologists and pest control experts expect bed bugs to spread during the upcoming holiday travel season, and that hotels are considered by far the greatest risk of exposure to the fast-spreading parasite.

The survey -- conducted by Bed Bug Super Dogs, a leading provider of NESDCA-certified canine bed bug detection -- included entomologists, bed bug experts and exterminators.

When asked if holiday travel (hotel visits, house guests, retail purchases, returning students) will affect the spread of bed bugs this year, more than 92 percent of experts said that it will increase or significantly increase the spread of the bugs.

A full 85 percent of bed bug experts identified hotels as the greatest risk of exposure to bed bugs. A smaller number of experts said house guests represent the greatest risk of exposure, while just 3.8 percent cited public transportation, school or dormitory as a top exposure risk.

“Bed bugs have caused a great deal of anxiety in recent months,” said David Baer, CEO of Bed Bug Super Dogs. “Public awareness and early detection are the best ways to prevent or limit the spread of the bugs during the holidays, when travel and retail purchases increase exposure to infestation.”

Assessing the recent spread of the bugs, 34.6 percent of respondents said the number of bed bug incidents has doubled or more than doubled during the past 18 months. More than half, or 57 percent, said incidents have increased by 51 percent or more. No respondents said the incidents have decreased or stayed the same.

In a finding that might cause concern, a full 65 percent of experts said the number of bed bug incidents will increase by 51 percent or more during the next 18 months, and 34.6 percent said the number of incidents is likely to double. No respondents said they expect the number incidents to decrease or remain the same.

A full 42 percent of respondents said that people generally notice an infestation after six to eight weeks, a period of time that could enable an adult female bed bug to lay dozens of eggs.

More than 50 percent of experts said that humans can detect bedbugs with less than 25 percent accuracy, and 27 percent of respondents said the accuracy of human detection is 10 percent or less.

More than 80 percent of respondents said that trained, maintained and certified detection dogs have a greater than 86 percent accuracy in detecting bed bugs in the early stages of an infestation. More than 42 percent said the dogs were 96 percent (or more) accurate.

Bed Bug Super Dogs provided a list of the top ten ways to prevent an infestation in the home (attached).

About Bed Bug Super Dogs

Bed Bug Super Dogs is New York City’s foremost bed bug inspection firm serving individuals and owners and managers of commercial, residential and retail property. The company uses highly trained NESDCA-certified scent dogs and handlers, providing detection services in the New York City metro area and to institutions nationally. Bed Bug Super Dogs is positioned to accommodate corporate clients and owners of multi-city portfolios who require a program of ongoing inspections to prevent an infestation and resulting reputation damage. Visit http://www.BedBugSuperDogs.com, or call 646 599-9986 for more information.

Media Contact:
Shea Communications
Alexis Schneider
212-627-5766

Ways to Prevent Bed Bug Infestation

  •     At hotels, keep clothes and luggage off beds and in tiled bathroom.
  •     Following travel, HEPA vacuum luggage (or store luggage sealed in a plastic bag) and run clothes in hot dryer for at least 40 minutes. Dispose of vacuum bag out of doors.
  •     Do not purchase used furniture, clothing items or mattresses without considering the possibility of contamination.
  •     Run new clothing purchases or gifts in hot dryer for at least 40 minutes if they are dryer-safe; dry clean new clothing that is delicate. Visually inspect non-apparel purchases or gifts.
  •     Periodically inspect bed and bedroom for signs of bed bugs: dead bugs, shed skins, dark fecal spotting.
  •     Purchase mattress and box spring encasements to prevent mattress infestation or costly replacement.
  •     If you suspect exposure, launder bedding frequently; vacuum frequently with HEPA vacuum and dispose of bag; seal cracks and crevices in the interior of your bedroom and home with caulk; remove clutter and seal in bags.
  •     Isolate belongings of children returning from dorms, or items brought home from K-12 schools during holiday recess. Heat if appropriate in dryer, or inspect visually for possible infestation.
  •     Be aware of possible exposure or signs of infestation, including bug sign or welts/rashes. Welts and rashes may present weeks after the initial bite, so swift action is critical.
  •     Act swiftly if you believe you have an infestation, seeking confirmation with an independent, NESDCA-certified canine and handler and acting decisively to eradicate the bugs. The quicker you act, the easier it is to eliminate the problem.

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Alexis Schneider

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