The Rise in Bed Bugs

Prevention, Management, and Treatment

Mallory C. McKenzie, RPh, PharmD; Edward M. DeSimone II, RPh, PhD, FAPhA

Disclosures

US Pharmacist. 2012;37(8):47-50. 

In This Article

Epidemiology

The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, was nearly eradicated from developed countries in the 1940s, but within the last 10 years the United States and Canada have seen a rapid resurgence in bed bug infestations.1 A 2008 online survey of pest control professionals determined that in the past 2 years, 91% of respondents had encountered bed bugs. In the past 5 years, 37% of respondents had encountered bed bugs, while in the past 10 years, only 21% had encountered bed bugs.[2] According to data from Terminix, the most bed bug–infested U.S. cities in 2012 were Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and New York.[3] This recent resurgence may be attributed to increased rates of international travel, immigration, changes in pest control practices, and insecticide resistance. Outbreaks occur in a wide variety of settings and most often occur in single-family homes, apartments, hotels, shelters, college dormitories, and nursing homes.[4] Risk factors for bed bug infestations include rapid turnover of residents, increased population density, and frequent relocation. Unsanitary conditions and the number of people in a household are not the best indicators for the presence of bed bugs, and outbreaks are generally not specific to any geographic areas or climate conditions.[5]

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