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Mosquitoes Top List of Pest Concerns, NPMA Survey Finds

Public Health

Mosquitoes, stinging insects and ticks cause homeowners the most concern during the summer, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of NPMA.

| September 12, 2013

FAIRFAX Va. – When it comes to pests, Americans say mosquitoes, stinging insects and ticks cause them most concern during the summer, according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of The National Pest Management Association (NPMA). More than half of those concerned about any pests during the summer say they are worried about contracting a disease as the number one reason behind their concern.

“It’s no wonder mosquitoes are of most concern for the public, considering last year was one of the deadliest West Nile virus seasons on record, with 286 fatal cases reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” noted Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “However, as we see from our survey, the public is also rightfully concerned about other pests that can transmit disease and cause other health problems.”

As summer begins to wind down, Americans may think the threats from these pests will decrease as well. “Not true,” says Henriksen. “Mosquitoes and stinging insects are very active up until the late fall, around October. It’s important for people to take proper precautions when spending time outdoors, especially amid concerns over WNV and reports of increased cases of Lyme disease, which can be transmitted by black-legged ticks.”

Below are the highlights of NPMA’s summer pest survey:

Among Americans…Among Americans…

    62 percent are concerned about mosquitoes
    38 percent are concerned about stinging insects (e.g., hornets, wasps, yellow jackets, bees)
    30 percent are concerned about ticks
    26 percent are concerned about spiders
    11 percent are concerned about bed bugs
    14 percent are concerned about other pests
    Women are slightly more concerned about any pests during the summer than men (87 percent vs. 82 percent, respectively)
    90 percent who have children in the home are more concerned about any pests during the summer than those who do not have children (82 percent)

Among those who are concerned about any pests during the summer…

    54 percent are concerned about contracting a disease from the pests (e.g., West Nile virus or Lyme disease)
    43 percent are concerned about the pain associated with a bite or sting
    35 percent are concerned about pest infestation in their home
    11 percent say they have a severe allergy to certain pests
    5 percent have contracted a disease from a pest in the past

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of NPMA, from August 5-7, 2013, among 2,038 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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