Master's Culminating Experience
Recent research suggests that the United States and the world are on the verge of a bed bug pandemic. Assumptions have been made that socioeconomic status is not an indicator and that bed bugs are not competent disease vectors. However, little information is available at the local level about the prevalence of bed bugs in private homes. This study aimed to identify prevalence, knowledge, and concern about bed bugs in one village in Ohio. Responses from 96 individuals who completed the Prevalence, Knowledge, and Concern about Bed Bugs (PK CABB) survey were utilized for data analysis. The majority of the sample was white non-Hispanic and about 95% of the respondents in the survey reported that they owned their residence. Only about 6% of the respondents knew someone with bed bugs. Additionally, 50 people (52.1%) reported they were somewhat concerned about bed bugs, despite recent media attention. About 43% of people reported that they had changed their behavior. There were no differences in the responses based on data collection method. For this higher income area the prevalence was dissimilar to the rate reported in the general public (about 20%). This suggests that bed bugs may be an environmental issue effecting low income disproportionately. Confounding issues, such as reluctance to report infestations could have resulted in inaccurately low results. Further research is needed in areas of differing socioeconomic levels. Education is needed for all in the general public related to bed bug prevention and elimination.
Kaylor, M. (2011). Prevalence, Knowledge, and Concern about Bed Bugs. Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.