2011 - 2012 Bed Bugs Indicator Report

Purpose of the Health Indicator Report

To provide information on the prevalence, impact and knowledge of bed bugs in Halton Region.

Key Findings

Bed Bug Awareness and Prevalence

Overall Findings

  • In 2011/2012, 90% (±2) of adults aged 18 and over in Halton Region reported that they were aware of bed bugs and 10%(±2) reported that they were not.
  • In 2011/2012, 0.8%(±0.5) of households in Halton reported having bed bugs in their home in the past 12 months.
  • In 2011/2012, there were no statistically significant differences by sex, municipality or education in the percent of Halton adults aged 18 and over who reported that they were aware of bed bugs.

Age

  • In 2011/2012, younger adults in Halton were less likely than older adults to report that they were aware of bed bugs. This difference was statistically significant when comparing adults aged 18-24 [74%(±12)] to all other age groups.

Income

  • In 2011/2012, the percent of adults aged 18 and over in Halton who reported that they were aware of bed bugs increased as income increased, however this difference was not statistically significant.

Bed Bug Concern

Overall Findings

  • In 2011/2012, 30%(±3) of Halton adults aged 18 and over who were aware of bed bugs reported that they were very concerned about bed bugs getting into their home, compared to 26%(±3) who were somewhat concerned, 28%(±3) who were not very concerned, and 16%(±2) who were not at all concerned.
  • In 2011/2012, there were no statistically significant differences by sex, municipality or education in the percent of Halton adults aged 18 and over who were aware of bed bugs and who reported that they were very or somewhat concerned about bed bugs getting into their home.

Income

  • In 2011/2012, the percent of adults aged 18 and over in Halton who were aware of bed bugs and who reported being somewhat or very concerned about bed bugs getting into their home decreased as income increased. This difference was statistically significant when comparing adults in the low income group [61%(±6)] to the high income group [48%(±6)].

Bed Bug Knowledge

Prevention Methods

  • Health Canada recommends the following to prevent bed bug infestations: remove clutter, vacuum, seal cracks and crevices, check or avoid bringing in used clothing and furniture, take precautions when travelling, and check the home regularly for bed bugs.
  • In 2011/2012, the most common methods suggested by Halton adults aged 18 and over for preventing bed bugs were: clean, remove clutter, use hot water, steam clean or use a dryer [44%(±3)], check, inspect and clean luggage when returning from a trip [23%(±3)] and other [19%(±3)]. Other methods included: avoid visiting or sleeping in places that may have bed bugs, being cautious with guests and visitors entering the home, consult a professional, use mattress covers and close doors and windows to the house.

Checking for Bed Bugs

  • Health Canada recommends the following to check for bed bugs in the home: use a flashlight, use a card to scrape along mattress seams and other crevices, check electrical outlets and furniture, check for bed bug droppings, and check bed linens, mattresses, box springs, baseboards, carpets and rugs.3
  • In 2011/2012, the most common methods suggested by Halton adults aged 18 and over to check for bed bugs in the home were: check mattresses, box springs, bedframes and bedding [59%(±3)], look for evidence of bites [39%(±3)] and look in cracks and crevices around the bed, furniture and baseboards [17%(±2)].

Removing Bed Bugs

  • Health Canada recommends the following to remove bed bugs from the home: hire a professional, steam, wash and throw out items, vacuum and use pest control products that have been approved and registered by Health Canada.
  • In 2011/2012, the most common methods suggested by Halton adults aged 18 and over to remove bed bugs from the home were hire a pest control company/professional [59%(±3)], clean using hot water, steam clean or use the dryer [27%(±3)] and get rid of any infested mattresses, carpet or furniture [17%(±2)].