Study: Americans will go to extremes to get rid of bugs


August 4, 2022

Photo: Natasa Ivancev/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: Natasa Ivancev/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

One in three Americans (34 percent) have considered burning down their own home after experiencing a “bug” infestation, according to a new survey.

When the study refers to “bugs,” it is understood to be using it as a colloquial term, encompassing a large variety of common pest insects and arthropods.

The study of 2,00 adults found that 66 percent of them are willing to do “nearly anything” to get rid of bugs at home — including fumigating their entire home (51 percent), putting glue traps in every corner (46 percent) or even using a whole can of bug spray all at once (43 percent), according to Talker.

Over half the respondents (52 percent) report having considered moving because of bug infestations. Of those respondents, 69 percent of people who considered that option actually moved due to bug infestations.

Six in 10, or 62 percent of participants, believe bugs are the worst things to put up with in the home.

Commissioned by do-it-yourself pest control manufacturer Zevo (so, perhaps, consider the source) and conducted by OnePoll, the study also unveiled the worst rooms in the home to come across bugs: the bedroom (22 percent), kitchen (22 percent) and bathroom (16 percent) took the top spots. Sadly, because it is a DIY supplier, “hiring a professional” (beyond the fumigation option) was not part of the survey.

When asked what they would rather put up with instead of bugs, respondents answered they would rather deal with:

  • Broken appliances (29 percent),
  • Creaky floors (26 percent),
  • Broken windows (26 percent),
  • Not having television connections (25 percent)
  • And rodents (24 percent).

To deal with bug problems, 48 percent of people from the survey said they have turned to DIY “hacks” to try and trap bugs. More than four in five (83 percent) who have tried a “hack” have had it backfire on them to some extent.

Some of the “hacks” mentioned by people in the survey include using cinnamon, coffee grounds and maple syrup to get rid of bugs. One person even shared pouring gasoline on bugs to drown them. Other stats from the survey include:

  • The average person spends $177 on creating homemade methods to deal with bugs. And the results of their efforts are mixed: only 54 percent have had some success in dispelling bugs with their “hacks.”
  • About 53 percent of Americans said they’ve had food go to waste due to bugs. The average person has tossed out their food 19 times in the past year due to bugs, which costs them about $230 and 23 pounds of lost food.
  • Two in five (43 percent) have found bugs in their food at home after it was too late, and a third believe they have eaten a bug or two by mistake at some point in their lives. (This is actually confirmed by more-scientific studies, such as this one.)
  • About two-thirds (65 percent) said they would go to extreme lengths just to protect their food if they have bug infestations; 61 percent of those people admit to cleaning up immediately after cooking to prevent bugs.
  • Nearly as many (59 percent) will even refrain from keeping fresh fruit in their homes or buying houseplants out of fear that they will attract flying insects.

While some of these numbers seem to match up with what the National Pest Management Association has reported in its surveys of the general public over the years, are these reactions lining up with your new customers’ attitudes? Or do you think the hype machine is in full force? Sound off below.


About the Author

Ellen Wagner is a former digital editor for PMP magazine.

Leave A Comment

Comments are closed.