Survey finds Americans are worried pests will ruin holiday plans


December 20, 2023

Photo: Willowpix/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: Willowpix/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

A recent survey found that Americans are worried that their holiday plans will attract pests to their homes.

According to an article from Talker, a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults showed 77 percent agreed they’d start to feel worried if they came across even a couple of bugs in their home over the holidays.

Nearly nine in 10 (87 percent) survey participants said they host more people in their home during the holiday season than any other time of year and 78 percent are concerned about spotting pests in their home while hosting guests.

During the holiday season, the study — commissioned by Zevo, developed by P&G Ventures, and conducted by OnePoll — found 72 percent are concerned about finding pests hiding amongst their holiday decorations when it comes time to dig things out of storage.

People are most concerned about spiders (49 percent), fruit flies (46 percent), ants (45 percent) and cockroaches (44 percent). Sixteen percent are afraid of finding fungus gnats among their holiday decorations.

Respondents said they’re especially concerned about finding pests in their wreaths (63 percent), holiday lights (60 percent), trees (52 percent), garlands (51 percent) and ornaments (40 percent).

Forty-five percent are at least lucky enough to find pests in their decorations before putting them up; 43 percent don’t realize it until it’s too late.

Results also found that 65 percent of Americans like using fake plants as their holiday decorations, while 59 percent like using real plants.

Those who prefer live plants said it’s because they seem more “holiday” like (61 percent), they smell better (56 percent) and it’s part of a family tradition (52 percent). Yet 91 percent are concerned about pests hiding out in them.

Alternatively, those who prefer fake plants said it’s because their pets would destroy real plants (52 percent), it’s better quality (50 percent) and their pets are allergic or would be harmed by live plants (47 percent). And compared to live plants, only 64 percent are concerned about pests hiding in fake plants.

Regardless of where pests are hiding, people said they’d react to seeing pests in their home during the winter months by calling an exterminator to take care of them (39 percent), killing them immediately (32 percent) or simply being embarrassed (27 percent).

This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans who celebrate a winter holiday was commissioned by Zevo between Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).

About the Author

Ellen Wagner is a former digital editor for PMP magazine.

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