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Bed bugs appear to be feared more than vector insects and other household pests. The reasons for this exaggerated fear are not fully understood. One hypothesis is that the folk knowledge on recognising and controlling bed bugs decreased as bed bugs became rarer in the 1960s and led to irrational perceptions. Here, we examine people’s ability to recognise a bed bug and their response what to do in case of an infestation. We found that 13% of a sample of 391 people in four large German cities recognised a bed bug; 15% of all respondents would call a pest controller in case of bed bug infestation. This results in the pessimistic estimate that 97% of all early-stage infestations could go untreated. We discuss additional scenarios. The effectiveness of efforts to educate people about the presence of bed bugs has never been tested, but our sample is useful to guide future studies. We found three sources of information were associated with increased recognition rates of bed bugs: a previous contacts with bed bugs 60% recognition, b knowledge from friends or relatives 25% and school or education courses 15%. By contrast, people who heard of bed bugs from television, print media or the Internet showed reduced recognition rates. We propose that the former factors be tested for educational interventions. In Germany, the bed bug is an estranged creature to many people, a fact that seems to hinder rational approaches to their control.



Autor: Conrad Seidel, Klaus Reinhardt

Fuente: http://plos.srce.hr/



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