How do we battle the stigma associated with bed bugs?

Some people think that poor sanitation is associated with bed bugs. Bed bugs get their food and water from our blood; they don’t care what our kitchens look like! Anyone can end up with bed bugs. Educating people about the difference between the feeding habits of bed bugs versus other pests' feeding habits will help battle the stigma. Bed bugs are not a sign of poor housekeeping and people should not be ashamed to have them. We love this poster, developed by Home Forward in Portland, OR.

Sidenote:
Although bed bugs are not attracted to clutter, it does give bed bugs a lot of places to hide. The more they can hide, the harder it is to inspect and find them. So in cluttered places, infestations often get bad before anyone notices. “Clutter” may be very well organized collections of things. It’s just a matter of bed bugs being able to hide.

If a home has a lot of clutter, place monitors so that bed bugs are detected before the infestation gets bad. Teach residents to inspect objects for bed bugs so they can reduce the risk of bringing home infested items.