Keeping Bugs Away: Americans in 'Exterminator Mode' As Bugs Invade Homes and Yards

Lisa Mailhot  |  October 9, 2023


Keeping Bugs Away: Americans in 'Exterminator Mode' As Bugs Invade Homes and Yards


Bugs and pests can be quite a nuisance, especially when they invade your home and yard. A recent survey of 2,000 homeowners and renters with yards or lawns revealed some interesting insights into how Americans deal with these unwelcome intruders. The survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of TruGreen shed light on the prevalence of bugs in our lives, the emotions they evoke, and the misconceptions that persist. In this blog post, we'll explore the survey findings and provide practical tips to help you keep bugs at bay.

The Bug Invasion

The survey found that bugs and pests are common for most homeowners, with the average individual encountering them about five times per week, both inside and outside their homes. The presence of bugs often triggers strong emotions, with 56% of respondents feeling frustrated, 39% scared, and 39% disgusted when they find a bug or pest in their home.

Interestingly, 22% of respondents prefer to call in a professional or get someone else to deal with the issue. Only 17% would swat the bug, and 12% feel a sense of duty to release them back into nature. This highlights the range of reactions people have when confronted with bugs.

Deciding to Squish or Not

When it comes to deciding whether to squish a bug, respondents based their decisions on various factors. More than half (56%) considered the bug's appearance, while an equal percentage contemplated the potential harm creepy crawlers could cause to their kids and pets or the damage they could inflict on their homes (50%). This shows that personal safety and property protection are significant concerns.

Inside the home, certain bugs like beetles (43%), centipedes (42%), cockroaches (42%), mosquitoes (21%), and spiders (16%) are more likely to elicit a proactive response. Outside, centipedes (39%), beetles (38%), bees (36%), and cockroaches (34%) top the list of bugs that people are more inclined to squish or remove.

Bug Encounters: Timing Matters

The survey revealed that bug encounters can happen at the most inconvenient times. Some of the worst-case scenarios for encountering a bug or pest in your home include while cooking in the kitchen (24%), getting ready to go to sleep (23%), relaxing in the living room (16%), and even while taking a shower (12%). These situations can be particularly unsettling.

Common Misconceptions

The survey also highlighted some common misconceptions about bugs and pests. Nearly half (48%) of respondents believed the myth that bugs or pests won't come inside a clean home. Additionally, four in 10 respondents thought the age-old myth that the average person swallows eight spiders in their sleep over their lifetime was true. These misconceptions can lead to unnecessary worry and fear.

Seeking Professional Help

In response to bug or pest issues, more than two-thirds of respondents (68%) said they would hire a professional for help. Twelve percent admitted they felt out of control when controlling bugs and pests.

Jeremy McReynolds, TruGreen’s Pest Control Expert, emphasized the importance of professional pest control services, especially during the fall and winter seasons when bugs seek warmth in homes. He stated, "A staggering 48% of homeowners encounter the most pests and bugs during these seasons." To ensure the safety of your home and loved ones, it is best to engage the services of a professional who can effectively prevent these unwelcome intruders from gaining entry."

Bottom Line

Bugs and pests invading your home and yard can be a frustrating and sometimes scary experience. However, it's essential to approach the situation with knowledge and a clear plan of action. Understanding common misconceptions, knowing when to seek professional help, and taking proactive steps to prevent bug infestations can help you keep bugs away and enjoy a pest-free living environment.


  • "Americans In ‘Exterminator Mode’ As Bugs Invade Homes And Yards" - Lennox Kalifungwa, October 6, 2023
  • A survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of TruGreen

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