Your position on the subject varies if you are in the north or south, work inhospitably and apartments or elsewhere, are in the media or not. For the last 50 years, the subject has been taboo just about everywhere in the US. Your mother might have said "only dirty homes have bed bugs" but no longer.
The rampant increase in these little critters has brought bed bugs from the cover of the New Yorker magazine to Saturday Night Live and everywhere in between. They are not media hype. They have become such a problem in the northeast that they are affecting political events. Mayoral candidate, Smitherman, in Toronto is making campaign promises to clean up their city of the little vampires. They will truly be named the pest of the year.
But since the south has yet to experience what Ohio and New York have been living with, the subject remains hush-hush here. Hotels have code words for them, college housing ripe for infestations won't consider proactive and preventative measures, homeowners worry that we will show up with bed bug labeled trucks. The general public believes that it is all media hype and "won't happen to me”. But those of us in the pest control industry, hospitality and apartment management is planning for the tidal wave that is on the horizon. It is not if, but when.
Unfortunately in our society, any taboo is fostered by a lack of education on the subject. The only way for the south to prevent mass infestations is head-on. We must begin educating everyone on how to protect themselves from being bit, but more importantly, from bringing these pests home.