Survey Finds 3 in 5 Americans Encounter Bug Bites Most In Their Backyards

Thursday, 18. June 2020 16:00

Austin, June 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The over-saturation of mosquitoes and insects outside ranked among the key barriers to spending time outdoors for U.S. residents according to a study released by MibeTec, a leading medical device company and maker of bite away®, an electronic device for the symptomatic treatment of itching, pain, and swelling caused by insect stings and bites. The national poll of 2,000 U.S. residents aimed to explore key obstacles preventing people from spending time outside was commissioned by MibeTec and conducted by Bloom Communications in collaboration with Regina Corso Consulting.  

With the recent development of more Americans social distancing and staying home to slow the spread of COVID-19, the study found 3 in 5 Americans cited spending more time outdoors, and as a result, half of them reported experiencing an increase in mosquito bites. Although there has been a spike in enthusiasm for spending time outdoors, the study found the consequential itch from insect bites as a result of outdoor activity prevents 52% of U.S. residents from enjoying themselves at the beach, lake, and/or pool as often as they would like. 

“As people adjust to different conditions for socializing, and more time at home, MibeTec is committed to making the outdoors a pleasurable, accessible experience for everyone,” said Michael Pratt, head of Americas, MibeTec U.S.  “With options for instant relief and treatment, fear of insect bites and stings should not prevent Americans from enjoying fresh air, outdoor exercise, or responsible picnics with loved ones,” added Pratt. 

It’s not just outdoor recreational activities that Americans are avoiding because of foreseeable insect bite symptoms. Survey results show the itch from mosquito bites prevents 58% of people from enjoying picnics and outdoor dining at their preferred frequency. Additionally, almost half of Americans reported the anticipation of itchiness caused by mosquito bites prevents them from exercising outdoors as often as they’d like. 

The survey results indicate the symptoms of insect bites and stings create apprehension around spending time outdoors. Over half of Americans say they encounter the most insect disturbances in their backyards (59%). Other locations don’t provide much of an escape, as Americans further reveal frustrations with insect bites while hiking (32%), at the lake (32%), and at the beach (14%). 

MibeTec invited organizations focused on increasing access to nature and outdoor experiences to share perspectives on study findings:

“As an organization dedicated to expanding access to nature, we welcome MibeTec’s efforts to explore new research focused on outdoor experience, something we live and breathe every day,” said Robert Albini, senior program director of YMCA Camp Moody. “With the highly anticipated launch of Camp Moody’s outdoor programming for families this month, we’re eager to deepen our understanding of reasons why people may or may not be inclined to get outdoors so we can remove as many barriers as possible.”

"Spending time outdoors in nature isn’t just good for the body and soul—it’s also essential for the mind, and it’s good to have this data and pulse on how people feel about obstacles,” said Anna Sharratt, executive director of Free Forest School. “Research shows unstructured nature play nurtures cognitive, physical, and social emotional development—particularly important in the first five years of life, when the majority of brain development occurs. With this in mind, Free Forest School works to create nature play opportunities for kids of all backgrounds and abilities by building supportive communities and empowering parents and caregivers to access nearby nature.”

“Findings from the MibeTec study echo what we’ve seen in our experience, that people may tend to avoid the outdoors if they see it as a place of discomfort and the unknown. At Musa Masala, part of our goal is to prepare people for having fun outdoors by helping them choose the appropriate training, equipment, and place to go that is suitable for their comfort and experience level,” said Michael McLaughlin, wilderness medicine emergency medical technician and president of Musa Masala. “Awareness of the special conditions one may encounter is key to having a safe, successful adventure—that awareness includes climate, culture of the area, terrain, possible animal interactions, including mosquitoes, bees, ants, and bringing appropriate medications to treat possible issues.”  

Additional Key Survey Findings:

  • Types of Mosquito People: Almost half of Americans feel slightly annoyed by mosquito bites (47%), while 23% of people identify as mosquito magnets, 16% fancy themselves avid indoor people, and a fortunate 14% consider themselves human mosquito repellers.
  • Significant Barriers to Spending Time Outdoors: Mosquitos and other insects are the greatest controllable barrier to time spent outdoors for Americans (37%) following people who cited high temperatures (51%) and rainy conditions (44%) as the top obstacle to getting outside.
  • Sting and Bite Rankings: Mosquito bites take the cake as having the most aggravating symptoms at 63%, followed by bees and wasps at 47%. Having a smaller impact on Americans, 19% cite ants as the most aggravating bite or sting, followed by fleas (17%), no-see-ums (13%), and chiggers (13%). 

To view the results of the study*,  “Outdoor Perspectives: Exploring Barriers to Getting Outside,” visit: https://tinyurl.com/ydymp3fh

*Please cite the above research as the “Outdoor Perspectives: Exploring Barriers to Getting Outside,” survey commissioned by MibeTec.

Survey Methodology

This online survey was conducted by Bloom Communications in collaboration with Regina Corso Consulting on behalf of MibeTec between May 15-18, 2020 among 2,005 U.S. residents, age 18 and older. Figures for age, gender, education, and income were weighted to represent the U.S. population in its entirety. For more information on the survey methodology, please contact brianna@bloomcommunications.com. 

About MibeTec

MibeTec Germany is an independent member of the Dermapharm Group, a leading manufacturer of patent-free branded pharmaceuticals for select markets in Germany since 1991. MibeTec was founded to research, develop, manufacture, and sell a variety of products including medical technologies. In 2018, MibeTec U.S. was formed in preparation for the launch of the company’s first U.S. product, Bite Away®, a medical device leveraging patented1 safety technology designed to treat insect bites. For more information visit www.takethebiteaway.com.

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1 EU: patent no. 3308752; U.S. no. 16/317,147: patent pending

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Valerie Beesley
Bloom Communications
512.535.5066 x7
valerie@bloomcommunications.com
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