It’s far from a pleasant thought, but whether you’re looking to travel, or move to a different city, getting to understand what states have the most bed bugs should be part of your research.
While not many people would first consider the pest infestation and statistics of a location before making the big move, it’s important to understand the risks of bed bug infestations in different states.
It felt like it was only a few years ago when saying “don’t let the bed bugs bite” at night when putting the kids to bed was just an innocent adage. However, the reality is far more insidious.
Bed bugs have been on the rise across the US for some time now, and according to a 2023 report from Orkin, Chicago holds the top spot for the most infested state, with New York, Philadelphia, and California taking the second, third, and fourth spots, respectively.
These numbers were based on the treatment of residential and commercial properties, as well as the number of treatments needed to eradicate the pests.
If we’re going to compare numbers, it’s been shown that both New York and California have been consistently among the states with the highest reported bed bug infestations over the last few years.
While New York City had been at the top of the list for several years, Chicago has overtaken it in recent times.
With Chicago taking first place, nearly 44% of all bed bug treatments in the US were done in Illinois. The report also shows that Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, and Indiana took the remaining spots for having the most infestations.
New York’s bed bug problem is often caused by the high amount of tourists visiting the city each year, while Chicago’s bed bug infestations have been linked to its large population.
California, on the other hand, has long been a hotspot for bed bugs due to its mild climate, which allows the pests to thrive.
Here is a quick Table with the mapping reports in the United States, based on service requests:
|State||# of Bed Bug Reports|
Where Are Bed Bugs Usually Picked From?
The growing population of bed bugs and their ability to multiply and travel places means that they can be found in many places.
Although they love dark and moist places, here’s a quick rundown of the common places where bed bugs are usually picked up from:
Many elderly residents move in and out of nursing homes, making them a breeding ground for bed bugs. 58% of all bed bug reports mainly come from nursing homes.
This is probably because of the high turnover rate of residents.
Next on our list are offices. While many people would think that offices would be clean and safe, it’s actually quite easy for bed bugs to slip in due to the influx of people coming and going each day.
The chances of getting more bed bugs do increase in larger offices. About 45% of bed bug reports mainly come from office buildings.
Yikes – schools and daycare centers being at risk of bed bugs is a scary thought, but it’s true. Third on our list are daycare centers and schools, with 43% of reports coming from these places.
Similar to offices, schools, and daycare centers are most likely to be at risk due to the high number of people (and kids) coming and going each day.
Hospitals are another hotspot for bed bug infestations. Bed bugs are usually picked up from luggage, furniture, or even through hitchhiking on people’s clothes.
Trains, taxis, planes, buses – all of these can also be a possible source of bed bugs. As with nursing homes, hospitals, and offices, the high-traffic area in transportation vehicles increases the risk of picking up bed bugs.
Public transportation is a very common way for bedbugs to travel, and it is unfortunate for those who are unaware of the risks.
Believe it or not, retail stores can be a source of bed bugs too. Bed bugs are often found in clothing, furniture, and other store items that have been returned or used by customers.
Remember, bed bugs can be found anywhere, and they don’t discriminate. Although it’s a pretty rare occurrence, it is still something to be aware of.
Ah, hotels – the ultimate target for bedbugs. Hotels are a common source of bed bugs, and they are usually found in beds, furniture, and even carpets.
Travelers from different parts of the city or world, in addition to the high traffic of visitors, can easily bring in bed bugs.
Because of this, hotel management and staff have taken steps to ensure that their property is bed bug-free.
It’s important to check for signs of bed bugs before you check-in, and be sure to alert the staff if you think that your room may have any.
This might be the last area you have in mind when thinking about bed bugs, but movie theaters can be a great place for them to linger.
Movie theaters are often dark and humid, making them the perfect environment for bedbugs.
Plus, people usually sit close together and rarely pay attention to what’s happening around them – this gives bedbugs the opportunity to hitchhike on unsuspecting viewers without them even realizing it.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs from Spreading
Now that you know where bed bugs are usually picked up from, it’s time to talk about prevention. Prevention is the best way to keep your property and loved ones safe, so here are some tips on how to prevent bedbugs from spreading:
• Vacuum regularly and thoroughly
• Wash all fabrics in hot water
• Check for bed bugs regularly
• Ensure proper sanitation
• Use encasements on mattresses and box springs
• Avoid buying second-hand furniture or clothing. If it can’t be avoided, inspect it before bringing it into the house.
• Contact a pest control specialist if you suspect an infestation
• Clean all items that have been stored for a long time before using them again
• Immediately wash anything that may have been in contact with bed bugs.
Up to date, bed bugs are still a major issue for people all over the world.
With Chicago leading the race this year, and not in a good way, it’s important to be aware of the risks and understand how to prevent them from spreading.
If you’re living in a city with a low bed bug infestation report, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are safe.
Bed bugs can appear anywhere and anytime, so it’s important to stay vigilant and keep your property clean.
With the proper precautions, we can all help reduce the number of bed bugs in our homes, hospitals, offices, transportation vehicles, retail stores, hotels, and movie theaters.