Bed bugs are on the rise again. Shortly after the end of World War II, the bed bug problem, at least in the US was almost completely eradicated. But over the past 10 years, reported bed bug infestations have been on a rapid increase at an average rate of 50% each year worldwide. Even more alarming, is that reports are showing up for bed bugs where there weren’t traditionally bed bug issues in the past. So not only are reported cases rising, bed bugs are spreading too!
On July 9th, Terminix released it’s list of cities experiencing the largest increases in bed bug activity. The city of Sacramento, CA won the prize seeing a 54% increase in reported bed bug related calls. Per Terminix, the list of cities with the highest increases of bed bug infestations are as follows:
- Sacramento, Calif. – 54%
- Milwaukee, Wis. – 53%
- Las Vegas, Nev. – 50%
- Columbus, Ohio – 47%
- Baltimore, Md – 46%
- Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. – 41%
- St. Louis, Mo. – 40%
- Cleveland, Ohio – 36%
- Louisville, Ky. – 31%
- Denver, Colo. – 28%
- Los Angeles, Calif. – 27%
- San Francisco, Calif. – 26%
- Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas – 25%
- Nashville, Tenn. – 17%
- Houston, Texas – 15%
The 2012 most bed bug infested cities from Terminix are:
- New York City
- Washington, D.C.
- Columbus, Ohio
- San Francisco
- New Haven, Conn.
Bed bugs on the rise
Bed bugs are beginning to make their resurgence known and it’s becoming a significant problem in larger cities like the ones listed above. Bed bugs have recently been linked to severe anemia. Bed bug bites can result in secondary and sometimes serious infection due to excessive scratching and resulting tissue damage.
While both of these physical issues are rare, the psychological effects of bed bugs are very real and often long term. People that experience severe bed bug infestations often can’t sleep, feel insecure, and are excessively irritable.
Bed Bug Detection
If you haven’t checked for bed bugs, you should. Bed bug detection takes time, and isn’t an “exact science”, but armed with a flashlight, magnifying glass, credit card, and a little knowledge of what bed bugs look like, you can search for bed bugs in your home. Additionally, you can install traps in your home to not only detect bed bugs, but also help prevent them from getting into your bed or furniture.
For a full write-up on how to detect bed bug, head over to our bed bug detection page. If you find bed bugs, head immediately to our bed bug treatment page to learn about the various treatment options at your disposal.
Bed Bug Prevention
Preventing bed bugs in your home is the single most important step you can take to avoid a bed bug infestation. Prevention mainly involves:
- Not bringing used furniture into your home and if you do, making sure your thoroughly inspect it
- Taking specific steps while traveling to protect yourself and your luggage.
- When staying in a hotel, inspect the room immediately for bed bugs upon arrival, and if bed bugs or signs of bed bugs are found, leave the room immediately and talk to the hotel management immediately.
- Install bed bug traps under your furniture, and use bed bug mattress covers, box spring covers, and pillow casing covers to protect your bed, the number one place bed bugs like to “hang out”.
You can read more about how to prevent bed bugs by reading over our bed bug prevention page.