In 1990, bed bugs were something of an urban legend. Very few Americans had ever seen a bed bug or experienced a bite and there were almost no recorded infestations in the United States. Now, 16 years later, it’s a very different story. This year, national pest control chain Terminix put together a list of the U.S. cities with the worst bed bug infestations. The list was full of major American cities, including Oklahoma City, which came in at number 13. It is the only city from Oklahoma to make the list.
These little critters need warm, humid environments to survive. Because of this, they are often found in beds, giving them the name bed bugs. However, they can be found hiding in any place that gives them warm, damp air and an opportunity to come on contact with hosts, including movie theatres and even libraries. Many of the cities on the list are major hubs for national and international travel, which could help explain the rapid spread of bed bug populations. Frequent travelers often play host to bed bugs as they are most commonly found in hotel rooms and other areas associated with transportation like trains, planes, buses and taxis.
The top 15 cities are:
- Cleveland-Akron Metro Area
- Los Angeles
- Dallas-Fort Worth
- San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose Metro Area
- Oklahoma City
- New York City
If you live in or travel to one of these cities frequently, you could be at risk of a bed bug infestation. You could also be at risk if you hosted friends or family from one of these places over the holidays. You can read our previous blog on bed bug prevention, or continue reading to for all our tips on how to prevent bed bugs, how to spot an infestation and what to do if you do have a bed bug infestation.
Preventing bed bugs:
Whenever you travel, make sure to inspect all the furniture—especially the bed—before you settle in an unpack. Regardless of whether you’re staying in a hotel, with friends or with family, there is always a risk of bed bugs. Check the corners of the mattress, the undersides of couch and chair cushions before you get too comfortable. Bed bugs leave behind skins they have shed and telltale stains. You can also pack all your belonging in plastic to keep the pesky pests away. Pack your clothing inside Ziploc bags to keep them safe or place your entire suitcase inside a plastic trash bag and tie up the end when you’re not using it. When you return home, wash all your clothes in hot water—even the clothing you didn’t wear. The hot cycle will kill any bed bugs or eggs that were able to hitch a ride back home with you on your clothing or in your luggage. And before you bring your suitcase inside and put it away, make sure to thoroughly vacuum it out.
Getting rid of bed bugs:
We can save you a lot of time and money right here—all those DIY bed bug extermination methods you find online…they don’t work. And most pest control companies you call are going to have a pretty hard time getting rid of your bed bugs as well. That’s why, if you do find bed begs, contact Arrow Exterminators right away! As the only company in Oklahoma using state of the art Thermal Remediation® technology, we’re the best equipped to put your bed bugs to night for good!