Something bugging you? Tri-State highest for bed bug searches
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Something bugging you? Tri-State highest for bed bug searches

HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – A new analysis from MattressNextDay has identified the US states most likely to face bed bug concerns in 2024, and the Tri-State places in the top 10.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the common bed bug has long been a pest – feeding on blood, causing itchy bites and generally irritating their human hosts. The EPA, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) all consider bed bugs a public health pest. However, unlike most public health pests, bed bugs are not known to transmit or spread disease. They can, however, cause other public health issues, so it’s important to pay close attention to preventing and controlling bed bugs. 

Researchers say they utilized search data around terms including “bedbugs,” which made them able to reveal the number of searches across all 50 US states. This data was then ranked based on the states most likely to suffer from bedbugs. 

Here’s how the Tri-State ranked:

Rank   StateSearches for bedbugs per 10,000 residents 
(Courtesy: MattressNextDay)

MattressNextDay says Oklahoma came in at number 1, while Virginia came in at number 25.

Here is the advice researchers gave to prevent bedbug infestations:

  1. Be careful when traveling
    • One of the main culprits of bed bugs is hotel rooms; so before anyone beds down for the night, inspect the bedding and other areas of the room for any dark spots. Bed bugs may transfer onto clothing and luggage, so try and keep the suitcase off the floor if possible, and as soon as the person gets home, they should wash their clothes on a high heat to kill any potential bugs that may have crawled onto them.
  2. Be wary in public
    • It’s not just hotel rooms that can have them – anywhere public could too, as people who have bed bugs will likely have them on their clothes. Whether someone is about to sit down on public transport, a doctor’s waiting room or even a seat at the cinema; do a quick scan to check for those tell-tale reddish brown marks to check it’s safe to do so.
  3. Use protective covers
    • Consider packing and using zippered luggage liners or plastic bags during a hotel stay to encase the suitcase and prevent bed bugs from hitching a ride home.
  4. Store clothes safely
    • Keep clothes in sealed plastic bags within luggage rather than using hotel drawers and closets. If someone must hang clothes, use hangers and keep them away from walls and upholstered furniture.
  5. Heat-treat belongings
    • After returning home from vacation, it’s good practice to immediately wash and dry all clothing on high heat, including those not worn in hot water and dry them on a high heat for at least 30 minutes. Also, a person should thoroughly vacuum their suitcase thoroughly including the seams, folds and pockets to kill any potential bed bugs and dispose of the vacuum bag outside the home immediately.

The full study can be found here.