America’s Most Bed Bug Infested Cities 2024

Bed Bug Infestation And Treatment Service

Bed bugs: they’re every home and property owner’s worst nightmare, and they’re threatening to spread to more and more cities each year. Experts believe that increases in bed bug populations can be attributed to a few things, perhaps most importantly, higher levels of travel. 

Other factors that play a key role include a lack of knowledge about preventing infestations, increased resistance of bed bugs to pesticides, and ineffective pest control practices. 

Luckily, knowing what bed bug infestations look like and where they’re most likely to occur can help you stay ahead of these unwelcome guests. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most and least bed bug-infested cities in the U.S. to help you get started.

Key Takeaways

  • Bed bugs are common in cities with heavy tourist traffic and temperate to warm climates. Some of the most bed bug-infested cities in the nation include New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore, and Dallas.
  • Bed bug infestations are more unusual in cities with fewer travelers and hot, dry temperatures. Our research shows that some cities least affected by bed bugs include Fremont, Irvine, Santa Clarita, Arlington, and Plano
  • If you live in a region prone to bed bug infestations or travel frequently, make sure you have a plan to keep yourself and your home safe. 
  • Signs of an existing bed bug infestation – like exoskeletons, brown stains on furniture or bedding, etc. – should be taken seriously. Take action as soon as possible to limit the spread of bed bugs. 

America’s Most Bed Bug Infested Cities

Bed bugs have been found in nearly every continent in the world, but they’re spreading quickly throughout nations like the United States. Our research suggests that some of the most bed bug-infested cities include tourism hotspots like:

1. New York City, NY

  • Monthly Bed Bug Searches: 5,680

New York takes the top spot on our list, and it’s not a huge surprise. However, NYC isn’t prone to bed bugs because it’s “dirty.” Experts say bed bug infestations have a lot less to do with cleanliness and a lot more to do with travel. 

NYC consistently takes the cake for the most tourists in the nation, drawing millions of visitors to the area each year. That means there are lots of free rides for bed bugs to take advantage of!

2. Atlanta, GA

  • Monthly Bed Bug Searches: 3,050

As another city that’s big with tourists, Atlanta suffers the same challenges as areas like NYC. And, since many people in the city stay or live in short-term housing options – like hotel rooms, apartments, etc. – it’s easy for bed bugs to hop from one place to another. 

3. Chicago, IL

  • Monthly Bed Bug Searches: 2,820

Chicago is booming with business, but that also means there are lots of professionals entering and leaving the city on a regular basis. This, combined with Chicago’s large population, offers bed bugs thousands of opportunities to hitchhike. 

4. Baltimore, MD

  • Monthly Bed Bug Searches: 1,760

Cities like Baltimore have a lot of history, including in their architecture. However, to bed bugs, older structures are a goldmine: they usually have more entry points and hiding spots the bugs can tuck themselves away in.

5. Dallas, TX

  • Monthly Bed Bug Searches: 1,720

Dallas is an expansive city that – you guessed it – brings in lots of tourist traffic throughout the year. It’s also warm enough to allow bed bugs to really thrive.

America’s Least Bed Bug Infested Cities

Our research reveals that some of the least bed bug-infested cities in the U.S.,  including those below, tick these boxes.

1. Fremont, CA

  • Monthly Bed Bug Searches: 110

If bed bugs love traveling and being near where people sleep, it stands to reason that areas with less tourism and more space between homes and individuals will likely face fewer infestations. Fremont has a lot to offer residents and visitors, but it’s not quite a priority destination for those outside of California.

2. Irvine, CA

  • Monthly Bed Bug Searches: 130

Warm weather and less frequently traveled destinations help Irvine avoid most bed bug problems. 

3. Santa Clarita, CA

  • Monthly Bed Bug Searches: 140

Just like Fremont and Irvine, Santa Clarita isn’t packed with millions of people who may be carrying bed bugs. 

4. Arlington, VA

  • Monthly Bed Bug Searches: 140

Areas like Arlington are most frequently traveled by locals and people from Virginia or nearby states, which typically don’t have big bed bug issues.

5. Plano, TX

  • Monthly Bed Bug Searches: 170

Extremely hot or dry temperatures can be tough on bed bugs, so they’re less likely to flock to these areas. Plano is a smaller city that has fewer perks to offer bed bugs – they’d much rather make their way to somewhere that’s densely populated. 

Got Bed Bugs? Here’s What to Do Next

Maybe you’ve spotted some unusual bites on your skin, or perhaps you’ve begun noticing strange brown marks around your home. No matter why you suspect you might be dealing with bed bugs, it’s important to act fast.

Don’t worry, though – the effort and cost of bed bug control are far outweighed by its benefits. Here’s what you should do to respond to the situation quickly and effectively. 

Identify the Bed Bug Infestation

Before you start stocking up on tools to help you fight a bed bug infestation, make sure that bed bugs are actually what you’re facing. You can do that by looking out for a few telltale signs of an infestation, including:

  • Reddish or rust-colored stains on bedding, mattresses, wallpaper seams, etc. These are typically caused by bed bugs being crushed; the rust color comes from the blood meals these pests feast on
  • Dark spots on bedding or around the home, which could be a sign of bed bug excrement
  • Visible but tiny eggs and eggshells that are pale yellow in color
  • Bed bug exoskeletons around key areas like the headboard, bed frame, etc.
  • Live bed bugs seen crawling around hotspots
  • Red, itchy spots on your skin, which may be signs of bed bug bites

Bed bugs love to hide in dark, covered places. Look thoroughly around your bed, mattress, and any cracks on the bed frame. You might also find bed bugs in the seams of other furniture (like chairs), drawer joints, and the junction where your walls and ceiling meet.

Bed Bug Elimination Tactics

Once you’ve identified a bed bug problem, try your best to address the severity of the situation. For mild or isolated bed bug issues, some at-home treatment options may be enough to squash the pests for good.

  • Chemical Treatments: EPA-registered pesticides designed to kill bed bugs are perhaps the most effective treatment options. Pay close attention to your product’s label directions and follow them precisely to keep your home and family safe.
  • Non-Chemical Treatments. Before you opt for any sort of pesticide, you might consider using non-chemical methods for killing bed bugs. Steam cleaners, for instance, can help you kill bed bugs with hot air and moisture. Heat treatment is another tactic; simply place affected items in a clothes dryer on high heat to kill the bugs.

However, DIY treatments are unreliable. If you’ve noticed signs of a severe infestation, aren’t sure how long you’ve been dealing with bed bugs, or haven’t been able to treat the infestation on your own, it’s time to call in the experts. 

Reach out to a professional pest control service provider with experience eliminating and deterring bed bugs for the best results. Only a professional can use the right pesticides safely and identify other areas of need that may leave your home vulnerable to pest invasions. 

Bed Bug Prevention Tips

Preventing a bed bug infestation is a lot simpler than treating one. Whether you’ve had bed bugs already or are hoping to avoid ever letting them into your home, you can use these tips from the Environmental Protection Agency to stay safe. 

  • When traveling, keep your luggage away from beds and furniture. Use a luggage rack to place your bags on top of, and check the rack for bed bugs before you use it.
  • Inspect all bedding and furniture in your accommodations for signs of bed bugs.
  • Check any secondhand furniture you purchase for signs of bed bug activity before bringing it home.
  • Invest in a protective cover to encase your mattress and box springs so that bed bugs can’t set up shop. 
  • Reduce the clutter in your home and keep things tidy to cut down on hiding spaces.
  • Seal off any potential entry points in your home (such as cracks in the wall or around baseboards) with caulk, grout, or another similar option.
  • Keep used or potentially infested items separate from clean items in your luggage by tucking them into a plastic bag first.

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A Look at Our Methodology

Our list of the most and least bed bug-infested cities in the U.S. is based on search traffic. The goal was to identify which areas had the highest rates of online searches related to bed bugs, which indicates that people in those areas are facing these pesky pests. 

To find cities that show the most interest in eliminating bed bug infestations, we analyzed the search volume for bed bug infestation-related queries throughout the U.S. 

If there’s one thing our data tells us, it’s that bed bugs love to travel. Hitchhiking is their specialty, but that doesn’t mean you can’t outsmart them. Close off your home and belongings to potential bed bugs to ensure they don’t strike, no matter where you live.