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What Are The Hotbed Cities For Bedbugs In The US?

Since the dawn of civilization, bedbugs have tormented humanity. Our medieval ancestors put black pepper and turpentine in their beds to get a decent night’s sleep while the U.S. army set off cyanide bombs in the 1940s to get rid of the tiny biting beasts. Finally, after employing a new generation of insecticides after World War II, Americans won the war against bedbugs. Or they thought they did.

Seems the reddish-brown wingless bedbugs have returned in pandemic proportions since the early 2000s. The parasitic bloodsuckers are notorious hitchhikers that have spread far and wide in our modern age of inexpensive international travel. Bedbugs ramble from dressing rooms and hotels into homes, snuggled in luggage and clothing. They sleep all day in mattresses, bedding, and furniture, and come out at night suck the blood of victims, leaving behind flat, red welts on the face, neck, arms and hands.

Since bedbugs love people, it makes sense that they are most active in large population centers. Bedbugs are about the size of a flat apple seed and jump from host to host where people brush up against one another, like on a crowded street or in the subway. That’s why bedbugs thrive in the Northeast.

For years New York City held title as America’s Number One Bedbug Hotbed. Perhaps that is why New York is called “the city that never sleeps.” But New Yawkers can take heart, in the past few years, Philadelphia and Cincinnati have taken the gold and silver medals in the bedbug Olympics, pushing New York into bronze territory. Chicago and Detroit round out the top five bed buggy cities, while Washington, DC, Columbus, San Francisco, and Denver follow close behind. But take heart New Haven, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami, and Cleveland. You’re all in the top 15 cities where exterminator service calls for bedbug infestations are highest.

Fighting bedbugs can be costly, time-consuming, and upsetting. Belongings must be removed from the home and thoroughly washed or dry-cleaned. And the home must be scrupulously vacuumed before the exterminator arrives. To avoid such trauma, check for bedbugs in your hotel room, clothing, and luggage when you travel. When you return home, wash and dry clothes on the highest settings the fabrics can endure. If you see spots of blood on your sheets or mattresses, or start scratching those maddening bites, I’m sorry to report; your home has become a bedbug hotbed.

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