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Bed Bug Statistics in the US: by State and Overall

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Written by: Alex Savy
Read 11 minLast updated on September 28, 2021

It’s hard to find a person who hasn’t encountered bed bugs at least once.

Whether those nasty parasites have come from a hotel or gathered in one’s mattress because of increased humidity, bed bugs are very common in the US.

Today’s report will share how many people have bed bugs, how common this pest type is in different households, and the worst states for bed bugs one might want to avoid.

Our Findings

  • 97% of pest control professionals report having treated homes with bed bugs in the past. (1)
  • 1 in every 5 households is affected by bed bugs every year, which means the percentage of homes with bed bugs is 20% (2).
  • Chicago is the number one city for bed bugs based on the performed bed bug treatments (3).
  • The most popular places for bed bugs are single-family homes (91%), apartments/condominiums (89%), and hotels (68%) (4).
  • Bed bugs are also common in nursing homes (59%), offices (47%), and even hospitals (36%) (5).
  • Chances of getting bed bugs from a hotel are high: 74% of professional exterminators have encountered bed bugs in hotels and motels (6).
  • 84% of pest control professionals are typically contacted to deal with different types of pests that turn out to be bed bugs (7).
  • Only 33% of people dealing with bed bugs have reported warning people of their pest problem (8).
  • The biggest bed bug infestation ever was reported in Maryland, US, with thousands of bugs having infested the mattress, the bed frame, and even the curtains and the chairs (9).
  • 188 hotels in New York have at least one review complaining about bed bugs. Many of them are located within a one-mile radius of Times Square (10).

Bed Bugs Are Common And Very Hard to Get Rid Of: 97% of Pest Control Professionals Report Having Treated Those During 2018

Bed bugs are considered the number one pest in the US. Surveys show that 97% of professional exterminators have worked with households that had bed bugs in 2018, which means this pest type takes the largest part of their work.

Additionally, 68% of pest control professionals agree that bed bugs are the hardest to control. These parasites don’t need much to survive, can spread really fast, and may also move around in one’s luggage or clothes. Additionally, they lay eggs, so exterminators need to do a very thorough job of destroying all of them. Otherwise, the bed bugs might return. 

In other words, they are easy to get and hard to get rid of. All of these factors might explain why bed bugs are so common in America.

20% of Homes Are Affected by Bed Bugs Every Year, and This Happens In All 50 States

Experts note that it’s safe to say the spread of bed bugs is an epidemic. After all, bed bug statistics show that 1 in 5 households is affected by this pest, which makes the percentage of homes with bed bugs is quite impressive, unfortunately. 

Moreover, the bed bug epidemic maps show that these parasites live in all 50 states. They are more prevalent in warm, humid climates. However, because bed bugs can live in lower temperatures as well, they are frequently found even in the northernmost parts of the country.

Chicago Rates Number 1 for Bed Bugs, as It Has the Most Bed Bug Extermination Treatments, Followed by Baltimore and Washington DC

Bed bug epidemic maps show that the worst states for bed bugs are Illinois and Maryland. The number one city is Chicago.

Chicago welcomes around 48 million visitors every year, which gives the bed bugs more chances to spread. Additionally, the city has an impressive transit system that carries 1.7 million passengers every weekday. Needless to say, it’s hard to get rid of the bed bugs in a city where they can travel to your home from every bus stop.

Baltimore, Maryland holds the second spot on this unfortunate bed bug chart. Washington, DC takes third place.

The top 10 cities that are great for bed bugs (and where travelers need to be extra careful) include:

  1. Chicago
  2. Baltimore
  3. Washington, DC
  4. Detroit
  5. Columbus, OH
  6. Cleveland, OH
  7. Indianapolis
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Los Angeles
  10. Grand Rapids, MI

It’s worth mentioning that the rating changes slightly every year. Therefore, there’s always hope for Illinois and Maryland citizens that the situation might improve. It’s also crucial to take the needed precautions against bed bugs especially seriously in these states.

The Most Common Place Where You Can Find Bed Bugs Is Single-Family Homes That Comprise 91% of All Bed Bug Treatments by Professional Exterminators


For those wondering “How common are bed bugs in homes?”, the answer can be rather upsetting. Bed bug statistics and trends show that single-family houses are the most common place where bed bugs live in the US. In fact, 91% of professional exterminators mention dealing with bed bugs in single-family homes. 

The second place goes to apartments and condominiums. 89% of the surveyed professional pest control workers have encountered bed bugs in apartment buildings. The parasites can travel from one apartment to another through pipes, cracks, and spaces between common walls (11). That’s why they are so prevalent (and hard to get rid of) in apartment buildings.

Hotels and motels are on the third spot, with 68% of the surveyed exterminators mentioning working there. The thing is, hotel personnel only washes the sheets, but the bed bugs can remain in mattresses, blankets, and pillows. They can also crawl into one’s luggage or the folds of their clothes. 

That’s why travelers need to be careful if they don’t want to bring bed bugs home from their last trip. In this case, they might want to inspect their hotel room before settling in. Keeping the suitcase off the floor may also be a good idea. Also, after getting back home, travelers should unpack immediately and keep their clothes in the dryer on high heat to kill all the bed bugs that might have arrived with them (12).

You Can Encounter Bed Bugs Even In Places You Don’t Expect, Including Offices (47% of All Treatment Cases) and Hospitals (36%)

Bed bugs can live in places where there are no mattresses at all. For example, offices take around 47% of exterminator cases, which means people can bring bed bugs from work. The parasites often reside in the chair padding or couch cushions.

Another less common spot for bed bugs is hospitals. They comprise 36% of pest professional cases, even though hospitals are supposed to be super clean and even sterile.

Bed bugs can also be found on public transport (the number of exterminator cases comprises around 19%). 

What these bed bug statistics show is that it’s possible to bring the parasites into one’s home without even knowing it. That is why washing the clothes and drying them at higher temperatures might be a good idea (as this may help kill the bed bugs).

74% of Professional Exterminators Report Having Treated Bed Bugs in Hotels, So the Chances of Getting Bed Bugs from a Hotel After the Next Vacation Are High


Bed bug statistics show that hotels and motels are among the top three places where people are very likely to find bed bugs (the first two being single-family homes and apartments). In fact, surveys suggest that up to 74% of all exterminator cases have to do with the bed bugs found in hotels.

The thing is, the parasites can hide in furniture cracks, mattresses, blankets, and pillows in the hotel room. Additionally, they can arrive in someone else’s luggage and extend their stay. The least travelers can do is check the bed bug registry beforehand to see whether their hotels have had pests reported.

You Might Not Even Know That You Have Bed Bugs: 84% of Professional Exterminators That Have Treated Bed Bugs Were Initially Contacted About a Different Pest Type

Another reason why bed bugs are so widespread is that they often get confused with other pests. Naturally, when trying to get rid of them, people might use a treatment for a different kind of pests, which usually allows the bed bugs to remain where they are and keep feasting on the people living there.

Bed bug statistics show that in 84% of cases, professional pest exterminators are contacted about other pest types only to discover bed bugs when arriving on the scene. In many cases, bed bugs are confused with fleas (71% of calls) and cockroaches.

This is why it is important to learn what bed bugs look like. Yes, the images online might not be that pleasant to look at, but when we know what we’re dealing with, it’s easier for us to find the right solution to the issue.

You May Not Know Your Friends Have Bed Bugs: Only 33% of Users Dealing with Bed Bug Infestation Report Warning Their Visitors Openly and Preventing Them From Entering Their Homes

Another reason why the bed bug epidemic is not reaching its end is that we can bring bed bugs home unknowingly.

Surveys show that only 33% of people dealing with bed bugs have reported warning other people of their pest problem and thus, saved their visitors from carrying bed bugs home.

But how about the rest? This means that even someone you know (and whose house seems clean and pest-free) might be dealing with bed bug infestation without letting you know.

Now, it’s hard to find the right solution in this case. After all, one can’t inspect their friend’s house for bed bugs during every visit. So, the least we can do is take care of our clothes as it’s been mentioned above (wash and dry them on high heat to kill the bed bugs that might be hiding in the creases).

Maryland Has Witnessed the Biggest Bed Bug Infestation Ever: Thousands of Bugs Over the Mattress, Bed Frame, Curtains, Chairs, and Cushions

The most impressive bed bug infestation was reported in Maryland, US. The pest control professional (who has been in business for 25 years) has reported an endless amount of bugs he discovered while working on a new infestation case.

Such a large infestation is quite rare. The bed bugs have spread over the mattress, the bed frame, and even beyond that. They were found in the house’s curtains, chairs, and cushions. It’s safe to assume they could be hiding in the carpets too.

188 Hotels in New York Have a Track Record of Bed Bugs, With 108 of Them Being WIthin a One-Mile Radius of Times Square

New York City is among the most popular tourist destinations in the US. For travelers, one of the most important aspects to consider is the hotel they are going to stay at. Often, they also need to think about the unwanted roommates as well. 

In fact, there are 188 hotels in New York City that have one or more reports concerning bed bugs. Among them, 108 are located near Times Square, which makes them a very popular option among millions of visitors.

Here is the list of the top 10 hotels in New York that have received the most complaints about bed bugs among the reviews received between 2019 and 2021:

#1 Queens County Inn & Suites of Long Island City (40-34 Crescent Street, LIC)

#2 Wellington Hotel (871 Seventh Avenue)

#3 The Bowery House (220 Bowery)

#4 The Millennium Hilton New York One Plaza (1 United Nations Plaza)

#5 Hotel Edison (228 W 47th Street)

#6 The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel (790 Seventh Avenue)

#7 Courtyard by Marriott / Midtown East (866 Third Avenue)

#8 La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Queens (37-18 Queens Boulevard)

#9 The Empire Hotel (44 West 63rd Street)

#10 The Westin New York Grand Central (212 East 42nd Street)

New York Have a Track Record of Bed Bugs

Source:
https://www.timeout.com/newyork/news/these-nyc-hotels-are-allegedly-the-worst-for-bed-bugs-071521

Summary

The bed bug statistics and reports show that the country has been dealing not only with the pandemic but also with the pest epidemic.

Which is why all of us have to be especially careful and pay close attention to where we go and what we might bring from there. Cleaning the mattress regularly and protecting it from moisture build-up is also an important step towards preventing bed bugs.

References:

  1. Mike Henderson (n.d.). Bed Bug Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from https://citypests.com/bed-bug-facts-statistics/
  2. James Oliver (July 28, 2021). Bed Bug Statistics 2021. Retrieved from https://bedbuglawyer.org/bed-bug-statistics-2021/
  3. Orkin (February 01, 2021). New Year, New Top City on Orkin’s 2021 Bed Bug Cities List: Chicago. Retrieved from https://www.orkin.com/press-room/orkin-top-bed-bug-cities-2021
  4. Pest World (n.d). Bed Bug Facts & Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.pestworld.org/all-things-bed-bugs/bed-bug-facts-statistics/
  5. Pest World (n.d). Bed Bug Facts & Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.pestworld.org/all-things-bed-bugs/bed-bug-facts-statistics/
  6. Sonia Rao (August 25, 2017). How to avoid bringing bedbugs home from vacation. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/how-to-avoid-bringing-bedbugs-home-from-vacation/2017/08/24/5d027fb6-8358-11e7-902a-2a9f2d808496_story.html
  7. Pest World (n.d). Bed Bug Facts & Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.pestworld.org/all-things-bed-bugs/bed-bug-facts-statistics/
  8. Coleen Finger (July 09, 2019). What Are The Current USA Bed Bug Statistics? Retrieved from https://www.reviewthis.com/usa-bed-bug-statistics/
  9. Nika Shakhnazarova (August 26, 2019). ‘Worst case of bed bugs ever’ found on mattress the owner STILL sleeps on. Retrieved from https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9798344/bed-bugs-mattress-bed-home-infestation/
  10. Zachary Kussin (July 24, 2021). These are the NYC hotels with the worst bed bug complaints. Retrieved from https://nypost.com/2021/07/24/these-are-the-nyc-hotels-with-the-worst-bed-bug-complaints/ 
  11. Michael Merchant (n.d.). Bed bugs and your apartment. Retrieved from https://citybugs.tamu.edu/factsheets/biting-stinging/others/ent-3013/
  12. Sonia Rao (August 25, 2017). How to avoid bringing bedbugs home from vacation. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/how-to-avoid-bringing-bedbugs-home-from-vacation/2017/08/24/5d027fb6-8358-11e7-902a-2a9f2d808496_story.html

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