This past year bed bugs have become a major international story, particularly it became a big crisis in Paris just before Paris Fashion Week, and from there, it spread to other major cities around Europe like London and Berlin. Now, it seems like the pest problem has officially reached the United States with bed bugs becoming an increasingly prevalent problem in many large American cities.
Where did Detroit rank among U.S. cities with the most bed bugs?
Sadly, Detroit continues to be one of the worst cities in the country for bed bugs in 2024, retaining the same position in the ranking that it had in 2023, which was #6 in the nation. Above Detroit, in descending order, were LA at #5, Cleveland-Akron, OH at #4, Philly at #3, New York at #2, and taking the #1 spot for the city with the most bed bugs, it was none other than the windy city, Chicago. The pest control experts at Orkin have released this study for years and unfortunately, Detroit has been consistently present in the top 10 list for well over the past 5 years, at one point getting ranked as high as #4 in 2021 and 2022, but since then either other cities have gotten worse or Detroit’s improved, because we’ve been ranked at #6 for the past two years.
How to check for bed bugs
To check for bed bugs in your home, the most obvious sign will of course be small clustered bug bites consistent in one area of your body. These are small itchy bug bites that will appear as raised red spots and are a classic symptom of a bed bug infestation! To know for sure if you do. it’s crucial that you first remove and bag any of the bedding or clothing that you think may be exposed in garbage bags or containers, and then take a closer look at the larger pieces of furniture that may be the source of the infestation. Bed bugs tend to hide in cracks and crevices on furniture like mattresses and couches, so be sure to look around the edges, seams, and cracks, under any tags or inside of any zippered compartments. If you see any brownish or whitish-yellow dots, you do have bed bugs and should notify a local pest control company immediately.
If you are traveling, you should follow what Orkin refers to as the S.L.E.E.P. methodology to avoiding bed bug exposure:
- Survey the hotel room for signs of infestation, following the same instructions we mentioned above; check the bedding, seams, cracks, and crevices for any signs of bed bugs. Look for tiny ink-like colored stains on the mattress seams or headboard, these are usually bed bug excrement and signs of an infestation.
- Lift and look at common bed bug hiding spots, like under the mattresses, behind baseboards, and around furniture like coaches or chairs.
- Elevate your luggage away from the bed and furniture and from the wall, ideally, keep your bags on a countertop or in the bathroom if possible.
- Examine your luggage carefully when repacking and again before you take your luggage back inside your home. Bed Bugs are incredibly resilient and have been known to “hitch-hike” on luggage across great distances.
- Place all dryer-safe clothes from your luggage in the dryer for at least 30-45 minutes on its hottest setting when you return home.
How do you get rid of bed bugs?
Bed Bugs are notoriously hard to get rid of, they can live long periods without food and reproduce very quickly, which means a small bed bug problem will become a big bed bug problem very very fast if it isn’t addressed immediately. With this in mind, the severity of your bed bug problem is best confirmed by a professional, which is why we recommend contacting a pest removal expert as soon as you believe your residence has a case of bed bugs. Not only will the expert be able to properly identify the severity of the problem, but they can also provide a plan of action for resolving the problem.
Typically, infested pieces of furniture like mattresses and couches can be so difficult to “cure” bed bugs that it is an easier option to just throw the items out, but if you do decide to do this, be sure to leave a very visible note or market saying that the furniture is infested. It is a very bad idea to take abandoned furniture into your home for this exact reason but to be a good neighbor and avoid anybody incidentally bringing infested furniture into their residence, a simple note with “bed bugs” stuck to the mattress or couch you are tossing could save others from the same itchy fate.