The annual list of the 50 most bed bug-infested American cities was recently released for the 2019 year. Unsurprisingly, Boston is ranked at number 10, but no other Massachusetts city is mentioned on the list. Boston is preceded by a few other big cities in the northeast, such as New York City, Philadelphia and Washington DC. Entomologists and pest control professionals claim that bed bug infestation rates are increasing substantially with each passing year in all cities across the US.

At this point, all Americans are aware that bed bugs are a growing problem all over the world. Now, people just want to know if the bed bug situation in America will soon improve with better control methods, or if the insects will continue to infest homes and buildings at progressively greater rates. Unfortunately, entomologists, pest control professionals and other experts generally agree that the bed bug situation in America will continue to get worse before it gets better, but hope for a bed bug-free future should not be abandoned quite yet.

Experts often mention the lack of public awareness concerning bed bugs as one of the primary reasons as to why infestation rates will continue to increase. Although most Americans know that bed bugs are a growing problem in the country, very few are able to describe a bed bug’s general appearance and how to differentiate bed bugs from other common house pests. Most Americans are unable to name common signs of a bed bug infestation, and few know how to prevent bed bugs from attaching to their clothes.

If more Americans knew how to recognize common signs of a bed bug infestation, then infested areas could be quarantined before additional humans entered the compromised area. Since bed bugs can only spread to new locations by hitching rides on people’s clothing, then there is no doubt that infestations would become less frequent if everyone knew how to prevent the insects from attaching to their clothing. In some cases, bed bugs continue to spread from an infested area even after the infestation has become known. This occurs because homeowners and tenants often attempt to eradicate the insects with useless over-the-counter products instead of contacting a professional. If everyone in America knew that store-bought bed bug control products are ineffective, then bed bugs would not continue to spread at the rate that they are today.

Do you avoid sitting on public benches due to the possibility of picking up bed bugs?