Bed bugs infest houses and buildings all over the world, but some countries are better off than others. In China for instance, the central government led a decade’s long nationwide bed bug control program, and it has proven to be largely successful. However, the United States is not faring as well, as the US is considered the most bed bug-infested country in the world. While bed bugs are a serious and growing problem in all US cities, the northeast sees the highest rate of infestations. Three northeast cities, New York City, Philadelphia and Boston, have each earned a place on the top ten list of most bed bug-infested cities in America, with New York and Philadelphia as number one and two, respectively. Unfortunately, the summer of 2019 may see the highest rate of bed bug infestations in recent history, as the insects increase in population size with each passing year.

Thirty years ago, most Americans knew very little about bed bugs, and many had probably never even heard of the bloodsucking nocturnal pests. This is no longer the case as research says that 22 percent of Americans have had at least one bed bug encounter. The same study stated that 35 percent of Americans with children have encountered bed bugs. And these percentages will almost certainly increase, as half of all Americans do not know of any methods for guarding against bed bugs. Needless to say, bed bug education programs must reach a larger audience in America before infestation rates begin to decrease. Although bed bugs are problematic in all regions of the US year round, infestation rates spike during the early summer and continue to increase until the following winter. This spike is largely due to high atmospheric moisture in the US during the spring season. This moisture comes from the remaining winter moisture coupled with frequent bouts of rain during the spring and summer. Since most bed bug issues are a consequence of traveling, Americans should vacuum luggage after returning from a trip, avoid storing clothes in hotel dressers, and check hotel rooms for a bed bug presence, particularly around headboards, mattresses, bedding and dressers.

Does the high rate of hotel bed bug infestations make you worry about acquiring the insects while traveling?