Don’t Bring Bed Bugs Home


We have posted about bed bugs before, but with the ever-increasing bed bug trouble calls and treatment services going on, it’s important to mention them once again. Bed bugs were not heard of in the United States very much until about a dozen years ago. Now, they are everywhere, and the treatment of infestations is increasing everywhere too! The two most valuable tips in this blog are: (1) beware when traveling and (2) unlike most pests, bed bugs are not a result of uncleanliness.

The main reason for increases in bed bug infestations is due to the increase in travel. These pests are hitchhiking all over the world in luggage, purses, stuffed animals, airline pillows, and anything else they can snuggle up in.

Last year Orkin – an Atlanta-based leading company founded in 1901 – released its sixth-year listing of the top 50 U.S. cities ranking highest in bed bug treatments. Guess what? Honolulu was ranked 48th! The complete list follows:

  • Baltimore
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Chicago
  • New York
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Los Angeles
  • Detroit
  • Cincinnati
  • Philadelphia
  • San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
  • Richmond-Petersburg, Va.
  • Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
  • Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio
  • Indianapolis
  • Dallas-Ft. Worth
  • Atlanta
  • Houston
  • Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Charlotte, N.C.
  • Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va.
  • Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Denver
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • Pittsburgh
  • Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.-Asheville, N.C.
  • Phoenix
  • Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich.
  • Boston
  • Milwaukee
  • Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, Ill.
  • Hartford-New Haven, Conn.
  • Dayton, Ohio
  • Omaha, Neb.
  • Seattle-Tacoma
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Charleston-Huntington, W.Va.
  • St. Louis
  • Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Dubuque, Iowa
  • Myrtle Beach-Florence, S.C.
  • Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Louisville, Ky.
  • Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, N.C.
  • Lexington, Ky.
  • Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla.
  • Kansas City, Mo.
  • Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Las Vegas
  • Portland, Ore.

Noteworthy here is that Las Vegas is ranked 49th; a popular and frequent vacation spot for many of us islanders. So, during and after any traveling:

    • Check air plane seat for signs of infestation (e.g. black or brown spots on chairs).
    • Check hotel room for signs of infestation (e.g., black or brown spots on furniture).
    • Check bed bug hiding spots (e.g., mattresses, wall hangings, baseboards, etc.).
    • Keep your suitcase away from beds and walls.
    • Check your suitcase during packing up and even when you return home.
    • Dry all travel clothing in a dryer on the highest setting.

Everything you do to keep bed bugs from hitching a ride to your home will keep you happy and bed-bug free for the long-term, because bed bugs are not particular about where they call home and once established, are hard to get rid of. Bed bugs have been found in five-star hotels, in air planes, luxury mansions, apartment buildings, grocery stores, and just about everywhere in between. Let’s all do our parts to rid our state of bed bug infestations once and for all.


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