Texas Is Crawling With Bed Bugs, 3 Cities Among Most Infested

Bed bugs are small, flat, parasitic insects that feed on the blood of people and animals while they sleep. They are reddish-brown in color, wingless, and can live several months without a blood meal. They are nocturnal and usually hide in the seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, or any other clutter around a bed. They can cause itchy, red bites on the skin, as well as allergic reactions, infections, and psychological distress.

Bed Bug Infestation in Texas

According to a recent report by Orkin, a pest control company, Texas is one of the most bed bug-infested states in the US, with three cities ranking among the top 50 worst affected areas. Dallas-Fort Worth ranked 10th, Houston ranked 12th, and Austin ranked 39th in the list of cities with the highest number of bed bug treatments performed by Orkin in 2022.

The report also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic may have contributed to the spread of bed bugs, as people spent more time at home and traveled less, creating favorable conditions for the pests to multiply and infest new areas.

How to Prevent and Control Bed Bugs

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) advises the public to take the following steps to prevent and control bed bug infestations:

Inspect your home regularly for signs of bed bugs, such as live or dead bugs, eggs, molted skins, blood spots, or musty odor.

Avoid bringing used furniture, mattresses, or bedding into your home, or inspect them carefully before doing so.

When traveling, check your hotel room for bed bugs before unpacking, and keep your luggage away from the bed and furniture. Seal your clothes in plastic bags and wash them in hot water when you return home.

If you suspect you have bed bugs, contact your landlord or a professional pest control company that is experienced with treating bed bugs. Do not attempt to treat the infestation yourself with over-the-counter pesticides, as they may be ineffective or harmful to your health and the environment.

Follow the instructions of the pest control operator and cooperate with them to prepare your home for treatment. This may include removing clutter, washing and drying your clothes and bedding, vacuuming, and sealing cracks and crevices.

Monitor the effectiveness of the treatment and report any signs of bed bug activity to the pest control operator. It may take multiple visits to eliminate the infestation completely.

Conclusion

Bed bugs are a serious public health nuisance that can affect anyone, regardless of the cleanliness of their living conditions. Texas is one of the most bed bug-infested states in the US, with three cities among the top 50 worst affected areas. To prevent and control bed bug infestations, the public should inspect their homes and belongings regularly, avoid bringing used items into their homes, check their hotel rooms when traveling, and seek professional help if they find bed bugs. By following these steps, Texans can protect themselves and their families from the bites and risks of bed bugs.

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