When it comes to pests, Texas is full of critters from Amarillo to Laredo, El Paso to Texarkana, and everything in between.  However, most of those critters stay in their lane.

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However, bugs and rodents tend to make their way into our homes.   The one critter you don't want in your home is the most costly and stealthy.

Bed Bugs

According to Orkin, Bed bugs are typically 3/16 inch long, red to dark brown, and are mostly nocturnal insects that come out of hiding to take blood meals from sleeping humans. These pests are hematophagous, which means blood is their only food source.

Exterminators Tackle Growing U.S. Bed Bug Problem
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These tiny little critters are nasty and good at hiding.   You can be the cleanest person on the face of the Earth, but if one of these critters hitches a ride into your home, they can wreak havoc.

A female bed bug can lay up to 5 eggs per day and up to 500 in their lifetime.

They love feasting on your blood and can survive for months in between meals.  They are sneaky and love hiding in your mattresses and carpet and they are the hardest pest to get rid of and that can be costly.  Professional bed bug removal can cost between $500-$4200.

Two Texas Cities Made the List of the Worst Cities for Bed Bugs

  • Dallas/Ft. Worth made the overall list at #22 which is down 5 from last year.
  • Houston made the overall list at #38 which is up 6 from last year.

The number one city for bed bug infestation is Chicago followed by New York at #2.

Chicago skyline at sunset time aerial view, United States

The ranking of cities is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from Dec. 1, 2022 – Nov. 30, 2023

How to Keep Bed Bugs out of Your Home

According to Orkin,  if you are traveling you need to follow the SLEEP steps.

  • Survey the hotel room for signs of an infestation. Be on the lookout for tiny, ink-colored stains on mattress seams, in soft furniture and behind headboards.
  • Lift and look in bed bug hiding spots: the mattress, box spring and other furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.
  • Elevate luggage away from the bed and wall. The safest places are in the bathroom or on counters.
  • Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and once you return home from a trip. Always store luggage away from the bed.
  • Place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 30-45 minutes at the highest setting after you return home.

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Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins

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