Florida Crawling With Bed Bugs, 3 Cities Among Most Infested

Aaron Burrell

Florida, known for its sunny beaches and warm climate, has unfortunately earned another distinction: being home to some of the worst bed bug infestations in the United States. In a recent report by Orkin, three Florida cities made it onto the list of the top 50 bed bug-infested metro areas. Let’s delve into the details and explore the implications of this unwelcome ranking.

The Bed Bug Cities List

Orkin’s report is based on treatment data from metro areas where they performed the most bed bug treatments between December 1, 2022, and November 30, 2023. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments. Here are the Florida cities that found themselves among the top 50:

  1. Tampa (Ranked 31): Tampa moved up 10 spots from last year’s report, indicating a concerning increase in bed bug activity.
  2. Miami (Ranked 45): Miami slipped six places from its rank in 2022, but it remains a hotspot for these persistent pests.
  3. Orlando (Ranked 46): Orlando climbed one spot from last year, reinforcing the prevalence of bed bugs in the area.

What Are the Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation

Here are the key signs of a bed bug infestation:

1. Bed bug bites – Flat, red welts in zigzag lines, straight rows, or small clusters that may appear after bed bugs feed on human blood. The bites are irritating and can lead to bleeding and secondary infection if scratched.

2. Blood stains – Small rust-colored spots on bedding and clothing caused by bed bugs feeding on blood between 5-7 days whenever a host is present.

3. Fecal spots – Dark brown or black spots of digested blood that resemble felt-tipped marker stains on fabrics and raised bumps on solid surfaces.

4. Bed bug shells or molted skins – Empty exoskeletons shed by bed bugs as they grow through five nymphal stages to maturity.

5. Bed bug eggs – Tiny, pearl-white eggs about the size of a pinhead, often found in clusters.

6. Live bed bugs – Reddish-brown, wingless adults about the size of an apple seed, or smaller translucent nymphs.

7. Sweet, musty odor – An unpleasant, sweet, sickly scent produced by bed bug aggregations.

Bed bugs typically hide in mattress seams, bed frames, furniture, carpets, baseboards and bedroom clutter during the day. Finding any of these signs, especially live bed bugs or their eggs, is a clear indication of an infestation that requires professional treatment.

How Can Bed Bugs Be Prevented

Here are some effective ways to prevent bed bug infestations:

Inspect Secondhand Items- Carefully inspect secondhand furniture, beds, and couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them into your home.

Use Protective Mattress Covers- Use a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs to eliminate hiding spots. The light color makes bed bugs easier to spot.

– Consider using a mattress cover that has been pre-treated with pesticide to control bed bugs.

Reduce Clutter- Reduce clutter in your home to minimize hiding places for bed bugs.

Vacuum Frequently- Vacuum frequently to remove any bed bugs that may have hitchhiked into your home.

Be Vigilant When Traveling- When staying away from home, avoid putting your luggage on the bed. Use a luggage rack or keep it in the bathroom.

– Inspect your hotel room for signs of bed bugs, including the bedding, mattress seams, and furniture

– Upon returning home, wash and dry all your clothes on high heat.

Isolate Your Unit – If you live in a multi-family home, install door sweeps on the bottom of doors to discourage bed bugs from moving into your unit.

– Seal cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, and other entry points to prevent bed bugs from moving through wall voids.

Use Heat Treatment- Consider purchasing a portable heating chamber to treat items that may have bed bugs.

By implementing these prevention strategies, you can significantly reduce the risk of bringing bed bugs into your home and avoid the hassle and expense of an infestation. However, if you do suspect a bed bug problem, it’s crucial to act quickly and seek professional help if needed[2][5].

Conclusion

Florida’s bed bug problem is a wake-up call for residents and visitors alike. Vigilance, early detection, and professional treatment are essential to combat these persistent pests. Let’s hope that efforts to eradicate bed bugs continue to improve, ensuring a good night’s sleep for everyone in the Sunshine State.

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