West Virginia Is Crawling With Bed Bugs, 3 Cities Among Most Infested
Little, bloodsucking insects known as bed bugs can infest homes, hotels, and other sleeping areas. Although they are not known to spread illness, their victims may have allergic reactions, skin discomfort, and psychological distress. Due to their ability to hide in cracks and crevices, their ability to last months without food, and their resilience to insecticides, bed bugs are also infamously difficult to eradicate.
West Virginia is the second most likely state in the US to have a bed insect problem, according to a recent survey by PureCare, a company that provides bedding products that are resistant to bed bugs. The frequency of searches for terms like “bed bug bites,” “how to kill bed bugs,” and “bed bug symptoms” was examined in the study using data from Google Trends. The study gave each state a Bed Bug Search Score based on this data, with higher scores denoting greater interest in or worry over bed bugs.
According to the report, West Virginia scored 91.2 and Oklahoma 99.1 out of 100, respectively, for bed bug searches. The remaining five states were Indiana, Kentucky, and Kansas. Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut were the states with the lowest scores.
Within each state, the study also determined which cities had the greatest and lowest Bed Bug Search Scores. Wheeling, Parkersburg, and Beckley were the least infested cities in West Virginia, while Morgantown, Charleston, and Huntington had the highest infestation rates.
Why is West Virginia so prone to bed bugs?
The high frequency of bed bugs in West Virginia could be caused by a number of things, including:
Climate: Warm, humid climates, which are typical in West Virginia, especially during the summer, are ideal for bed bugs to flourish.
Travel: The Appalachian Mountains, the New River Gorge, and the Greenbrier Resort make West Virginia a well-liked travel destination. It is possible for visitors to unintentionally carry bed bugs from other contaminated locations or to acquire them from hotels, motels, or other lodging establishments.
Poverty: With 16% of its people living below the federal poverty line in 2020, West Virginia has one of the highest rates of poverty in the country. Poverty might make it more difficult to replace contaminated clothing, bedding, or furniture and to get effective pest control services.
Knowledge: It’s possible that West Virginians are not well-informed on bed bugs, their symptoms, and how to avoid them. The bites of bed bugs are sometimes confused with rashes, hives, or illnesses, according to the West Virginia University Extension Service. Bed bugs are also sometimes misidentified as other insects, such as fleas, ticks, or lice. Many people can wait until their bed bug problem gets worse before realizing they have one.
How to prevent and treat bed bug infestations?
Avoiding getting bed bugs into your house in the first place is the best defense against infestations. A few pointers for doing this are:
Before and after your trip, check your belongings—including clothing, baggage, and personal items—for evidence of bed bugs. Examine the area for live insects, eggs, shells, fecal spots, or blood stains using a flashlight and magnifying lens. If you come across any, properly dispose of them by sealing them in a plastic bag.
In any hotel, motel, or other lodging establishment you stay in, look for evidence of bed bugs on the mattress, box spring, headboard, and furniture. Inform the administration and ask for a refund or an alternative room if you discover any.
After visiting or lodging in a possibly infested location, wash and dry your bedding and clothes on the highest heat setting. Bed bugs and their eggs are killed by heat.
Put coverings or encasements on your mattress, box spring, and pillows to keep bed bugs out. These stop bed bugs from hiding in or consuming them.
Regularly vacuum your floors, furniture, carpets, and other surfaces. Then, discard the vacuum bag and its contents in a plastic bag that is sealed.
Cut down on clutter and caulk any gaps or fractures in your flooring, walls, or furniture that could provide bed bugs a place to hide.
You should take immediate action to get rid of bed bugs if you discover or believe that you have an infestation. Here are a few actions to take:
Speak with a certified pest control specialist that specializes in treating bed bugs. Avoid attempting to use bombs, foggers, or insecticides that are available over-the-counter as they can be dangerous, inefficient, or even illegal. Cooperate with the pest control expert during the treatment process, paying close attention to their advice and instructions.
Use the highest heat setting available to wash and dry all of your clothes, bedding, curtains, and other washable goods. Until the infestation is eradicated, keep them in airtight plastic bags.
Get rid of any infected furniture, mattresses, box springs, carpets, or other objects that cannot be cleaned, dried, or treated. Before discarding them, wrap them in plastic and mark them as infested with bed bugs.
For anything that can’t be dried or cleaned, such shoes, books, toys, or electronics, use heat treatment or steam cleaning. To accomplish this, you can either engage a professional service or use a portable heat chamber or commercial steamer.
Use sticky traps, interceptors, or other bed bug-detecting or capturing tools to keep an eye on the issue. Regularly inspect them and notify the pest control expert of any discoveries.
In West Virginia, as in many other states and nations, bed bugs are a severe and expanding problem. They can cost their victims money and social standing in addition to causing them physical and mental suffering. Nevertheless, with the right information, caution, and expert assistance, they can be avoided and cured. This post contains helpful advice and strategies that will help you keep your family and yourself safe from these annoying pests.