West Virginia Is Crawling With Bed Bugs, 3 Cities Among Most Infested

Bed bugs are small, blood-sucking insects that have the potential to infest residences, hotels, and other sleeping areas. Although they are not known to transmit diseases, they can cause psychological distress, allergic reactions, and cutaneous irritation in their victims. Bed bugs are also notoriously difficult to eradicate, as they can conceal themselves in fissures and crevices, endure for months without food, and develop resistance to pesticides.

West Virginia is the second most likely state in the United States to have a bed insect problem, according to a recent study conducted by PureCare, a company that sells bed bug-proof bedding products. The study analyzed the frequency of queries related to bed bugs, including “bed bug bites,” “how to kill bed bugs,” and “bed bug symptoms,” using Google Trends data. The study assigned a Bed Bug Search Score to each state based on this data, with higher scores indicating a greater emphasis on bed bugs or a greater level of concern.

The study determined that Oklahoma had the highest Bed Bug Search Score, with 99.1 out of 100, followed by West Virginia with 91.2. The other states in the top five were Kentucky, Indiana, and Kansas. Oregon, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington were the states with the lowest scores.

The study also determined the cities in each state with the highest and lowest Bed Bug Search Scores. Charleston, Huntington, and Morgantown were the most infested communities in West Virginia, while Wheeling, Parkersburg, and Beckley were the least infested.

What is the Reason for the High Prevalence of Bed Bugs in West Virginia?

There are numerous factors that may contribute to the high prevalence of bed bugs in West Virginia, including:

Climatology: Bed bugs are particularly prevalent in West Virginia during the summer months, where they flourish in warm and humid environments.

Travel: The Appalachian Mountains, the New River Gorge, and the Greenbrier Resort are among the many tourist attractions in West Virginia, which is a popular destination. Travelers may unwittingly transport bed bugs from other infested regions or acquire them from hotels, motels, or other lodging facilities.

Poverty: In 2020, 16% of the population in West Virginia resided below the federal poverty line, making it one of the states with the highest poverty rates in the country. The capacity to replace infested furniture, bedding, or apparel, as well as the access to effective pest control services, may be restricted by poverty.

Awareness: Bed bugs, their symptoms, and their prevention may be poorly understood or understood in West Virginia. Bed bugs are frequently misidentified as other insects, including fleas, ticks, or lice, or their bites are confounded with rashes, hives, or infections, according to the West Virginia University Extension Service. Numerous individuals may not recognize that they have a bed insect infestation until it becomes severe.

What Are the Methods for Preventing and Treating Bed Insect Infestations?

Avoiding the introduction of bed bugs into one’s residence is the most effective method of preventing infestations. The following are some suggestions for accomplishing this:

Before and after traveling, conduct an examination of your personal items, apparel, and luggage for any indications of bed bugs. Utilize a magnifying lens and a flashlight to detect live bugs, eggs, shells, fecal spots, or blood stains. If any are discovered, place them in a plastic bag and dispose of them appropriately.

In any hotel, motel, or other lodging facility where you are staying, inspect the mattress, box spring, headboard, and furniture for any indications of bed bugs. If you discover any, please inform the management and request a refund or a different lodging.

After traveling or lodging in a potentially infested location, it is recommended that you wash and dry your clothing and bedding on the highest heat setting feasible. Bed bugs and their larvae are eradicated by heat.

Utilize bed bug-resistant coverings or encasements for your pillows, box spring, and mattress. These serve to obstruct bed bugs from concealing themselves or feasting on them.

Vacuum your floors, carpets, furniture, and other surfaces on a regular basis. Dispose of the vacuum bag or its contents in a sealed plastic container.

Clutter should be minimized, and any cracks or crevices in your walls, surfaces, or furniture that may serve as hiding places for bed bugs should be sealed.

It is Imperative That You Promptly Eliminate Bed Bugs if You Suspect or Confirm an Infestation. Here Are a Few Steps to Accomplish This:

Speak with a licensed pest control professional who possesses the necessary experience and expertise to address bed bugs. Do not attempt to employ over-the-counter pesticides, foggers, or bombs, as they may be ineffective, harmful, or even unlawful. Cooperate with the pest control professional and adhere to their instructions and recommendations during the treatment process.

Wash and dry all of your washable items, including clothing, bedding, and curtains, on the highest heat setting imaginable. They should be stored in sealed plastic containers until the infestation has been eradicated.

Mattresses, box springs, furniture, or rugs that are infested and cannot be cleansed, dried, or treated should be disposed of. Before disposing of them, wrap them in plastic and designate them as “bed bug infested.”

Steam clean or heat treat any items that are not suitable for washing or drying, including electronics, books, toys, and shoes. A professional service can be hired, or a commercial sterilizer or portable heat chamber can be employed to accomplish this.

Utilize adhesive traps, interceptors, or other devices capable of detecting or capturing bed bugs to monitor the infestation. Conduct routine inspections and promptly notify the pest control professional of any discoveries.

In Conclusion

Bed bugs are a significant and expanding issue in West Virginia, as well as in numerous other states and countries. Their victims may experience economic and social costs, as well as physical and psychological distress. Nevertheless, they can be prevented and treated with the implementation of appropriate knowledge, vigilance, and professional assistance. By adhering to the guidelines and recommendations provided in this article, you can safeguard your family and yourself from these irritating parasites.

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