Two little words strike fear in the hearts of men (and women!): bed bugs. Recently, it was discovered that Indiana and Kentucky are two of the worst states when it comes to the tiny creatures.

What Are Bed Bugs

Small and reddish-brown in color, bed bugs are the bane of many's existence. Feeding entirely on the blood of animals, humans included, the pests have become more prevalent across the world, and frequently make a bed their home, as their name implies, according to the University of Kentucky's Department of Entomology.

Bed bugs have made a major comeback in the U.S. and around the world. The public experienced a reprieve from the pests after World War II, due in part to the widespread use of DDT. The rebound in recent years was probably due to multiple factors, including less potent insecticides, global travel, and a loss of vigilance practiced in years past. Whatever the reasons, bed bugs are again part of everyday life, with infestations common in homes, apartments, hotels, dormitories, schools and shelters. They also occur in hospitals, nursing homes, libraries, theaters, offices, municipal buildings, and on public transportation— wherever there are people there can be bed bugs.
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Signs of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs can be difficult to spot and even though they feed on humans, their bites are not easily identifiable as they often look like the bites of mosquitos, or even chiggers, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The organization says that early treatment is best.

If you have a bed bug infestation, it is best to find it early, before the infestation becomes established or spreads. Treating a minor infestation, while an inconvenience, is far less costly and easier than treating the same infestation after it becomes more widespread.

However, low-level infestations are also much more challenging to find and correctly identify.

Spreading Disease

A common myth is that bed bugs spread disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that they do not spread disease but that scratching bed bug bites can lead to secondary infections.

Bed bugs are not known to spread disease. Bed bugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can sometimes increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.

Where Are Bed Bugs Most Frequently Found?

Regardless of whether or not bed bugs carry disease, no one wants to encounter them in their bedroom. Unfortunately, there are some states where you are more likely to meet a bed bug, and Indiana and Kentucky ranked in the top 5.

A Recent Study Reveals Where They Are

A recent study from PureCare looked at Google trends, analyzing the most searched queries relating to bed bugs and then using that information, created a Bed Bug Search Score to rank the results. It was then determined that the states with the highest Bed Bug Search Score have the biggest issue with the bugs.

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Top 5 Worst States for Bed Bugs

Breaking down PureCare's Bed Bug Search Score reveals that Oklahoma tops the list of states with the biggest bed bug problem with a Bed Bug Search Score of 99.1, followed by West Virginia and Kansas. With a score of 78.2, the Commonwealth of Kentucky pulls into the number four position on the list and Indiana ranks number 5 with a score of 76.5.

Treating and Preventing Bed Bugs

If you discover bed bugs in your home, don't panic. Do, however, contact a reputable pest management company as insecticides will likely be needed to remediate the issue or you can try a DIY approach as well.

7 Invasive Insects in Indiana You Should Kill Immediately If You See Them

In an effort to inform the public on the types of invasive species that are known to be found in their state, the USDA offers a "Pest Tracker" on their website, where you simply click the name of your state from the drop-down menu provided to see pictures of the different insects and weeds, along with descriptions of the type of plant life they target and the damage they can do if they're not dealt with.

Gallery Credit: Ryan O'Bryan

 

 

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