2024 Bed Bug Facts and Statistics
By Lorne Chadnick - Updated on 01/12/2024
Bed bug infestations are more common than most people think. It’s completely normal to be worried about an outbreak or having to deal with these pests. Check out our key facts and statistics about bed bugs to stay in the know and be prepared!
General Bed Bug Facts
- 97% of pest control specialists have reported responding to complaints of bed bugs within the past year.
- The average lifespan for a bed bug is 6-12 months. However, under the right conditions, they can live longer. Also, a female bed bug can lay 1 to 3 eggs each day, or about 200 to 500 in her lifetime.
- There is a 60% higher chance of being bitten by a bed bug on the upper body than on the lower body.
- Fortunately, bed bugs don’t spread diseases. However, you may experience itching and swelling like you would a mosquito bite or spider bite.
- Bed bugs have a musty and sweet scent. If you can smell the scent, you have a large infestation on your hands. Small infestations typically won’t noticeably smell.
- 92% of individuals report signs of infestation when they notice bites, welts, or other skin reactions on their bodies. If you have more sensitive skin, you can see the results of a bed bug bite within an hour. On the other hand, bed bug bites may not become red or itchy for up to two weeks after the fact.
- Bed bugs can survive in scorching heat up to 113 °F and chilly temperatures as low as 46 °F. Most of the time, treatments include increasing the temperature of your home to flush out the bugs from their hiding spots.
- 84% of bed bug professionals were initially contacted to inspect for a different pest before identifying the problem as being a bed bug infestation.
- Bed bug infestations are not usually easy to identify. 70% of bed bug infestations are reported as flea issues before being properly identified and addressed. In fact, bed bugs are only correctly identified 16% percent of the time.
- Bed bug infestations are most commonly found within 8 feet of your sleeping area, though most experts believe that more infestations happen between 3 and 6 feet.
Bed Bug Feeding Facts
- When feeding on human blood, bed bugs will puncture the skin with their long beaks and drink blood from the wound. While doing so, bed bugs will also release antihistamines and anticoagulants through their bites to allow them to feed for longer periods.
- Bed bugs typically feed anywhere between 3 to 10 minutes at a given time.
- Bed bugs want to live near their hosts so they can feed more easily, and they can even adapt to a person’s sleeping patterns to feed more successfully.
Bed Bug Location Facts
- According to a survey by the National Pest Management Association, the top places where professionals find bed bugs are in single-family homes (91% of respondents), apartments/condos (89%), and hotels and motels (68%). The bugs have also have been found in nursing homes (59%), schools and daycare centers (46%), office buildings (46%), college dorms (45%), hospitals (36%), and public transportation spaces (19%).
- Since bed bugs can move through walls, they can infest multiple units and rooms of apartments and hotels. They usually enter new rooms through luggage that is transported from one place to another.
- The most common places to find bed bugs are in couches, bed frames, and mattresses. They are also found in places as diverse as stuffed animals, wheelchairs, airplanes, school buses, and purses, with all of these spaces being away from direct light.
- Over half of pest control specialists report that they receive the most inquiries regarding bed bugs during the summer. This can be due to the increased travel during this time of year, or the fact that bed bugs thrive in temperatures ranging from 55 to 75 °F.
- During cold temperatures, bed bugs are known to go into a state of hibernation in which they stop reproducing.
United States Bed Bug Facts
- Bed bugs are found in every state in the United States, with the typical bed bug season in the U.S. usually lasting from June to October.
- Nearly 1 in every 5 Americans (equivalent to approximately 20% of the population) has had a bed bug problem or has known someone who has.
- The U.S. city with the most bed bug infestations is Philadelphia, and Ohio is considered the state with the most bed bugs.
- After Ohio, the states with the next most bed bug infestations in the country are Michigan, Florida, Illinois, and New York.
- Nearly 30% of all bed bug infestations that are in the U.S. are located in the southeast region of the country. This is because bed bugs are known to thrive in warm weather climates. On the other hand, the Northeast is known to have the lowest number of infestations because of the cold climate making it difficult for bed bugs to live and reproduce.
- Pest exterminators report that there has been a continuous increase in bed bug infestations throughout the United States.
- Bed bugs that are pesticide-resistant have become common throughout the United States and Europe since as early as the 1980s, even though these pests were on the decline in the 1950s because of a revolutionary pesticide that was introduced at the time.
Canada Bed Bug Facts
- Toronto is known as Canada’s top bed-bug-infested city. From there, Sudbury, Vancouver, St. John’s, and Oshawa are the next highest ranked.
- Lake Louise Chateau in Canada paid one of their guests $24,000 in damages after failing to fix an infestation. Before this, multiple guests at the Lake Louise Chateau reported issues with bed bugs.
- 31% of homeless shelters in Toronto, Canada report dealing with bed bugs.