Michigan Crawling With Bed Bugs, 3 Cities Among Most Infested

Bed bugs, tiny flat insects that feed on blood while people and animals sleep, are adept at hiding and hitchhiking. They can infest any location where people reside, work, or travel. Despite being unrelated to cleanliness, they can cause itching, allergic reactions, and psychological distress. Eliminating bed bugs is challenging and costly due to their resistance to many pesticides, often necessitating multiple treatments.

Michigan ranks prominently in the bed bug problem, as indicated by a recent report from Orkin, a national pest control company. The report ranks the top 50 U.S. cities with the most bed bug treatments performed by Orkin from December 2019 to November 2020. Three Michigan cities featured on the list: Detroit at #6, Grand Rapids at #12, and Flint at #23. This blog aims to delve into the causes, consequences, and remedies for Michigan’s bed bug issue, along with advice for residents and travelers on safeguarding against these pests.

Causes of the Bed Bug Problem in Michigan

Several factors contribute to Michigan’s bed bug problem:

  • Increased travel and tourism, with Michigan being a popular destination for both domestic and international visitors who inadvertently transport bed bugs.
  • High population density and mobility, given Michigan’s ranking as the 10th most populous state, leading to frequent movement within or between cities, thereby facilitating the spread of bed bugs.
  • Lack of awareness and education among Michiganders regarding bed bug identification, prevention, and treatment.
  • Limited resources and regulations, resulting in challenges in effectively dealing with bed bug infestations due to their expensive and often uncovered treatment costs, alongside inconsistent or unclear laws and policies.

Impacts of the Bed Bug Problem in Michigan

The bed bug problem in Michigan adversely affects the state’s economy, health, and social fabric:

  • Economic losses and costs due to damage to the tourism and hospitality industry, reduction in property values, and increased maintenance expenses.
  • Health risks and complications stemming from bed bug bites, including itching, allergic reactions, and potential transmission of diseases like Chagas disease.
  • Social problems and conflicts arising from stigma, discrimination, and disputes between tenants and landlords or customers and businesses over responsibility for bed bug treatments.

Solutions for the Bed Bug Problem in Michigan

Addressing Michigan’s bed bug problem necessitates a multifaceted approach:

  • Education and awareness campaigns to disseminate accurate information and dispel myths about bed bugs.
  • Inspection and monitoring to detect and confirm bed bug infestations.
  • Treatment and prevention methods, including integrated pest management, to eradicate and prevent bed bug infestations.
  • Cooperation and coordination among stakeholders to ensure effective management of the bed bug problem.


The bed bug problem in Michigan poses significant challenges to the state’s economy, health, and social well-being. However, through concerted efforts in education, inspection, treatment, and cooperation, Michigan residents and travelers can mitigate the impacts of bed bugs and strive towards a bed bug-free state.

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