Washington Crawling With Bed Bugs, 3 Cities Among Most Infested

In recent years, Washington has witnessed a notable surge in bed bug infestations, with three cities now ranking among the nation’s most bed bug-infested. These tiny blood-sucking pests have become a major concern for both residents and pest control experts.

Understanding Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are small, nocturnal insects that have adapted to coexist with humans. They’re roughly the size of an apple seed, characterized by flat, oval bodies, and a rusty-red hue. Although they don’t transmit diseases, their bites can cause itching and discomfort, leading to anxiety and sleep disturbances.

The Spread in Washington

The infestation has swiftly spread across Washington, particularly in densely populated regions. Contributing factors include increased travel, the exchange of second-hand furniture, and the bugs’ ability to hitchhike on personal belongings.

Identifying an Infestation

Detecting bed bugs can be challenging due to their elusive behavior. They tend to hide in mattresses, box springs, and furniture during the day. Signs of an infestation include itchy bites, blood spots on bedding, and the presence of bed bug excrement.

Prevention and Control

Preventing bed bugs entails regular inspection of living spaces, decluttering, and cautiousness when introducing second-hand items into the home. If an infestation is suspected, professional pest control services are recommended for effective eradication.

The Psychological Impact

Aside from the physical discomfort caused by bites, bed bug infestations also carry a significant psychological toll. Dealing with these pests can induce stress, anxiety, and sleep disturbances, further complicating the situation.

Some Common Bed Bug Treatments

Chemical Treatments:

  • Insecticides: Various forms of insecticides are used, including pyrethrins, pyrroles, desiccants, biochemicals, pyrethroids, neonicotinoids, and insect growth regulators.
  • Foggers or Bug Bombs: These can be used, but they may not reach deep into hiding places of bed bugs.

Non-Chemical Treatments:

  • Heat Treatment: Exposing bed bugs to temperatures of about 50°C (122°F) for more than 90 minutes can effectively kill them.
  • Cold Treatment: Bed bugs can also be killed by exposing them to freezing temperatures for at least two weeks.
  • Steam Cleaning: High-temperature steam cleaners can kill bed bugs in carpets, curtains, mattresses, and furniture.
  • Vacuuming: Regular and thorough vacuuming can help remove bed bugs and their eggs from cracks and crevices.

Preventive Measures:

  • Encasements: Using protective covers for mattresses and box springs can trap bed bugs and prevent infestation.
  • Regular Washing: Washing bedding and clothing in hot water and drying them on high heat can kill bed bugs.

Professional Extermination:

  • If the infestation is severe, professional pest control services may be necessary to ensure complete eradication.


As Washington grapples with bed bug infestations, raising awareness and taking proactive measures are crucial for controlling and preventing their spread. It demands a collective effort from the community, requiring vigilance and swift action upon detecting these unwanted invaders.

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