It can ruin any trip or any vacation.

Bed bugs.

Just the name probably makes your skin crawl.

Several years ago, a local high school band was traveling out of state when they checked into a hotel. In several rooms, chaperones found bed bugs.

That pretty much wrecks the whole trip, right?

Bed bugs are out there.

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Bed bugs are bad

Photo by Masaaki Komori on Unsplash
Photo by Masaaki Komori on Unsplash

According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the best way to identify bed bugs is to look for them in bedding and mattresses. Here's what to look for:

  • "Rusty or reddish stains on bed sheets or mattresses caused by bed bugs being crushed.
  • Dark spots (about this size: •), which are bed bug excrement and may bleed on the fabric like a marker would.
  • Eggs and eggshells, which are tiny (about 1mm) and pale yellow skins that nymphs shed as they grow larger.
  • Live bed bugs."

When not actively feeding, bed bugs can hide. Here's where to look for them:

  • "In the seams of chairs and couches, between cushions, in the folds of curtains.
  • In drawer joints.
  • In electrical receptacles and appliances.
  • Under loose wallpaper and wall hangings. 
  • At the junction where the wall and the ceiling meet.
  • Even in the head of a screw."

So which cities have the worst bed bug problems?

Photo by Heidi Kaden on Unsplash
Photo by Heidi Kaden on Unsplash

Philadelphia and New York are bad spots for bed bugs

Some of the worst places are pretty close to home. New York is  #2 in the country, while Philadelphia is #3.

Baltimore and Washington D.C. are both in the top 10. Check out the Top 50 list below.

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