Maine is Crawling With Bed Bugs, 3 Cities Among Most Infested

Bed bugs, tiny blood-sucking insects, can infest various places, including homes, hotels, schools, and sleeping quarters. While they are not known to transmit diseases, their presence can lead to itching, allergic reactions, and psychological distress. Bed bugs pose a challenge to eradicate due to their ability to hide in cracks, survive for extended periods without feeding, and resist many pesticides.

The Severity of the Bed Bug Issue in Maine

A recent report by the pest control company Orkin ranks Maine 34th among the 50 states for bed bug infestations. Within the state, specific cities, namely Portland, Bangor, and Augusta, exhibit a higher risk of bed bug problems based on treatments performed by Orkin in 2023. The report suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic may have contributed to the spread of bed bugs as reduced travel and increased time spent at home created opportunities for them to hitchhike on various items.

Bed Bug Laws and Regulations in Maine

In Maine, laws exist to protect tenants from bed bugs, outlined in statute Title 14 §6021-A. Landlords are obliged to engage a pest control company to inspect and treat infested units and adjacent areas within five days of receiving a tenant’s complaint. They must also provide written notices on bed bug prevention and treatment, maintaining records of inspections and treatments. Tenants are required to report suspected infestations, cooperate with inspections, and follow pest control instructions. Noncompliance by either party may lead to remedies such as eviction or rent withholding.

Effective Bed Bug Control Practices in Maine

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services recommends an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. This involves inspecting infested areas and surrounding spaces, correctly identifying pests, maintaining records, cleaning infested living areas, reducing clutter, eliminating habitats, physically removing bed bugs, using pesticides carefully, conducting follow-up inspections, and raising awareness through education. The DHHS offers diverse resources for different settings and audiences, accessible on their website.


Bed bugs represent a significant and escalating concern in Maine, particularly in cities with higher infestation rates. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of infestations is crucial, and prompt action is necessary. Maine’s laws safeguard both tenants and landlords, and the state provides guidance and resources for effective and safe bed bug management. Adhering to Integrated Pest Management practices can aid in preventing and controlling bed bugs in Maine.

Leave a Comment