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

Bed bugs, diminutive blood-feeding insects, have the potential to infest residences, hotels, and other places where individuals sleep. They pose a formidable challenge to eradicate, often resulting in itching, allergic reactions, and psychological distress for those affected.

A recent report by Orkin, a prominent pest control company, identifies Oregon as one of the states grappling with a high incidence of bed bug infestations. The report evaluated 50 cities based on the number of bed bug treatments conducted by Orkin from January to December 2023. Portland secured the 12th position, Eugene-Springfield ranked 30th, and Medford-Klamath Falls occupied the 45th spot.

Why are bed bugs prevalent in Oregon?

Several factors may contribute to the heightened prevalence of bed bugs in Oregon, including:

  • Climate: Bed bugs thrive in warm and humid environments, conditions prevalent in Oregon, particularly in the western region. These resilient pests can endure months without feeding and withstand a broad temperature range, from freezing to over 100°F.
  • Travel: Bed bugs can hitchhike on luggage, clothing, and furniture, facilitating their movement from one location to another. Oregon, being a popular tourist destination with millions of visitors annually, may inadvertently introduce or pick up bed bugs from infested accommodations or through public transportation like buses, trains, and planes.
  • Lack of awareness: Many individuals lack awareness of the signs and symptoms of bed bug infestations and preventive measures. Bed bugs are frequently misidentified as other pests, and their ability to hide in inaccessible places complicates detection and elimination.

How to prevent and address bed bug infestations?

Preventing bed bug infestations involves taking proactive measures:

  • Inspect: Before occupying a hotel, hostel, or similar accommodation, thoroughly inspect the room for bed bug indicators such as live or deceased bugs, blood stains, fecal spots, or shed skins. Examine various furniture items, including the mattress, box spring, bed frame, headboard, nightstand, sofa, and chairs. If any evidence is found, request an alternative room or leave the premises.
  • Protect: When traveling, secure luggage and belongings in sealed plastic bags or utilize luggage liners to deter bed bugs. Avoid placing items on the floor, bed, or furniture. Upon returning home, inspect and wash belongings in high heat. If feasible, use a steamer or vacuum cleaner to eliminate any remaining bed bugs or eggs.
  • Report: In the event of a bed bug encounter in a hotel or other accommodation, promptly inform management and the local health department. Consider leaving a review on platforms like TripAdvisor, Yelp, or Bed Bug Registry to caution fellow travelers. For home infestations, report to your landlord or property manager and seek professional assistance from a licensed pest control company.

In the case of an existing bed bug infestation, avoid attempting DIY solutions. Bed bugs are resilient and may resist common methods, potentially harming health and spreading the infestation. Engaging a professional pest control company experienced in handling bed bugs is the most effective and safe approach. Techniques such as heat treatment, chemical treatment, or integrated pest management can be employed to thoroughly and safely eliminate bed bugs from your home.


The prevalence of bed bugs in Oregon and beyond demands attention and informed action. Recognizing the risks and being aware of preventive and treatment options is crucial. Swift and responsible response is essential if bed bugs are encountered. It’s crucial to understand that bed bugs are not indicative of poor hygiene or social status; they are pests that can impact anyone, anywhere, and at any time.

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