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

Vermont is grappling with a significant bed bug issue, with three of its cities ranking among the most infested in the country, as per a recent report by Orkin, a pest control company.

The Report

Orkin recently published its annual list of the top 50 bed bug cities in the U.S., based on treatments conducted from December 1, 2022, to November 30, 2023. The report highlights that Burlington, Montpelier, and Rutland now hold positions 18th, 28th, and 36th on the list, indicating a substantial increase from the previous year.

In the preceding report, only Burlington was listed at 34th place, making the addition of the other two cities an alarming indication of a growing infestation.

The Causes

Bed bugs, small, flat, oval-shaped insects that feed on human blood, primarily at night, can conceal themselves in mattresses, furniture, luggage, clothing, and other items. They can easily travel from one location to another through human contact.

Contributing Factors to The Bed Bug Spread Include:

  • Increased travel: Vermont, a popular tourist destination, especially during the fall and winter seasons, witnesses an influx of people, potentially introducing bed bugs from infested areas or picking them up from lodging facilities.
  • Lack of awareness: Many individuals are uninformed about the signs and symptoms of bed bug infestations, leading to challenges in prevention and treatment. Bed bugs can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, and psychological distress, and their resilience to pesticides makes them difficult to eliminate.
  • Low-income housing: With approximately 11% of its population living below the federal poverty line, Vermont faces challenges in dealing with bed bug problems due to limited access to resources and information.

The Solutions

The Vermont Department of Health recommends the following steps to prevent and control bed bug infestations:

  • Inspect: Regularly check belongings and surroundings for signs of bed bugs, using a flashlight and magnifying glass to examine cracks, crevices, seams, and folds.
  • Isolate: Keep luggage and personal items away from potential hiding spots for bed bugs, using plastic bags or containers to seal and store them.
  • Treat: If bed bugs are found, seek assistance from a licensed pest control professional instead of resorting to ineffective or harmful DIY methods.
  • Prevent: Wash and dry clothing and bedding on high heat, vacuum and steam clean furniture and carpets regularly, and use mattress and box spring encasements to protect against bed bugs.

The Conclusion

The prevalence of bed bugs in three Vermont cities underscores a serious and escalating concern. Residents and visitors must stay informed, vigilant, and proactive, seeking professional help when necessary. By collectively addressing the issue, Vermont can strive to become a bed bug-free state.

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