Why Does Ohio Have So Many Bedbugs? (Updated)

Last Updated on February 21, 2024 by Alene Schill

Ohio has a reputation for its fondness of American football, as well as its recognition for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and bugeye trees. However, on a darker note, it is infamous for having the highest number of bed bug infestations.

If you reside in this state, you may be more prone to finding bed bugs in your home. So why does Ohio have so many bedbugs?

Bed Bug Infestation in Ohio Cities

Bed Bug Infestation in Ohio Cities 

One of the worst things that could happen to homeowners is a bed bug infestation in their homes. Not only are they a nuisance to both your physical and mental health, but these pests are also extremely tenacious and rarely if ever, die out on their own. (On the plus side, though, their bites don’t carry diseases!) 

Unfortunately, Ohio cities like Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland have consistently ranked among cities with the most bed bug reports in the past decade. In case you find this difficult to believe, this data is sourced from the services done by exterminator companies with regard to bed bug infestations. 

Bed bugs are tiny, flat insects whose primary food source is the blood of humans. These pests are most active at night and often hide inside the box spring, mattress, sheets, or cracks and crevices in a room. 

Why Ohio? 

Why Ohio? 

Dense Population

You may be wondering why Ohio’s major cities rank on top of bed bug problems. The first thing you need to note is the behavioral patterns of bed bugs. These pesky critters thrive in densely-packed homes, as these provide them with more opportunities to spread. 

Like Cleveland and Columbus, most major cities are densely populated and house multi-tenant living situations. Densely-packed apartments, nursing homes, and other similar living conditions are perfect for bed bug infestations. Overcrowded areas give bed bugs the perfect opportunity to transport from person to person. Find out if there are bed bug laws in Ohio here

Low-Income Communities

Low-Income Communities

Hiring pest control exterminators are no walk in the park — usually, you have to shell out a few hundred dollars for their services. Low-income communities, like Toledo or Cleveland’s east side, are the most impacted by bed bug infestations because they are likely unable to afford solutions. This creates a vicious cycle of bed bug infestations within homes. 

Highway Access

The state houses the I-71, which connects three major cities (Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland). Suppose a person residing in Cleveland decides to visit a friend in Columbus without knowing that they had a bed bug infestation. Those tiny bugs may hide in this person’s clothing and unknowingly bring them to Cleveland to escape. 

Similarly, travelers who frequent hotel rooms might pick up the rogue insects from box springs or mattresses. But how do hotels deal with a bed bug infestation?

It’s important to search yourself and other personal belongings to ensure that no bed bug has hitched a ride on you. It’s also a great idea to put all your stuff immediately in the washer and run it through the dryer at the highest setting.  

Also Read:

Can You Get Rid of Bed Bugs?

Can You Get Rid of Bed Bugs? 

While there are many DIY bed bug treatments you can do to get rid of the insects, the best way to eliminate these pesky critters is to hire professionals who have the right skill set for the job.

Most of the time, these experts have access to potent pesticides and tools that will eliminate bed bugs and prevent them from burrowing in your home in the first place. Most bed bug treatments might be hazardous to both humans and animals if someone unqualified were to handle them. But can Lysol kill bed bugs?

Furthermore, while there are OTC pesticides available out there, these are known to “scatter” the bed bugs around without actually killing them. You can see why this is a problem. 


Do Ohio cities have the most bed bugs?

No, Ohio cities do not have the most bed bugs. According to pest control company Orkin, Chicago, Illinois, ranked number one in their 2021 bed bug cities report. However, this doesn’t mean that the state does not have a bed bug problem — in the same list, five Ohio cities (Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, and Dayton) all ranked in the top 50. [1

Can you prevent bed bugs from coming back?

Yes, you can prevent bed bugs from coming back. Apart from vacuuming regularly, you can also seal all cracks and crevices to lessen their hiding spots for prevention. Steam cleaning is also a great option as bed bugs will die when exposed to heat treatment (temperatures exceeding 140 degrees). Avoid buying used furniture as they might be housing live bed bugs/eggs. 

Are bed bugs common in Central Ohio?

Yes, bed bugs are fairly common in Central Ohio. According to a report released by a pest control company, bed bugs have been found in every major city in the state. The densely-packed living conditions within the state are also the perfect breeding ground for bedbug infestations. 

Bed Bugs in Ohio 

You may be more prone to bed bug populations in this state than most areas. It’s important to perform the measures necessary to prevent them from coming into your home in the first place.

Vacuum regularly, clear clutter, and steam clean your furniture and mattresses. When traveling, inspect your belongings to ensure that no bed bug has hitched a ride on you. 

Remember: a single bed bug will only take a few weeks to turn into a major infestation in your home. 



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