Virginia is Crawling With Bed Bugs, 3 Cities Among the Most Infested


Bed bugs are very small blood-sucking insects that can infest homes, hotels, and other areas where people sleep, causing itching, allergic reactions, and psychological discomfort. They are famously difficult to eradicate because of their ability to hide in cracks, go months without feeding, and develop chemical resistance.

Bed bug infestations in the United States, including Virginia, are on the rise, with Richmond, Norfolk, and Roanoke among the top 50 most infested cities, according to a new Orkin analysis. Understanding why Virginia is so susceptible to bed bugs, as well as how to avoid and control them, is critical.

High Population Density and Travel Activity

Virginia’s dense population and frequent travel contribute considerably to bed bug infestations. With an estimated 8.6 million individuals distributed across 42,775 square miles, the state provides adequate hosts and habitats for bed bugs to thrive. Additionally, Virginia is a major tourist location, receiving millions of people each year.

However, tourism increases the risk of acquiring and spreading bed bugs from other locations, as they can travel on baggage and clothing. Vigilance and precautions, such as inspecting hotel rooms and washing garments in high heat after travel, can assist in reducing this danger.

Lack of Education and Awareness

The lack of information and awareness among the general public and professionals exacerbates bed bug infestations. Many people have difficulty identifying bed bugs, preventing infestations, and treating them properly.

Misconceptions and stigma around bed bugs compound matters, resulting in delayed discovery and chronic infestations. Surveys show that Virginia people have little understanding of bed bugs and are hesitant to report or discuss infestations.


To solve these difficulties, Virginia should focus on education and outreach efforts. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS)’s Bed Bug Outreach and Education Program provides resources such as fact sheets, films, and training materials.

The Virginia Cooperative Extension also offers books and courses geared toward a variety of audiences, including homeowners, renters, landlords, and pest control companies. Virginia may work towards a bed bug-free future by raising awareness and knowledge of the problem, as well as implementing effective prevention and control strategies.


In summary, Virginia is experiencing an increase in bed bug infestations, which can be ascribed to reasons such as high population density and significant travel, particularly in tourist locations. A lack of awareness and education exacerbates the problem, complicating prevention and control efforts.

Initiatives such as the Bed Bug Outreach and Education Program seek to address this by offering resources and raising awareness, emphasizing the need for preventive measures and community engagement in combating bed bug infestations efficiently.

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