Big cities, we're looking at you here. Perhaps Austin, TX? Or maybe Houston, TX? That's where you tend to find bed bugs, in big cities. So how do Texas metros stack up when it comes to fending and/or not fending off these tiny pests?

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It wasn't long ago that two major Texas cities had the dubious distinction of being ranked inside the top 10 on Orkin's Bed Bug City List, both, thankfully, have since dropped a bit in the rankings.

What is a bed bug?

"Typically 3/16 inch long, red to dark brown in color and are mostly nocturnal insects that come out of hiding to take blood meals from sleeping humans. These pests are hematophagous, which means blood is their only food source," according to ORKIN

What makes bed bugs such good survivalists? Like most insects, rapid population growth. Female bed bugs can deposit one to five eggs a day and may lay 200 to 500 eggs in their lifetime. What's even worse, for us, these little buggers can survive for months without a food source.

How to Avoid Bed Bugs

When traveling, think of the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to help you remember the following action steps to help avoid bringing bed bugs home with you.

  • Survey surfaces for signs of an infestation.
  • Lift and look for all bed bug hiding spots.
  • Elevate your luggage on a luggage rack away from the bed and wall
  • Examine your luggage carefully
  • Place all your clothing from your luggage immediately in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting upon returning home from travel.

Alright, let's find out where Texas cities rank:

The new bed bug cities list is "based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from Dec. 1, 2022 – Nov. 30, 2023. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments."

A Big Bug Problem: Two Texas Cities Among Most Infected in the U.S. for '24

The new bed bug cities list is "based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from Dec. 1, 2022 – Nov. 30."

Texas is Crawling with Bed Bugs, One City Among The Most Infected in the U.S. in '23

Each year Orkin puts together their list of the Top 50 Bed Bug Destinations in the United States. Let's take a look and see which cities top the list.