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Ants, cockroaches and flies tend to be the most common indoor insect pests in all regions of the United States, and all three of these insect groups are particularly hard to eradicate from infested homes. This is certainly the case in the northeast, where insect pests like German cockroaches, odorous house ants and cluster flies invade homes with great frequency. While these pests establish stubborn infestations that can pose a challenge for any pest control professional, a recent study showed that 76 percent of pest control professionals throughout the US consider bed bugs to be the most difficult pests to control. This is due to their habit of congregating in obscure indoor areas where bed bugs usually go unnoticed for a period of time after establishing a presence within a home. In fact, after residents of infested homes sustain their first several bed bugs bites in their sleep, the bites are often dismissed as mosquito bites until the true culprits are found.

While bed bugs are certainly common in single family dwellings, they are far more problematic within apartment buildings where pest control professionals usually need regular access to multiple units for several days or even weeks in order to effectively eliminate an infestation. Of course, hotels and motels have been well known bed bug hotspots since the pests reestablished a large population in the US over two decades ago. Numerous hotels in Massachusetts become often see multiple bed bug infestations each year. For example, last June, a mother and her teenage son stayed overnight in a western Massachusetts hotel where the boy sustained numerous bed bug bites. Initially, the teenager’s mom believed that the bites had been caused by mosquitoes, but after two days of constant itching, the teenager visited the hospital where a doctor quickly confirmed that his bites had been caused by bed bugs.

Surprisingly, bed bug infestations are also common in hospitals and nursing homes where the pests are exceptionally difficult to eliminate due to the high number of elderly residents who are bedridden and cannot relocate during the treatment process. Multiple bed bug infestations have occurred in the Oxford Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Haverhill where bed bug fecal stains are visible on some areas of the lobby’s carpeting. Similar infestations have been documented at the troubled Twin Oaks Rehab and Nursing Center in Danvers. The dramatic increase in bed bug infestations in houses, apartments, hospitals, schools and nursing homes in recent years has given rise to a large number of law offices that only take on cases involving damages resulting from bed bug infestations in corporate and public buildings.

Have you ever encountered bed bugs within a business or public building?