A new report from Terminix ranks Denver as the fifth most bed bug-infested city in the nation.

Yuck. Terminix, the pest-control company, has released a list of the top 20 cities where they’ve conducted the most treatment service calls for bed bugs between January 1 and June 30, and Denver landed at No. 5. More than 300 Terminix branches around the country were included in the data.

Coming in ahead of Denver were Cleveland, OH (No. 1), Cincinnati, OH (No. 2), Detroit, MI (No. 3), and Las Vegas, NV (No. 4).

Is this embarrassing for Denver? Maybe. Probably. Yes.

But the problem with bed bugs is that they’re a complicated insect, able to go a full year without feeding, if necessary. That means that once they find a way into your home, they can hang out indefinitely before they eventually make their way to your mattress. And even then, their nocturnal habits and great hiding skills can keep them from detection for quite awhile, giving them the time they need to become a full-fledged infestation.

Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate,” Paul Curtis, director of technical services at Terminix, said, “and they can travel to new locations very easily — hitching a ride on clothing, handbags, suitcases, and taxis, which can create substantial infestations in no time.”

Virtually any public place can be a mode of transfer — even a movie theater, a restaurant, or your workplace. It’s enough to make one paranoid about going out in public! Plus, they’re super small — the size of an apple seed at most — so they’re difficult to see unless you’re specifically looking for them. In addition, the bites themselves are small and can easily be confused with a rash or other insect bite.

More than 3,500 homes in the Denver metro area are affected by bed bugs every year, says Jacob Marsh, an area exterminator. Colorado is specifically a hot spot for bed bugs because of its growing popularity as a tourist destination. More people in and out equals an increased influx of bed bugs.

Denver is usually ranked 4th to 6th worst in the nation,” Marsh told Fox31. “We get a lot of good things when things are booming like it is, but unfortunately when people are coming in and traveling you also get a lot of unwanted visitors.” 

Other cities on Terminix’s list included Houston, TX (No. 6), Phoenix, AZ (No. 7), Indianapolis, IN (No. 8), Oklahoma City, OK (No. 9), and Philadelphia, PA (No. 10). To view the full list of bed bug-infested cities, click here.

In addition to seeing the bed bugs themselves, some indicators of an infestation include reddish-brown blood spots on your mattress or sheets and a strong musty odor. If you’re worried you might be a victim, contact a local pest control company to schedule an inspection and potential treatment as soon as possible. Not all is lost, but it’s definitely a hassle, and the sooner you address the issue the better.

Do you have a bed bug story you want to share? Any treatment or prevention methods you swear by? Do you believe Denver ranks fifth worst? Leave a comment below! In the meantime, “don’t let the bed bugs bite!”

Have you noticed in increase in rabbits, too?