With the Fourth of July falling on a Thursday, many Idahoans are also playing hooky from work on Friday and making a mini-vacation out of the holiday. This year, AAA predicts that nearly 71 million Americans plan to get out of town to enjoy fireworks, friends and barbecues. 

They expect about 400,000 Idahoans to make up a small part of that record number. Where are we headed? AAA Idaho says this year Anaheim, Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Hawaii, Orlando, Anchorage, Salt Lake City, the Oregon Coast, Yellowstone and Grand Teton. They’re all great places to visit BUT several of these cities are among the United State’s “Bed Bug Capitals.” 

How Dangerous are Bed Bugs?

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The good news is that while these tiny bugs are absolutely repulsive, they’re more annoying than dangerous. According to the CDC, there’s a good chance that if you were a bed bug’s snack overnight you may not know that when you wake up. Bed bugs inject humans with anesthetic and an anticoagulant, so their bites are unlikely to wake you up and or leave behind blood marks. Within a couple of days, those bites may swell or become itchy, like a mosquito bite would. 

READ MORE: If You See Any of These 5 Bugs in Idaho, Kill Them Immediately

That said, bed bug bites can be linked to more serious, non-visible symptoms like insomnia and anxiety.

Why Are Bed Bugs a Travel Concern?

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That’s a good question and probably the whole reason you’re reading this article to begin with. When you travel to an area known for high infestations of bed bugs, you risk bringing them home to YOUR house. Bed bugs have skinny flat bodies, so the number of places they can hide and hitch a ride is nearly infinite.

They’ll get into the seams of your luggage, folds of your clothes or inside a pillowcase on the pillow you brought from home. They can survive for a while without feeding, so they’ll just hang out until you unpack. When you least expect it, they’ll emerge, bite you again and start spreading in your bedding, furniture or other areas of your home. 

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This list is important to pay attention to because bed bugs aren’t prejudiced. You may feel like you’ll avoid them by booking a fancy five-star hotel, but the truth is they’re just as likely to infest luxury accommodations as they are homeless shelters or college dorm rooms. 

How Can I Tell If a Bed is Infested With Bed Bugs?

Like we mentioned, these guys are tiny so spotting them with the naked eye isn’t easy. The CDC says that not only are they known to hide in the areas listed above, they can also hide in cracks, crevices, indentations in headboards or behind wallpaper while they wait to feed. The most tell-tale sign that a room has a bed bug problem is rusty colored blood spots on the mattress or furniture. You may also find their molted exoskeletons or smell a sweet, must odor. 

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While spotting them with your own eyes can be difficult, some of them can get as large as the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny, so it’s not impossible. 

3(ish) of Idaho's Favorite Rank Among America's Most Bed Bug Infested Cities

And that brings us to Orkin’s annual bed bug report, which ranks cities based on the number of bed bug treatments they performed between December 1, 2022 and November 30, 2023. 

Three-ish of the cities on AAA’s list of the most popular 4th of July destinations overlap with the bed bug list. 

Disney World is known for it's incredible fireworks shows year round, but they really take it to the next level for 4th of July. The chefs also roll out a series of patriotic snacks and drinks. That might be why Orlando is the sixth most popular destination for Idahoans, but the city ranks #46 for bed bugs.

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Seattle ranks second in popularity, probably in part to the Seafair 4th of July celebration and incredible fireworks it brings to Gas Works Park and South Lake Union Park. But...it also ranks #44 for bed bugs.

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What happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas…except for bed bugs. Vegas is the #3 destination from Idahoans and just ended up on the bed bug report for the first time, ranking #35.

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We said "three-ish" cities because Anaheim doesn't technically appear on the list but Los Angels that's just 26 miles way? It ranks #5 for bed bugs!

Planning a trip elsewhere? Here's a look at Orkin's full list to help you prepare to be on the look out for signs of bed bug infestations when you arrive at your hotel or Airbnb.

These 50 US Cities are Crawling with Bed Bugs

Every year the pest control gurus at Orkin put together a list of the Top 50 Bed Bug Destinations in the United States. Which areas do you travel to that you should take extra care to watch out for these blood-sucking insects? Let's countdown to the most bed-bug-riddled city in the United States.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow

KEEP READING: If You See Any of These 6 Bugs in Idaho, Kill Them Immediately

According to the USDA, Idaho could potentially be a good home for these invasive insects. If their populations get out of control, it could mean devastation for some agricultural industries.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

The Most On-Time Airlines at Boise Airport Ranked from Worst to First

According to statistics from the United States Department of Transportation, this is how the major airlines serving the Boise Airport ranked in terms of on-time departures in 2023.

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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