Bed Bugs Named 2018 'Pest of the Year'

Bed bugs topped the list of America's most pesky pests for the second year in a row, according to Terminix, a provider of termite and pest control services and a ServiceMaster (NYSE: SERV) company.

The 2018 Pest of the Year popped up in searches a staggering 6.7 million times during 2018. The announcement was made Thursday concomitant with the release of the company’s second annual Entomologists’ Almanac, a chronicle of the year in pest trends, which can be accessed through

The Pest of the Year title was derived from total internet searches over the year. While bed bugs claimed the title again, the list did see some notable shakeups. Opossums overtook scorpions for the number-two spot, and squirrels scuttled their way onto the list for the first time. 

1         Bed Bug
2         Opossum
3         Scorpion
4         Spider
5         Hornet
6         Mosquito
7         Silverfish
8         Squirrel
9         Centipede
10         Cockroach

“It’s no surprise bed bugs have been named Pest of the Year,” said Matthew Stevenson, president of Terminix Residential. “From identification to eradication, Americans are curious about the pest, and Terminix has continued to see increased reports of bed bugs since the 1990s.”

Also featured within the Almanac are the 18 pest-iest states of 2018, which are determined by analyzing per capita searches about pests. The District of Columbia searched for pests more than any other location, followed by North Carolina and Massachusetts. It wasn’t just the East Coast that had pests top of mind, with states from Washington to Tennessee making the list.

1         District of Columbia
2         North Carolina
3         Massachusetts
4         Ohio
5         Washington
6         New Hampshire
7         Rhode Island
8         Oregon
9         New York
10         Indiana
11         Michigan
12         Pennsylvania
13         Virginia
14         New Jersey
15         Illinois
16         Tennessee
17         Delaware
18         Kansas

Every state even has its own pest social trends. Based on tweets per capita, Texas chatted more about mosquitoes than any other state, while a raccoon scaling a skyscraper got Minnesotans tweeting most in the nation.

Pest       State
Rat       District of Columbia
Mouse       Florida
Squirrel       Alaska
Ant       California
Scorpion       Nevada
Mosquito       Texas
Cockroach       Hawaii
Wasp       Arizona
Raccoon       Minnesota
Spider       New York

Certain pests dominated the social media conversation more than others. Spiders were the most-tweeted-about pest of the year, with more than 21 million tweets about the eight-legged animal, followed by rats and mice.

        Pest       Posts(Jan. 1–Nov. 20, 2018)
1       Spider       21,500,000
2       Rat       12,000,000
3       Mouse       11,700,000
4       Squirrel       7,330,000
5       Ant       7,310,000
6       Scorpion       5,550,000
7       Mosquito       4,960,000
8       Cockroach       4,420,000
9       Wasp       3,640,000
10       Raccoon       2,760,000

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