MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Terminix named the 2017 pest of the year: bed bugs. The pest of the year was determined by Terminix based on its research of the highest per capita online search volume of any pest this year. Americans searched for information about bed bugs more than 7.3 million times during 2017. This announcement is accompanied by the release of the first edition of the Entomologists’ Almanac, which also features the top pests mentioned in social media posts and the 17 pest-iest states of 2017.
The almanac details internet search and social media data for 52 common pests, including critters from cockroaches to weevils, to determine which pests Americans had a bug for this year. Bed bugs were followed by scorpions, spiders and silverfish at the top of the list, demonstrating their massive infestation of Americans’ collective curiosity.
“At Terminix, we have seen a steady increase in bed bug infestations since the 1990s, so we are not surprised bed bugs are the most-searched pest of 2017,” said Paul Curtis, director, technical services at Terminix. “We are excited to release the first Entomologists’ Almanac because this data shows something we see every day at Terminix: People are searching for information about pests online. The good news is, Terminix can offer solutions for homeowners’ concerns.”
Terminix also dug into social media data to see which states have people buzzing, or tweeting, about common pests. Virginians outnumbered every other state in the country in social media posts about mosquitoes, while Idahoans post more about bed bugs than any other state in the union. And arachnophobes may want to avoid Washington state’s social media, as it leads the country in social posts about spiders1.
The Entomologists’ Almanac also named the top 17 pest-iest states of 2017, determined by analyzing per capita social media chatter about common pests in all 50 states. Among millions of posts analyzed, the highest rates of pest posts were concentrated in the District of Columbia, Texas and New York—but even states with cooler climates, such as Alaska, made their voices heard about pests that creep, buzz and crawl.