For some time, New York City ranked among the top ten most infested cities in the United States of America. The City’s bed bug problem is primarily due to its large population. Residents or visitors of New York City have to think of ways of avoiding bed bugs constantly.

Bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed, but you can avoid them with the necessary precautions. It would help to know different vital information, for example, the most infested boroughs in New York City. This article offers this information and everything you should know to avoid bed bugs in New York City.

Bed bugs History in New York City

New York City has 272 hotels that are members of its hotel association. Out of the 272 hotels, 176 reported bed bug infestations. There have also been reports of bed bugs in apartment complexes, public buses, and homes, to name a few.

Contrary to what most people believe, the bed bug problem in New York City did not start recently. According to a report issued in the Guardian, a massive City-wide infestation kicked off in late 2010. In 2010 alone, there were approximately 24,000 reported major bed bug infestations. That said, bed bugs likely existed in New York City before 2010 but in small populations.

Current infestation Outlook in New York City

Nothing strikes terror in the hearts of New Yorkers more than the thought of exposure to a bed bug infestation. From the populated neighborhoods of Brooklyn to the less populous districts of Staten Island, bed bugs are a huge problem. The agonizing truth is that most people don’t realize they have a bed bug problem during an infestation’s early stages. Bed bugs thrive in New York City due to a combination of factors, including:

  • The City’s size
  • High population density
  • A thriving tourism sector
  • Busy lifestyles led by most New Yorkers.

New York City comprises five boroughs, namely Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. Some boroughs in New York City have higher infestations than others. As of December 2021, New York was the 12th most bedbug-infested City in the United States of America.

Things are looking up for New Yorkers and anyone planning to visit the City if history is anything to go by. New York City has ranked among the top 10 most infested cities for the last couple of years. According to reports from leading bed bugs control companies such as Orkin, New York ranked as follows:

  • 7th in 2018 50 most infested cities in the USA
  • 2nd in 2019’s list
  • 6th in 2020

New York City’s Most Bed Bug Infested Boroughs

Bed bug infestations can occur anywhere, but heavily populated areas face more risks than densely populated ones. Some boroughs in New York City have more significant infestations than others. Here is a comprehensive outline of the state of infestations in New York’s five boroughs:


Brooklyn holds the top spot for bed bug infestations in New York City. According to a world population review report, Brooklyn is the most populated New York City borough with 2,589,970 residents. With this vast population, it makes sense that Brooklyn is the most infested borough in New York City.

Flatbush, Brooklyn’s most densely populated neighborhood, has the most bed bug infestation reports. The hip neighborhood is home to Brooklyn College and a flourishing arts community that attracts new residents daily. It is, therefore, more likely to continue being the most dangerous neighborhood for bed bug infestations.

The Bronx

Like all boroughs in New York City, bed bug infestations are not strange to residents of the Bronx. Although it is not the leading bed bug-infested borough, the Bronx leads on unresolved bed bug complaints. In 2019, this borough mad news following investigations on unresolved bed bug complaints in a government-subsidized apartment building.

Wakefield neighborhood in the Bronx leads in the number of bed bug violations. It would be best to remember that bed bug violations do not paint an accurate picture of bed bug infestations. Nonetheless, it would be wise to treat violation reports as red flags warning you of a high risk of infestation.


The Manhattan borough is at the center of New York City. With millions of residents and travelers touring Manhattan daily, it’s a mainstay in New York’s list of infested boroughs. The bed bug situation in this famous borough is likely to worsen as it experiences a period of immense population growth.

West Harlem is the leading bed bug-infested neighborhood in Manhattan. Most of Harlem’s residents live in rental homes that expose them to the risk of infestation. Before you check into a rental home, you ought to perform due diligence and ensure it’s free of bed bugs.


Queens is one of the most densely populated boroughs in New York City but with the lowest bed bug infestation levels. Nonetheless, the borough’s hotels have come across deep criticism for bed bug infestations recently. According to a Pest Strategies report, Queens County inn and Suites Long Island City are significant hot spots for bed bug infestation. It will be wise to avoid these hotels if you plan to visit Queens soon.

Staten Island

Staten Island is the best borough to visit and live in if you want to avoid bed bugs in New York City. It has an estimated population of 476,000 residents, making it the least populated borough. It is also worth noting that limited travel out and into the Island borough helps to keep the bed bug population low.

How to Find Out If a Building Has Bed Bugs in New York

As one of the leading bed bug-infested Cities in the USA, New York City’s buildings face a high risk of infestation. Before you visit any facility, you must find out if it has bed bugs. Here are various resources that can assist you to avoid bed bugs in New York’s buildings;

The world bed bug registry project

The world bed bug registry project is a website that started in 2012 in response to surging cases of infestations worldwide. The website allows users to list infested spaces such as rental properties, homes, hostels, hotels, and public hangout spots. Before visiting any building in New York City, it is advisable to visit the website and check if it’s listed.

Since its inception, thousands of high-risk spaces in the USA and worldwide have been reported on the website. Once an individual lists a building, it cannot be erased, meaning you wouldn’t know if the management resolved the situation. This issue brought the world bed bug registry project’s validity into question.

The New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development

The City administration allows New Yorkers to report bed bug infestations to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. You can visit the organization’s headquarters or contact them if you want to know if a building has bed bugs. You can visit the HPD’s headquarters at 100 Gold Street, New York, NY 10038, or contact them via the general inquiries phone line is 212-863-6300.

Bedbug Reports

Bedbug Reports is an online registry platform that allows users to report infestations in the USA and Canada. Unlike the World Bed Bug Registry website, its administrators remove any building from its registry when the management resolves the problem. In essence, its information is more reliable compared to reports on the World Bed Bug Registry Project.

New York City Hotels bed bug reviews over time

What to Do If You Find Bed Bugs in New York City

We all hope and pray to never have to deal with bed bugs anywhere, including our homes, apartments, offices, and hotels. Finding bed bugs often triggers shock and panic so much that we fail to take the correct measures. Here are some actions you ought to take when you find bed bugs in New York City:

Take a photo of the bed bug if you can

The US Environmental Protection Agency advises all US residents to take a photo of a bed bug if they come across it. Taking a picture will help in several ways, including:

  • Showing the exterminator if they need to confirm that there is an infestation
  • It will act as evidence in court if you decide to seek legal recourse

Report the infestation

If you live in a rental property, you need to report an infestation as soon as you identify it. You can decide to report it to your landlord or contact the New York Department of Housing Preservation and Development. You should inform the management immediately if you are in a hotel room and take all necessary measures to avoid bringing bed bugs home.

Inform anyone you think might be exposed to the bed bugs

Admitting that you have a bed bug problem, especially in your home, is challenging. However, you must remember that one hitchhiking bed bug is all it takes to spread an infestation. The humane course of action is to notify anyone you think might have been exposed to the bed bugs.

Seek legal help

New York rental property laws allow you to sue your landlord if a bed bug infestation occurs due to negligence. You will be compensated if the court determines that a bed bug infestation results from mishandling or failure to disclose. The first step of the legal process is contacting a personal injury lawyer.

Take necessary treatment measures if the infestation is at home

If you discover an infestation at your home in New York City, the buck stops with you. There are several affordable bed bug treatment methods you can use to get rid of bed bugs. You also need to remain calm during the entire treatment process to avoid mistakes when getting rid of bed bugs.

Final Thoughts

Bed bugs are problematic in New York City. It is challenging to avoid infestations in this congested and busy City, but taking precautions can help you stay bed bug-free. I am confident that the insights shared in this post are helpful if you adhere to them.


Are landlords responsible for bed bugs in New York City?

Yes, New York laws classify bed bugs as a class B violation, meaning the law considers these pesky critters hazardous. The landlord has one month from the day of notification to get rid of them. If your landlord fails to treat the bed bugs, you can sue them.

Which bed bug species is dominant in New York City?

Cimex lectularius is the most dominant bed bug species in New York City and most States in the USA.

How do bed bugs spread in New York City?

There are two ways to spread bed bugs: by crawling and hitchhiking. Bed bugs can only crawl 20- 40 feet, spreading mainly when humans unintentionally transport them to new locations.

Which is the best bed bug management company in New York City?

There are several excellent bed bug exterminators in New York City, such as MMPC. Visit yelp reviews for a comprehensive outline of the best bed bug exterminators you can trust in New York City.