Bed bugs have been named the 2018 Pest of the Year for the second consecutive year, thanks to Americans searching for information about these pests a staggering 6.7 million times during 2018. The announcement comes as part of Terminix’s second annual Entomologists’ Almanac, a chronicle of the year in pest trends, spanning internet searches to social media.
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.
“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.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.
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.
With the release of Ant-Man and the Wasp, Drake’s Scorpion album and a new Spider-Man movie, pests made an impact in pop culture in 2018, making it no surprise these pests ranked high on the list for social chatter.
The full Entomologists’ Almanac can be accessed at Terminix.com.