Using Google Trends to Spot Bed Bug Problematic Areas

Author: Andrew Froehlich
Published: August 17, 2010 at 9:17 am


Google Trends made a big splash back in early 2009 when the H1N1 "Swine Flu" virus began. The tool was used as a barometer to watch for people searching for symptoms of the illness.

Recently, there has been an increase in the amount of homes, hotels and businesses in the United States that have detected pest infestation. A poll was conducted by the New York Daily News that suggested that 1 in 10 New Yorkers has bed bugs.

I wanted to know what other States had a bed bug infestation problem, so I navigated over to Google Trends and did a search for bed bugs. After narrowing that search down to the United States, the top 10 cities States searching for this term in the last 30 days were:

1. Cincinnati, OH, USA
2. New York, NY, USA
3. Delray Beach, FL, USA
4. Denver, CO, USA
5. Philadelphia, PA, USA
6. Reston, VA, USA
7. Boston, MA, USA
8. Phoenix, AZ, USA
9. Minneapolis, MN, USA
10. Herndon, VA, USA

By far, Cincinnati, Ohio had the largest amount of people searching for this term. I also ran the same search term that calculates the popularity of US cities since mid-2003 and the results were:

1. Cincinnati, OH, USA
2. New York, NY, USA
3. Louisville, KY, USA
4. Denver, CO, USA
5. Vancouver, Canada
6. Toronto, Canada
7. Edmonton, Canada
8. Philadelphia, PA, USA
9. Washington, DC, USA
10. Boston, MA, USA

So as you can see, Cincinnati and New York have been the top two searchers for this term not only in the past 30 days, but for the past 7 years as well. It is interesting to note however that in the past 30 days, there are a few cities that seem to be more concerned about bed bugs now than in the past several years including:

Delray Beach, FL
Reston, VA
Phoenix, AZ
Minneapolis, MN
Herndon, VA

Please keep in mind that this really has no scientific value other than the trends in these cities for the term "bed bugs" seems to have spiked recently.

I'm doing a great deal of international travel and have been away from the U.S. for most of the year. When I stay in hotels I am always concerned with the uptick in bed bug infestations overseas. Now it looks like I need to be aware of the situation both at home and abroad.


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Article Author: Andrew Froehlich

Andrew Froehlich is the President of West Gate Networks, a network and IT consulting firm based in Colorado. He has over 12 years of technology experience with 10 of those years focused on network, security and IP voice solutions. …

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