The Globe Mapped Where All of Boston’s Bed Bugs Are (Almost everywhere.)

'Thanks for letting me crash at your place, Boston!' -Thousands of bed bugs

Lifelike 3D rendering of a bedbug. Includes clipping path!Created in modo 401 & ZBrush.

photo via iStock/animated funk

Ah, free stuff. Free stuff like futons and end tables, off-beat paintings, even, or record players or decorative rugs. Free stuff hauled out of ratty, overcrowded apartments and dumped on the curb to baste in the late-summer humidity.

What could go wrong?

Well, exactly the same thing that has been going wrong for eons in Boston come fall, as bargain hunters look for inexpensive home furnishings among things discarded on move-in day, consequences be damned: bed bugs.

The mattress-dwelling bugs love Allston Christmas. And lest you forget just how much of the city has been populated by the things, the Globe’s Matt Rocheleau has put together a gross map using city data for every formal bed bug complaint made since 2012, all 1,822 of them.

So where are all the bed bugs in Boston, according to the map? Everywhere. Although student housing zones Allston and Kenmore are pretty well represented among the bed bug-afflicted hot spots, reports of infestations are pretty evenly spread out around the city. Over the last four years, East Boston appears to have had it worst.

So maybe we can’t just blame everything on incoming students, whose traffic-blocking move-in plans you can track with this helpful heat map, also courtesy of city data for street occupancy (U-Hauls in your way) permits.


Not even Storrowings are all their fault this move-in season.

But still, Allston Christmas, from a bed bug’s point of view, has got to still be a useful tool for city domination. How many hapless undergrads are, at this very second, escorting the critters into their homes? One shudders to think.

Get an up-close look at your neighborhood using the interactive map on the Globe‘s website.