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Baltimore tops Bed Bug Cities list for third-straight year, according to Orkin

Posted at 5:03 PM, Jan 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-15 17:10:58-05

ATLANTA — Baltimore, for the third-consecutive year, has topped Orkin’s Top 50 Bed Bug Cities list, the company announced Tuesday.

“Bed bugs are the number one urban pest in many cities today,” said Chelle Hartzer, an Orkin entomologist. “They are master hitchhikers, so no one is immune. Sanitation has nothing to do with prevention: from public transit to five-star resorts, bed bugs have been and can be found everywhere humans are.”

Bed bugs are typically nocturnal – a behavioral pattern that aligns well with human sleep cycles and the insects’ feeding routines. Bed bugs sustain themselves with “blood meals,” the Atlanta-based pest control company said. When humans sleep on a surface infested by the tiny pests, the bed bugs come out and collect those meals. Most people never feel bed bugs bite, and few have much reaction, but bed bug bites can lead to painful, itchy skin irritation.

READ MORE: How to keep bed bugs out

Bed bugs are always in motion and don’t rely on regular hiding spots, Orkin said, so they can attach themselves to luggage ,purses, backpacks, jackets and other belongs, falling off potentially anywhere and then finding a new carrier.

A bed bug “introduction” occurs when one or more enter a new space, Orkin said. Their populations can grow rapidly as adult female bed bugs can from two to five eggs a day, and up to 500 in a lifetime.

READ MORE: Baltimore company uses dogs to detect bed bugs

Adult bed bugs are about the size of apple seeds, and reddish-brown in color. Since they are small and not often seen in the daylight, Orkin advises people to look for the black, ink-like stains they can leave behind.

Orkin recommends several tips to avoid or get ahead of potential bed bug infestations.

At home, people should inspect their furniture, particularly their beds, for bed bugs regularly. They are typically found in mattress tags and seams, behind baseboards and headboards, in electrical outlets and picture frames. Decreasing clutter is another helpful tactic. Inspect all secondhand furniture prior to bringing it inside. If any linens, curtains, towels or stuffed animals are thought to have bedbugs, put them in the dryer at the highest setting.

When traveling, inspect hotel mattresses and other hiding spots for bed bugs or the stains they leave behind. Keep luggage away from the bed. When you return home, put all dryer-safe clothing in the dryer at the highest setting for 15 minutes, and keep your luggage away from your bed at home as well.

The full list of Orkin’s bed bug rankings for U.S. cities can be seen below, as well as how many places they moved up or down the rankings:

Washington, D.C.
Los Angeles
Columbus, Ohio
New York (+2)
Cincinnati (-1)
Detroit (-1)
Atlanta (+4)
Philadelphia (+2)
Cleveland-Akron (+3)
San Francisco (-3)
Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (+2)
Indianapolis (-3)
Dallas (-5)
Norfolk, Va. (+2)
Richmond, Va. (-1)
Greenville, S.C. (+7)
Charlotte, N.C.
Grand Rapids, Mich. (+3)
Buffalo, N.Y. (-1)
Knoxville, Tenn. (-1)
Nashville, Tenn. (-1)
Champaign, Ill. (+2)
Pittsburg (-1)
Houston (-9)
Denver (+1)
Milwaukee (+1)
Miami (+8)
Louis (+5)
Charleston, W.Va.
Lansing, Mich. (new to list)
Syracuse, N.Y.
Phoenix (-7)
Tampa, Fla. (+14)
Greensboro, N.C. (+10)
Omaha, Neb. (+2)
Boston (-6)
Seattle (-3)
Las Vegas (+5)
Orlando, Fla. (new to list)
Davenport, Ill. (new to list)
Hartford, Conn. (-13)
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (-4)
Dayton, Ohio (-11)
Honolulu (-3)
Flint, Mich. (-9)
Wayne, Ind. (new to list)
San Diego (-8)
Youngstown, Ohio (new to list)