PATCH | January 13, 2020 | by Paul Scicchitano
The rankings were based on metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from Dec. 1, 2018, to Nov. 30, 2019. Both residential and commercial treatments were included.
For the last three years, Baltimore was the No. 1 city in the nation for bed bugs; but its nearby neighbor, Washington, D.C., took the top spot in 2020.
Here are the top 10 cities overall:
- Washington, D.C.
- Los Angeles
- Columbus, Ohio
- New York
“While bed bugs have not been found to transmit any diseases to humans, they can be an elusive threat to households,” said Chelle Hartzer, an Orkin entomologist who was referenced in a press release for the rankings. “They are excellent hitchhikers, and they reproduce quickly, which make it nearly impossible to prevent bed bugs.”
A description for the blood-sucking bugs on the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website sounds like something from a Stephen King novel: “parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep.”
The reddish-brown bugs are typically 4 to 5 millimeters in length, or the size of Abraham Lincoln’s head on a penny. The creatures are also known for multiplying incredibly quickly, as females can deposit one to five eggs a day in the right conditions.
Orkin provides a range of tips to prevent bed bugs from inhabiting your home.
- Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check the places where bed bugs hide during the day, including mattress tags and seams, and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets and picture frames.
- Decrease clutter around your home to make it easier to spot bed bugs on your own or during professional inspections.
- Inspect your residence regularly — when you move in, after a trip, when a service worker visits or after guests stay overnight.
- Examine all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home. This is a common way for bed bugs to be introduced into homes.
- Wash and dry your bed linens often, using the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.