For the first time, Baltimore has risen to the top of Orkin’s Top 50 Bed Bug Cities list for 2017. In the six years Orkin has released the bed bug city rankings, this is the first time Baltimore has made the top five, moving up nine spots since last year. Four metro regions — Las Vegas, Portland, Salt Lake City and Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem — made the list for the first time ever this year.
The ranking below is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from December 1, 2015 – November 30, 2016. It includes both residential and commercial treatments.
While the 50 metro areas listed above required the most treatments for bed bugs in 2016, Orkin has treated for bed bugs in all 50 states and around the world.
Bed Bug Infestation On The Rise
Bed bugs are a growing issue, which is reflected by a 10 percent increase in Orkin’s bed bug revenue over last year.
“We have more people affected by bed bugs in the United States now than ever before,” said Orkin Entomologist and Director of Technical Services Ron Harrison, Ph.D. “They were virtually unheard of in the U.S. 10 years ago.”
According to a 2015 “Bugs without Borders Survey” by the National Pest Management Association, nearly all (99.6 percent) of pest professionals nationwide have treated bed bugs in the past year, up from five, 10, and 15 years ago.
Bed bugs are great hitchhikers because they travel from place to place with ease, including luggage, purses, and other belongings. Bed bugs can be found anywhere, from single family homes, apartments and hotel, to public places like movie theaters, public transit, and libraries and offices.
Bed bugs can be difficult to detect and treat because of their small size and ability to survive up to a year without feeding. They are about the size of an apple seed when fully grown, and can hide around seams of a mattress, behind headboards and in cracks and crevices, usually within a five-foot radius of the bed. The first signs of a bed bug infestation are often the bed bugs themselves or small dark stains bed bugs can leave behind.
“People may have bed bugs and not know it, because many people have no physical reaction to bed bug bites,” said Harrison. “That’s why it’s important for people everywhere to inspect for bed bugs regularly.”