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Washington, D.C., Now Leads Nation in Bed Bugs

Posted on Jan 20 2020 - 5:01am by 2!xMyNQ#FV8h4U

A new study by Orkin shows the nation’s capital moving into the top spot for infestations.


By Scott Sowers  ( Article

Orkin, based in Atlanta, recently released its annual list of cities with the most reported bed bug infestations, and Washington, D.C., is in the No. 1 position. Nearby Baltimore drops to No. 2 after spending three consecutive years on top of the list. The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from December 1, 2018, to November 30, 2019. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

Although bed bugs have few friends, their physical danger to humans is negligible. “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. “They are excellent hitchhikers, and they reproduce quickly, which make it nearly impossible to prevent bed bugs. Sanitation has nothing to do with where you’ll find them.”

Any place inhabited by humans is fertile ground for an infestation. The hospitality industry is especially financially vulnerable. According to the 2018 Bugs without Borders Survey by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), the top three places where pest professionals report finding bed bugs are single-family homes (91%), apartments/condominiums (89%), and hotels/motels (68%). With that, hotels spend an average of $6,383 per bed bug incident.

The bugs are especially prolific at reproduction as females can lay one to five eggs a day. Bug lifespans can last more than 300 days assuming they have an adequate food supply. Tell-tale signs of bed bugs could include small black spots indicating bed bug feces or nymph bed bugs in places such as mattress seams, bed frames, and furniture. Their small size and ability to hide make them difficult to see during the day.

“The key to preventing a bed bug infestation is early detection,” Hartzer said. “When one or more bed bugs enter a space, we call it an introduction. During an introduction, bed bugs probably haven’t started reproducing yet, but they could soon. Vigilance is key to stopping bed bugs before infestation levels.”

Here’s Orkin’s latest Top 50 list, with the movement from last year’s rankings in parentheses:

  1. Washington, D.C. (+1)
  2. Baltimore (-1)
  3. Chicago
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Columbus, Ohio
  6. New York
  7. Detroit (+1)
  8. Cincinnati (-1)
  9. Indianapolis (+5)
  10. Atlanta (-1)
  11. Cleveland
  12. Philadelphia (-2)
  13. San Francisco (-1)
  14. Raleigh, N.C. (-1)
  15. Norfolk, Va. (+2)
  16. Champaign, Ill. (+7)
  17. Dallas (-2)
  18. Grand Rapids, Mich. (+2)
  19. Pittsburgh (+6)
  20. Charlotte, N.C. (-1)
  21. Richmond, Va. (-5)
  22. Greenville, S.C. (-4)
  23. Knoxville, Tenn. (-1)
  24. Buffalo, N.Y. (-3)
  25. Greensboro, N.C. (-4)
  26. Charleston, W.Va. (+5)
  27. Denver
  28. St. Louis (+2)
  29. Nashville, Tenn. (-5)
  30. Lansing, Mich. (+2)
  31. Flint, Mich. (+16)
  32. Miami (-3)
  33. Milwaukee (-3)
  34. Tampa, Fla. (+1)
  35. Omaha, Neb. (+2)
  36. Orlando, Fla. (+5)
  37. Davenport, Iowa (+5)
  38. Houston (-12)
  39. Syracuse, N.Y. (-6)
  40. Boston (-2)
  41. Cedar Rapids, Iowa (+3)
  42. Myrtle Beach, S.C. (new)
  43. Seattle (-4)
  44. San Diego (+5)
  45. Phoenix (-11)
  46. Fort Wayne, Ind. (+2)
  47. Las Vegas (-7)
  48. Hartford, Conn. (-5)
  49. Dayton, Ohio (-3)
  50. Toledo, Ohio (new)