Orkin Releases Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List, Baltimore Remains Front Runner

Atlanta and Philadelphia break into top 10

ATLANTA (January 14, 2019) – For the third year in a row, Baltimore tops Orkin’s Top 50 Bed Bug Cities list, released today. New York moved up two spots, while Atlanta and Philadelphia joined the top 10, replacing San Francisco and Dallas, respectively.

Five cities moved into the top 50 this year, including Lansing, Mich., Orlando, Fla., Davenport, Iowa, Ft. Wayne, Ind. and Youngstown, Ohio. Houston dropped nine positions, while Greenville, S.C., rose seven positions, entering the top 20.

The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from December 1, 2017 – November 30, 2018. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

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

“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 normally nocturnal insects that come out of hiding to take blood meals from sleeping or quietly resting humans. They are always in motion and do not have a regular hiding place. Bed bugs will attach to luggage, purses, backpacks, jackets and other belongings, dropping off almost anywhere to find a new carrier.

According to the 2018 “Bugs without Borders Survey” by the National Pest Management Association, the top three places where pest professionals report finding bed bugs are single-family homes (91 percent), apartments/condominiums (89 percent) and hotels/motels (68 percent). With that, hotels spend an average of $6,383 per bed bug incident¹.

A bed bug introduction occurs when one or more bed bugs enter a space. During an introduction, bed bugs probably haven’t started reproducing yet, but they could soon.

Bed bugs are capable of rapid population growth with an adult female laying two to five eggs per day (up to 500 in her lifetime), often making treatment challenging. Adult bed bugs are about the size of an apple seed and typically reddish brown. Their small size and ability to hide make them difficult to see during the day, so it’s important to look for the black, ink-like stains they can leave behind.

Bed bugs are an elusive threat to your household and beyond, so it’s critical to detect and treat for them as early as possible. Anyone who suspects a bed bug infestation should contact a pest management professional immediately.

Here are proactive tips Orkin recommends for homeowners and travelers:

At 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 all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home. This is a common way for bed bugs to be introduced into homes.
  • Dry potentially infested bed linens, curtains and stuffed animals on the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.

During travel, remember the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to inspect for bed bugs:

  • Survey the hotel room for signs of an infestation. Be on the lookout for tiny, ink-colored stains on mattress seams, in soft furniture and behind headboards.
  • Lift and look in bed bug hiding spots: the mattress, box spring and other furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.
  • Elevate luggage away from the bed and wall. The safest places are in the bathroom or on counters.
  • Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and once you return home from a trip. Always store luggage away from the bed.
  • Place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting after you return home.

For more information about bed bug prevention, visit Orkin.com. You can also find 100 facts about bed bugs in Orkin’s bed bug e-book: “100 Reasons Why Bed Bugs Are Freaky – and Fascinating” and additional detection tips in Orkin’s video on “How to Check for Bed Bugs in Hotel Rooms.”

About Orkin, LLC

Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects. The company operates more than 400 locations with almost 8,000 employees. Using a proprietary, three-step approach, Orkin provides customized services to approximately 1.7 million homeowners and businesses in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America, Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia, the Mediterranean and Africa. Orkin is committed to studying pest biology and applying scientifically proven methods. The company collaborates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and eight major universities to conduct research and help educate consumers and businesses on pest-related health threats. Since 2014, Orkin’s Start with Science™ initiative has donated $670,000 to fund science and math projects in public schools across the nation. Learn more about Orkin at Orkin.com. Orkin is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rollins Inc. (NYSE: ROL). Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.