The Cities Having the Most Bedbug Treatments

January 14, 2020

A bedbug infestation in a home can be an owner’s worst nightmare. These tiny bugs, 4–5 mm in length with red to dark brown colors, can easily travel from place to place, hitching rides on luggage and purses and ultimately take up residence inside a home.

Some parts of the country may be more prone to bedbug infestations. Orkin, a national pest company, released its annual rankings of the top bedbug cities. Washington, D.C., topped its list this year, while Baltimore fell to second spot after three years in the number one spot. Orkin’s list is based on treatment data from Dec. 1, 2018, to Nov. 30, 2019. The rankings reflect both residential and commercial treatments.

  1. Washington, D.C. (+1 on this year’s list compared to last year)
  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 (+2)
  16. Champaign, IL (+7)
  17. Dallas (–2)
  18. Grand Rapids (+2)
  19. Pittsburgh (+6)
  20. Charlotte (–1)
  21. Richmond, Va. (–5)
  22. Greenville, S.C. (–4)
  23. Knoxville, Tenn. (–1)
  24. Buffalo, N.Y. (–3)
  25. Greensboro, N.C. (–4)

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

The top three places that pest professionals most often find bedbegs: single-family homes, apartments and condos, and hotels and motels.

One sign of a bedbeg infestation, according to Orkin: Small black, ink-like stains left behind on a bed.

To avoid bedbugs from taking up residence in a home, Orkin offers the following tips:

  • Check the places where bedbugs hide during the day, including mattress tags and seams, and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets, and picture frames.
  • Decrease clutter around the home so it’s easier to spot bedbugs.
  • Inspect the residence regularly—when you move in, after a trip, when a service worker visits, or after guests stay overnight.
  • Examine all second-hand furniture before bringing it inside your home. (This is a common way for bedbugs to be introduced into homes, Orkin says.)
  • Wash and dry your bed linens often, using the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.