Life Cycle of the Bed Bug

For the third year in a row, Baltimore tops Orkin’s Top 50 Bed Bug Cities list. 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. St. 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, Iowa (new to list)
43. Hartford, Conn. (-13)
44. Cedar Rapids, Iowa (-4)
45. Dayton, Ohio (-11)
46. Honolulu (-3)
47. Flint, Mich. (-9)
48. Ft. 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 incident.

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 for the facility:
 • Inspect your facility 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 facility to make it easier to spot bed bugs on your own or during professional inspections.
 • Inspect all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your facility. This is a common way for bed bugs to be introduced into facilities.
 • Dry potentially infested bed linens, curtains and stuffed animals on the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.