Top 10 US Cities with the Highest Rate of Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are on the move around the world, becoming a global pandemic. However, some cities have been hit harder than others.


Orkin’s List of Top 10 Cities with the Highest Rate of Bed Bugs

Every year, Orkin releases a list of the top 50 cities in the United States with the highest rate of bed bug infestations. Interestingly, Baltimore drops to second place behind Washington D.C. after three consecutive years as the number 1 city. As the list clearly shows, bed bugs are all across the nation, from New Orleans to Los Angeles.

Here are the top ten most bed bug infested cities in the United States for 2019:

  1. Washington, D.C.
  2. Baltimore
  3. Chicago
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Columbus, OH
  6. New York
  7. Detroit
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Indianapolis
  10. Atlanta

Orkin bases the list on the number of commercial and residential bed bug treatments that took place within each city that year. Although this does not show the extent of the problem in cases that go untreated, it does give an idea of just how widespread the insects are in the region.


Indianapolis Breaks Into the Top 10

Indianapolis commanded a spot in the top 50 last year but this is the first year they have risen to the top 10. Clearly the bed bug problem is only growing in both cities.


Why Are Bed Bugs So Bad in Washington?

Washington D.C. is ringing in the new decade as the number one city on Orkin’s Top 50 Bed Bug Cities list. There is no easy answer to why bed bugs remain a consistent problem in the nation’s capital. Many suggest that the city’s Department of Health is limited in what they can do with no mitigation programs in place. Citations can be issued but they cannot force a landlord or owner to treat the problem. In addition, they have no city-wide control measures to help those who cannot afford treatment or are unable to have the service rendered.

Baltimore's Ongoing Bed Bug Problem

Baltimore fell to the second spot after three years as the frontrunner. The city’s Department of Housing and Community Development’s Property Maintenance Inspectors have undergone specialized training to identify bed bug infestations. Once they determine that an infestation exists within a building, they can issue warnings and citations to the owner and the occupants who are then required to take steps to eradicate the problem. Unfortunately, follow-ups are rare, so the problem continues and often only gets worse.

How To Prevent Bed Bugs

If you want to avoid these vampire-like bugs, practicing good habits can help keep your home free from a bed bug infestation. However, if you do detect bed bugs, you should take action to eliminate the problem before it grows. Discover the 13 Good Habits for Preventing Bed Bugs.

Nationwide Increase of Bed Bug Infestations

The rate of bed bug infestations is increasing every year. Bed bugs are opportunists who use every chance to travel in clothing, belongings, and luggage to new locations to set up fresh colonies. Bed bug infestations are not just confined to a single home - they are able to spread easily throughout multiplexes and apartments. Bed bugs are also becoming a significant problem in hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, daycare centers, schools, public transport, senior living facilities, movie theaters, offices, and churches.


Sanitation and Bed Bugs

Many people mistakenly believe that bed bug infestations in urban centers are the result of sanitation problems. While ghettos and subsidized housing apartments do suffer from extreme cases of bed bugs, sanitation has nothing to do with the problem. Typically, landlords refuse the funds needed to properly treat and eradicate the pests from the location allowing the bed bug population to grow and spread as people move to other housing options. However, bed bugs can just as easily occur in upscale homes and resorts. The difference is that they are typically identified and treated immediately. If the problem is eradicated swiftly there is less chance of spreading.


History of Bed Bugs

For 50 years there were nearly zero bed bugs in America and the pests were believed to be eradicated. Unfortunately, in recent years, due to the ban of numerous toxic pesticides and an uptick in international travel, they have reemerged. Researchers have now found that the bug’s genetics have altered over time, making them more resistant to pesticides and even harder to kill.


Conquering Bed Bugs

With the steady increase in infestation rates, it doesn’t seem bed bugs are going anywhere soon. The best defense is to be aware and stay educated on new, innovative technologies and treatments options that may offer a solution!


Get more information on Bed Bugs:

17 Surprising Facts About Bed Bugs

The Real Cost of Bed Bugs

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