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The Good News: No Fla. City in Top 25 for Bedbugs

The top U.S. city for bedbug infestations? Washington, D.C. But even if Fla. metros seem safe, every out-of-state visitor is a potential carrier of bedbug hitchhikers.

WASHINGTON – 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.

Even with a warm and seemingly hospitable climate, however, Florida metros don’t place in the latest infestation-call report released by Orkin, a national pest control company.

Washington, D.C., topped Orkin’s list this year, while Baltimore fell to second place after three years in the No. 1 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 bedbugs: single-family homes, apartments and condos, and hotels and motels.

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

Bedbug avoidance 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 a residence regularly – when moving in, after a trip, when a service worker visits, or after guests stay overnight.
  • Examine all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside. (Orkin says it’s a common way for bedbugs to be introduced into homes.)
  • Wash and dry bed linens often, using the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.

Source: Orkin

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