Orkin report shows Atlanta bed bugs creeping up in national rankings

Bed Bug Central public relations associate Calvin Allen shows a vial containing live bed bugs at the Bed Bug University North American Summit 2010 on September 22, 2010 in Rosemont, Illinois.

Bed Bug Central public relations associate Calvin Allen shows a vial containing live bed bugs at the Bed Bug University North American Summit 2010 on September 22, 2010 in Rosemont, Illinois.

Atlanta-based pest control services company Orkin released its latest ranking of the top 50 U.S. cities with the most bed bug infestations and bugs are still biting hard in Atlanta.

The metro ranked No. 16 on the list, jumping ahead three spots from last year’s report.

To come up with the ranking, Orkin analysts examined treatment data (both residential and commercial) from the metro areas where they performed the most bed bug treatments from Dec. 1, 2015 through Nov. 30, 2016.

"We have more people affected by bed bugs in the United States now than ever before," said Ron Harrison, Orkin entomologist and director of technical services. "They were virtually unheard of in the U.S. 10 years ago," he said.

The report’s top city with the most bed bug infestations is Baltimore, Maryland. It’s the first time the city has made the top five, moving up nine spots since last year.

Here are the top 50 cities with the most bed bug infestations, according to Orkin:

  1. Baltimore, Maryland
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Chicago, Illinois
  4. New York, New York
  5. Columbus, Ohio
  6. Los Angeles, California
  7. Detroit, Michigan
  8. Cincinnati, Ohio
  9. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  10. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, California
  11. Richmond-Petersburg, Virginia
  12. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
  13. Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio
  14. Indianapolis, Indiana
  15. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
  16. Atlanta, Georgia
  17. Houston, Texas
  18. Buffalo, New York
  19. Charlotte, North Carolina
  20. Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Virginia
  21. Knoxville, Tennessee
  22. Denver, Colorado
  23. Nashville, Tennessee
  24. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  25. Greenville-Spartanburg, South Carolina-Asheville, North Carolina
  26. Phoenix, Arizona
  27. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Michigan
  28. Boston, Massachusetts
  29. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  30. Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, Illinois
  31. Hartford-New Haven, Connecticut
  32. Dayton, Ohio
  33. Omaha, Nebraska
  34. Seattle-Tacoma, Washington
  35. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida
  36. Charleston-Huntington, West Virginia
  37. St. Louis, Missouri
  38. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Dubuque, Iowa
  39. Myrtle Beach-Florence, South Carolina
  40. Syracuse, New York
  41. Louisville, Kentucky
  42. Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, North Carolina
  43. Lexington, Kentucky
  44. Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Florida
  45. Kansas City, Montana
  46. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
  47. Salt Lake City, Utah
  48. Honolulu, Hawaii
  49. Las Vegas, Nevada
  50. Portland, Oregon

Orkin also offers tips to tackle the bed bug problem and how to prevent the issue in the first place:

At Home:

  • Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check locations where bed bugs hide during the day, including mattress seams and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets and picture frames. "I like to inspect every week when I change the sheets to make sure I don't have a visitor," Harrison says.
  • Decrease clutter around your home to make bed bug inspections and detection much easier.
  • Inspect all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home.
  • 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. Look for black or brown spots on any furniture.
  • Lift and look in bed bug hiding spots: the mattress, box spring, bedskirt and other furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.
  • Elevate luggage away from the bed and wall. The safest place is in the bathroom.
  • Examine your luggage while repacking and once you return home from a trip.
  • Place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting after you return home.