Every year one of the nation’s largest pest control companies ranks cities and states according to where the largest number of bed bug treatments were performed.
This year’s top spots were occupied by our hometown cites with Baltimore coming in with the highest number of bed bug exterminations and Washington DC following as a close second.
The reasons behind these rankings are likely a combination of several factors, both cities are densely populated, have significant numbers of multi-family dwellings and see a large number of travelers each year.
This information mirrors what we have been seeing the last six years as well. Bed bugs are becoming more commonplace, and according to one entomologist, there are more people dealing with bed bugs now than ever before.
If there is an upside to bed bugs becoming more common, it would appear to us that some of the social attitudes about bed bugs have shifted and there is widespread agreement that bed bugs can happen to anyone regardless of socioeconomic status.
So in one sense, you could say that we have become more “accepting” of bed bugs. However try telling that to someone who is dealing with bed bugs — the vast majority of us will always have a zero tolerance policy for bed bugs, even though we don’t have a social stigma attached to the terrible pests.
The bad news is six years ago researchers were talking about a 5 year bed bug pandemic, which turned into a 10 year pandemic and now researchers aren’t forecasting end dates for the bed bug problem.
Having just attended the National Bed Bug Summit several months ago, it does not appear that a silver bullet is on the horizon when it comes to eliminating bed bug problems.
So what does the ranking mean for those of us living the in the Washington DC area? First, if you think it might have a bed bug problem, realize that is a very real possibility, particularly if you share walls with neighbors (apartments, condos, town homes.)
Second, if you do discover a bed bug please know you are in very good company, as more and more people in this area are having to combat bed bugs at one time or another. Finally, keep calm!
There are other reasons for unexplained skin irritations and once you start looking for spotting, you’ll be amazed by all the things that look like bed bug evidence that are not related to bed bugs at all.
DC Ranks #2 in Highest Number of Bed Bug Exterminations
Here is a list of the top 20 cities with high numbers of bed bug exterminations:
- Baltimore (+9)
- Washington, D.C. (+1)
- Chicago (-2)
- New York
- Columbus, Ohio
- Los Angeles (-4)
- Philadelphia (-3)
- San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (+4)
- Richmond-Petersburg, Va. (-2)
- Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (-1)
- Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio (-1)
- Indianapolis (+1)
- Dallas-Ft. Worth (-2)
- Atlanta (+3)
- Buffalo, N.Y. (+2)
- Charlotte, N.C. (-3)
- Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va. (+10)