ATLANTA (WFLA/WNCN) — Four North Carolina metro areas are included in Orkin’s most recent list of Top 50 Bed Bug Cities.
Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, Asheville and Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem all made the list this year.
Baltimore topped the pest control company’s list this year, moving up nine spots since last year and beating out Chicago, which had held the top stop for several years.
Las Vegas, Portland, Salt Lake City and Greensboro-High Point Winston-Salem made their debut on the list this year.
The list ranks cities by the number of bed bug treatments Orkin serviced from Dec. 1, 2015 – Nov. 30, 2016, and after an Orkin inspection verified bed bugs were present. The list includes both residential and commercial treatments.
Below are the cities that made the list. A city’s increase or decrease from the previous year’s rankings is listed in parenthesis:
1. Baltimore (+9)
2. Washington, D.C. (+1)
3. Chicago (-2)
4. New York
5. Columbus, Ohio
6. Los Angeles (-4)
9. Philadelphia (-3)
10. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (+4)
11. Richmond-Petersburg, Va. (-2)
12. Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (-1)
13. Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio (-1)
14. Indianapolis (+1)
15. Dallas-Ft. Worth (-2)
16. Atlanta (+3)
18. Buffalo, N.Y. (+2)
19. Charlotte, N.C. (-3)
20. Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va. (+10)
21. Knoxville, Tenn. (+3)
22. Denver (-4)
23. Nashville, Tenn. (-1)
24. Pittsburgh (+5)
25. Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.-Asheville, N.C. (-4)
26. Phoenix (-3)
27. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Mich. (+5)
28. Boston (-3)
29. Milwaukee (-3)
30. Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, Ill. (+12)
31. Hartford-New Haven, Conn. (+3)
32. Dayton, Ohio (-4)
33. Omaha, Neb. (+3)
34. Seattle-Tacoma (-6)
35. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. (-4)
36. Charleston-Huntington, W.Va. (-1)
37. St. Louis (+3)
38. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Dubuque, Iowa (+3)
39. Myrtle Beach-Florence, S.C. (+11)
40. Syracuse, N.Y. (+6)
41. Louisville, Ky. (-2)
42. Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem, N.C.
43. Lexington, Ky. (-10)
44. Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla. (-6)
45. Kansas City, Mo. (-1)
46. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (-3)
47. Salt Lake City, Utah
48. Honolulu, Hawaii
49. Las Vegas
50. Portland, Ore.
Bed bugs are not necessarily a sign of uncleanliness. They have been found in upscale homes and hotels, movie theaters, schools and on public transit.
Orkin recommends homeowners, tenants and travelers all over the world should take the following precautions to help prevent bed bugs:
Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check locations where bed bugs hide during the day, including furniture, mattress seams and bed sheets, as well as behind baseboards, electrical outlets and picture frames.
Decrease clutter around your home to make bed bug inspections and detection much easier.
Inspect and quarantine 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 red or brown spots on sheets.
Lift and look in bed bug hiding spots: the mattress, box spring, sheets and furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.
Elevate luggage on a rack away from the bed and wall. The safest places are in the bathroom or on counters.
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.
While bed bugs are not known to spread human diseases like many other pests and some people have no reaction to bed bug bites, others may experience itchy red welts and swelling.