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ATLANTA — Warning: the following story may induce extreme itching.
Orkin, an Atlanta-based pest controller, has once again released its Top 50 Bed Bug Cities list, proving that nowhere is safe when you’re travelling.
Findings were based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from Dec. 1, 2017 to Nov. 30, 2018. Rankings include both residential and commercial treatments.
For the third consecutive year, Baltimore had the unfortunate honour of topping the list, followed by Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio. In fact, the top five rankings remain the same from the previous year, a disheartening outcome to say the least.
“Bed bugs are the number one urban pest in many cities today,” said Chelle Hartzer, an Orkin entomologist. “They are master hitchhikers, so no one is immune. Sanitation has nothing to do with prevention: from public transit to five-star resorts, bed bugs have been and can be found everywhere humans are.”
The tiny critters will attach luggage, purses, backpacks, jackets and other belongs before dropping off almost anywhere to find a new carrier. According to the 2018 ‘Bugs without Borders Survey’ by the National Pest Management Association, the top three places where pest professionals report finding bed bugs are single-family homes (91%), apartments/condominiums (89%), and hotels/motels (68%).
So what can you do to protect yourself while on your travels? Orkin recommends the acronym S.L.E.E.P.:
Here is the complete Top 50 Bed Bug Cities list: