Yikes! Tampa And Orlando Make Orkin’s ‘Top Bed Bug Cities’ List

Tampa Comes In At 35 And Orlando Comes In At 44 On Orkin’s ‘Top Bed Bug Cities’ List

The city of Tampa and Orlando have made another list, but it’s a list most people are cringing over. The two popular cities both earned a spot on Orkin’s ‘Top Bed Bug Cities’ list.

The list consists of the Top 50 Bed Bug Cities and a total of three Florida metro areas made the cut- Tampa, Orlando and Miami.

Tampa is the 35th most bug-infested city, while Orlando is the 44th and Miami is the 46th. Topping the list was Baltimore, up nine spots from last year, beating Chicago. Chicago had help the top spot for several years, but dropped down to number three on the list.

According to Orkin, the list ranks cities by number of bed bug treatments serviced by Orkin from December 1, 2015 to November 30, 2016, and after an Orkin inspector confirmed bed bug presence.

The Top 50 Bed Bug Cities list is below, with a plus or minus showing an increase or decrease from last year’s ranking:

1. Baltimore (+9)
2. Washington, D.C. (+1)
3. Chicago (-2)
4. New York
5. Columbus, Ohio
6. Los Angeles (-4)
7. Detroit
8. Cincinnati
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)
17. Houston
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.

Photo: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Identifying Bed Bugs

According to Orkin, bed bugs don’t necessarily mean uncleanliness. In fact, they have been found in upscale places. The bugs feed on blood as their only source of food.

Bed bug presence can be detected by blood spots found on sheets, bites and bed bug feces. Bites are most commonly found on the hands, neck, face, shoulders, legs and arms- the parts of the body normally exposed to bugs during sleeping. Orkin says that bites are usually grouped together in a small area or in a zigzag pattern.

Bites are normally small, flat or raised areas that are inflamed, itchy, red or blistered. Reactions to a bed bug bite aren’t always immediate, though not everyone reacts the same.

How To Prevent Bed Bugs

According to Orkin’s website, “A bed bug infestation has nothing to do with cleanliness — you can pick them up in the finest hotels, and they can hitchhike into the cleanest homes at any time. But, you can help reduce your chances of a costly bed bug infestation by catching them early.”

Orkin provides these tips in helping prevent bed bugs in your house:

  • Remove all clutter from your home, which makes finding bed bugs easier.
  • Wash and dry your bed linens often using the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.
  • Closely inspect any second-hand furniture for bed bugs before you bring it into your residence.
  • Inspect your residence regularly—after a move-in, a trip, when a service worker comes in or guests stay overnight.

While bed bugs can easily infest your home, they can also infest the hotel you might be staying in while traveling. During travel be sure to use the acronym S.L.E.E.P to check for bed bugs:

  • Survey surfaces for signs of an infestation, such as tiny rust-colored spots on bed sheets, mattress tags and seams, and bed skirts.
  • Lift and look for all bed bug hiding spots, including underneath the mattress, bed frame, headboard and furniture. Typically, they come out at night to feed, but during the day they are most likely found within a 1.5 meter radius of the bed.
  • Elevate your luggage on a luggage rack away from the bed and wall, since bed bugs can often hide behind headboards, artwork, picture frames and electrical outlet panels.
  • Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and when you return home. Always keep luggage off the bed and store it in a closet or other area, far away from your bedroom.
  • Place all your clothing from your luggage immediately in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting upon returning home from travel.