What cities are seeing the most bedbugs?

Denver ranked #27 on Orkin's 2020 list
Posted at 3:33 PM, Feb 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 12:12:55-05

In our News5 special report we learned in most cases health departments across the country do not track bedbug reports because they don't spread disease and are generally considered more of a nuisance like lice. With that in mind exterminators are the ones on the front lines of this fight and they are providing us with some information and insight on where they are seeing the most work.

Dealing with bedbugs can be expensive according to, the average cost of removing bedbugs from a home is between $1,000 and $2,200. Exterminators with the National Pest Management Association say the top three places they find bedbugs are in single-family homes, apartments, and hotels. recenly provided its Orkin's 2020 Top 50 Bed Bugs Cities List. The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from December 1, 2018 – November 30, 2019. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

You'll see Denver comes in at number 27 on the list. Washington, D.C. is the number one city on Orkin’s Top 50 Bed Bug Cities list. Meanwhile, Baltimore fell to the second spot after three years as the frontrunner, and Indianapolis joined the top of the list. Flint saw the biggest jump moving 16 spots to number 31 after only joining the list in 2018. Pittsburgh and Champaign both broke into the top 20, and Myrtle Beach and Toledo joined the top 50 list for the first time.

1. Washington, D.C. (+1)
2. Baltimore (-1)
3. Chicago
4. Los Angeles
5. Columbus, OH
6. New York
7. Detroit (+1)
8. Cincinnati (-1)
9. Indianapolis (+5)
10. Atlanta (-1)
11. Cleveland, OH
12. Philadelphia (-2)
13. San Francisco (-1)
14. Raleigh, NC (-1)
15. Norfolk (+2)
16. Champaign, IL (+7)
17. Dallas (-2)
18. Grand Rapids (+2)
19. Pittsburgh (+6)
20. Charlotte (-1)
21. Richmond, VA (-5)
22. Greenville, SC (-4)
23. Knoxville, TN (-1)
24. Buffalo, NY (-3)
25. Greensboro, NC (-4)
26. Charleston, WV (+5)
27. Denver
28. St. Louis (+2)
29. Nashville (-5)
30. Lansing (+2)
31. Flint (+16)
32. Miami (-3)
33. Milwaukee (-3)
34. Tampa (+1)
35. Omaha (+2)
36. Orlando (+5)
37. Davenport, IA (+5)
38. Houston (-12)
39. Syracuse (-6)
40. Boston (-2)
41. Cedar Rapids, IA (+3)
42. Myrtle Beach (new to list)
43. Seattle (-4)
44. San Diego (+5)
45. Phoenix (-11)
46. Fort Wayne, IN (+2)
47. Las Vegas (-7)
48. Hartford, CT (-5)
49. Dayton, OH (-3)
50. Toledo, OH (new to list)

“While bed bugs have not been found to transmit any diseases to humans, they can be an elusive threat to households,” said Chelle Hartzer, an Orkin entomologist. “They are excellent hitchhikers, and they reproduce quickly which make it nearly impossible to prevent bed bugs. Sanitation has nothing to do with where you’ll find them.”

Bed bugs, which are typically 4-5 mm in length and red to dark brown in color, can travel from place to place with ease, including luggage, purses and other belongings. Normally nocturnal, bed bugs will come out of hiding to take blood meals from sleeping or quietly resting humans.

According to the 2018 “Bugs without Borders Survey” by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), the top three places where pest professionals report finding bed bugs are single-family homes (91 percent), apartments/condominiums (89 percent) and hotels/motels (68 percent). With that, hotels spend an average of $6,383 per bed bug incident¹.

Bed bugs are known for rapid population growth. Females can deposit one to five eggs a day and may lay 200 to 500 eggs in their lifetime. Under normal room temperatures and with an adequate food supply, they can live for more than 300 days, often making treatment challenging.

“The key to preventing a bed bug infestation is early detection,” Hartzer said. “When one or more bed bugs enter a space, we call it an introduction. During an introduction, bed bugs probably haven’t started reproducing yet, but they could soon. Vigilance is key to stopping bed bugs before infestation levels.”

Tell-tale signs of a bed bug introduction could include small black spots indicating bed bug feces or nymph bed bugs in places such as mattress seams, bed frames and furniture. Their small size and ability to hide make them difficult to see during the day, so it’s important to look for the black, ink-like stains they can leave behind.

At Home Tips To Prevent Bed Bugs:

Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check the places where bed bugs hide during the day, including mattress tags and seams, and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets and picture frames.

Decrease clutter around your home to make it easier to spot bed bugs on your own or during professional inspections.

Inspect your residence regularly—when you move-in, after a trip, when a service worker visits or after guests stay overnight.

Examine all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home. This is a common way for bed bugs to be introduced into homes.

Wash and dry your bed linens often, using 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. Be on the lookout for tiny, ink-colored stains on mattress seams, in soft furniture and behind headboards.

Lift and look in bed bug hiding spots: the mattress, box spring and other furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.

Elevate luggage away from the bed and wall. The safest places are in the bathroom or on counters.

Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and once you return home from a trip. Always store luggage away from the bed.

Place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting after you return home.

Follow this link for more information and a look at our News5 Special Report: