Baltimore Among Top Cities For Bed Bugs In 2021 List – Baltimore, MD Patch

BALTIMORE, MD Baltimore is known for quite a few things. It's the home of the Ravens and Orioles. It's the birthplace of Edgar Allan Poe and John Waters.

But here's one thing you don't necessarily see on the surface in Baltimore: bed bugs.

Turns out these tiny hitchhiking pests are quite fond of our city, according to the latest numbers available through Atlanta-based Orkin, a company that specializes in pest control services.

In fact, Baltimore ranked second on the 2021 list for the second year in a row, according to Orkin.

Cities were ranked according to where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments between Dec. 1, 2019, and Nov. 30, 2020. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

So, why share this creepy crawly revelation now?

In just a few days, the National Pest Management Association kicks off Bed Bug Awareness Week, which runs June 6-12. The goal of the campaign is to help people recognize a bed bug infestation and know how to curb it.

Also, the number of people itching to travel is growing as more Americans become vaccinated against COVID-19.

Over Memorial Day weekend, the Transportation Security Administration screened about 7.1 million people at U.S. airport checkpoints. On Sunday, about 1.9 million people traveled eight times more than on the same day in 2020.

Since bed bugs are widely associated with travel, people must stay vigilant, according to Cindy Mannes, executive director of the Professional Pest Management Alliance especially after months of coronavirus-related restrictions and lockdowns.

"Bed bugs can survive for several months without a blood meal and could be hungry if they have survived unnoticed after decreased travel amid the pandemic," Mannes said in a news release.

Still want to travel? Here's a look at the top 10 bed bug cities of 2021, according to Orkin:

See the full list of top cities for bed bugs.

What is a bed bug? These insects are tiny in size just under a quarter-inch long, according to Orkin. They're usually dark brown or red in color and are hematophagous, meaning blood is their only food source. Bed bugs take blood meals from sleeping humans and can travel from place to place with ease, stowing away in things such as luggage, purses and other personal belongings.

If you plan to travel this summer, there are a few things you can do to prevent bed bugs from coming home with you. Orkin recommends people follow the "SLEEP" method to crack down on possible bed bug infestations:

If you need more guidance on eliminating bed bugs from your home, the Environmental Protection Agency has a step-by-step guide for evaluating and treating the infestation.

By Megan VerHelst and Elizabeth Janney

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Baltimore Among Top Cities For Bed Bugs In 2021 List - Baltimore, MD Patch

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