Three of California's most populous regions made Orkin's annual ranking of the top 50 bed bug cities in the country.
CALIFORNIA – Good night. Sleep tight. Try not to let the bed bugs bite, California!
The blood-sucking creepy crawlers have spread rapidly in California and other parts of the United States in recent years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, this year the Golden State's three most populous regions made Orkin's annual ranking of the top 50 bed bug cities in the country.
Los Angeles came in fourth place, up two spots from last year's list, while the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area ranked ninth on this year's list. The region rounded out the top 10 last year.
San Diego landed the 41st spot, after falling off the list in 2017.
"The number of bed bug infestations in the United States is still rising," Orkin entomologist Tim Husen said in a statement. "They continue to invade our homes and businesses on a regular basis because they are not seasonal pests, and only need blood to survive."
The reddish-brown bugs, which feed solely on the blood of people and animals, are most often found in apartments and condominiums, single-family homes and hotels and motels, according to a 2015 survey by the National Pest Management Association. The pests, which travel from place to place on luggage, clothing and other belongings, are also found in other public places such as shelters, daycare centers, cruise ships, buses and trains.
Although they are not known to spread disease, each person reacts differently to bed bug bites, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They can cause small bite marks to serious allergic reactions.
Here's a look at the top 10 bed bug cities, based on metro areas where Orkin performed the most residential and commercial bed bug treatments from Dec. 1, 2016 to Nov. 30, 2017. Click here to view the full list.
Orkin offers these tips for homeowners and travelers:
- Inspect your home regularly for signs of bed bugs. 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 all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home. This is a common way for bed bugs to be introduced into homes.
- 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. 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.
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