Experts at Terminix said bedbug infestations have increased since the late 1990s, and while researchers aren’t sure of an exact cause, they do think things like more international travel and insecticide resistance could bear some responsibility.
“Bedbugs are notoriously difficult to eradicate,” Paul Curtis, director, technical services at Terminix, said in a news release. “They can travel to new locations very easily — hitching a ride on clothing, handbags, suitcases and taxis, which can create substantial infestations in no time.”
Without the help of a professional, bedbugs can hide undetected for months, Terminix said.
Some signs you might have a bedbug problem include reddish-brown blood spots on sheets or mattresses, a strong musty odor, or signs of the bugs themselves (they’re the size, shape and color of an apple seed).
If you think you have a bedbug problem, you should contact a pest control company as soon as possible for an inspection.
D.C. wasn’t alone in having a bedbug problem. Baltimore came in at number 11.
The good news for D.C. residents is 13th place is a big drop from a study that came out earlier in the year by the pest control company Orkin.
In that survey, D.C. came in at No. 2, trailing only Baltimore.
The Terminix survey found Cleveland and Cincinnati, Ohio, are the two itchiest cities in the country while San Diego came in at number 20 on the list.
Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.