BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- For the second year in a row, pest control company Orkin has named Baltimore the top city in the nation for bed bugs.
The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from December 1, 2016 – November 30, 2017. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.
Bed bugs continue to infest Baltimore homes, apartments, and even some hotels.
These bugs carry disease, bite you while you sleep, and waste no time spreading from room to room - even apartment to apartment.
It's an accolade no city wants on its resume.
"The numbers that we use are based on residential and commercial stats. So it's homes, apartments, hotels, office buildings, theaters, anything that we do," said Orkin manager Kenneth McDowell
McDowell tells WJZ it's thanks to lots of tourism and lots of apartments.
That's where exterminators see the worst infestations.
"I've been in some apartments that are just completely covered with blood smears and stains on the wall when people smash them on the wall, and they splatter and the blood's there. And people live with them for a very, very long time," he said.
The tiny, blood-sucking hitchhikers spread fast, and the fix can be frustrating, expensive, even destructive.
Last month, 10 people in Cincinnati, Ohio were left homeless when a woman trying to kill bed bugs with alcohol set the house ablaze.
And in the same city, six more apartments were destroyed when a teenager tried to set a bed bug on fire.
The professionals say stay vigilant, but leave the creepy crawly cleanup to them.
"The first thing I would do is call a professional," McDowell said. "Bed bugs are not something to fool around with."
There were fewer bed bug calls to Orkin last year than the year before here in Baltimore, still, its worse than anywhere else in the U.S.
The experts say catching bed bugs early is the key to keeping them out of your home.
The full top 10 list is as follows:
2. Washington, D.C.
4. Los Angeles (+2)
5. Columbus, Ohio
6. Cincinnati (+2)
8. New York (-4)
9. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
10. Dallas-Fort Worth (+5)
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