Cities are always looking for the top spots of many national lists–”Best Restaurants in the U.S.,” “Top Cities for Vacations,” and similar accolades. Being among the “Top Cities for Bed Bugs” is not a list any city wants to be a part of–unfortunately, the two big cities closest to us are firmly entrenched in the list’s top 7, with a couple of other nearby locations on the list as well.
Baltimore and Washington, DC, Make the Top 10
The bad news? Both Baltimore and Washington, DC, finished among the worst cities for bed bugs, coming in at #5 and #7 respectively. The silver lining? Baltimore was #2 last year, and DC was #3–so there has been some noticeable improvement. Further to our south, Norfolk and Richmond, VA showed up on the list at numbers 25 and 26.
The decreases in Baltimore and The District are especially notable considering more and more people are traveling now that the COVID-19 pandemic is semi-under control. Increased travel tends to lead to more bed bug infestations, especially nowadays, as so many hotels and motels are short-staffed and busy and possibly not as attentive to the situation as they normally would be. Cities such as our northern neighbors Philadelphia and New York City weren’t so lucky, as they both skyrocketed up the list over the past year.
The Problem with Bed Bugs
If you’re unaware, bed bugs live on blood, so they frequently feed on people like you and me as we sleep. That, in and of itself, is not ideal–compound that with the fact that they effortlessly jump from one person to the next, or from one piece of fabric to another, without easy detection, and it’s easy to see how they can be spread so quickly. Clothing, luggage, linens, handbags–you name it, and a bed bug can probably cling to it. And once that happens, things tend to get worse. The bed bug population grows rapidly–females can lay up to five eggs per day, which can lead to an outbreak once they hatch.
Bed Bugs in Hotels and Motels
You can see why hotels and motels–and their visitors–easily become unknowing victims of bed bugs. And while a report of bed bugs can instantly destroy the reputation of a hotel, the fact is that bed bugs aren’t found exclusively in “dirty” or unsanitary places…even the most luxurious five-star hotels can be invaded by these pesky pests.
A free online tool was recently created by hospitality industry experts and entomologists, called the Bed Bug Cost Calculator, which can gauge the impact of bed bugs on hoteliers’ businesses–and while the tool may be helpful for those in the hospitality industry, it doesn’t really do much for the traveler who may unknowingly fall prey to bed bugs in their hotel or motel rooms. That’s why, if you do encounter bed bugs while you’re staying in a hotel or motel, you need to contact an experienced bed bug attorney.
Top Cities for Bed Bugs
Here’s what to do if you see bed bugs in your hotel or motel room:
- Take as many photos of the infestation as you can–in the bed, on furniture, in the carpet, on your belongings. Also take pictures of any bed bug bites you may have. Pro tip: make sure the hotel space is easily identifiable–use stationery with the hotel name, complimentary toiletries with the hotel name, etc.
- Report the incident to hotel management immediately with as many details as possible. Document your conversation if you can.
- See your personal physician or, even better, a dermatologist, at your earliest convenience. While not a serious condition, bed bug bites are a nuisance, can be extremely irritating and uncomfortable, and can result in scarring.
- Call the bed bug attorneys at The Lapidus Law Firm.
Conveniently enough, Marriott’s global headquarters are located nearby in Bethesda, MD. And while our bed bug services are not limited strictly to Marriott’s hotels, it certainly makes it easy to file a claim against Marriott should you contract bed bugs from one of their 30 hotel brands (and thousands of locations) and chains across the world. Get in touch with The Lapidus Law Firm today at (301) 852-7500 or (202) 785-5111 to set up a free, no-obligation consultation!
Written by Larry Lapidus