Once again, SF is in the news as being a hot spot for bed bugs, but luckily we remain well below the metropolises of New York, Chicago, DC, and Baltimore the latter now holding the number one spot according to an annual report by pest-control company Orkin. The SF Bay Area here defined as the metro areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose combined now ranks 10th on the national list of bed-buggiest places, up four spots from last year (though we were also #10 on this list from USA Today back in 2011). And this is based just on Orkin's internal data of the number of service calls they've performed in each city.
Baltimore has bumped up nine places on the list, and nearby DC has bumped up one spot to be second in the country, meaning that general part of the country is the hottest of beg bug hotspots right now. (Cue everybody who just flew back from Baltimore/DC for the holidays frantically checking their luggage zipper seams.) Meanwhile New York is holding steady in fourth place, and Chicago has dropped down from #1 in 2015 to #3.
Back in 2012, Supervisor Jane Kim declared herself SF's bed bug warrior, penning an ordinance that clarifies tenants' and landlords' responsibilities in dealing with bed bug infestations, and requiring landlords to disclose any bed bug abatement measures or infestation histories going back two years. But in the four years since, if we're still #10 in the nation and up four spots from last year, maybe that's not helping?
As NBC Bay Area reports, the problem is far from a local one, and "As a whole, the nation witnessed a hike in bed bug sightings and reports during 2016."
But perhaps it's time to get super paranoid and read over the EPA's guide to finding and dealing with bed bugs. It should be noted and this should keep you up at night! "Bites on the skin are a poor indicator of a bed bug infestation. ... [and] some people do not react to bed bug bites at all."
Go check your mattress seams, sheets, luggage, headboards, etc. for tiny dark dots or crawly insects the size of an apple seed. And be forewarned, they sometimes travel by BART.
[Gross. Ack. Please god no.]
Previously: Beware Of Bed Bugs On BART