Baltimore 13th Most Bedbug Plagued U.S. City

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—It appears the wave of bedbugs has hit Baltimore hard.

As Mike Schuh reports, a new survey shows we’re now one of the worst cities in the country.

They sleep with you at night, bite you and crawl back into the dark to wait for another time to feed.

Bedbugs–tiny vampires–have exploded across America. And now, a major exterminator says Baltimore has become the 13th most bedbug-plagued city in the country.

Mike O’Leary, of Baltimore City Health Department, helps to get rid of them.

“I think it’s something people get worked up about,” O’Leary said. “It starts with one or two bugs. But if you catch it early, there are no problems.”

Some people invited bedbugs into their homes by buying second-hand furniture that hasn’t been checked for bugs, and health officials say never ever bring furniture found on street corners into your home.

If you see the signs or bites, don’t wait.

The city recommends, if you have the money, call a professional exterminator.

If not, they have what you need to know in a free booklet. And its website includes these tips:

  • remove clutter. That’s where they hide
  • wash and dry bed clothes and infested fabrics on “hot”
  • vacuum the mattress and box spring and all around the bed
  • throw away infested items
  • put a mattress cover on both parts of the bed

One thing you should not do: Do not use a bug bomb or fogger.

“These things repel the bugs deeper into the mattress, deeper into the cushions,” said O’ Leary. “They can wait an awful long time.”

Are we among the worst? O’ Leary isn’t so sure. This time last month, his office got 38 calls. This month, he’s gotten 38 calls.

“We’re seeing the calls being more spread out around the city, but other than that, the calls are about the same,” O’Leary said.

Experts stress there is no quick fix. Bedbugs are only removed after weeks and sometimes months of eradication efforts.

More from Mike Schuh
  • ptodak

    I think It is simply amazing how this so slanted ILLEGAL friendly state… and MEDIA do not explain why they are here???? answer Illegal Imegrants… never gets mentioned…

  • Bill Adams

    Illegal aliens and crack houses. Use vacuum cleaner bags and throw them out when done. I heard you can make a trap with a bowl of soapy water and dry ice and a stick going up into it. They are attracted to Co2.

  • toni

    There would be on way i could sleep in a bed with bugs hell

  • Brent Hutchinson

    I live in NY and sometimes my gf and I would wake up to have these little black bugs in our bed. We would find them walking on us! We got them all and I would go on the hunt and spend lots of time killing them. I don’t know if they were bed bugs though. It was right when it started to get warm from the winter. They would only come on the warm days at the end of winter. It seemed like the warm sun was making them. It was so weird. And now that it’s warm we don’t have any….I looked on the internet and compared the difference and I don’t know what the hell they were. Any thoughts?

  • Brian Schleter

    The City Health Department report “Battling Bed Bugs Safely: A Guide to Preventing and Eliminating Bed Bugs (2011)” mentioned in this story can be found on our Website at This great resource is full of information on how to identify bedbugs, how to get rid of them safely, and tips for how to keep them from setting up camp in your home.

    • Midgte2914

      You can go on vacation to Bermuda and come home with bedbugs. A friend got them because she stayed in a hotel and brought them home in her suitcase. At first, she didn’t know anything. After a couple weeks, she started seeing spots on her that bled. They started appearing on her legs, abd then started appearing on her neck, face and arms. She thought they were nosquito bites that she scratched. Then, when she was cleaning and moved her bed away from the wall, her mattress was stained. Looking further she said she finally saw a few bugs and then some more, and when she tore her bed apart, she had them pretty bad – so bad that she called an exterminator who came and sprayed her bedroom and her bed. She waited a few days and then weent back to sleeping in her bed after putting on a mattress protector, pillow protector, etc. She thought all was well after paying over $400.00 for the exterminator. A couple nights later she woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and she saw one, above the mattress protector, not dead, and then there were 2, then 3, and so on., She threw the 1 year old $1300.00 mattress set out in the trash after writing on it — “Bedbugs”, not only for the city bulk trash pick-up, but also so no one would consider taking it home. Except for the blood stains from the bedbugs walking back to their hiding place and still dripping blood, the mattress set was gorgeous and comfortable. My friend was a nervous wreck from dealing with this. She felt dirty and felt that she had caused this when all she did was go on vacation. She read up on these little buggers and found that they can move from apartment to apartment in search of a “meal”, You can visit someone, lay your coat on their bed at a party, and bring home some “extra guests” that will stay for a long, long time. Most of the time you have a very serious infestation by the time you find them — you know, out of sight, out of mind. She didn’t get up one day with 50 blood spots on her face — it started with one little sore or bite, and it very gradually happened,. Don’t forget, they can bite your back, your butt, your legs and worst yet, your head and scalp, and if it doesn’t hurt or you can’t see it, another day goes by when another nest will hatch of bedbugs and it is in your mattress., On her bed it was right under the cording around the mattress where they hid during the day, all tucked in, nice and warm,. I would have thrown the mattress out immediately and just scrubbed and scrubbed, nevermind the cost — sleep on the sofa and save for one. Read up on these buggers cause its getting worse guys.,

  • Doug

    Rats on the West Side.
    Bed Bugs, uptown
    Don’t you know the crime rate’s go’n

  • williejoe

    The only real solution to getting rid of bed bugs is to move & throw out your mattress set. Wash all clothes in boiling water & if you live in an apartment, move . Apt’s are filthy havens that all manner of low life transient in mind & body people live. Don’t even consider a section 8 building but it’s hard to find out who is who when the long arm of the Federal govt is protecting this trash, destroying what took you years to build & forcing social integration upon us.

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