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Protecting yourself while you sleep is important – even more so after the latest findings from pest control company Orkin.


The company released its list of top-50 cities in the U.S. most affected by bed bugs. For the first time, Baltimore and Washington, DC, rank numbers 1 and 2, respectively. Philadelphia dropped three spots in the rankings to No. 9.


“We have more people affected by bed bugs in the United States now than ever before,” says Orkin Entomologist and Director of Technical Services Ron Harrison, Ph.D., adding that bed bugs are a growing issue. “They were virtually unheard of in the U.S. 10 years ago.”


Bed bugs are great hitchhikers because they travel from place to place with ease, including luggage, purses, and other belongings. Bed bugs can be found anywhere, from single family homes, apartments and hotel, to public places such as movie theaters, public transit and libraries and offices.


“Anyone can get bed bugs in their home. They are not a sign of uncleanliness. Bed bugs only need blood to survive. We have treated for bed bugs in everything from million dollar homes to public housing,” Harrison says.


Bed bugs can be difficult to detect and treat because of their small size and ability to survive up to a year without feeding. They are about the size of an apple seed when fully grown, and can hide around seams of a mattress, behind headboards and in cracks and crevices, usually within a five-foot radius of the bed. The first signs of a bed bug infestation are often the bed bugs themselves or small dark stains bed bugs can leave behind.


One of the easiest ways to protect yourself from beg bugs is to purchase a mattress protector. Since they can also live in box springs, having a box spring protector also helps. For example, the Dri-Tec Power Pack by Bedgear provides a mattress protector, a mattress encasement – which acts as a second skin for your mattress, and pillow protectors.


Mattress protectors also help ward off dust mites, stains, and other allergens that could be harmful to your health.


If you have any questions about mattress protectors, or if you want to know more about the dangers of bed bugs, always feel free to speak to any of our knowledgeable Mattress Warehouse Sleep Professionals with our online chat feature.