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Chicago tops list of cities for bed bug infestations

Bedbug Insecticide Risk
Posted at 8:05 PM, Feb 01, 2021

In Orkin’s annual list of most bed bug infested cities, Chicago topped the chart, the company said on Monday.

Orkin uses the number of treatments in a given metro area in helping to determine the annual list. The data, which was compiled from December 2019 through November 2020, included both residential and commercial calls for service.

Chicago jumped two spots to reach the top spot. The Windy City swapped places with Washington D.C. at the top of the list. Remaining at No. 2 is Baltimore. Rounding out the top five are Detroit and Columbus.

"Bed bugs are a concern for everyone because they are master hitchhikers, traveling home with people when they likely don't realize it," said Ben Hottel, an Orkin entomologist. "Their nature of hiding in difficult-to-find cracks and crevices once introduced into a room can make them hard to control, which is why involving a trained professional at the sight of an introduction is recommended."

Orkin offered the following advice for those traveling to avoid bed bugs in hotels and rentals.

  • Survey the room for signs of an infestation. Be on the lookout for tiny, black, ink-colored stains on mattress seams, in soft furniture and behind headboards. They can even hide out in electrical outlets and picture frames!
  • Lift and look in bed bug hiding spots: the mattress, box spring and other furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.
  • Elevate luggage away from the bed and wall. The safest places are in the bathroom or on counters.
  • Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and once you return home from a trip. Always store luggage away from the bed. Be sure to also examine all secondhand furniture and clothing before bringing it in your home and inspect after guests visit.
  • Place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 45 minutes at the highest setting after you return home.

Here are the top 50 cities for bed bug calls to Orkin:

  1. Chicago (+2)
  2. Baltimore
  3. Washington, D.C. (-2)
  4. Detroit (+3)
  5. Columbus, OH
  6. Cleveland, OH (+5)
  7. Indianapolis (+2)
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Los Angeles (-5)
  10. Grand Rapids (+8)
  11. Charlotte (+9)
  12. New York (-6)
  13. Atlanta (-3)
  14. Philadelphia (-2)
  15. Champaign, IL (+1)
  16. Dallas (+1)
  17. Raleigh, NC (-3)
  18. Charleston, WV (+8)
  19. Pittsburgh
  20. Denver (+7)
  21. Flint (+7)
  22. San Francisco (-9)
  23. Greenville, SC (-9)
  24. Norfolk (-9)
  25. St. Louis (+3)
  26. Richmond, VA (-5)
  27. Toledo, OH (+23)
  28. Dayton, OH (+21)
  29. Buffalo, NY (-5)
  30. Omaha (+2)
  31. Nashville (-2)
  32. Milwaukee (+1)
  33. Fort Wayne, IN (+13)
  34. Greensboro, NC (-9)
  35. Cedar Rapids, IA (+6)
  36. Knoxville, TN (-13)
  37. Houston (+1)
  38. Davenport, IA (-1)
  39. Tampa (-5)
  40. Youngstown (new to list)
  41. South Bend (new to list)
  42. Phoenix (+3)
  43. Lexington (new to list)
  44. Seattle (-1)
  45. Orlando (-9)
  46. Louisville (new to list)
  47. Miami (-15)
  48. Lansing (-18)
  49. Peoria-Bloomington (new to list)
  50. Minneapolis-St. Paul (new to list)