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Chicago Joins Paris in Global Bed Bug Spotlight, Ranking As the Worst City on Orkin's U.S. Bed Bug Cities List

Consider these bed bug prevention tips to avoid bringing these stealthy pests home

ATLANTA, Jan. 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The Windy City is taking up residence as one of the worst cities for bed bugs taking the #1 spot on Orkin's Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List for the fourth year in a row. Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia hold onto the top three spots, ranking first, second and third, respectively for cities with most bed bugs. Greensboro, N.C. saw the largest jump this year, moving up twenty-fife spots into the Top Twenty, with Milwaukee (#25) moving up the list by fifteen and Tampa (#31) moving up by ten.

Bed bugs are typically 3/16 inch long and red to dark brown in color.
Bed bugs are typically 3/16 inch long and red to dark brown in color.

Amid the Paris Bed Bug craze, travelers are more concerned than ever with avoiding these stealthy pests. As Americans look towards travel in 2024 it is critical to know how to identify and thoroughly check for bed bugs in hotel rooms (both internationally and domestically) while being careful not to bring the pests home with them.

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The bed bug cities list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from Dec. 1, 2022Nov. 30, 2023. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

What cities have the most bed bugs?

  1. Chicago

  2. New York

  3. Philadelphia

  4. Cleveland-Akron, OH

  5. Los Angeles

  6. Detroit

  7. Washington, D.C. (+2)

  8. Indianapolis (-1)

  9. Charlotte (+5)

  10. Champaign, IL (+1)

  11. Columbus, OH (-1)

  12. Cincinnati (+1)

  13. Atlanta (+3)

  14. Grand Rapids, MI (-2)

  15. Denver

  16. Baltimore (-8)

  17. Richmond, VA (+9)

  18. Greensboro, N.C. (+25)

  19. St. Louis (+6)

  20. Youngstown (+7)

  21. Pittsburgh (-3)

  22. Dallas-Ft. Worth (-5)

  23. Flint, MI (-2)

  24. Raleigh-Durham (-4)

  25. Milwaukee (+15)

  26. Charleston, W.V. (-7)

  27. Greenville, SC (-3)

  28. Norfolk, VA (-5)

  29. Davenport (+8)

  30. Nashville (+3)

  31. Tampa (+10)

  32. Toledo (+6)

  33. Dayton, OH (+1)

  34. Knoxville (-4)

  35. Las Vegas (new to list)

  36. Omaha, NE (-4)

  37. South Bend, IN (-9)

  38. Houston (+6)

  39. Cedar Rapids, MI (-8)

  40. Ft. Wayne, IN (-5)

  41. San Francisco (-19)

  42. Buffalo, NY (-13)

  43. Harrisburg (-7)

  44. Seattle (-5)

  45. Miami

  46. Orlando (+1)

  47. Minneapolis (new to list)

  48. Oklahoma City (new to list)

  49. Louisville, KY

  50. Lexington, KY (-4)

Bed bugs are typically 3/16 inch long, red to dark brown in color and are mostly nocturnal insects that come out of hiding to take blood meals from sleeping humans. These pests are hematophagous, which means blood is their only food source. Clinging to items such as luggage, purses and other personal belongings, bed bugs can travel from place to place with ease.

"Bed bugs are extremely resilient, making them difficult to control. As travel plans ramp up, it's important that Americans know how to protect themselves through pest identification and proper control," said Ben Hottel, Orkin entomologist. "While bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, they are excellent at hiding. Involving a trained professional at the sight of a bed bug introduction is recommended."

Known for rapid population growth, female bed bugs can deposit one to five eggs a day and may lay 200 to 500 eggs in their lifetime. They can survive for several months while waiting for their next blood meal, so they're likely to emerge the moment a food source, e.g., humans or animals, becomes available.

"While the bed bug infestations in Paris have made travelers more conscious of the pests in hotels while traveling internationally, it is also important to take precautions at home," said Hottel. "Second-hand items such as clothing and furniture are also common bed bug hiding places, allowing pests an opportunity to hitch a ride home with new consumers. Examining any new items before they enter your home will help to catch a bed bug infestation sooner, rather than later."

Here are proactive tips Orkin recommends for homeowners and travelers to prevent bed bugs:

At Home:

  • Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check the places where bed bugs hide during the day, including mattress tags and seams, and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets and picture frames. Inspect when you move in, after a trip, when a service worker visits or after guests stay overnight.

  • Decrease clutter around your home to make it easier to spot bed bugs on your own or during professional inspections.

  • Examine all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home.

During travel, remember the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to inspect for bed bugs:

  • Survey the hotel room for signs of an infestation. Be on the lookout for tiny, ink-colored stains on mattress seams, in soft furniture and behind headboards.

  • 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.

  • Place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 30-45 minutes at the highest setting after you return home.

With nearly 125 years of experience with bed bugs and state-of-the-art tools and products, Orkin is well-equipped to assess your bed bug problem, offer trainings for short-staffed hospitality teams and mount a strategic response to rid your home of the pest and provide maximum protection.

For more information about bed bug prevention and bed bug control, visit Orkin.com.

About Orkin, LLC
Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects. Orkin has 358 owned and operated branch offices and 47 franchises in the U.S. The company also has international franchises and subsidiaries in Canada, Europe, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Asia, the Mediterranean, Africa, and Mexico. For more than 120 years, Orkin has been committed to protecting public health by helping prevent and control pests as well as educating consumers on the potential health risks posed by these pests. As such, Orkin Pros always put the customer first and approach every opportunity with the utmost professionalism and the knowledge and skillset to solve any pest problem. Since 2020, Orkin has partnered with the American Red Cross® to inform the public about the health threats of mosquitoes while boosting our country's blood supply through monetary contributions and blood donations. Orkin is committed to hiring the world's best to help protect the places where we live, work and play. Learn more about careers at Orkin here. Visit Orkin.com for additional information. Orkin is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rollins Inc. (NYSE: ROL). Follow us on FacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.

Pest control leader Orkin is supporting a CDC Foundation summit focused on improving control methods for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can carry and spread Zika virus.
Pest control leader Orkin is supporting a CDC Foundation summit focused on improving control methods for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can carry and spread Zika virus.
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SOURCE Orkin, LLC