From coast to coast, 50 cities recently landed toward the top of an annual list that doesn’t exactly come with something its residents probably want anyone to know.
In its yearly list of the worst bedbug cities across the nation, pest control company Orkin ranked Chicago as No. 1 – marking a creepy hat trick for the Windy City over the past three years.
New York and Philadelphia also held on to top spots, ranking second and third, respectively. Los Angeles saw the largest jump this year, moving up seven spots into the top five, with Cleveland (#4) and Raleigh (#20) each moving up the list by four spots.
Toledo and Miami made the most improvement over last year (Toledo dropped seven spots to No. 38, and Miami dipped six to No. 45).
The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin said it performed the most bedbug treatments from Dec. 1, 2021 through Nov. 30, 2022.
The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.
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Worst bedbug cities in the nation, according to Orkin
2. New York (+1)
3. Philadelphia (-1)
4. Cleveland-Akron, Ohio (+4)
5. Los Angeles (+7)
6. Detroit (-2)
7. Indianapolis (-1)
8. Baltimore (-3)
9. Washington, D.C. (-2)
10. Columbus, Ohio (-1)
11. Champaign, Illinois (+2)
12. Grand Rapids, Michigan (-1)
13. Cincinnati (-3)
14. Charlotte, North Carolina (+1)
15. Denver (+2)
16. Atlanta (-2)
17. Dallas-Ft. Worth (-1)
18. Pittsburgh (+2)
19. Charleston, West Virginia (+3)
20. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina (+4)
21. Flint, Michigan (+2)
22. San Francisco (-3)
23. Norfolk, Virginia (+2)
24. Greenville, South Carolina (-3)
25. St. Louis (-7)
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26. Richmond, Virginia
27. Youngstown, Ohio (+10)
28. South Bend, Indiana (+5)
29. Buffalo, New York (-1)
30. Knoxville, Tennessee (-1)
31. Cedar Rapids, Iowa (-1)
32. Omaha, Nebraska (-5)
33. Nashville, Tennessee (+1)
34. Dayton, Ohio (-2)
35. Ft. Wayne, Indiana (+1)
36. Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (+6)
37. Davenport, Iowa (-2)
38. Toledo, Ohio (-7)
39. Seattle (+5)
40. Milwaukee (-2)
41. Tampa (-1)
42. Lansing, Michigan (+6)
43. Greensboro, North Carolina
44. Houston (-3)
45. Miami (-6)
46. Lexington, Kentucky (+1)
47. Orlando, Florida (-1)
48. Peoria, Illinois (-3)
49. Louisville, Kentucky (-3)
50. Lincoln, Nebraska
What are bedbugs?
Bedbugs are oval-shaped insects that are about 5 millimeters long as adults. They come out at night and can’t fly, though they can crawl very quickly. They feed on human blood which causes itchy bites.
According to Orkin, they are known for rapid population growth. Female bedbugs 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 when a food source, e.g., humans or animals, become available.
“Bedbugs are extremely resilient, making them difficult to control. As people begin to ramp up their travel plans this year, it’s important they know how to protect themselves through pest identification and proper control,” Ben Hottel, Orkin entomologist said “Contrary to popular belief, bedbugs are visible to the naked eye, but are excellent at hiding.”
How do you get bedbugs?
Bedbugs can travel quickly and have an ability to latch onto furniture and other items.
The critters can be brought into the home from places where people are dormant for periods of time, like bus seats, airplanes or theater cushions, etc.
They can sneak into your home through purses and luggage as well. Once they are in the home, they can hide in bedroom furniture such as a mattress, box spring and bed frame.
How do you get rid of them at home?
Here is how to get rid of bedbugs at home, according to WebMD.
- Wash bedsheets, clothing, linens and curtains in hot water. Then, put them in the dryer on the hot setting for at least 30 minutes.
- To remove bedbugs and their eggs, use a stiff brush on mattress seams.
- Vacuum your bed and the area around it often. Place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag and put it in a trash can outside.
- Encase your mattress in a bedbug mattress cover. Keep this on for at least a year since bedbugs can survive up to a year without feeding.
- Repair cracks in walls or plaster and glue down peeling wallpaper to limit the places bedbugs can hide.
- Get rid of clutter around the bed.
Contributing: Daryl Perry