ATLANTA (WNCN) – For the fourth year in a row, Chicago topped the Orkin pest control company’s list of “Top 50 Bed Bug Cities,” according to the Orkin website.
The list ranks cities by the number of bed bug treatments Orkin serviced in 2015, beginning in January and ending in December, and after an Orkin inspection verified bed bugs were present. The list includes both residential and commercial treatments.
Four North Carolina cities made the list in 2015, including the Raleigh-Durham market at No. 11.
Fourteen cities in the Midwest – more than any other region – are included in the ranking, including multiple cities in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky.
Six cities made double-digit jumps on Orkin’s Bed Bug Cities List compared to 2014, including Washington, D.C., which jumped to third on the list.
Several cities also dropped significantly in the past year, including Dayton, Ohio, Louisville, Ky. and Sacramento, Calif.
Below are the cities that made the list. A city’s increase or decrease from the previous year’s rankings is listed in parenthesis:
- Los Angeles (+2)
- Washington, D.C. (+11)
- New York (+14)
- Columbus, Ohio (-2)
- Detroit (-5)
- Cincinnati (-1)
- Richmond-Petersburg, Va.
- Baltimore (+21)
- Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (+6)
- Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio (-7)
- Dallas-Ft. Worth (-7)
- San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (+2)
- Indianapolis (-4)
- Charlotte, N.C. (+14)
- Houston (-5)
- Denver (-10)
- Atlanta (+6)
- Buffalo, N.Y. (+6)
- Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.-Asheville, N.C. (+26)
- Nashville, Tenn. (+1)
- Phoenix (+9)
- Knoxville, Tenn. (+10)
- Boston-Manchester (+4)
- Milwaukee (-11)
- Dayton, Ohio (-17)
- Seattle (-15)
- Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va.
- Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.
- Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Crk., Mich. (-12)
- Lexington, Ky. (-9)
- Hartford-New Haven, Conn. (+3)
- Charleston-Huntington, W.Va. (-16)
- Omaha, Neb. (-15)
- San Diego (+2)
- Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla.
- Louisville, Ky. (-17)
- St. Louis (+6)
- Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Dubuque, Iowa (-6)
- Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, Ill. (-4)
- Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (-10)
- Kansas City, Mo. (-3)
- Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif. (-18)
- Syracuse, N.Y. (-18)
- Colorado Springs-Pueblo, Colo. (-3)
- Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y. (-5)
- Honolulu (-7)
- Myrtle Beach-Florence, S.C. (-5)
Orkin has treated for bed bugs in all 50 states. Bed bugs are not necessarily a sign of uncleanliness. They have been found in upscale homes and hotels, movie theaters, schools and in public transit.
While the aforementioned cities topped Orkin’s list, homeowners, tenants and travelers all over the world should take the following precautions to help prevent bed bugs:
- Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check locations where bed bugs hide during the day, including furniture, mattress seams and bed sheets, as well as behind baseboards, electrical outlets and picture frames.
- Decrease clutter around your home to make bed bug inspections and detection much easier.
- Inspect and quarantine all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home.
- Dry potentially infested bed linens, curtains and stuffed animals on the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.
During travel, remember the acronym S.L.E.E.P to inspect for bed bugs:
- Survey the hotel room for signs of an infestation. Look for red or brown spots on sheets.
- Lift and look in bed bug hiding spots: the mattress, box spring, sheets and furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.
- Elevate luggage on a rack away from the bed and wall. The safest places are in the bathroom or on counters.
- Examine your luggage while repacking and once you return home from a trip.
- Place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting after you return home.
- While bed bugs are not known to spread human diseases like many other pests and some people have no reaction to bed bug bites, others may experience itchy red welts and swelling.