Chicago tops pest control leader Orkin's list of Top 50 Bed Bug Cities for the fourth year in a row, while several Florida cities also appear on the list - including Miami/Fort Lauderdale.
The list ranks cities by the number of bed bug treatments Orkin serviced from January through December 2015 and after an Orkin inspection verified bed bugs were present. The list includes both residential and commercial treatments.
This is the first year Orlando has ranked on Orkin's Bed Bug Cities List, and Philadelphia is on the list for the first time since 2011.
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.
Miami-Fort Lauderdale also dropped 10 spots when compared to 2014.
Orkin's Complete List of Top 50 Bed Bug Cities:
2. Los Angeles (+2)
3. Washington, D.C. (+11)
4. New York (+14)
5. Columbus, Ohio (-2)
7. Detroit (-5)
8. Cincinnati (-1)
9. Richmond-Petersburg, Va.
10. Baltimore (+21)
11. Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (+6)
12. Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio (-7)
13. Dallas-Ft. Worth (-7)
14. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (+2)
15. Indianapolis (-4)
16. Charlotte, N.C. (+14)
17. Houston (-5)
18. Denver (-10)
19. Atlanta (+6)
20. Buffalo, N.Y. (+6)
21. Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.-Asheville, N.C. (+26)
22. Nashville, Tenn. (+1)
23. Phoenix (+9)
24. Knoxville, Tenn. (+10)
25. Boston-Manchester (+4)
26. Milwaukee (-11)
27. Dayton, Ohio (-17)
28. Seattle (-15)
30. Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va.
31. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.
32. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Crk., Mich. (-12)
33. Lexington, Ky. (-9)
34. Hartford-New Haven, Conn. (+3)
35. Charleston-Huntington, W.Va. (-16)
36. Omaha, Neb. (-15)
37. San Diego (+2)
38. Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla.
39. Louisville, Ky. (-17)
40. St. Louis (+6)
41. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Dubuque, Iowa (-6)
42. Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, Ill. (-4)
43. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (-10)
44. Kansas City, Mo. (-3)
45. Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif. (-18)
46. Syracuse, N.Y. (-18)
47. Colorado Springs-Pueblo, Colo. (-3)
48. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y. (-5)
49. Honolulu (-7)
50. Myrtle Beach-Florence, S.C. (-5)
"Bed bugs are the great hitchhiker of the bug world, and they are very difficult to control without professional help," said Orkin Entomologist and Technical Services Director Ron Harrison, Ph.D. "Bed bugs can travel in luggage and other personal belongings to enter your home," Harrison said, adding, "They don't just hide in beds - they can be found in furniture, bed posts, rugs and even electrical outlets."
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 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.
Since a resurgence in the late 1990s, bed bugs persist as a problem across the United States. According to recent surveys by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), 99.6 percent of pest professionals surveyed treated for bed bugs in 2015 and one out of five Americans has had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel.
For more information about bed bugs, visit Orkin.com.