Ew! Chicago ranked #1 for mattress bugs

Ew! Chicago ranked #1 for bed bugs

CHICAGO – Chicago once again tops a list it really would rather not be on.

For the third year in a row, the Windy City has been officially crowned the #1 city for bed bugs!

The ranking is part of Orkin’s annual list of the 50 best bed bug cities, and comes just months after the pest control company named Chicago the rat capital of the United States for the eighth straight year.

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The ranking is based on bed bug treatments in both residential and commercial settings from December 2021 to November 2022.

The top five cities are Chicago at number one, New York City at number two, Philadelphia at number three, Cleveland at number four and Los Angeles at number five.

Whether you’re traveling on a plane, taxi or bus, staying in a hotel or at home, it’s important to know how to identify and eliminate bed bugs.

How they look like

The bugs are red to dark brown and about 3/16 inch long or as wide as a credit card. They are mainly nocturnal, emerging from their hiding places at night to feed on the blood of sleeping humans.

where they hide

Bed bugs can also travel easily by clinging to purses, luggage, or other personal items, according to Orkin.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says they can also hide in the following places:

  • In the seams of chairs and sofas
  • Between the pillows and in the folds of the curtains.
  • In drawer joints.
  • In electrical sockets and devices.
  • Under loose wallpaper and wall hangings.
  • At the junction where the wall and ceiling meet.
  • In the head of a screw.

Precautions to prevent infestation

The EPA recommends you take these precautions to prevent bed bug infestations in your home.

  • Check the luggage rack in your hotel room for bed bugs.
  • Check used furniture, beds, and sofas for signs of bed bug infestations before bringing the items home.
  • Use a protective cover to encase the mattress and box spring and eliminate any hiding places.
  • Reduce the clutter in your home to reduce the number of bed bug hiding places.
  • Vacuum often to remove bed bug hitchhikers.
  • When using communal laundries, transport items to be washed in plastic bags. (Use a new bag for the journey home if the infestation is active). Take the clothes out of the dryer and put them directly into a bag and fold the clothes at home.
  • If you live in an apartment building, try to insulate your unit by:
    • Installing door sweeps on the bottom of doors
    • Sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, lamp sockets, etc.

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What to do with infested items?

  • Wash all infested sheets and clothing in hot water.
  • After drying, dry the clothes for another 20 minutes on the highest heat setting.
  • Non-washable or dry-clean only items should be tumble dried on the highest setting for at least 20 minutes.

When a bed bug is found

If you are a renter and have a bed bug infestation, notify your landlord immediately and alert building staff.

Also note that Illinois law requires landlords to provide tenants with bed bug-free homes. Landlords must pay for bed bug removal treatment unless they can prove that the tenant brought the bugs onto the property.

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