Listed below are the 50 worst US cities for mattress bugs, in keeping with Orkin

Listed below are the 50 worst US cities for mattress bugs, in keeping with Orkin


FILE – This photo shows a bed bug in an apartment in Hong Kong on May 26, 2017. (Photo by Edward Wong/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)

The Windy City couldn’t blow bed bugs away in 2022, according to pest control company Orkin, which released its list of the 50 worst US cities for bed bugs.

Chicago was ranked #1 for the third year in a row. New York City and Philadelphia came in second and third, followed by Cleveland and Los Angeles.

Orkin’s 50 Best Bed Bug Cities list is based on data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments between December 1, 2021 and November 30, 2022. The ranking includes both private and commercial treatments.

Los Angeles had the biggest jump on this year’s list, rising seven spots in the top 5, while Cleveland (No. 4) and Raleigh (No. 20) each moved up four spots in the list, the company said.

“Bed bugs are extremely resilient, which makes them difficult to control,” Ben Hottel, Orkin’s entomologist, said in a statement. “Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are visible to the naked eye but are excellent at hiding.”

As Americans begin booking travel plans for 2023, Orkin said it is “critical” for individuals to know how to recognize and thoroughly check for bed bugs in hotel rooms and elsewhere.

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Worst US cities for bed bugs, ranked by Orkin

  1. Chicago
  2. New York (+1)
  3. Philly (-1)
  4. Cleveland-Akron, OH (+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, IL (+2)
  12. Grand Rapids, Michigan (-1)
  13. Cincinnati (-3)
  14. Charlotte (+1)
  15. Denver (+2)
  16. Atlanta (-2)
  17. Dallas-Ft. value (-1)
  18. Pittsburgh (+2)
  19. Charleston, West Virginia (+3)
  20. Raleigh Durham (+4)
  21. Flint, MI (+2)
  22. San Francisco (-3)
  23. Norfolk, VA (+2)
  24. Greenville, SC (-3)
  25. Saint Louis (-7)
  26. Richmond, Va
  27. Youngstown (+10)
  28. South Bend, IN (+5)
  29. Buffalo, New York (-1)
  30. Knoxville (-1)
  31. Cedar Rapids, IA (-1)
  32. Omaha, New Zealand (-5)
  33. Nashville (+1)
  34. Dayton, Ohio (-2)
  35. feet Wayne, IN (+1)
  36. Harrisburg (+6)
  37. Davenport (-2)
  38. Toledo (-7)
  39. Seattle (+5)
  40. Milwaukee (-2)
  41. Tampa (-1)
  42. Lansing, MI (+6)
  43. Greensboro, NC
  44. Houston (-3)
  45. Miami (-6)
  46. Lexington, Kentucky (+1)
  47. Orlando (-1)
  48. Peoria (-3)
  49. Louisville, Kentucky (-3)
  50. Lincoln, Ne

How to recognize and prevent bed bugs at home


FILE – A bed bug is depicted on one arm. (Photo by Sina Schuldt/Picture Alliance via Getty Images)

Bed bugs are typically 3/16 inches long and red to dark brown in color, according to Orkin of Atlanta.

“These are mostly nocturnal insects that come out of their hiding places to take blood meals from sleeping people,” the pest control company explained. “These pests are hematophagous, meaning blood is their only source of food.”

Bed bugs are also known for their rapid population growth, with females laying one to five eggs per day and up to 200 to 500 eggs in their lifetime.

They can easily cling to items such as purses, luggage, and other items, which makes them easier to spread. To make matters worse, the pests can survive for several months while waiting for their next blood meal, so they’re likely to show up whenever a food source — like humans or animals — becomes available.

Orkin recommends homeowners regularly inspect their homes for signs of bed bugs, including mattress labels and stitching, and behind baseboards, headboards, outlets, and picture frames.

“Inspect at move-in, after a trip, when a service representative is visiting, or when guests are staying overnight,” the pest control company suggested.

Individuals should also reduce clutter in the home to make them easier to spot and make sure they examine any used furniture they bring into the home.

Bed bug prevention while traveling

People concerned about bed bugs should also heed the signs when travelling. Orkin recommends the acronym SLEEP when checking for pests during a trip:

  • SInspect the hotel room for signs of an infestation, including tiny, inky spots on mattress seams, in soft furniture and behind headboards, Orkin said.
  • LCheck inside bed bug hideouts like mattresses, box springs, and other furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures, and even torn wallpaper.
  • ELift luggage away from the bed and the wall, the company said – noting that the safest places are in the bathroom or on the counters.
  • EExamine luggage carefully when repacking and upon returning from a trip. Orkin recommends keeping luggage away from the bed.
  • POn your return, thread all tumble dryables from your luggage into the tumble dryer on high for at least 30-45 minutes.

Orkin’s entomologist said that while travelers should watch out for bed bug infestations in hotels, there are other areas to watch out for.

“Cabs, buses and airplanes are also common hideouts for bed bugs, giving these pests an opportunity to ride along with unsuspecting travelers,” Hottel said in a statement. “Regular inspection of clothing and luggage when traveling can help detect bed bug infestations at an early stage.”

This story was reported from Cincinnati.