Chicago may have lost its “top” ranking for categories like the tallest building, but the city is holding onto one top spot that it might want to let go of.
For the second consecutive year, the Windy City is atop Orkin’s list of top 50 bed bug cities, the locations with the most treatments by the pest control service for bed bugs.
The problem even prompted city aldermen to introduce an ordinance last year declaring bed bugs a public nuisance and requiring landlords to hire professional exterminators to get rid of infestations.
Orkin entomologist and Technical Services Director Ron Harrison says bed bugs continue to bite their way across the country, as evidenced by the more than 20 percent increase in Rollins’, Orkin’s parent company, bed bug business since to 2012.
Los Angeles, Columbus, Detroit and Cincinnati follow Chicago for the top five spots on the list.
Harrison notes that while research into bed bug detection and treatment has made some advancements in recent years, vigilance and education continue to be the key to early detection.
“While studies show that bed bugs do not spread disease, the physical and mental health consequences are well documented and of serious public concern,” he said. “Once bed bugs are inside your home or business, they can reproduce quickly and can travel from place to place in personal belongings and even on people. They can also move from place to place on their own, independently of objects.”
Harrison said homeowners should inspect their homes for signs of bed bugs regularly, decrease clutter, dry potentially infested bed linens, curtains and stuffed animals on the hottest temperature allowed for fabric, and closely inspect second-hand furniture before bringing it in your home. Also, keep in mind that there is always a potential for bed bug activity, even if you don’t find any signs.