Chicago Again Ranked as Top US City for Bed Bugs

Along with Chicago, both Champaign and Peoria were ranked in the top 50 cities

Getty Images/Oxford Scientific

Chicago has claimed the top spot on Orkin’s Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List for the second year in a row, the pest control business said Monday.

The company compiled the list based on data from metropolitan areas where it performed the most bed bug treatments from Dec. 1, 2020 to Nov. 30, 2021, according to a news release.

Philadelphia and New York obtained second and third place, respectively, and experienced the largest jumps - with Philadelphia climbing 12 spots and New York moving up nine spots on the list.

Along with Chicago, two other Illinois cities were ranked in the top 50 - Champaign, which came in at No. 13, and Peoria, which was ranked at No. 45.

Bed bugs are red to dark brown in color, can travel with ease and cling to items such as luggage, purses and other personal belongings.

Known for rapid population grown, the insects can survive for several months while waiting for their next "blood meal," making them more likely to emerge when humans are available, Orkin stated.

"Bed bugs are a concern for everyone because they are master hitchhikers, traveling home with people when they likely don’t realize it,” Ben Hottel, an Orkin entomologist, said in a news release. “Their nature of hiding in difficult-to-find cracks and crevices can make them hard to control, which is why involving a trained professional at the sight of an introduction is recommended.” 

To prevent bed bugs inside your home, professionals recommend that you specifically check the spots where they hide during the day such as mattress tags and seams, behind baseboards, electrical outlets and picture frames. Also, to make it easier to spot the insects, Orkin advises people to decrease clutter. Furthermore, it's recommended you examine secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home.

The full Orkin's Bed Bug Cities List is provided below:

  1. Chicago 
  2. Philadelphia (+12) 
  3. New York (+9) 
  4. Detroit 
  5. Baltimore (-3) 
  6. Indianapolis (+1) 
  7. Washington, DC (-4) 
  8. Cleveland, OH (-2) 
  9. Columbus, OH (-4) 
  10. Cincinnati (-2) 
  11. Grand Rapids, MI (-1) 
  12. Los Angeles (-3) 
  13. Champaign, IL (+2) 
  14. Atlanta (-1) 
  15. Charlotte, N.C. (-4) 
  16. Dallas-Ft. Worth 
  17. Denver (+3) 
  18. St. Louis, MO (+7) 
  19. San Francisco (+3) 
  20. Pittsburg (-1) 
  21. Greenville, S.C. (+2) 
  22. Charleston, W.V. (-4) 
  23. Flint, MI (-2) 
  24. Raleigh, N.C. (-7) 
  25. Norfolk, VA (-1) 
  26. Richmond, VA 
  27. Omaha (+3) 
  28. Buffalo, N.Y. (+1) 
  29. Knoxville (+7) 
  30. Cedar Rapids, IA (+5) 
  31. Toledo, OH (-4) 
  32. Dayton, OH (-4) 
  33. South Bend, IN (+8) 
  34. Nashville (-3) 
  35. Davenport, IA (+3) 
  36. Ft. Wayne, IN (-3) 
  37. Youngstown (+3) 
  38. Milwaukee (-6) 
  39. Miami (+8) 
  40. Tampa (-1) 
  41. Houston (-4) 
  42. Harrisburg (new to list) 
  43. Greensboro, N.C. (-9) 
  44. Seattle 
  45. Peoria, IL (+4) 
  46. Orlando (-1) 
  47. Lexington, KY (-4) 
  48. Lansing, MI 
  49. Louisville, KY (-3) 
  50. Lincoln, NE (new to list) 
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