Chicago, IL

Chicago ranked #1 'Bed Bug City'

Jennifer Geer

It's not an ideal way to start 2022. However, Chicago has been named the #1 city on Orkin's 2022 Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List

In October 2021, Chicago was ranked by Orkin as the rattiest city in the nation. And now Orkin has recently announced, Chicago gets top billing once again. This time, it's bed bugs.

Orkin just released its Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List. Coming in second behind Chicago is the city of Philadelphia, with New York taking third place.

Top 10 cities with bed bugs

The list was created based on data where Orkin performed the most treatments in a metro area in the previous year.

  1. Chicago
  2. Philadelphia
  3. New York
  4. Detroit
  5. Baltimore
  6. Indianapolis
  7. Washington, DC
  8. Cleveland, OH
  9. Columbus, OH
  10. Cincinnati

Bed bugs love hotels

Orkin entomologist Ben Hottel explained in a press release why bed bugs are such an enduring problem for travelers. "Bed bugs are a concern for everyone because they are master hitchhikers, traveling home with people when they likely don't realize it," said Hottel. "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."

Travel picked up in 2021

As travel picked up in the past year after the slowdown due to lockdowns and the pandemic, bed bugs began spreading once again. Experts predict travel in 2022 will continue to trend upwards. On top of this, staffing shortages in the hospitality industry could mean infestations are not dealt with as quickly as possible.

"Unfortunately, many hospitality businesses are facing staffing shortages, and while the industry remains committed to cleanliness, now more than ever, travelers should be mindful of bed bug sightings and proactive in inspection efforts," said Hottel.

How to avoid letting bed bugs hitch a ride into your home

According to Orkin, female bed bugs lay one to five eggs per day and can lay up to 200 to 500 in their lifetime. They can also survive without food for months as they lie in wait for a human host.

Remember the acronym S.L.E.E.P.

  • Survey your hotel room for bed bug signs such as stains on mattress seams, box springs, or behind headboards.
  • Lift the mattress and box springs to look for infestations. They may also be hiding behind pictures, torn wallpaper, and baseboards.
  • Elevate your luggage. Keep it off the floor and away from the wall.
  • Examine your luggage. When you repack and again when you get home take a close look at your items to be sure no pests hitched a ride.
  • Place your clothing (if it's dryer-safe) in the dryer for 15 minutes or longer at the highest heat setting when you get home.

Find out more information about bed bugs and how to prevent them on Orkin's website or at EPA.gov, or Chicago.gov.

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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area. New articles published each weekday.

Chicago, IL
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