Chicago Takes Another Top Spot for Pests, This Time Ranking #1 on Orkin’s Bed Bug Cities List

Consider these bed bug prevention tips as you plan your 2022 travel

ATLANTA (January 10, 2022) – Chicago settled in for the second year in a row as the #1 city on Orkin’s 2022 Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List, with Philadelphia and New York moving into the second and third place spots, respectively. These two Northeast cities saw the largest jumps with Philadelphia moving up 12 spots and New York moving up nine spots. As for newcomers to the list, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, landed at #42 and Lincoln, Nebraska, barely snuck in at #50.

Over the last year, as travel began to resurge in the U.S., restless Americans — and bed bugs — were hitching rides across the country for a getaway. As consumers plan for travel in 2022 amid the evolving pandemic, it’s easy to forget that bed bugs are still very much a threat. Taking into consideration the staffing shortages associated with the hospitality industry, it might be the case that bed bug introductions are not being monitored as often as desired, which is why diligent examination is key.

The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from December 1, 2020 – November 30, 2021. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

  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. 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. 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)

Typically, bed bugs are 3/16 inch long, red to dark brown in color and are mostly nocturnal insects that come out of hiding to take blood meals from sleeping humans. These pests are hematophagous, which means blood is their only food source. They can travel from place to place with ease, clinging to items such as luggage, purses and other personal belongings.

“Bed bugs are a concern for everyone because they are master hitchhikers, traveling home with people when they likely don’t realize it,” said Ben Hottel, an Orkin entomologist. “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.”

Bed bugs are known for rapid population growth. Females can deposit one to five eggs a day and may lay 200 to 500 eggs in their lifetime. They can survive for several months while waiting for their next blood meal, so they’re likely to emerge when a food source, e.g., humans, become available.

"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.

Here are proactive tips Orkin recommends for homeowners and travelers to prevent bed bugs:

At Home:

  • Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check the places

    during the day, including mattress tags and seams, and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets and picture frames. Inspect when you move in, after a trip, when a service worker visits or after guests stay overnight.

  • Decrease clutter around your home to make it easier to spot bed bugs on your own or during professional inspections.

  • Examine all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home.

During travel, remember the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to inspect for bed bugs:

  • Survey the hotel room for signs of an infestation. Be on the lookout for tiny, ink-colored stains on mattress seams, in soft furniture and behind headboards.

  • Lift and look in bed bug hiding spots: the mattress, box spring and other furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.

  • Elevate luggage away from the bed and wall. The safest places are in the bathroom or on counters.

  • Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and once you return home from a trip. Always store luggage away from the bed.

  • Place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting after you return home.

With well over a century of knowledge and experience with bed bugs and state-of-the-art tools and products, Orkin is well-equipped to assess your bed bug problem, offer trainings for short-staffed hospitality teams and mount a strategic response to rid your home of the pest and provide maximum protection.

For more information about bed bug prevention and bed bug control, visit Orkin.com. You can also find additional detection tips in Orkin’s video on “How to Check for Bed Bugs in Hotel Rooms.”

About Orkin, LLC

Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects. The company is committed to excellent service and operates more than 400 locations with more than 8,000 employees. Through Orkin’s Points of Service process – Investigate, Protect, Fortify, Keep Watch, Report and Follow Up – Orkin provides customized services to approximately 1.7 million homeowners and businesses in the United States and has nearly 100 international locations in more than 65 countries. Orkin is committed to studying pest biology and applying scientifically proven methods. The company collaborates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and eight major universities to conduct research and help educate consumers and businesses on pest-related health threats. Learn more about Orkin at Orkin.com. Orkin is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rollins Inc. (NYSE: ROL). Follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.

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