Chicago Takes the Top Spot on Orkin’s 2021 Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List

Chicago Takes the Top Spot on Orkin’s 2021 Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List

The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from Dec. 1, 2019, to Nov. 30, 2020.

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February 3, 2021

ATLANTA  – Chicago has a new gold medal as the #1 city on Orkin’s Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List, with Baltimore and Washington, D.C. trailing in second and third place. Despite less travel in 2020, bed bugs were still biting in Chicago, a popular hub for tourism. In fact, the Windy City usually welcomes more than 48 million visitors annually and boasts a transit system of buses and railways that carries 1.7 million passengers on any weekday1 – a dream for bed bugs. 
 
After joining the list last year, Toledo saw the biggest jump moving up 23 spots to number 27. Denver and Charleston both broke into the top 20, and six new cities joined the top 50 list for the first time this year. 
 
The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from December 1, 2019 – November 30, 2020. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.
 
1. Chicago (+2)
2. Baltimore
3. Washington, D.C. (-2) 
4. Detroit (+3)
5. Columbus, OH
6. Cleveland, OH (+5)
7. Indianapolis (+2)
8. Cincinnati 
9. Los Angeles (-5)
10. Grand Rapids (+8)
11. Charlotte (+9)
12. New York (-6)
13. Atlanta (-3)
14. Philadelphia (-2)
15. Champaign, IL (+1)
16. Dallas (+1)
17. Raleigh, NC (-3)
18. Charleston, WV (+8)
19. Pittsburgh
20. Denver (+7)
21. Flint (+7)
22. San Francisco (-9)
23. Greenville, SC (-9)
24. Norfolk (-9)
25. St. Louis (+3)
26. Richmond, VA (-5)
27. Toledo, OH (+23)
28. Dayton, OH (+21)
29. Buffalo, NY (-5)
30. Omaha (+2)
31. Nashville (-2)
32. Milwaukee (+1)
33. Fort Wayne, IN (+13)
34. Greensboro, NC (-9)
35. Cedar Rapids, IA (+6)
36. Knoxville, TN (-13)
37. Houston (+1)
38. Davenport, IA (-1)
39. Tampa (-5)
40. Youngstown (new to list)
41. South Bend (new to list)
42. Phoenix (+3)
43. Lexington (new to list)
44. Seattle (-1)
45. Orlando (-9)
46. Louisville (new to list)
47. Miami (-15)
48. Lansing (-18)
49. Peoria-Bloomington (new to list)
50. Minneapolis-St. Paul (new to list)
 
Typically, bed bugs are 3/16 inch long and are mostly nocturnal insects that come out of hiding to take blood meals from sleeping humans and are red to dark brown in color. Bed bugs are hematophagous, which means blood is their only food source. They can travel from place to place with ease, including 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 once introduced into a room can make them hard to control, which is why involving a trained professional at the sight of an introduction is recommended.”