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Worst Bed Bug Cities 2012: Chicago Tops The List as Worst in the U.S.

Travelers Today       By    Lena Vazifdar

Updated: Jan 18, 2013 06:39 PM EST

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Chicago has been named in an Orkin list for being the worst city for bed bugs in America.(Photo : Flickr)

Living in a big city like New York, the creep crawly creatures, bedbugs are always ones to watch out for. However, surprisingly so, it's not NYC that has the biggest bedbug problem, it is apparently, Chicago in the 2012 Orkin's annual listing of cities with the most treatments for bedbugs.

The ranking works by listing the cities that have been visited the most by Orkin between the months of January and December 2012. 2011's winner was Cincinnati.

Surprisingly, New York City only took number 10 on Orkin's list while smaller cities like Montrose, Colorado and Grand Rapids, Michigan made the top 50. Others that topped the list include Detroit, Los Angeles and Denver.

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Ruth Kerzee, associate director of the Safer Pest Control Project said to CBS Chicago, "New York used to have a terrible problem. They've reacted to that problem, and they've gotten it under control, whereas Chicago is seeing an uptick in bedbugs, because we are sort of behind the curve."

The NY Daily News reported that Orkin serves approximately 1.7 million customers nationwide.  Rachel Rosenberg who is Safer Pest Control Project's (SPCP) executive director said to the NY Daily News that the list brings attention to a serious issue.

"They're not doing a scientific estimation because it's based solely on their customer base," Rosenberg told the New York Daily News. "They're not talking about every aspect of the city, just the people who call them. It's a way to get their name out."

SPCP has partnered with the city in order to provide training and advice on how to handle bed bug infestations. Rosenberg said to the NY Post that Chicago is behind other cities such as NYC in having a strategy to propuerly battle bed bugs.

"The City of Chicago received 1,365 calls reporting a bedbug infestation in 2011. In 2012, they received 1,533 calls," reports The NY Post according to Medill Reports.

 "That's a list where you do not want to be number one," Rosenberg added to The NY Daily News.

SCPC has teamed up with Chicago to introducer new ordinances that help with guidelines on how to deal with bed bugs.

 "What we're finding is that landlords are treating bed bugs just like any other pest," said Rosenberg to NY Daily News. "But they're very tenacious and different and you really need professional help to assist."

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