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Worst Cities for Bed Bugs: Chicago Tops 2013 List by Orkin

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Jan 16, 2014 02:34 PM EST

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If you're afraid of bed bugs, don't go to Chicago. Chicago tops the 2013 Bed Bug Cities List according to pest control leader Orkin. The problem became so bad last year that the City Council passed an ordinance in July 2013 requiring condo associations to have a management plan in place for detection, inspection and treatment of bed bug infestations.

Two southern cities also had a big increase last year. Nashville jumped up 17 spots and Charlotte jumped 18 spots. Champaign/Springfield, Ill., Pittsburgh and Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville, S.C. also made big jumps from 2012. However there was good news for Omaha, Neb., Colorado Springs/Pueblo, Colo., Lexington, Ky. and Buffalo, N.Y. which all dropped to lower spots. There are five cities that joined the list including Toledo, Ohio, Peoria, Ill. and Davenport, Iowa and Moline, Ill. New Orleans and Kansas City.

Bed bug infestations seem to be an increasing problem across the country as Orkin saw a 20 percent jump in business from 2012. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a statement in 2012 advising the public of health issues due to bed bugs.

"While studies show that bed bugs do not spread disease, the physical and mental health consequences are well documented and of serious public concern," said Orkin entomologist and Technical Services Director Ron Harrison, Ph.D. "Once bed bugs are inside your home or business, they can reproduce quickly and can travel from place to place in personal belongings and even on people. They can also move from place to place on their own, independently of objects."

Here is a list of the cities with the worst bed bug infestations. It is based on the number of bed bug treatments Orkin performed in 2013, along with the shift in the list from 2012:

  1. Chicago
  2. Los Angeles (+1)
  3. Columbus, Ohio (+3)
  4. Detroit (-2)
  5. Cincinnati
  6. Cleveland/Akron/Canton (+2)
  7. Dayton (+4)
  8. Washington D.C. (-1)
  9. Denver (-5)
  10. Indianapolis (+6)
  11. Richmond/Petersburg, Va. (+1)
  12. Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville, N.C. (+3)
  13. Dallas/Ft. Worth (-4)
  14. Syracuse, N.Y. (+7)
  15. Atlanta (+14)
  16. Houston (+2)
  17. New York (-7)
  18. Seattle/Tacoma (-5)
  19. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose (-5)
  20. Boston (+2)
  21. Milwaukee (-2)
  22. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale (+3)
  23. Nashville (+17)
  24. Pittsburgh (+12)
  25. Charlotte (+18)
  26. San Diego (+6)
  27. Baltimore (-7)
  28. Phoenix (+7)
  29. Cedar Rapids/Waterloo, Iowa (+4)
  30. Charleston/Huntington, W. Va. (+1)
  31. Knoxville, Tenn. (-4)
  32. Louisville, Ky. (-2)
  33. Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo, Mich. (+5)
  34. Hartford/New Haven, Conn. (-8)
  35. Champaign/Springfield, Ill. (+13)
  36. Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville, S.C. (+11)
  37. Omaha, Neb. (-20)
  38. Buffalo, N.Y. (-10)
  39. Lincoln/Hastings/Kearney, Neb. (+2)
  40. Lexington, Ky. (-16)
  41. Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, Calif. (+4)
  42. Colorado Springs/Pueblo, Colo. (-19)
  43. Albany/Schenectady/Troy, N.Y. (-1)
  44. Minneapolis/St. Paul (-10)
  45. Honolulu (-8)
  46. Toledo, Ohio
  47. Peoria/Bloomington, Ill.
  48. Davenport, Iowa/Moline, Ill.
  49. New Orleans
  50. Kansas City

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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