How to prevent bed bugs as Orkin ranks Chicago No. 1 city for household pest

CHICAGO – Chicago was named # 1 city on Orkin’s list of Top 50 Cities with Most Bedbugs in 2022 for the second year in a row, with Philadelphia and New York moving up to second and third, respectively.

These two northeastern cities saw the biggest leaps, with Philadelphia moving up 12 places and New York up 9 places. For newcomers to the list, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania ended up at number 42 and Lincoln, Nebraska barely crept in at number 50.

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Last year, as travel picked up again in the US, troubled Americans – and bed bugs – drove across the country for a getaway, Orkin said. When consumers plan to travel in 2022 with the evolving pandemic, it’s easy to forget that bed bugs are still a major threat. Given the shortage of staff in the hospitality industry, bed bug introductions may not be monitored as often as desired, which is why a careful investigation is essential, according to the Pest Control Service.

The list is based on treatment data from the major cities where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from December 1, 2020 to November 30, 2021. The ranking includes both private and commercial treatments.

Orkin’s Top 10 Bed Bug Cities:

1. Chicago
2. Philadelphia (+12)
3. New York (+9)
4. Detroit
5. Baltimore (-3)
6. Indianapolis (+1)

7. Washington, DC (-4)
8. Cleveland, Ohio (-2)
9. Columbus, Ohio (-4)
10. Cincinnati (-2)

Usually bed bugs are 3/16 of an inch long, red to dark brown, and are mostly nocturnal insects that come out of hiding to ingest blood meals from sleeping people. These pests are hematophagous, which means that blood is their only source of food. You can travel from place to place with ease, clinging to items like luggage, purses, and other personal effects.

“Bed bugs are a problem for everyone because they are master hitchhikers and travel home with people when they are unlikely to realize it,” said Ben Hottel, an orkin entomologist. “The way they hide in hard-to-find cracks and crevices can make them difficult to control, so it is recommended that you consult a trained professional when viewing an introduction.”

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Bed bugs are known for their rapid population growth. Females can lay one to five eggs a day and lay 200 to 500 eggs over the course of their lifetime. They can survive for several months while waiting for their next blood meal, so they are likely to show up when a food source, such as humans, becomes available.

“Unfortunately, many hospitality companies are faced with staffing shortages and while the industry remains committed to cleanliness, now more than ever, travelers should watch out for bed bug sightings and be proactive with inspection efforts.” said Hottel.

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

At home:

Check your home regularly for signs of bed bugs. Check the spots where bed bugs hide during the day, including mattress labels and seams, and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets, and picture frames. Check when you move in, after a trip, when visiting a service employee or after guests have stayed overnight.

Reduce the clutter in your home so that it is easier for you to spot bed bugs yourself or during professional inspections.

Examine all used furniture before bringing it into your home.

While traveling, keep the acronym SLEEP in mind to check for bed bugs:

opinion poll the hotel room for signs of infestation. Look for tiny, ink-colored stains on mattress seams, in upholstered furniture, and behind headboards.
Lift up and look in bed bugs hiding places: the mattress, box springs and other furniture, but also behind skirting boards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.
Raise Luggage away from bed and wall. The safest places are in the bathroom or on shelves.
Investigate Take care of your luggage when repacking and after returning from a trip. Always keep luggage away from the bed.
place Put all items of clothing in your luggage that are suitable for tumble drying in the dryer for at least 15 minutes on the highest setting after your return.

For more information on bed bug prevention and control, see Orkin.com.

The video in the player above is from an earlier report.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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