Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

These 6 U.S. Cities Are Crawling With Bedbugs — Again

Scared young woman hiding under the covers in bed.
Crime Art / Shutterstock.com

Few things will give you the creepy-crawlies like imagining an army of bedbugs invading your bedroom or hotel room. Unfortunately, that is the uncomfortable reality in some of the nation’s biggest metro areas.

Recently, Orkin looked at the areas where it performed the most bedbug treatments — both residential and commercial — from December 2022 through November 2023.

The top six U.S. cities on Orkin’s list all have the exact same ranking — from No. 1 to No. 6 — as they did the year before.

Here is some advice about how to keep bedbugs at bay, followed by the cities where you are most at risk of encountering these pests.

How to avoid bedbugs at home

Older senior man can't sleep because of retirement stress
amenic181 / Shutterstock.com

Bedbugs can be tough to spot, because they are pros at hiding. Once they make themselves at home in your bedroom, they can multiply fast. Females can deposit up to five eggs a day, and up to 500 during a lifetime, Orkin says.

To prevent an infestation at home, the pest control company recommends the following:

  • Regularly check for bedbugs. Look around mattress tags and seams. Check behind baseboards, headboards, outlets and picture frames.
  • Keep your home clutter-free. This makes it easier to spot bedbugs.
  • Exercise caution with secondhand furniture. Never bring such furniture into your home without carefully inspecting it first.

How to avoid bedbugs while traveling

Worried woman holding her head in bed
Prostock-studio / Shutterstock.com

Bedbugs also might lurk in hotel rooms and other places when you travel. This can be a major problem, as bedbugs can sneak into your luggage and clothes and later appear as unwelcome guests in your home.

To avoid problems with bedbugs when traveling, Orkin recommends remembering the acronym “SLEEP”:

  • “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 30-45 minutes at the highest setting after you return home.”

Now for the list of U.S. cities with the most bedbug problems, at least judging by Orkin’s treatment data.

1. Chicago

Chicago with clouds
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

How this city ranked for bedbug treatments as of:

  • 2024: No. 1
  • 2023: Same

Chicago has the dubious honor of taking the No. 1 spot for the fourth year in a row. The bedbug issue in Chicago has not escaped the attention of the city’s leaders.

In 2013, the city passed a bedbug ordinance. It requires landlords and tenants to work together to prevent and control bedbug infestations. Landlords also must provide brochures to tenants that outline the threat bedbugs pose and how to deal with it.

2. New York City

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

How this city ranked for bedbug treatments as of:

  • 2024: No. 2
  • 2023: Same

In 2023, complaints about bedbugs in New York City surged by 17%, according to the New York Post. Brooklyn residents reported the largest number of unpleasant encounters with the critters. However, complaints also surged in three other boroughs: Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens.

Mark D. Loffredo, the president of Staten Island-based Post Exterminating, told The Post he has seen three bedbug surges in the past 50 years, all of which were due to a rise in domestic and international travel.

3. Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

How this city ranked for bedbug treatments as of:

  • 2024: No. 3
  • 2023: Same

Major metros such as Philadelphia now face a greater risk of bedbug infestation because of the banning of some pesticides, including DDT, that were used to kill pests like cockroaches, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Michael Skvarla, a Pennsylvania State University entomology professor who is head of the school’s Insect ID Lab, told the publication:

“We got secondary control of bedbugs when we were trying to control cockroaches with insecticides — they kill everything — but when you stop using those, you lose that secondary control of bedbugs, and they’re able to recolonize the habitats that they were eliminated from in the past.”

The rest of the top 10 metro areas

Cleveland, Ohio
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

Here are the other cities in the top 10 for bedbug problems, based on Orkin’s data — and how their ranking changed in 2024:

  • 4. Cleveland/Akron, Ohio (ranked the same as in 2023)
  • 5. Los Angeles (ranked the same)
  • 6. Detroit (ranked the same)
  • 7. Washington, D.C. (moved up two spots since 2023)
  • 8. Indianapolis (moved down one spot)
  • 9. Charlotte, North Carolina (moved up five spots)
  • 10. Champaign, Illinois (moved up one spot)

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More