The unfortunate truth about bed bugs is that there is very little you can do to avoid them. The little creatures are like bad boyfriends and the IRS: you can do everything right and still wake up in the middle of the night feeling itchy and anxious. You’ll also probably have to spend a lot of time and money to get all three out of your life. While I don’t have a lot of advice for which cities have the fewest bad boyfriends and easiest tax forms to fill out, thanks to Orkin we do know which locales are bedbug paradise.
For the third year in a row, Chicago is the top city for bed bug infestations based on the number of bed bug treatments performed by Orkin between December 1, 2021 and November 30, 2022. For 2022, the top ten cities with the highest number of bed bug incidents recorded by Orkin were:
2. New York
5. Los Angeles
9. Washington, D.C.
If you’ve never had to deal with bedbugs before a) your days are numbered and b) you probably aren’t able to conceptualize just how impossible they are to deal with. For starters, a single bed bug is 3/16 of an inch long, meaning it can be pretty hard to find if you don’t know what you are looking for. They are also nocturnal little vampires, feeding off of humans in our sleep — meaning you are much less likely to spot them during the day.
"Bed bugs are extremely resilient, making them difficult to control. As people begin to ramp up their travel plans this year, it's important they know how to protect themselves through pest identification and proper control," said Ben Hottel, Orkin entomologist, in a statement. "Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, but are excellent at hiding. Involving a trained professional at the sight of a bed bug introduction is recommended."
Perhaps the most terrifying part of these little bugs? They can latch on to your luggage and other belongings while you just get from place to place.
"While it's important to be aware of bed bug infestations within hotels, practicing precautions in other aspects of travel are also important. Taxis, buses and airplanes are also common bed bug hiding places, allowing these pests an opportunity to hitch a ride with unsuspecting travelers. Examining clothing and luggage regularly while traveling can help to catch a bed bug infestation in the early stages," Hotel explained.
I’m not going to go into further detail about how even a single bed bug in your home can lead to apocalyptic chaos but here’s what I will say: Learning how those bugs reproduced left me with waking nightmares for weeks in 2022. So if you live in any of the cities above, or just want to take an abundance of caution, head to Orkin.com to learn everything you need to know about bed bug prevention and response.