While bed bugs are found in all 50 states, there are certain urban environments that they are infesting on a larger scale. The epidemic is getting worse and worse every year, so our list of the worst bed bug cities of 2013 looks rather different from our top cities of 2012. This list is based on data compiled from pest control professional reports, aggregated search trends, and our own nationwide customer database. See if your city made the cut:
#10: Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is home to the busiest airport in the world, making it one of the nation’s top travel hubs. It’s no wonder then that Atlanta is fighting an outbreak of travelling pests, with infestations spiking during the hot and humid Southern summer.
Atlanta is a newcomer to our list, showing a marked increase in bed bug activity over the last few years.
#9: Dallas, Texas
The 9th largest city in the country is also its 9th most popular among the bed bug crowd. 100-degree summer days and a bustling commercial district make Dallas an ideal breeding ground for bed bugs.
Dallas was #9 on our list last year, and is showing no signs of giving up its rank any time soon.
#8: Washington, DC
Tourists swarm to our nation’s capital in the warm summer months, allowing for an easy transfer of bed bugs from one destination to another. With a thriving urban population just minutes away from Capitol Hill, bed bugs won’t have to travel far to find a host once they arrive.
Washington, DC was #8 on our list last year.
#7: Columbus, Ohio
The capital and largest city of Ohio is also one of the most populous state capitals in the country. High urban populations have always been a popular destination for hungry bed bugs, and Columbus is no exception.
Columbus has fallen from last year’s #4 ranking, despite previous forecasts of its bed bug reports doubling over the summer.
#6: Cleveland, Ohio
The Rock and Roll Capital of the World has seen its share of visitors from around the country, making it one of the most diverse big cities in the nation today. Unfortunately, that status as a trade and travel hub brought with it a nasty outbreak of bed bugs.
Cleveland narrowly avoided being included in our top 10 list last year.
#5: Cincinnati, Ohio
It seems like Ohio can’t catch a break from bed bugs; Cincinnati is the third Ohio city in a row to make the top 10 list. There’s nothing coincidental in the three cities’ inclusion, though – Ohio is home to one of the most chemically resistant strains of bed bugs ever encountered, the appropriately named “Cincinnati strain”.
Cincinnati wasn’t on our top 10 list last year, but has experienced a rapid growth in bed bug reports.
#4: Detroit, Michigan
Detroit was #1 on our list of 2012’s most infested cities, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that things are looking up. It’s more likely that other cities are simply seeing the same increase in bed bug infestations that Motor City USA was over the last few years.
#3: Los Angeles, California
California has seen a dramatic increase in bed bug activity over the last year. It shouldn’t surprise anyone then that California’s most populated city would make our top-10 list. The dense urban population, coupled with a hot and dry summer, makes for quite the bed bug hangout spot.
No California cities made our top-10 list last year, but LA and three other Golden State cities did make Terminix’s list of the fastest-growing bed bug cities.
#2: New York, New York
New York City has been battling a major bed bug epidemic for a few years now. Just last fall, their own health department faced an infestation. The threat may be on the decline since its dramatic peak in 2011, but that’s no reason to lower your guard. If you’re a resident or visitor of the Big Apple, take steps to prevent bed bugs from coming home with you.
New York retains its year-old title as the #2 bed bug city in the US.
#1: Chicago, Illinois
Topping 2013’s worst bed bug cities is The Windy City. Chicago is home to almost 3 million residents, making it the capital of the Midwest and one of the largest cities and metropolitan areas in the country. To make things even easier for bed bugs to inhabit Chicagoland, the local O’Hare International Airport is the second busiest airport in the world.
Chicago was our #3 city last year, but legislative action and public awareness campaigns have done little to curb the growing bed bug epidemic.
Did your city make the list of 2013’s buggiest cities? Let us know in the comments, and share your city pride with friends.