Top bed bug cities of 2021


January 14, 2022

Photo: animatedfunk/E+/Getty Images

Photo: animatedfunk/E+/Getty Images

Do you live in a city with the most bed bugs? Orkin released its 2022 Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List with Chicago at No. 1 for the second year in a row.

Philadelphia and New York City move into the second- and third-place spots, respectively. These two Northeast cities saw the largest jumps, with Philadelphia moving up 12 spots and New York City moving up nine spots.

Newcomers to the list include Harrisburg, Pa., at No. 42 and Lincoln, Neb., at No. 50.

Over the last year, as travel began to resurge in the United States, restless Americans and bed bugs moved across the country for a getaway.

As consumers plan for travel in 2022 amid the evolving pandemic, it’s easy to forget that bed bugs are still very much a threat. Taking into consideration the staffing shortages associated with the hospitality industry, it might be the case that bed bug introductions are not being monitored as often as desired, which is why now is a great time to have your techs review pest logs and protocols with their contacts at these accounts.

The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from Dec. 1, 2020, to Nov. 20, 2021. The rankings include both residential and commercial treatments.

Here is the full list:

  1. Chicago, Ill.
  2. Philadelphia, Pa. (+12)
  3. New York City, N.Y. (+9)
  4. Detroit, Mich.
  5. Baltimore, Md. (-3)
  6. Indianapolis, Ind. (+1)
  7. Washington, D.C (-4)
  8. Cleveland, Ohio (-2)
  9. Columbus, Ohio (-4)
  10. Cincinnati, Ohio (-2)
  11. Grand Rapids, Mich. (-1)
  12. Los Angeles, Calif. (-3)
  13. Champaign, Ill. (+2)
  14. Atlanta, Ga. (-1)
  15. Charlotte, N.C. (-4)
  16. Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas
  17. Denver, Colo. (+3)
  18. St. Louis, Mo. (+7)
  19. San Francisco (+3)
  20. Pittsburgh, Pa. (-1)
  21. Greenville, S.C. (+2)
  22. Charleston, W.Va. (-4)
  23. Flint, Mich. (-2)
  24. Raleigh, N.C. (-7)
  25. Norfolk, Va. (-1)
  26. Richmond, Va.
  27. Omaha, Neb. (+3)
  28. Buffalo, N.Y. (+1)
  29. Knoxville, Tenn. (+7)
  30. Cedar Rapids, Iowa (+5)
  31. Toledo, Ohio (-4)
  32. Dayton, Ohio (-4)
  33. South Bend, Ind. (+8)
  34. Nashville, Tenn. (-3)
  35. Davenport, Iowa (+3)
  36. Ft. Wayne, Ind. (-3)
  37. Youngstown, Ohio (+3)
  38. Milwaukee, Wis. (-6)
  39. Miami, Fla. (+8)
  40. Tampa, Fla. (-1)
  41. Houston, Texas (-4)
  42. Harrisburg, Pa. (new to list)
  43. Greensboro, N.C. (-9)
  44. Seattle, Wash.
  45. Peoria, Ill. (+4)
  46. Orlando, Fla. (-1)
  47. Lexington, Ky. (-4)
  48. Lansing, Mich.
  49. Louisville, Ky. (-3)
  50. Lincoln, Neb. (new to list)

In fact, now is a great time to review what your techs are telling their clients! The Orkin team suggests the following:

At home:

  • Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check the places where bed bugs hide during the day, including mattress tags and seams, and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets and picture frames. Inspect when you move in, after a trip, when a service worker visits or after guests stay overnight.
  • Decrease clutter around your home to make it easier to spot bed bugs on your own or during professional inspections.
  • Examine all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home.

During travel, remember the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to inspect for bed bugs:

  • 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 15 minutes at the highest setting after you return home.

Are you surprised by some cities on this list? Sound off in the comments or email us at


About the Author

Ellen Wagner is a former digital editor for PMP magazine.

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