Chicago tops Orkin’s Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List


January 22, 2024

Photo: Mainely Photos/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Photo: Mainely Photos/iStock / Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Chicago, Ill., takes the top spot as one of the worst cities for bed bugs for Orkin’s Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List for the fourth year in a row.

Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia, Pa., take the take the Top 3 spots for cities with the most bed bugs. Greensboro, N.C., saw the largest jump this year, moving up 25 spots into the Top 20, with Milwaukee (No. 25) moving up the list by 15 and Tampa (No. 31) moving up by 10.

Amid the Paris bed bug craze, travelers are more concerned than ever with avoiding these stealthy pests. As Americans look toward travel in 2024, it is critical to know how to identify and thoroughly check for bed bugs in hotel rooms (both internationally and domestically) while being careful not to bring the pests home with them. Even news websites like The Huffington Post are dispensing best practices for bed bug avoidance while on the road.

The bed bug cities list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from Dec. 1, 2022, to Nov. 30, 2023. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

Check out the full list of the Top 50 Bed Bug Cities:

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

Dr. Ben Hottel, BCE, is the technical services manager for the Rollins Support Center in Atlanta, Ga. Rollins Inc. is the parent company of Orkin Pest Control. He noted in the news release, “Bed bugs are extremely resilient, making them difficult to control. As travel plans ramp up, it’s important that Americans know how to protect themselves through pest identification and proper control. While bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, they are excellent at hiding. Involving a trained professional at the sight of a bed bug introduction is recommended.”

Here are proactive tips Orkin recommends pest management professionals to tell homeowners to prevent bed bugs in homes and while traveling:

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

About the Author

Ellen Wagner

Ellen Wagner is the digital editor for PMP magazine. She can be reached at

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