Orkin has released its annual list which ranks cities by the number of bed bug treatments they have performed.

The Grand Rapids metropolitan area moved up to No. 20 in 2014, after being ranked 33rd in 2013.

Chicago is No. 1. Detroit is No. 2.

The list combines Grand Rapids with Kalamazoo and Battle Creek for its combined ranking of 20th. Chicago is atop the list for the third year in a row, while Detroit moves up from fourth to runner-up.

The list doesn't necessarily provide a full picture of which cities have the worst bed bug infestations. Treatments from other companies, treatments per capita and severity of treatments are not taken into consideration.

Year-to-year comparisons can have other variables too, but the results are still worth noting and enough to make you want to check under your mattress tonight.

Rollins, Orkin's parent company, saw an 18 percent increase in bed bug revenue in 2014. According to an annual report on the pest control industry, Americans spent $446 million to get rid of bed bugs in 2013, the latest data available, compared to $70 million in 2004.

Bed bugs are not known to spread human disease like many other pests, but can leave itchy, bloody welts on skin, and they are active year-round.

"Bed bugs are a serious issue across the country, and they're very difficult to control," said Orkin Entomologist and Technical Services Director Ron Harrison, Ph.D. "Bed bugs are not limited to any level of cleanliness or income, which means they can be found in any home or hotel. They're great hitchhikers, and people often bring them inside on their clothes or in their luggage."

Protect yourself from bed bugs at home:                       

  • Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check locations where bed bugs hide during the day, including in furniture, mattress seams and bed sheets, as well as behind baseboards, electrical outlets and picture frames.
  • Decrease clutter around your home to make bed bug inspections and detection much easier.
  • Inspect and quarantine all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home.
  • Dry potentially infested bed linens, curtains and stuffed animals on the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.

How do you protect yourself from bed bugs when you travel? S.L.E.E.P.

  • Survey the hotel room for signs of an infestation. Look for red or brown spots on sheets.
  • Lift and Look in bed bug hiding spots: the mattress, box spring, sheets and furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.
  • Elevate luggage on a rack away from the bed and wall. The safest places are in the bathroom or on counters.
  • Examine your luggage while repacking and once you return home from a trip.
  • Place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting when you return home.
Orkin's rank of the 50 cities which they have performed the most bed bug treaments:
  1. Chicago
  2. Detroit (+2)
  3. Columbus, Ohio
  4. Los Angeles (-2)
  5. Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio (+1)
  6. Dallas-Fort Worth(+7)
  7. Cincinnati (-2)
  8. Denver (+1)
  9. Richmond – Petersburg, Va. (+2)
  10. Dayton, Ohio (-3)
  11. Indianapolis (-1)
  12. Houston (+4)
  13. Seattle-Tacoma (+5)
  14. Washington, D.C.-Hagerstown, Md. (-6)
  15. Milwaukee (+6)
  16. San Francisco–Oaklan –San Jose (+3)
  17. Raleigh–Durham–Fayetteville, N.C. (-5)
  18. New York (-1)
  19. Charleston–Huntington, W.Va. (+11)
  20. Grand Rapids–Kalamazoo–Battle Creek (+13)
  21. Omaha, Neb. (+16)
  22. Louisville, Ky. (+10)
  23. Nashville
  24. Lexington, Ky. (+16)
  25. Atlanta (-10)
  26. Buffalo, N.Y. (+12)
  27. Sacramento–Stockton–Modesto, Calif. (+14)
  28. Syracuse, N.Y. (-14)
  29. Boston–Manchester, N.H. (-9)
  30. Charlotte(-5)
  31. Baltimore (-4)
  32. Phoenix–Prescott (-4)
  33. Miami–Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (-11)
  34. Knoxville, Tenn. (-3)
  35. Cedar Rapids–Waterloo–Dubuque, Iowa  (-6)
  36. Minneapolis–St. Paul (+8)
  37. Hartford–New Haven, Conn. (+3)
  38. Champaign–Springfield–Decatur, Ill.   (-3)
  39. San Diego (-13)
  40. Lincoln–Hastings–Kearney, Neb. (-1)
  41. Kansas City, Mo. (+9)
  42. Honolulu (+3)
  43. Albany–Schenectady–Troy, N.Y.
  44. Colorado Springs–Pueblo, Colo. (-2)
  45. Myrtle Beach–Florence, S.C.
  46. St. Louis
  47. Greenville–Spartanburg, S.C.-Asheville, N.C. (-11)
  48. Bowling Green, Ky.
  49. Fort Wayne, Ind.
  50. Toledo, Ohio (-4)


Orkin/PR NewsFoto
Orkin/PR NewsFoto

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