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Chicago Tops Bed Bug Cities List for Second Year in a Row

Nearly half of cities show rise in bed bug treatments

ATLANTA, Jan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Chicago tops the 2013 Bed Bug Cities List, released today by pest control leader Orkin. The Windy City's bed bug problem was serious enough that the City Council passed an ordinance in July 2013 requiring condo associations to have a formal management plan in place for the detection, inspection and treatment of these pests.


In the South, two major cities had the biggest jumps on the list from 2012 to 2013 -- Nashville moved up 17 spots while Charlotte climbed 18 spots. Other cities that made notable leaps up the list include Champaign/Springfield, Ill., Pittsburgh and Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville, S.C. On the other end of the spectrum, Omaha, Neb., Colorado Springs/Pueblo, Colo., Lexington, Ky. and Buffalo, N.Y. settled into significantly lower spots on the list than last year. Of the five new cities on the list, three are in the Midwest – Toledo, Ohio, Peoria, Ill. and Davenport, Iowa/Moline, Ill. New Orleans and Kansas City took the final two spots on the list as new entries. On the east coast, six cities took positions lower on the list, including three cities in New York -- Albany, Buffalo and New York City.     

Bed bugs continue to bite their way across the country as evidenced by the more than 20 percent increase in Rollins', Orkin's parent company, bed bug business compared to 2012. The nationwide resurgence of the bed bug population prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to release a joint statement in 2012 advising the public of the emerging health issues associated with bed bugs. 

"While studies show that bed bugs do not spread disease, the physical and mental health consequences are well documented and of serious public concern," said Orkin entomologist and Technical Services Director Ron Harrison, Ph.D. "Once bed bugs are inside your home or business, they can reproduce quickly and can travel from place to place in personal belongings and even on people. They can also move from place to place on their own, independently of objects."

Because every bed bug scenario is different, it's important for homeowners to call on a professional who can create a solution tailored to their home's needs.

The list released by Orkin ranks the cities by the number of bed bug treatments Orkin performed from January to December 2013, along with any shift in ranking compared to January to December 2012.

  1. Chicago
  2. Los Angeles (+1)
  3. Columbus, Ohio (+3)
  4. Detroit (-2)
  5. Cincinnati
  6. Cleveland/Akron/Canton (+2)
  7. Dayton (+4)
  8. Washington D.C. (-1)
  9. Denver (-5)
  10. Indianapolis (+6)
  11. Richmond/Petersburg, Va. (+1)
  12. Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville, N.C. (+3)
  13. Dallas/Ft. Worth (-4)
  14. Syracuse, N.Y. (+7)
  15. Atlanta (+14)
  16. Houston (+2)
  17. New York (-7)
  18. Seattle/Tacoma (-5)
  19. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose (-5)
  20. Boston (+2)
  21. Milwaukee (-2)
  22. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale (+3)
  23. Nashville (+17)
  24. Pittsburgh (+12)
  25. Charlotte (+18)
  26. San Diego (+6)
  27. Baltimore (-7)
  28. Phoenix (+7)
  29. Cedar Rapids/Waterloo, Iowa (+4)
  30. Charleston/Huntington, W. Va. (+1)
  31. Knoxville, Tenn. (-4)
  32. Louisville, Ky. (-2)
  33. Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo, Mich. (+5)
  34. Hartford/New Haven, Conn. (-8)
  35. Champaign/Springfield, Ill. (+13)
  36. Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville, S.C. (+11)
  37. Omaha, Neb. (-20)
  38. Buffalo, N.Y. (-10)
  39. Lincoln/Hastings/Kearney, Neb. (+2)
  40. Lexington, Ky. (-16)
  41. Sacramento/Stockton/Modesto, Calif. (+4)
  42. Colorado Springs/Pueblo, Colo. (-19)
  43. Albany/Schenectady/Troy, N.Y. (-1)
  44. Minneapolis/St. Paul (-10)
  45. Honolulu (-8)
  46. Toledo, Ohio
  47. Peoria/Bloomington, Ill.
  48. Davenport, Iowa/Moline, Ill.
  49. New Orleans
  50. Kansas City

Harrison offers the following tips to homeowners for bed bug prevention:

  • Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly.
  • Decrease clutter around your home – this will make bed bug inspections and detection much easier.
  • Dry potentially infested bed linens, curtains and stuffed animals on the hottest temperature allowed for fabric.
  • Before bringing second-hand furniture into your home, closely inspect it for any signs of bed bugs and quarantine it for a period of time before bringing it into your rooms. Also, keep in mind that there is always a potential for bed bug activity, even if you don't find any signs.

About Orkin, LLC

Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects. The company operates more than 400 locations with almost 8,000 employees. Using a proprietary, three-step approach, Orkin provides customized services to approximately 1.7 million homeowners and businesses in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America, Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia, the Mediterranean and Africa. Orkin is committed to studying pest biology and applying scientifically proven methods.  The company collaborates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and eight major universities to conduct research and help educate consumers and businesses on pest-related health threats. Learn more about Orkin at Orkin is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rollins Inc. (NYSE: ROL).

About Rollins

Rollins Inc. is a premier North American consumer and commercial services company. Through its wholly owned subsidiaries, Orkin LLC, Orkin Canada, HomeTeam Pest Defense, Western Pest Services, The Industrial Fumigant Company, Waltham Services LLC, Crane Pest Control and Trutech LLC, the company provides essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects to more than 2 million customers in the United States, Canada, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Asia, the Mediterranean, Europe, Africa and Mexico from more than 500 locations. You can learn more about our subsidiaries by visiting our web sites at,,,,,,, and You can also find this and other news releases at by accessing the news releases button.


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