Top 50 Cities ‘Most-Infested with Bed Bugs’

Bed bugs are the ultimate pest.

Not only are they able to live for months without a meal, but they are smart (hiding in the daytime and coming out at night to feed) and sneaky (using their saliva as an anesthetic to make the feeding process quick and nearly painless).

Innovation in medicines and bug treatment over the years has reduced the number of bed bugs lurking in mattress crevices today, but they’re not all gone. And Terminix recently released a list of the top 50 most bed-bug-infested cities in America.

The top five cities on the list include Los Angeles, claiming the top spot, followed by Cleveland, Philadelphia, Detroit, and New York City. Thirteen states had more than one city on the list, including Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. (See bottom of the article for all 50 listings.)

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The report came out just in time for students headed back to college to take note, as bed bugs spread easily by hitching rides on luggage, backpacks and clothing, and can crawl through cracks in the walls, making common spaces of dorm living vulnerable to infestations.

“Bed bugs go where people go, so they can be virtually anywhere,” says Rick Cooper, senior director of bed bug services at Terminix. “Bed bugs move from infested structures—whether that be hotels, airports, schools or college campuses. They can tag along on someone’s clothes or backpack. Bed bugs are an extremely difficult pest to control.”

Terminix based its rankings on the number of requests received from each city in 2021. The top 50 cities for bed bug infestations in the U.S. are:

1. Los Angeles, Calif.18. Tampa, Fla.35. South Bend, Ind.
2. Cleveland, Ohio19. Louisville, Ky.36. Miami, Fla.
3. Philadelphia, Pa.20. Phoenix, Ariz.37. Flint, Mich.
4. Detroit, Mich.21. Dayton, Ohio38. Shreveport, La.
5. New York, N.Y.22. Denver, Colo.39. Kansas City, Mo.
6. Chicago, Ill.23. Oklahoma City, Okla.40. Ft. Smith, Ark.
7. Dallas, Texas24. Nashville, Tenn.41. Springfield, Mo.
8. Indianapolis, Ind.25. Boston, Mass.42. Mobile, Ala.
9. Cincinnati, Ohio26. Lexington, Ky.43. Seattle, Wash.
10. Atlanta, Ga.27. Orlando, Fla.44. Milwaukee, Wis.
11. Columbus, Ohio28. Little Rock, Ark.45. San Diego, Calif.
12. Houston, Texas29. Baltimore, Md.46. Fresno, Calif.
13. San Francisco, Calif.30. Charleston, W.Va.47. Tulsa, Okla.
14. St. Louis, Mo.31. Paducah, Ky.48. Las Vegas, Nev.
15. Washington, D.C.32. Toledo, Ohio49. Sacramento, Calif.
16. Pittsburgh, Pa.33. Birmingham, Ala.50. Dothan, Ala.
17. Memphis, Tenn.34. Grand Rapids, Mich.

If you’re a mattress retailer operating in one of the top cities, use this list as an opportunity to educate the public about mattress protectors and accessories that promote clean sleep. It’s a chance to be the go-to source for good information about sleep and mattresses. 

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