New York places near the top of the rankings for something none of us ever want any part of!

If you are planning a family vacation this year or maybe you'll have to travel for work and have to stay in a hotel at some point, be aware that there is still a big bed bug problem across the country with some cities having more reported outbreaks than others.

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Worst Cities for Bed Bugs in America

When it comes to bugs and bug issues one of the biggest names in pest control is Orkin, and every year they release a list that ranks metro areas that have the most problems with bed bugs. According to this year's list, New York grabbed an eye-opening ranking. To rank each city the folks at Orkin used data from the metro areas where they performed the most bed bug treatments from December 1st, 2022 through November 30th, 2023 including both residential and commercial locations.

Google Maps/Canva
Google Maps/Canva

New York Ranks Near Top of Worst Cities for Bed Bugs

The 2024 Orkin’s "Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List" shows that for the fourth year in a row, Chicago is the city that has the most bed bugs. Philadelphia, PA ranked #3 and our beloved New York took the #2 spot this year. This year's list did have a few jaw-dropping moves between cities as Greensboro, North Carolina saw the largest jump this year, moving up twenty-five spots, Milwaukee, Wisconsin jumped up fifteen spots and Tampa, Florida moved up ten spots.

If you are planning to vacation this year be aware that bed bugs are a real problem in many areas and it's "critical" to know how to identify and thoroughly check for bed bugs in any hotel you plan to stay at, including any home rental locations. Travelers should also be extremely careful not to bring any bed bugs back home with them.


What Are Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are "hematophagous", meaning blood is their only food source, and are normally red to dark brown, they are mostly nocturnal insects that are typically 3/16 inch long according to Orkin. They are also known to cling to items that many of us use while traveling including luggage, purses, and other personal belongings making it easy for them to be transported from one place to another.

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How to Identify Bed Bugs When Traveling

Orkin suggests travelers remember the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to inspect for bed bugs:

Survey the hotel room for signs of an infestation. Look for tiny, ink-colored stains on mattress seams, on 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 the counters in your room.

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.

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