Chicago may no longer be the US city with the worst bed bug problem, but the situation still isn't great. Despite pest control company Orkin ranking Chicago as America's most bed bug-ridden city for three years running, a separate ranking by Terminex placed Chicago as only the sixth worst. Cue the golf clap.
Shockingly, New York City—a place that is notorious for bed bug infestations—did not even place in the top 10 cities. One of our closest big city neighbors, Detroit, has managed to remain in the top five in yearly rankings compiled by both Orkin and Terminex for quite some time. This year, Detroit beat out Philadelphia on Terminex's list as the most bed bug-infested city of 2015.
And that's not all. Stay in your cars when traveling east, Chicagoans. Ohio, that piece of land on the other side of Indiana, has four cities (five if you count both Cleveland and Akron) in the top 10, two of which rank in the top five. Cleveland-Akron ranked third, Dayton ranked fifth, Columbus ranked seventh and Cincinnati ranked eighth. Outside of the top ten, Toledo placed 12th.
While it's terrifying to think that Chicago is battling one the largest bed bug epidemics in the nation, the bugs themselves are even more frightening. Even if you don't make a habit of hopping into strangers' beds, you could still be at risk—a study conducted by Terminex explains that "the name 'bed bug' is deceptive, as these pests can thrive just about anywhere."
The Terminex study continues: "...bed bugs can be found [in] airplanes, daycare centers, restaurants, subways, dressers and purses. Bed bugs' small, flat bodies make them experts at hiding. The most obvious way to detect the presence of bed bugs is bite marks to the body, but those may take up to 14 days to appear."
Sleep well, Chicago and please fumigate your apartment if you feel something biting you.
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