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Chicago Is (Still) the Bed Bug Capital of America

posted: 01/14/16
by: Danny Clemens
Plush bed bugs
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Plush bed bugs are displayed at the Bed Bug University North American Summit 2010 in Rosemont, Illinois.
Brian Kersey/Getty Images

The Windy City is also the Bed Bug City, according to a newly released report from pest control company Orkin.

Each year, the company ranks cities across the United States by the number of bed bug extermination treatments it performed during the previous calendar year. For four years, Chicago has been the nationwide leader in bed bug infestations. Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Columbus, Ohio round out the country's top five bed-buggiest locales.

The Midwest is disproportionately well-represented on the list, claiming 14 of the 50 spots. Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky are represented multiple times in 2015's rankings.

Related: Why You Don't Want to Pucker up for the Kissing Bug

A notorious pest, the common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) feeds on human blood, leaving itchy, irritating bites on its unassuming host. Although annoying, the tiny critters are not known to spread diseases, according to the EPA.

"They can, however, cause other public health issues, so it's important to pay close attention to preventing and controlling bed bugs," the agency adds.

If you suspect that your home or belongings are infested with bed bugs, the EPA recommends reaching out to local health departments for resources relating to bed bug treatment and regulations. The agency also provides a list of tips to help travelers protect themselves against bed bugs in hotels.

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