The 10 Worst Cities for Bedbugs in the U.S., New Data Shows


Despite their small size, few pests strike fear and dread into the hearts of so many people quite like bedbugs can. The parasitic insects have become a constant source of worry as potential hitchhikers that can sneak their way into your home and wreak havoc. Part of the problem is that the hard-to-see bugs could be practically anywhere, regardless of where you live. But now, new data shows which cities are actually the worst for bedbugs in the U.S.

On Jan. 9, pest services company Orkin released its annual "Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List." Locales are ranked using the number of commercial and residential bedbug treatments carried out by the company in each metro area from Dec. 1, 2021, through Nov. 30, 2022. This year's results revealed that the top city has remained unchanged for the third year in a row.

In a press release showcasing the results, Orkin says it hoped to highlight awareness around travelers looking for the pests when they check into lodging. The company warns that bedbugs can sneak into homes undetected by clinging to luggage, purses, and other belongings.

"Bedbugs are extremely resilient, making them difficult to control. As people begin to ramp up their travel plans this year, it's important they know how to protect themselves through pest identification and proper control," Ben Hottel, Orkin entomologist, said in the company's press release. "Contrary to popular belief, bedbugs are visible to the naked eye, but are excellent at hiding. Involving a trained professional at the sight of a bedbug introduction is recommended."

The company warns that there are plenty of public places that could put you at risk of accidentally bringing an infestation home. "While it's important to be aware of bedbug infestations within hotels, practicing precautions in other aspects of travel is also important. Taxis, buses, and airplanes are also common bed bug hiding places, allowing these pests an opportunity to hitch a ride with unsuspecting travelers. Examining clothing and luggage regularly while traveling can help to catch a bed bug infestation in the early stages," said Hottel.

But which metro area topped the list? Read on to see which cities are the worst for bedbugs in the U.S., according to data.

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Columbus, Ohio

Ranking change from last year: -1

Ohio's capital city moved down a spot in the rankings this year. But despite the slight improvement, it still couldn't get itself out of the top ten for bedbug infestations.

Washington, D.C.
Von f11photo / Shutterstock

Ranking change from last year: -2

Things may be headed in the right direction as far as bed bugs are concerned in our nation's capital. The District fell two spots from last year's rankings.

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Baltimore, Maryland

Ranking change from last year: -3

The largest city in Maryland also happened to see the most significant drop within the top ten worst cities for bedbugs. This year, Baltimore is three spots lower on the list than it was in 2022.

Indianapolis, Indiana
Shutterstock / Sean Pavone

Ranking change from last year: -1

Indianapolis was able to make a modest improvement on its 2022 showing: The Indiana capital eked down one slot on the rankings for this year.

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Detroit, Michigan

Ranking change from last year: -2

Motor City appears to be making progress when it comes to bedbug infestations. Detroit was able to keep itself out of the top five this year by dropping one spot.

Los Angeles, California

Ranking change from last year: +7

Los Angeles may be the second-largest city in the U.S., but there's no topping it when it comes to growing bedbug problems. The city saw the biggest jump of any on the list, leaping seven spots higher into the top ten.

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Cleveland-Akron, Ohio

Ranking change from last year: +4

The Cleveland and Akron metropolitan areas may have to start getting proactive about their bedbug problem. The Ohio locale was home to the second biggest increase on the annual list by climbing four spaces, tied with Raleigh, North Carolina, in the 20th spot.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ranking change from last year: -1

Philadelphia was lucky: It was able to slide back one spot in the rankings this year. But even then, the City of Brotherly Love is still in the top three worst places for bedbugs in the U.S.

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New York, NY
iStock / Bim

Ranking change from last year: +1

With more than 8 million residents, it might be easy to assume that New York City would top the list of places with major bedbug issues. But the Big Apple has managed to avoid the top spot again—even though it rose one position from last year.

Chicago, Ilinois

Ranking change from last year: None

For the third year in a row, the Windy City has managed to hold the top spot as the worst in the U.S. for bedbugs. Unfortunately, Chicago's pest problems aren't limited to just blood-sucking insects: It also recently ranked as the city with the worst rat problem in the nation, beating out New York and Los Angeles.