worst cities for bed bugs usa

What Are the Worst Cities in the USA for Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs are annoying, and even though they aren’t known to carry any type of disease, they are still inconvenient and can cause a lot of discomfort. Bed bugs can be found everywhere, including hotels, homeless shelters, and even in individual homes. Because bed bugs love to feast on the skin of a sleeping animal or human to suck its blood, they love staying in beds until someone comes to lay on it. Unfortunately, bed bugs can be found in all 50 states, but many of these states are worse than others.

They Are Found Everywhere!

Bed bugs are more prevalent than a lot of people realize, and it is a myth that they are only found in low-income areas. In fact, bed bugs can easily be carried from one location to another because they are so small that you won’t even know you are taking them anywhere. Suitcases left on the floor of your hotel room can attract them, and you’ll bring them home without even knowing it, where they quickly spread to the beds and other furniture in your home.

They are also not that easy to get rid of and often require a professional exterminator to do the job for you. If you’re curious about which places in the United States have the most bed bugs, here are the top 10 worst cities if you’re trying to avoid these pests:

  1. Baltimore, Maryland
  2. Washington, DC
  3. Chicago, Illinois
  4. Los Angeles, California
  5. Columbus, Ohio
  6. Cincinnati, Ohio
  7. Detroit, Michigan
  8. New York, New York
  9. San Francisco – Oakland – San Jose, California
  10. Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas

This list is according to Orkin Pest Control, and it is from February of 2018. As you can see, Baltimore is on the top of the list, and it actually remained at the number one spot for several years. In New York City, where a concerted effort was made to address the city’s bed bug problem, their ranking on this list has actually gone down a few notches from the previous year.

The 50 Most Bed Bug Infested Cities according to New York Post

with thanks nypost.com

According to the head entomologist who looked at the Orkin report, the overall bed bug rate is going up all across the country, and there are several reasons for this. He reiterated, though, that good cleanliness and sanitation do not necessarily equal a low bed bug rate. According to the report and this entomologist, historical condos, new construction apartments, five-star hotels, and budget accommodations all have the same risk of having to endure these pesky insects.

What About 2020?

If you’re curious about the cities other than those in the top 10, we’ve comprised a list of the top 50 cities in the entire country, and this list is a recent list from the current year. The top 50 cities are as follows:

  1. Baltimore, Maryland
  2. Washington, DC
  3. Chicago, Illinois
  4. Los Angeles, California
  5. Columbus, Ohio
  6. New York, New York
  7. Cincinnati, Ohio
  8. Detroit, Michigan
  9. Atlanta, Georgia
  10. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  11. Cleveland – Akron, Ohio
  12. San Francisco, California
  13. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
  14. Indianapolis, Indiana
  15. Dallas, Texas
  16. Norfolk, Virginia
  17. Richmond, Virginia
  18. Greenville, South Carolina
  19. Charlotte, North Carolina
  20. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  21. Buffalo, New York
  22. Knoxville, Tennessee
  23. Nashville, Tennessee
  24. Champaign, Illinois
  25. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  26. Houston, Texas
  27. Denver, Colorado
  28. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  29. Miami, Florida
  30. St. Louis, Missouri
  31. Charleston, West Virginia
  32. Lansing, Michigan
  33. Syracuse, New York
  34. Phoenix, Arizona
  35. Tampa, Florida
  36. Greensboro, North Carolina
  37. Omaha, Nebraska
  38. Boston, Massachusetts
  39. Seattle, Washington
  40. Las Vegas, Nevada
  41. Orlando, Florida
  42. Davenport, Illinois
  43. Hartford, Connecticut
  44. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  45. Dayton, Ohio
  46. Honolulu, Hawaii
  47. Flint, Michigan
  48. Fort Wayne, Indiana
  49. San Diego, California
  50. Youngstown, Ohio

As you can see, even the top 10 cities have changed a bit from just two years earlier, although Baltimore still comes in at number one.

What Can You Do About Bed Bugs in your city?

If you travel a lot, it is good to be on the lookout for bed bugs. You can start by placing your suitcase either on the luggage rack or in the bathroom as soon as you enter your hotel room so that you can immediately inspect your bed and nearby furniture for bed bugs, which are reddish-brown in color and are roughly the size of an apple seed. Hard suitcases also protect you more from bed bugs than the soft ones do, so this is something else to keep in mind.

More than half of the pest-control experts in the country say that they have a lot more complaints about bed bugs during the summer months, and this is the result of the increase in travel for most people.

But bed bugs are not just found in hotel rooms. In fact, roughly 97% of the pest-control experts interviewed in one study claimed they had treated bed bugs in the past year, and they included hotels, single-family homes, and apartments and condos. Bed bugs can also be found in day care centers, schools, offices, nursing homes, and college dorms – in other words, anywhere that accommodates people who tend to come and go a lot.

The reason bed bugs are found in homes so often is because the people who live there bring in the bugs from other locations, including hotel rooms. So indeed, bed bugs can truly be found everywhere.


The cities with huge bed bug problems aren’t necessarily any different than the cities that aren’t on the list, and indeed, bed bugs are found in nearly every city in America – certainly in every state. The best thing you can do is inspect your hotel room when you travel, and if you notice that you have an itchy, swollen area on your face, neck, arms, or hands after you’ve spent the night in a hotel or other unfamiliar place, it is very likely that you’ve been bitten by a bed bug.

Should you panic? Not necessarily, but if you’re staying in a hotel and you notice bed bugs in your room, you should definitely ask for another room. If you notice these pests in your home, you should either get an exterminator out there immediately or try one of the many over-the-counter products found in hardware stores that are specifically designed to get rid of bed bugs.

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