ATLANTA, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- A U.S. pest control company said Tuesday Chicago led the nation in reports of bed bugs in 2012, followed by Detroit, Los Angeles, Denver and Cincinnati.
In a news release, Orkin said its parent company, Rollins -- which operates eight pest control brands in the United States -- increased its bed bug business in 2012 by almost 33 percent over 2011.
Columbus, Ohio; Washington; Cleveland/Akron/Canton; Dallas/Ft. Worth; and New York complete the Top 10 on the list of U.S. cities troubled by bed bugs, parasites that feed on human blood.
Ron Harrison, an entomologist and technical services director for Orkin, said people need to be "vigilant wherever we are and take the proper precautions" against bed bugs.
"Based on the diversity of cities on the list, we all need to be very cautious when we travel -- whether it is business or pleasure, or to visit family, friends or vacation," Harrison said.
Orkin said bed bugs can be found in kitchens and bathrooms as well as bedrooms, and are also found in hospitals, movie theaters, planes and physical fitness facilities.
They can carry more than 30 human pathogens, but evidence does not indicate they can transmit diseases, Orkin said, citing the Journal of the American Medical Association.