Pest control company Orkin gave the Windy City top billing on its 2013 Bed Bug Cities List, an honor which Chicago was unlucky enough to win in 2012.
The problem in Chicago has become such an issue that City Council passed an ordinance in July 2013 requiring condo associations to formally draft bed bug management plans.
“The City of Chicago is committed to making sure residents have the best information to protect themselves from bed bugs. Most experts agree that public education and awareness are the best defenses against bed bugs,” reads to the city’s website.
“Bed bugs can be found almost anywhere, from apartment buildings to four star hotel rooms. Recently, they have become more problematic," the city's website continues. "Possible reasons include modern bed bugs’ resistance to pesticides, increased travel, global warming, and lack of public awareness. Most likely it’s a combination of all of these and others.”
According to Orkin, the list “ranks the cities by the number of bed bug treatments Orkin performed from January to December 2013, along with any shift in ranking compared to January to December 2012.”
Rounding out the top 10 are Los Angeles, Columbus (Ohio), Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland/Akron/Canton, Dayton, Washington D.C., Denver and Indianapolis.
“While studies show that bed bugs do not spread disease, the physical and mental health consequences are well documented and of serious public concern,” said Orkin entomologist and technical services director Ron Harrison, Ph.D. “Once bed bugs are inside your home or business, they can reproduce quickly and can travel from place to place in personal belongings and even on people. They can also move from place to place on their own, independently of objects.”
Residents of Nashville and Charlotte shouldn’t be all that happy, as their cities shot up the list 17 and 18 spots respectively.