Americans, and especially Ohioans, prepare to cringe. Pest control company Terminix has released its annual list of the top bedbug-infested cities in the U.S., and as usual, it's guaranteed to make you feel phantom itches crawl all over your skin, no matter where you live — although, if we're being honest, it's probably worse if you see your city on the list. The following information isn't for the faint of heart.
For the last four years, Philadelphia has nabbed the top spot, a dubious honor which shall henceforth be known as Miss Bedbug, but it has finally been deposed by none other than Detroit, MI. Before all you Philly residents put down the pesticide, however, you should know that it didn't go far: Philadelphia came in at number two on the list. It should also be noted that no fewer than five cities in Ohio made the list. Yikes.
On the other hand, New York City's notorious bedbug epidemic appears to finally be slowing down: After a peak in 2010, which saw infestations in schools and movie theaters as well as thousands of apartments around the city, the number of infestations was cut in half by 2014, and Terminix's list puts it in last place. That still means it's in the top 15, of course, but at least you can halt your plans to live in a plastic bubble now.
Terminix compiles the list based on the number of bedbug-related calls it receives throughout the year from more than 300 branches around the country, and like usual, the results include a number of travel-heavy destinations. "We've seen a steady increase in bed bugs since the 1990s, which has been influenced by increased international travel and infestations left untreated," a Terminix employee said on its website. "Most of the cities... are big tourist and business destinations."
Despite their name, bedbugs can infest just about anything — movie theaters, furniture, and even luggage, which is why they spread so darn easily. Contrary to popular belief, Scientific American writes that bedbugs don't actually prefer urban environments; however, cities' dense populations make it incredibly easy to pass on an infestation. To make matters worse, bedbugs are notoriously difficult to treat, often requiring multiple methods to eliminate entirely.
But enough talk. You're here for one thing: To rekindle your paranoia about bedbugs, or to put your fears to rest. Take a look at the top 10 most bedbug-infested cities below, and check out the full list here. (You can also check out tips for getting rid of bedbugs here.)
1. Detroit, MI
2. Philadelphia, PA
3. Cleveland-Akron, OH
4. Los Angeles, CA
5. Dayton, OH
6. Chicago, IL
7. Columbus, OH
8. Cincinnati, OH
9. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
10. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA
Images: Unsplash; Giphy