4 Michigan cities rank among worst for bed bugs in 2019

Bedbugs (Chicago)

DETROIT – Four Michigan cities rank among the worst in America for bed bugs.

Orkin released their annual list of the worst cities for bed bugs. The 2019 list has some newcomers. 

The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from December 1, 2017 – November 30, 2018. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

For Michigan cities:

  • No. 8 - Detroit (No. 7 in 2018)
  • No. 20 - Grand Rapids (No. 23 in 2018)
  • No. 32 - Lansing (Unranked in 2018)
  • No. 47 - Flint (No. 36 in 2018)

“Bed bugs are the number one urban pest in many cities today,” said Chelle Hartzer, an Orkin entomologist. “They are master hitchhikers, so no one is immune. Sanitation has nothing to do with prevention: from public transit to five-star resorts, bed bugs have been and can be found everywhere humans are.” 

Here are proactive tips Orkin recommends for homeowners and travelers:
At Home:

•    Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check the places where bed bugs hide during the day, including mattress tags and seams, and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets and picture frames. 
•    Decrease clutter around your home to make it easier to spot bed bugs on your own or during professional inspections.
•    Inspect all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home. This is a common way for bed bugs to be introduced into homes.
•    Dry potentially infested bed linens, curtains and stuffed animals on the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.

During travel, remember the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to inspect for bed bugs:

•    Survey the hotel room for signs of an infestation. Be on the lookout for tiny, ink-colored stains on mattress seams, in soft furniture and behind headboards.
•    Lift and look in bed bug hiding spots: the mattress, box spring and other furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.
•    Elevate luggage away from the bed and wall. The safest places are in the bathroom or on counters.
•    Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and once you return home from a trip. Always store luggage away from the bed.
•    Place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting after you return home.

Here's the top 50 list:

1.    Baltimore
2.    Washington, D.C.
3.    Chicago
4.    Los Angeles
5.    Columbus, Ohio
6.    New York (+2)
7.    Cincinnati (-1)
8.    Detroit (-1)
9.    Atlanta (+4)
10.    Philadelphia (+2)
11.    Cleveland-Akron (+3)
12.    San Francisco (-3)
13.    Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (+2)
14.    Indianapolis (-3)
15.    Dallas (-5)
16.    Norfolk, Va. (+2)
17.    Richmond, Va. (-1)
18.    Greenville, S.C. (+7)
19.    Charlotte, N.C.
20.    Grand Rapids, Mich. (+3)
21.    Buffalo, N.Y. (-1)
22.    Knoxville, Tenn. (-1)
23.    Nashville, Tenn. (-1)
24.    Champaign, Ill. (+2)
25.    Pittsburg (-1)
26.    Houston (-9)
27.    Denver (+1)
28.    Milwaukee (+1)
29.    Miami (+8)
30.    St. Louis (+5)
31.    Charleston, W.Va.
32.    Lansing, Mich. (new to list)
33.    Syracuse, N.Y.
34.    Phoenix (-7)
35.    Tampa, Fla. (+14)
36.    Greensboro, N.C. (+10)
37.    Omaha, Neb. (+2)
38.    Boston (-6)
39.    Seattle (-3)
40.    Las Vegas (+5)
41.    Orlando, Fla. (new to list)
42.    Davenport, Iowa (new to list)
43.    Hartford, Conn. (-13)
44.    Cedar Rapids, Iowa (-4)
45.    Dayton, Ohio (-11)
46.    Honolulu (-3)
47.    Flint, Mich. (-9)
48.    Ft. Wayne, Ind. (new to list)
49.    San Diego (-8)
50.    Youngstown, Ohio (new to list)

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.