4 Michigan cities ranked among worst for bed bugs in 2022

Detroit ranked No. 4 on the list

Bed bug on human skin. (Photo by: Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics via Getty Images) (Edwin Remsberg, Getty Images)

Four Michigan cities made Orkin’s list of the 50 worst cities for bed bugs in 2022, and one even made the top five.

Orkin released their annual list of the worst cities for bed bugs, with Chicago “winning” again, followed by Philadelphia and New York, which moved up significantly from last year, and then Detroit -- in fourth place.

Orkin says the list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from Dec. 1, 2020 – Nov. 30, 2021, and include both residential and commercial treatments.

The Michigan cities included are: Detroit at No. 4; Grand Rapids at No. 11; Flint at No. 23; Lansing at No. 48.

Ohio had three cities in the top 10, so at least we aren’t that bad. (Check the full list here)

Here’s some more about bed bugs from Orkin:

Typically, bed bugs are 3/16 inch long, red to dark brown in color and are mostly nocturnal insects that come out of hiding to take blood meals from sleeping humans. These pests are hematophagous, which means blood is their only food source. They can travel from place to place with ease, clinging to items such as luggage, purses and other personal belongings.

Related: Michigan house centipedes: Why you shouldn’t kill them

“Bed bugs are a concern for everyone because they are master hitchhikers, traveling home with people when they likely don’t realize it,” said Ben Hottel, an Orkin entomologist. “Their nature of hiding in difficult-to-find cracks and crevices can make them hard to control, which is why involving a trained professional at the sight of an introduction is recommended.”

Bed bugs are known for rapid population growth. Females can deposit one to five eggs a day and may lay 200 to 500 eggs in their lifetime. They can survive for several months while waiting for their next blood meal, so they’re likely to emerge when a food source, e.g., humans, become available.

“Unfortunately, many hospitality businesses are facing staffing shortages, and while the industry remains committed to cleanliness, now more than ever, travelers should be mindful of bed bug sightings and proactive in inspection efforts.” said Hottel.

Here are proactive tips Orkin recommends for homeowners and travelers to prevent bed bugs:

At Home:

  • Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check the places during the day, including mattress tags and seams, and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets and picture frames. Inspect when you move in, after a trip, when a service worker visits or after guests stay overnight.
  • Decrease clutter around your home to make it easier to spot bed bugs on your own or during professional inspections.
  • Examine all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home.

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.

Related: Where Michigan ranks among states, according to Americans (better than Ohio)


About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.