Gross

Take that Chicago! Windy City becomes No. 1 Bed Bug City as Houston drops in pest rankings

Take that Chicago! Windy City becomes No. 1 Bed Bug City as Houston drops in pest rankings

bed bug, gross
Houston ranked No. 18 on a list of cities with the most bed bug treatment in 2012.  Wikipedia.com

The world might not have ended in 2012, but what did occur is arguably worse: A nearly 33 percent increase in bed bug business across the United States, according to pest control experts at Orkin.

In a recent list of cities ranked by bed bug treatments performed between January and December of last year, Houston took No. 18 in the pest rankings — a nice drop from its No. 11 spot in the 2011 rankings, but still a little too close to the top for comfort.

 Chicago fought the most cases of bed bugs in 2012, followed by Detroit, Los Angeles, Denver and Cincinnati. 

Chicago fought the most cases of bed bugs in 2012, followed by Detroit, Los Angeles, Denver and Cincinnati. Dallas/Fort Worth took No. 9 on the list.

One might reasonably assume that our civilization had moved past the blood-sucking bed bug around the same time that we largely quelled the Bubonic plague, but such is not the case. 

"This list shows that bed bugs continue to be a problem throughout the U.S.," Orkin entomologist and technical services director Ron Harrison, Ph.D said. "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. We need to be vigilant wherever we are and take the proper precautions."

There is no end to the list of places you "need to be vigilant," from likely incubators such as your bedroom and hotel mattresses, to unexpected spots like the office and the gym, retail stores and even your own kitchen. 

If that's not enough to make your skin crawl, then read more about where bed bugs can hide — and how you can prevent them from hitchhiking home with you — on Orkin's website. Because we sure don't want any more of them here.