Watch out if your city is on this list — Terminix reveals Top 25 most bed bug-infested cities

by Brianna Crandall — November 23, 2018 — Ahead of one of the busiest travel days of the year, Terminix, a national and international provider of termite and pest control services and a ServiceMaster company, just released its 2018 ranking of the Top 25 most bed bug-infested cities in the country.

Map and list of Top 25 bed bug-infested cities

Cleveland “crawled” its way to the top of the Top 25 list for a second consecutive year, followed by Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Image courtesy Terminix (Click on image to enlarge.)

Cleveland “crawled” its way to the top of the list for a second consecutive year, followed by Philadelphia and Los Angeles. Ohio had the most cities on the list, taking four of the top ten spots. Texas, Tennessee and Pennsylvania each had two cities make the notorious list.

Terminix based its rankings on the number of services rendered in each city from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018.

The full list of the Top 25 cities is:

1. Cleveland

14. Atlanta

2. Philadelphia

15. San Francisco

3. Los Angeles

16. Baltimore

4. Indianapolis

17. Tampa, Fla.

5. Cincinnati

18. Washington, D.C.

6. Dallas-Fort Worth

19. Louisville, Ky.

7. New York

20. Phoenix

8. Columbus, Ohio

21. Nashville, Tenn.

9. Houston

22. Pittsburgh

10. Dayton, Ohio

23. Memphis, Tenn.

11. St. Louis

24. Boston

12. Chicago

25. Denver

13. Detroit

*This ranking was created by compiling bed bug-specific data of services rendered at more than 300 Terminix branches across the country. The rankings represent Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) with the highest number of actual services between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018.

Although bed bugs were once considered a limited problem, they made a comeback in the 1990’s and continue to be a concern, with businesses representing a majority of Terminix’s customers. The company notes that in areas with active bed bug populations, the reported incidences can quickly increase several hundred percent over the previous year or years.

To prevent a bed bug outbreak, businesses should educate all staff members on how to look for signs of infestation and what to do if bed bug activity is found. While some industries are more susceptible to infestation than others, the more customer and employee traffic a business has, the more the business is at risk, the company notes, since bed bugs can hitch a ride on any item and be carried into any home or building.

Discovery of suspected infestations or bed bug activity often comes via complaints from customers or staff, so Terminix says it is important to train employees to address customer concerns related to bed bugs sympathetically, professionally and according to company policy.

Regular inspections of key customer and employee contact areas and possible harborage sites is essential, says the company. Terminix offers resources for companies serious about bed bug control or wondering if they might have an infestation.

But the company advises that if bedbugs are suspected, facilities managers (FMs) should contact a pest control company immediately to schedule an inspection, and not attempt to handle the infestation on their own. According to Terminix, the Journal of Economic Entomology reported that over-the-counter foggers have been proven ineffective and are not recommended for use, but Terminix experts use solutions such as RapidFreeze, which transforms liquid carbon dioxide into a dry ice “snow” that effectively freezes and kills bedbugs in fewer than 60 seconds.

To find out more about Terminix’s integrated pest management services for commercial bed bug control, visit the Terminix website.