The 20 Worst Cities for Bedbugs in the U.S., New Data Shows

This marks the fourth year in a row that one locale has topped the annual list.

Despite their small size, few pests strike fear and dread quite like bedbugs. Part of the problem is that the hard-to-see bugs could be practically anywhere, regardless of where you live. But now, new data shows which U.S. cities are the worst for bedbugs.

On Jan. 22, pest services company Orkin released its annual "Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List." Locales are ranked using the number of commercial and residential bedbug treatments carried out by the company in each metro area from Dec. 1, 2022, through Nov. 30, 2023. This year's results revealed that the top city has remained unchanged for the fourth year in a row.

In a press release, Orkin says more travelers are concerned with encountering these pests, especially after the large infestation Paris had a few months ago. Orkin also notes that it's crucial to be able to identify these bugs in either international or domestic hotel rooms, so you can avoid bringing them back home.

"Bed bugs are extremely resilient, making them difficult to control. As travel plans ramp up, it's important that Americans know how to protect themselves through pest identification and proper control," said Ben Hottel, Orkin entomologist. "While bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, they are excellent at hiding. Involving a trained professional at the sight of a bed bug introduction is recommended."

"Second-hand items such as clothing and furniture are also common bed bug hiding places, allowing pests an opportunity to hitch a ride home with new consumers," Hottel adds. "Examining any new items before they enter your home will help to catch a bed bug infestation sooner, rather than later."

With all that in mind, which metro area topped the list? Read on to see the 20 worst cities for bedbugs in the U.S., according to data.

RELATED: 7 Easy-to-Miss Signs You Have Bedbugs, Experts Say.

20
Youngstown, Ohio

Youngstown Ohio
Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Ranking change from last year: +7

The first of four cities from Ohio to be in the top 20 is Youngstown. This city moved up seven spots from last year.

19
St. Louis

The skyline of St. Louis, Missouri
iStock

Ranking change from last year: +6

St. Louis is another city that should be concerned about bedbugs. It climbed up six spots from 2023 and is now 19 in the ranking.

18
Greensboro, North Carolina

city skyline of Greensboro, North Carolina
iStock

Ranking change from last year: +25

Greensboro is a heavily populated city that is having major bedbug problems in 2024. This city saw a monumental change, climbing up 25 spots.

17
Richmond, Virgina

james river skyline, richmond, virginia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Ranking change from last year: +9

Richmond's bedbug problem has gotten worse, based on the jump this city had from last year. It climbed nine spots, now placing it in the top 20 worst cities for bedbugs.

RELATED: 5 Things You're Buying That Bring Bedbugs Into Your House, Experts Say.

16
Baltimore

baltimore skyline
iStock

Ranking change from last year: -8

The largest city in Maryland also happened to see the most significant drop in the ranking. This year Baltimore is eight spots lower than it was in 2023.

15
Denver

Denver Colorado
Shutterstock

Ranking change from last year: None

Denver, Colorado remains in the top 20 worst cities for bedbugs but had no change from the previous year.

14
Grand Rapids, Michigan

grand rapids michigan
Shutterstock/Suzanne Tucker

Ranking change from last year: -2

Grand Rapids, the first of two cities from Michigan to make the top 20, is seeing improvement in 2024. They moved down two spots from last year.

RELATED: The 7 Bugs That Are Most Likely to Bite You While You're Sleeping.

13
Atlanta

Aerial view downtown Atlanta skyline, done with 360 degrees image
iStock

Ranking change from last year: +3

Atlanta's bedbug infestation isn't going away. Unfortunately, this capital city ranked 13 in the top 20, with an increase of three from last year.

12
Cincinnati

Downtown Cincinnati
photo.ua/Shutterstock

Ranking change from last year: +1

Cincinnati is still struggling with bedbugs. It's one spot higher on the list than it was in 2023.

11
Columbus, Ohio

Columbus Ohio
f11photo/Shutterstock

Ranking change from last year: -1

Ohio's capital city moved down a spot in the rankings this year. And with that improvement, it has officially dropped out of the top 10.

10
Champaign, Illinois

Champaign Illinois
Jacob Boomsma.Shutterstock

Ranking change from last year: +1

The bedbug problem in Champaign, Illinois has gotten worse. This city moved up one slot in the rankings and secured a spot in the top 10.

RELATED: 8 Signs of a Bug Infestation You Should Never Ignore, Exterminators Say.

9
Charlotte, North Carolina

The skyline of Charlotte, North Carolina with fall foliage in the foreground
iStock

Ranking change from last year: +5

Charlotte is the most populated city in North Carolina and it also has a big bedbug problem. This city jumped five spots from last year and is part of the top 10 for 2024.

8
Indianapolis

downtown indianapolis, indiana
Shutterstock / Sean Pavone

Ranking change from last year: -1

Indianapolis is making an improvement on its bedbug problem: The Indiana capital slid down to number eight.

7
Washington D.C.

washington dc, us capitol building, evening
Von f11photo / Shutterstock

Ranking change from last year: +2

Things may be headed in the wrong direction as far as bed bugs are concerned in our nation's capital. The District moved up two spots from last year's rankings.

6
Detroit

The skyline of downtown Detroit, Michigan
Shutterstock

Ranking change from last year: None

Motor City is at least not getting worse when it comes to bedbug infestations, as it had no change from 2023.

5
Los Angeles

The skyline of downtown Los Angeles, California
Shutterstock

Ranking change from last year: None

As the second-largest city in the U.S., Los Angeles remains a top contender for the worst bedbug problems.

RELATED: 6 Bugs You Should Never Kill, Pest Experts Warn.

4
Cleveland-Akron, Ohio

city skyline on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio at dusk
Shutterstock

Ranking change from last year: None

The Cleveland and Akron metropolitan areas may have to start getting proactive about their bedbug problem. The Ohio locale had no change from last year and its bedbug problem was enough to keep them in fourth place.

3
Philadelphia

city skyline and the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at dusk
Shutterstock

Ranking change from last year: None

The City of Brotherly Love is still in the top three worst places for bedbugs in the U.S.

2
New York

illuminated skyscrapers in Manhattan at evening with Empire State Building and Freedom Tower - the new World Trade Center, New York City
iStock / Bim

Ranking change from last year: None

With more than 8 million residents, it might be easy to assume that New York City would top the list of places with major bedbug issues. But the Big Apple has managed to avoid the top spot again—staying in second for two years in a row.

1
Chicago, Ilinois

chicago cityscape over the river
iStock

Ranking change from last year: None

For the fourth year in a row, the Windy City has managed to hold the top spot as the worst in the U.S. for bedbugs. Unfortunately, Chicago's pest problems aren't limited to just blood-sucking insects: It also recently ranked as the city with the worst rat problem in the nation, beating out New York and Los Angeles.

For more pest advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
Filed Under
 •  •