2 Tennessee Cities Named Among The 'Worst Cities For Bed Bugs' In The U.S.

By Sarah Tate

January 25, 2024

Photo: SCIEPRO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty Images

If you're squeamish about bugs or tiny crawling critters, you may want to look away. A new report lists a couple of cities in Tennessee as being some of the worst places in America for bed bugs.

Pest control company Orkin released its annual list of the U.S. cities with the most reported cases of bed bugs, using data gathered from December 1, 2022 to November 30, 2023, of cities with the most bed bug treatments. Two cities city in the Volunteer State are among the worst in the country for bed bugs:

  • No. 30: Nashville (+3)
  • No. 34: Knoxville (-4)

Bed bugs are typically around 3/16 inch long and red to dark brown in color and are mostly nocturnal, coming out at night to "take blood meals from sleeping humans," the site states. A bed bug fiasco in Paris last year had people more concerned than ever about the pests. Orkin entomologist Ben Hottel notes that while people may be aware of the bugs while traveling, it's important that they also take precautions at home to ensure their space stays bed bug-free.

"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," said Hottel. "Examining any new items before they enter your home will help you catch a bed bug infestation sooner, rather than later."

So what else should you do to minimize the risk of infestation? Orkin suggests regularly checking your home for signs of bed bugs, inspecting mattress seams, headboards, baseboards and even electrical outlets and picture frames. Experts also recommend decluttering your home to make spotting the insects even easier.

These are the Top 20 "worst cities for bed bugs," according to the report:

  1. Chicago
  2. New York
  3. Philadelphia
  4. Cleveland-Akron, OH
  5. Los Angeles
  6. Detroit
  7. Washington, D.C. (+2)
  8. Indianapolis (-1)
  9. Charlotte (+5)
  10. Champaign, IL (+1)
  11. Columbus, OH (-1)
  12. Cincinnati (+1)
  13. Atlanta (+3)
  14. Grand Rapids, MI (-2)
  15. Denver
  16. Baltimore (-8)
  17. Richmond, VA (+9)
  18. Greensboro, NC (+25)
  19. St. Louis (+6)
  20. Youngstown (+7)

Check out Orkin's full report to learn more about bed bugs and how to spot them.

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