Try to sleep tight: Detroit second worst for bedbugs

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Motown placed second on a list nobody is itching to get on — the worst city for bedbugs.

Orkin, the Atlanta-based pest control company, recently released the ranking of cities based on the number of bedbug treatments it performed from January to December 2014.

Chicago came in first and Detroit won the silver in Orkin's third annual ranking of bedbug cities. Detroit moved up two spots from fourth place in Orkin's 2013 ranking.

Toledo came in last at No. 50.

Bedbugs are oval-shaped insects with flat bodies that are reddish-brown in color.

Typically, bedbugs don't get bigger than about a quarter-inch in length.

Cimex lectularius is the species behind most infestations in Michigan, according to state officials.

The creepy crawlies have piercing, sucking mouth parts to feed on the blood of sleeping humans.

They have sensors that detect heat and carbon dioxide to find meals and use antennae and mouths to smell hosts, according to Michigan Department of Community Health.

Most are unaware when bedbugs feed on them since the insect's saliva has agents that desensitize the skin around bites. Bites from the bugs can turn into itchy welts, the state agency said.

Like Steven Seagal, they're also hard to kill.

For one thing, bedbugs are able to survive in temperatures as high as 120 degrees or as low as freezing.

They've also been known to live for up to a year without feeding, according to officials.

They're great at hiding in clothing, luggage, bedding and mattresses. They are resistant to the most common pesticides, the state health department said.

The Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek area also made the list, coming in at No. 20, up from the No. 33 spot in 2013.

"Bedbugs are a serious issue across the country, and they're very difficult to control," Ron Harrison, an Orkin entomologist and its technical services director, said in a statement. "Bedbugs are not limited to any level of cleanliness or income, which means they can be found in any home or hotel.

"They're great hitchhikers, and people often bring them inside on their clothes or in their luggage."

Orkin has nearly 8,000 employees at more than 400 locations around the world that serve about 1.7 million residential and commercial customers.

(313) 222-2058

Orkin's 2014 Bed Bug Cities List

1. Chicago

2. Detroit (+2)

3. Columbus, Ohio

4. Los Angeles (-2)

5. Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio (+1)

6. Dallas-Ft. Worth (+7)

7. Cincinnati (-2)

8. Denver (+1)

9. Richmond-Petersburg, VA.(+2)

10. Dayton, Ohio (-3)

11. Indianapolis (-1)

12. Houston (+4)

13. Seattle-Tacoma (+5)

14. Washington, District of Columbia-Hagerstown, Md. (-6)

15. Milwaukee (+6)

16. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose (+3)

17. Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville, N.C. (-5)

18. New York (-1)

19. Charleston-Huntington, W.Va. (+11)

20. Grand Rapids-Kalamazoo-Battle Creek (+13)

21. Omaha, Neb. (+16)

22. Louisville,Ky. (+10)

23. Nashville, Tenn.

24. Lexington, Ky. (+16)

25. Atlanta (-10)

26. Buffalo, N.Y. (+12)

27. Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, Calif. (+14)

28. Syracuse, N.Y. (-14)

29. Boston-Manchester (-9)

30. Charlotte, N.C. (-5)

31. Baltimore (-4)

32. Phoenix-Prescott (-4)

33. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (-11)

34. Knoxville, Tenn (-3)

35. Cedar Rapids-Waterloo-Dubuque, Iowa (-6)

36. Minneapolis-St. Paul (+8)

37. Hartford-New Haven, Conn. (+3)

38. Champaign-Springfield-Decatur, Ill. (-3)

39. San Diego (-13)

40. Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney, Neb. (-1)

41. Kansas City, Mo. (+9)

42. Honolulu (+3)

43. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y.

44. Colorado Springs-Pueblo, Colo. (-2)

45. Myrtle Beach-Florence, S.C.

46. St. Louis

47. Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.-Asheville, N.C. (-11)

48. Bowling Green, Ky.

49. Ft. Wayne, Ind.

50. Toledo, Ohio (-4)

Source: Orkin