Illinois is Crawling With Bed Bugs, 3 Cities Among Most Infested

Bed bugs, tiny blood-sucking insects, pose a persistent challenge in homes, hotels, and sleeping areas, leading to skin irritations, allergies, and mental strain. This issue is increasingly prevalent in the United States, with certain cities experiencing more significant infestations than others.

Illinois emerges as a state heavily impacted by bed bugs, as per a recent study by Orkin, a prominent pest control firm. Among the top 50 cities surveyed for bed bug treatments conducted from January to December 2023, three Illinois cities stood out: Chicago, Champaign, and Springfield.

Chicago: The Bed Bug Capital of America

For the sixth consecutive year, Chicago clinched the unenviable title of the most bed bug-infested city, according to Orkin. Despite implementing measures like mandatory bed bug history disclosures by landlords and offering free inspections and treatments to low-income residents, Chicago continues to grapple with these resilient pests. Bed bugs proliferate by hitchhiking on various items and have been detected in hotels, apartments, schools, libraries, and public transport.

Champaign: A College Town With a Bed Bug Problem

Champaign, ranked 24th for bed bug infestations, bears the burden of a significant student population due to its association with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This demographic’s mobility and shared living spaces likely contribute to the city’s bed bug woes, with instances even reported in public facilities like the Champaign Public Library.

Springfield: The State Capital With a Bed Bug Issue

Springfield, the state capital, occupies the 34th spot in the Orkin ranking. Despite its historical and cultural significance, the city contends with bed bug challenges, particularly in low-income housing. In 2022, a severe infestation prompted the relocation of tenants from a high-rise apartment building, necessitating substantial investment for treatment and alternative housing solutions.

Prevention and Treatment Strategies

Combatting bed bugs requires proactive measures such as:

  • Thoroughly inspecting belongings for signs of infestation.
  • Laundering clothes and bedding at high temperatures after travel or hotel stays.
  • Regular vacuuming of floors, furniture, and mattresses.
  • Using bed bug-proof encasements for mattresses and box springs.
  • Exercising caution when acquiring used furniture or clothing.
  • Engaging professional pest control services for effective treatment.

By adopting these precautions and seeking timely intervention, individuals can safeguard against the nuisance and health risks posed by bed bugs, ensuring peace of mind in their living environments.

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