“Don’t let the bedbugs bite” is a saying so cliche it’s almost lost all meaning, but that doesn’t mean bed bugs aren’t a real issue in many cities across the US. Indeed, according to a ranking of the top 50 US cities for bed bugs by pest control company Orkin, the bed bugs are biting all over the place, maybe even in places where we least expected it. According to the study, which examined cities where the most bed bug treatments were performed in 2019, some of America’s largest cities are among the worst bed bug victims.

Based on treatment data from metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug cleanups, Washington, DC, took the not-so-coveted first place on the list, followed by Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Columbus. New York City was only number six, despite being the city most commonly associated with bed bug issues.

Orkin entomologist Chelle Hartzer said, “They can be an elusive threat to households. They are excellent hitchhikers and they reproduce quickly which makes it nearly impossible to prevent bed bugs.”

Since bed bugs are known for multiplying rapidly, they are quite difficult to eradicate. That doesn’t mean all hope is lost, however. According to Hartzer, “The key to preventing a bed bug infestation is early detection. When one or more bed bugs enter a space, we call it an introduction. During an introduction, bed bugs probably haven’t started reproducing yet, but they could soon. Vigilance is key to stopping bed bugs before infestation levels.”

For the full top 50 list, visit Orkin’s website.