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Chicago Named Worst City for Bed Bugs

Good-night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite! If you live in or visit Chicago, you may not have a choice.

Chicago is known for many things—our North Side/South Side rivalry, Superdawgs, corruption...and now, bed bugs!

That's right. Chicago has landed at the No. 1 spot on pest control company Orkin's annual list of the 50 Worst Cities for Bed Bugs.

Rankings were designated based on a list of cities most visited between January and December of 2012, which is one year after Orkin saw a big increase in bed bug infestations, reported the Huffington Post.

Seattle/Tacoma jumped 14 spots on the new 2012 list. Cities including Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Cedar Rapids also made significant jumps, while Atlanta, Honolulu, Charlotte and Las Vegas dropped, according to a press release from Orkin's parent company, Rollins.

"This list shows that bed bugs continue to be a problem throughout the U.S.," said Orkin entomologist and Technical Services Director Ron Harrison , Ph.D. "Based on the diversity of cities on the list, we all need to be very cautious when we travel—whether it is business or pleasure, or to visit family, friends or vacation. We need to be vigilant wherever we are and take the proper precautions," according to the press release.

Orkin's Website describes bed bugs as being flat, reddish-brown, oval insects about 3/16-inch long or the size of an apple seed. After feasting on a meal of blood, bed bugs become swollen and reddish in color. Bites from those little buggers can leave itchy welts on the skin and cause allergic reactions.

Bed bugs are undetectable accept for their distinctively sweet yet unpleasant odor.

Despite the stereotype that only dirty motel rooms can host bed bugs, they can be picked up and found almost anywhere, according to Orkin, whose Website offers tips on how to avoid bringing bed bugs home and how to get rid of them.

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Tell Us: Have you encountered bed bugs? How did you get rid of them?

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