Despite what you’ve heard, New York City isn’t actually the worst place in the country for bedbugs.
But don’t rest too easy — it’s no. 2.
The pest control company Terminix released its 2019 report on June 3, and out of the nation’s 50 worst cities, New York City ranked second on the list behind Philadelphia. In 2018, New York City ranked No. 7 on the list, this year jumping ahead of Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, and Dallas-Fort Worth. Terminix determines the list by the number of residential and commercial bedbug services they provided from April 16, 2018, to April 15, 2019, in the included cities.
New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development tracks the numbers of bedbug violations every year. From July 1, 2018, to April 30 this year, they issued 1,178 violations throughout New York City.
Based on the highest rates of violations, the worst spots in the city, according to a report by Localize Labs, are Flatbush, West Harlem, and Morrisania. The report states that even though the number of overall violations have decreased, the problem is likely not going away. Localize Labs found that tenants are going to their landlords instead of the city to handle the issue, which means infestations are not necessarily being reported.
“Bedbugs continue to pose concerns for public health, as their presence is felt across the country, in cities large and small,” Terminix Residential president Matthew Stevenson said in a news statement. “We’re helping bring awareness to an epidemic that can lead to a variety of negative physical health, mental health, and financial consequences.”
Another pest control service, Orkin, released a similar report in January, placing New York City at No. 8 on their top 50 list — a four-spot drop from 2018. The ranking included residential and commercial bedbug treatments.
Terminix recommends taking precautions, especially while traveling in hotels. Individuals should check all hotel beds for bedbugs; hang clothes, rather than laying on furniture; avoid using hotel drawers; and store luggage in sealed plastic bags away from furniture when at home.