Ouch! Denver ranks eighth among U.S. cities for bed bugs

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Bedbug have made a comeback in US cities, including Denver, which ranks 8th according to Orkin. (HO/AFP/Getty Images)

Denver ranked eighth among U.S. cities for the severity of its bedbug infestation last year, according to a report Thursday from Orkin, the pest-control firm.

Atlanta-based Orkin, which has a nationwide presence, compared cities based on the number of bedbug treatments the firm performed. Denver-Aurora, which ranks 21st for population among metro areas, moved up from ninth in 2013 to eighth last year but has improved from the No. 4 ranking held in 2012 and 2011.

Combined, Colorado Springs and Pueblo ranked 44th among the cities studied, down from 42nd in 2013.

Chicago, for the third year in a row, reported the most severe infestation, with the hard-to-shake pests taking hold in numerous public spaces, including downtown office buildings, police and fire stations, schools and a movie theater, Orkin reported.

At one point, the U.S. seemed to have conquered bedbugs, with infestations dormant for several decades. But the blood-sucking pests reappeared with a vengeance at the turn of the millennium.

Nationally, Americans spent $70 million to treat infestations back in 2004. In 2013, they spent $446 million.

Orkin reports an 18 percent jump last year in revenues related to bedbug treatments.

Although bedbugs don't transmit diseases like other insects, they can cause skin problems, disrupt sleep and contribute to social isolation and psychological stress.

This month, the National Pest Management Association hosted a global conference that drew 450 people to Denver to discuss bedbugs and how to eliminate them.

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Ouch! Denver ranks eighth among U.S. cities for bed bugs

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