Minuscule and bloodsucking, bed bugs are a growing public health problem in Canada, especially here in Toronto.

Canada's largest city was just ranked as the worst city in the country for bed bugs, according to an annual list by pest control company Orkin that was released Tuesday. Orkin ranked the top 25 bed bug-infested cities in the country, with Toronto coming in at number one.

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"Similar to the past three years, larger cities and travel centres claimed the top spots. This past year saw significant bed bug sightings across the country, from infestations in federal buildings to private homes," wrote Orkin in this year's report.

"In less than two decades, Cimex lectularius, better known as bed bugs, have gone from a rarely experienced irritant to a major problem thriving in clean and dirty homes alike."

bed bugs Orkin Canada releases its list of top bed bug cities for 2019. (CNW Group/Orkin Canada)

The findings by Orkin Canada are based on the number of commercial and residential bed bug treatments carried out by the company between the period of January 1 through December 31, 2019.

This year's top ten bed bug cities are:

  1. Toronto
  2. Winnipeg
  3. Vancouver
  4. St. John's
  5. Ottawa
  6. Scarborough
  7. Halifax
  8. Oshawa
  9. Sudbury
  10. Hamilton

Orkin says these pesky bugs can be identified by noticing tiny dark coloured stains, cast skins or live bugs most commonly on mattress tags and seams, under-seat cushions, behind headboards, creases of drawers, buckling wallpaper, and carpets.

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But, if you do find that these pesky bugs are calling your residence home, Orkin says you can prevent them from infecting your home by examining bags and clothing, drying potentially infested bed linens or clothing on the highest heat setting, and inspecting all second-hand furniture before bringing it into your home.

So Toronto, don't let the bed bugs bite.

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