A new report compiled from data gathered by pest-control firm Terminix shows that 15 cities stand above the rest as being the most bedbug-infested cities in the United States.
The list is topped by New York and includes other major cities such as Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Chicago. Surprisingly, Ohio receives the dubious distinction as the most bedbug-infested state, with three cities in the top 10 and four in the top 15.
According to Terminix, the 2010 most bedbug-infested cities in the United States include:
1. New York
7. Columbus, Ohio
8. Dayton, Ohio
9. Washington, D.C.
10. Los Angeles
13. Louisville, Kentucky
15. Minneapolis, Minnesota
Bedbugs were almost eradicated from the United States following World War II, but increasing international travel and other factors have allowed these pests to regain a foothold in the United States, according to Terminix.
‘”It’s no surprise that highly trafficked cities such as New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles are on the list,” says Paul Curtis, an entomologist for Terminix. “It’s the bedbug problems in cities like Dayton and Louisville that prove bedbugs are back and can pop up anywhere. The bedbug problems in these cities outpace markets of far greater size despite their having a fraction of the population and typically fewer travelers and hotels.”
The top 15 list was developed by Terminix and was created by compiling and analyzing market-specific call volume about bedbugs to the 350 Terminix service centers throughout the United States.
Because of bedbugs’ tendency to hitch rides from one location to the next, high-traffic areas such as hotels, motels, aircraft and cruise ships are especially susceptible to infestations. Tips for travelers to protect themselves from bedbugs include:
● Check headboards, mattresses and box springs for bedbugs and the dark blood spots they leave behind;
● Hang all clothing. Leave nothing lying on the bed or furniture;
● Avoid unpacking clothing and storing your clothing in the hotel’s furniture drawers;
● Store baggage on a luggage rack as far from the bed as possible; and
● Vacuum suitcases when returning, and immediately wash clothing in hot water.
Consumers do not have to travel in order to bring a bedbug infestation into the home. According to Terminix data, reports of bedbug infestations in office buildings and retail shops are on the rise. Homeowners can protect themselves by:
● Inspecting furniture, antiques, used appliances or consignment items for signs of bedbugs before bringing them into the home;
● Never pick up used mattresses or furniture left curbside;
● Inspect clothing for bedbugs and wash (in hot water) new items in hot water after bringing them into the house;
● Use zippered encasements on infested mattresses and box springs; and
● If you suspect you have bedbugs, have your home inspected by a trained professional. Bedbugs cannot be controlled by over-the-counter treatments.
Terminix, a division of The ServiceMaster Company, offers termite and pest control services throughout the U.S. Headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, Terminix employs 9,000 associates across 350 service centers and serves more than 2.8 million customers in 45 states. Terminix provides pest control service for termites, rodents and other pests. To learn more about Terminix, visit www.terminix.com or call 1-800-TERMINIX.