Pest control leader Orkin has rated the top 50 “bed bug” cities for 2012.
Last year, Rollins, which operates eight pest control brands nationwide including Orkin, saw a nearly 33 percent increase in bed bug business compared to 2011.
Cities across the country were ranked in order of the number of bed bug treatments Orkin performed from January to December 2012.
At the top of the list is Chicago, replacing the previous winner, Cincinnati, which this year fell to number five position. Detroit, Los Angeles, and Denver complete the top five list, followed by Columbus, Washington,D.C., Cleveland/Akron/Canton, Dallas/Ft.Worth, and New York City leading the top ten bed-buggiest areas in the country.
Seattle/Tacoma jumped 14 spots in 2012. Other cities making significant jumps include Indianapolis, Omaha, Milwaukee, Hartford/New Haven, Knoxville, Charleston/Huntington, Cedar Rapids/Waterloo and Minneapolis.
Atlanta, Honolulu, Charlotte and Las Vegas all dropped significantly. The Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. area was not on Orkin’s top 50 bed bug cities list last year, and neither were Greenville/Spartanburg/Asheville, Champaign/Springfield, Portland or Sioux City. Philadelphia; Des Moines/Ames, Iowa; Salisbury, Md.; Salt Lake City and West Palm Beach/Ft. Pierce, Fla. were on the 2011 list, but are no longer in the 2012 top 50 bed bug cities.
“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.”
Sanitation is not a factor when it comes to the development of the tiny bloodsuckers. Other common misconceptions are that they can only be found in bedrooms, when, in fact, in your home they can be found in kitchens and bathrooms. Not only are residential homes a potential risk, but they can be found in hospitals, movie theaters, planes and gyms. People may believe bed bugs transmit diseases, but according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, bed bugs can carry more than 30 different human pathogens, but there is no evidence that bed bugs can transmit diseases.
New research from the University of Minnesota has also suggested bed bugs are attracted to dirty clothes, so keep them in a sealed bag or container when you travel.
Bed bugs can multiply quickly, so early detection is critical to preventing a larger infestation. And since infestations can be difficult to control, Orkin advises vigilance.
“Education and prevention are key,” said Dr. Harrison. “Inspect your bedroom regularly, and be cautious when traveling. Adult bed bugs resemble apple seeds in size and color, while newly-hatched babies can be about the size of a pinhead and pale in color. Check mattress seams, sheets and furniture, behind baseboards, electrical outlet plates and picture frames.”
Finally, while you may want to take on a bed bug infestation yourself, it is a complicated process and not recommended for do-it-yourselfers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Pest Management Association advise you hire a pest control company that has a great deal of experience treating bed bug infestations to treat your home for a bed bug problem.
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