While every major metropolis has reported bedbug infestations in 2010 (as well as a rapidly increasing number of smaller towns), some cities have been harder hit than others. The survey tapped the nation’s two largest pest exterminators, Orkin LLC and Terminix, to find the cities with the worst bed bug infestations. Each company has 400 offices nationwide and compiled a list of the hardest-hit metros, based on the number of calls they’ve received and bed bug jobs performed relative to population. From their lists of the 15 cities with the worst bed bug problems, they focused on the 13 cited by both.
Ron Harrison, Orkin entomologist and their Director of Technical Services says, “This list is based on our experience, and it’s not to say that other cities might not be as bad.” The profile of the worst cities includes urban areas with a high population, coupled with a high influx of toursits and business travelers. These are cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington DC.
The National Pesticide Information Center also tracks bed bug infestations by state based on the number of calls received. Their data is very similar to the pest management companies’ – they saw the most inquiries coming from California, New Jersey, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania. Landlords in New York now are required by law to tell new residents if a property has had past bed bug outbreaks and Pennsylvania is considering new laws that would make it clear who has to pay for an infestation – the landlord or the resident.
The article also offers some tips about prevention: Bring a flashlight when you’re traveling and inspect the bed thoroughly, leave your luggage in the bathroom (bed bugs tend to stay away) and inspect your luggage before you bring it in your house. Once you’re home, wash your clothes and dry them on very high heat for at least 30 minutes. But if you do find these buggers…don’t wait to exterminate!