Philadelphia won the award no city wants—the most reported cases of bed bugs in the country.
The City of Brotherly Love has a close ally in Cincinnati which placed second, while NYC fell to the third slot as the most bed bug infested city in the US. Included on the top 15 list are Cleveland, Boston, Houston, Indianapolis and Dallas.
Pest-control company Terminix compiled this nightmare ranking and has some tips for travelers who might be visiting any of the listed cities — starting with a list of places with bed bugs.
First, when staying at a hotel or motel, inspect mattresses, headboards, and box springs for bugs, bug exoskeletons, and dark blood spots.
Keep your suitcases on a hard surface (preferably a tiled floor like the bathroom) while you unpack and then cover your empty suitcases in plastic bags and place them in the closet. Never place your suitcases or clothes on the beds or carpet.
When you get home, wash your clothes in hot water and dry everything on the highest temperature setting.
Unfortunately, bed bugs aren’t a problem exclusively at hotels and motels. Other places bed bugs have been found across the country are movie theaters, shopping malls, dorm rooms, second-hand stores, and museums.
So, how can you stay protected while still enjoying excursions out in public? Follow the tips below.
- When visiting a movie theater, keep your purse in your lap—don’t set it on the ground. Wear long sleeve tops and pants to cover your body. Bed bugs go after bare body parts in the dark! They can also crawl into purses or bags set on the floor, coming along for the ride when you return home.
- When shopping in a second-hand store, ask where the furniture came from and if the clothing has been dry cleaned prior to arrival. If you fall in love with something without knowing the background of how it arrived at the store, consider investing in a professional cleaning before bringing it to your home.
- If your teen is planning to start dorm living this fall, ask the resident advisor when the last inspection was for the building—this can include a report on termites, bed bugs, and any other creepy critters that can infest buildings. Dorms should be checked annually.
- Bed bugs were recently discovered at the Children’s Museum in Brooklyn, New York. An exterminator was brought in twice over a two week period to treat the problem, and museum officials released a statement saying the museum was back open and bed bug free.
The standard practice for treating bed bugs is three treatments, spaced two weeks apart. This ensures the beg bugs are gone for good.
If you’re traveling to a new city, you can look up reported bed bug sightings at the Bed Bug Registry (www.bedbugregistry.com) a free, public database of user-submitted bed bug reports from across the US and Canada.
Photos: berrettbedbugandtermiteremoval.com; csmonitor.com; blog.ecosmart.com; bedbugger.com