Taking an award that no city wants to win, Philadelphia has won the dubious title of most bedbug-infested U.S. city, according to the annual Most Bedbug-Infested Cities ranking, released today by Terminix.
Philadelphia took the top spot from New York City, which held the title for two years. While you’re at it, stay away from Ohio as well, which has three cities – Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland – on the top 15 list.
“Bedbugs continue to increase their presence across the U.S.,” said Stoy Hedges, an entomologist with Terminix. “While major metropolitan areas are most at risk, it is important to note that bedbugs have been spotted in cities and towns across the country.”
The 2012 most bedbug-infested cities include:
3. New York City
6. Washington, D.C.
7. Columbus, Ohio
8. San Francisco
10. New Haven, Conn.
15. Cleveland”Bedbugs can cause itchy welts and rashes, and may go undetected for months in a home or business,” Hedges added. “It is important for consumers to know the signs of an infestation and to have their home inspected by a professional if they suspect a problem.”
As travelers prepare to hit the road this summer, use these tips to slow the spread of bedbugs:
- Check hotel headboards, mattresses and box springs for bedbugs and dark blood spots.
- Hang all clothing. Leave nothing lying on the bed or furniture.
- Avoid storing your clothing in the hotel’s furniture drawers.
- Store suitcases on a luggage rack as far from the bed as possible.
- Vacuum suitcases when returning home and immediately wash clothing in hot water.
- Between trips, store luggage in a sealed plastic bag in a garage or basement, away from bedrooms.
- If you suspect your hotel has bedbugs, ask for a change of rooms.
- Bedbugs should only be treated by a trained pest control professional.
The list was created by compiling data from the 300 Terminix branches across the country. The company created the ranking by evaluating service calls from customers, as well as confirmed cases by service professionals.
[Flickr via expensorvic]