Philadelphia is the most bed bug infested city in the U.S. according to a new report, knocking New York City’s two-year reign at the top.
The ‘City of Brotherly Love’ jumped four places to number one this year according to the annual ranking by pest control company Terminix, reporting the highest service calls and confirmed cases in the country.
New York has fallen to third place with Cincinnati keeping its second place title for the second year going.
Ohio, the only repeat state on the list of 15, has three cities this year that adds Cleveland eight places behind Columbus.
TOP 15 CITIES IN 2012:
- New York City
- Washington, D.C.
- Columbus, Ohio
- San Francisco
- New Haven, Conn.
Last March, Cincinnati’s Health Department reported a four per cent decline of the pests between 2009 and 2010, their most recent numbers available according to the department.
In 2009 they found 22 per cent of residents experiencing bed bugs opposed to 18 per cent in 2010.
A call to Philadelphia’s Public Health Department was not immediately returned for comment.
‘Bedbugs continue to increase their presence across the U.S.,’ said Stoy Hedges, an entomologist with Terminix in a released statement.
Terminix, the largest pest control provider in the county, used 300 of their branches to compile their data according to their report.
‘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,’ Mr Hedges said.
Terminix forecasts a continuing plague of the bugs this summer thanks to increased travel, encouraging their spread.
According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the pests can live for over a year without feeding on a host and can further ‘go undetected for months in a home or business,’ according to Mr Hedges.
‘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,’ he said.
Signs to look for: bed bugs typically are seen only at night when coming out to feed or unless there is a large infestation.
Dr James Logan, medical entomologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, says: ‘When the bugs gather they produce a chemical that has a herby, coriander-like, sweet or musty smell. If you sense this in a room, it’s likely they are there.’
Bed bugs can grow to nearly half-an-inch and are often large enough to see with the naked eye.
Look under the mattress, in the seams and in and around the bed frame. Check for tiny blood spots – bed-bug faeces – on bed sheets.
You can tell bites are from bed bugs if there are two or three in a line, as each bug usually bites this number of times.