Picture from npic.orst.edu
When the bed bug problem gained notoriety it was with reports coming out of New York, but a new ranking by ABC News shows a report by the Rollins Corporation and new cities have ranked higher for bed bug treatments this last year.
The Rollins Corporation is in the business of pest control and tracks the number of bed bug infestations around the US. Cincinnati is now ranked number 1 for the highest number of bed bug treatments for the year of 2012. New York is still in the top 10 but other major cities have seen an explosion of bed bugs and it looks as if the problem is getting worse instead of better.
New City Infestation List
Although Cincinnati is number 1, there are some significant changes to a list that seems to gain in strength; the most notable is that the Dallas/Ft. Worth area has gone from the bottom of the list to a ranking in the top 10 to settle in at number 7. Also, Los Angeles added to their bed bug problem and topped the charts rising 20 spots to come in at number 5.
The nature of the bed bug is devious in that it is difficult to see, hard to kill, and can lay dormant for weeks and even months. They can be spread from person to person with casual contact, can hitch a ride on a lobby room chair, live in your car, or even cling to a dress tried on in a dressing room, and it doesn’t matter how clean you are; everyone is at risk.
The difficulty in finding bed bugs in hotels and tourist locations is compounded by the fact that people tend to stay for only a night or two and evidence of bed bugs can be hidden for weeks. If a traveler encounters bed bugs and then continues traveling; each of those locations can become infected. It’s a vicious cycle that takes time, effort, and money to clear up.
Hard to Kill Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are hard to kill and traditional pesticides and cleaning methods don’t work. Getting rid of bed bugs is difficult at best, but if you travel frequently there are measures you can take to keep the possibility of contamination down to a minimum. Before you travel consider checking the bed bug registry website. This site is community driven and can provide information on current infestations and locations to avoid. Taking simple precautions can help you avoid bringing the bed bugs back to your home where they can breed and become a nightmare.
The following suggestions were taken from the book “How to Avoid Bed Bugs When Traveling” by B Wellman available from Amazon.com as a kindle download.
-Before making a reservation check the bedbugregistry.com
-Consider calling the hotel and ask to speak to Housekeeping – they will be the ones to know if a recent infestation has occurred.
-Pack only what you need, the less you have with you, the less chance you will have to bring in clothing that has been infected.
-Use hard-sided luggage – this makes it difficult for the bed bug to hide in the crevices of your cloth luggage or garment bag.
-Pack all your clothes into plastic zip bags within your suitcase.
-When entering a hotel room, do not open your luggage until you have inspected the bed sheets and keep your luggage on a smooth surface such as a coffee table, desk, or in the bathroom.
-If you must have your clothes out – hang them up and never lay out the clothes on the bed spread.
-When returning be sure to repack your clothes in zip bags and wash them as soon as you arrive home, even if you did not actually wear the item.
There are many precautions you can take to keep you and your household safe from bed bugs, it takes a bit of adjustment but can greatly reduce your chance of infection.