June 05, 2019
If you don't have enough of a reason to have nightmares, we're about to give you one more: Philadelphia is the most bed-bug-infested city in the country, according to Terminix. (Awesome.)
Philadelphia hadn't been the No. 1 most bed-bug-ridden city since 2014, but it has reclaimed the top spot for 2019. The City of Brotherly Love had dropped as low as No. 10 in 2017 before climbing back to No. 2 spot in 2018. Cleveland, Ohio, held the top spot in 2018 and 2017.
Terminix reports 22% of Americans have experienced bed bug problems, and for those with children, the percentage rises to 35%.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies bed bugs as "public health pests," and a 2014 study by Penn Medicine found they can transmit the parasite that causes chagas disease through their bites. In 2002 they were added to the EPA's "Lists of Pests of Significant Public Health Importance," joining other pests and vermin, like lice, cockroaches, mice, and mosquitoes.
Here are some basic precautions all people should take to avoid bed bugs when traveling:
Bed bugs do not live only in bedding and mattresses. They will happily hang out on your personal items, such as your clothes or luggage.
Always check for live bed bugs in the room where you are staying in. Check the mattress, headboard and box spring for any exoskeletons, eggs and/or dark blood spots. Lift up the mattress and feel along the seams for any eggs or exoskeletons that may be hiding.
Don't leave things lying around and keep luggage far away from the bed. Vacuum your suitcase when you get home and wash all of your clothes in hot water. This might all seem like a lot, but it's better than having to worry about bed bug remediation.
If you do you do if you notice bed bugs in your home, call a professional right away. Bed bug infestations are one of the hardest to control and eradicate. It can be a long and arduous process, so it's best to get it taken care of immediately.
Below are the 10 cities, including Philadelphia, at the top of Terminix's list of cities that are most infested with bed bugs (read the complete list here):