On Tuesday, pest control leader Orkin announced their annual list of the top 50 bed bug cities for 2012 in the United States.
One of the list’s biggest jumps was Indianapolis, who moved up 15 spots from last year. The list puts Indy in the number 16 spot nationwide.
“This list shows that bed bugs continue to be a problem throughout the U.S.,” said Orkin entomologist and Technical Services Director Ron Harrison, Ph.D. “Based on the diversity of cities on the list, we all need to be very cautios when we travel – whether it is business or pleasure, or to visit family, friends or vacation. We need to be vigilant wherever we are and take the proper precautions.”
Bed bugs can be easily transmitted in public spaces such as hospitals, movie theatres, planes, gyms and hotels. According to Orkin’s parent company, Rollins, there was a 32 percent increase in bed bug business last year.
Orkin has three tips to help protect yourself:
1. Know the facts. It’s important to know what to look for with bedbugs. According to Dr. Harrison, “Adult bed bugs resemble apple seeds in size and color, while newly-‐hatched babies can be about the size of a pinhead and pale in color. Check mattress seams, sheets and furniture, behind baseboards, electrical outlet plates and picture frames.”
2. Prevention, prevention, prevention. Once bed bugs are in your home, exterminating them can be an expensive, timely, and complicated process. Using preventative products, like a treated mattress pad, is an easy way to keep your home and family safe.
3. Be smart about travel. New research from the University of Minnesota suggests that bed bugs are attracted to dirty clothes, so carry an airtight bag in your luggage and seal your dirty clothes in it as you travel. Check out the city or hotel where you will be traveling on sites like the Bed Bug Registry (@bedbugregistry on Twitter; they also have an iPhone app)