Indianapolis makes top 10 on list of cities with most bed bug infestations

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Bed bug feeding on human skin. (Photo by: Edwin Remsburg/VW Pics via Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Don’t let the bed bugs bite! That old adage may be sage advice for people living in Indianapolis.

Pest control company Orkin announced their annual list of the top 50 cities with the most bed bug infestations in the United States. Indianapolis moved up a few spots since last year, and the Circle City is now number nine on the list of top bed bug spots.

Orkin says they compile the list based on data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from December 1, 2018 – November 30, 2019. The ranking includes both residential and commercial treatments.

One other Indiana city made the list—Fort Wayne. Orkin says it’s the 46th worst city for bed bugs.

“While bed bugs have not been found to transmit any diseases to humans, they can be an elusive threat to households,” Orkin entomologist Chelle Hartzer said in a press release. “They are excellent hitchhikers, and they reproduce quickly which make it nearly impossible to prevent bed bugs. Sanitation has nothing to do with where you’ll find them.”

Hartzer says they key to preventing a bed bug infestation is early detection.

Orkin recommends the following tips to protect yourself:

At Home:

  • Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check the places where bed bugs hide during the day, including mattress tags and seams, and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets and picture frames.
  • Decrease clutter around your home to make it easier to spot bed bugs on your own or during professional inspections.
  • Inspect all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home. This is a common way for bed bugs to be introduced into homes.
  • Dry potentially infested bed linens, curtains and stuffed animals on the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.

During travel, remember the acronym S.L.E.E.P to inspect for bed bugs:

  • Survey the hotel room for signs of an infestation. Be on the lookout for tiny, ink-colored stains on mattress seams, in soft furniture and behind headboards.
  • Lift and look in bed bug hiding spots: the mattress, box spring, and other furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.
  • Elevate luggage away from the bed and wall. The safest places are in the bathroom or on counters.
  • Examine your luggage carefully while repacking and once you return home from a trip. Always store luggage away from the bed.
  • Place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting after you return home.

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