Seattle ranked #13 in 2012, a jump of 14 spots from the year before. Chicago replaced Cincinnati as the number one bed bug city.
Other cities making significant jumps were Indianapolis, Omaha, Milwaukee and Hartford/New Haven. Atlanta, Honolulu, Charlotte and Las Vegas all dropped significantly.
“This list shows that bed bugs continue to be a problem throughout the U.S.,” Ron Harrison, Ph.D. said. “Based on the diversity of cities on the list, we all need to be very cautious 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.”
Sanitation is not a factor when it comes to the development of the tiny bloodsuckers. Other common misconceptions are that they can only be found in bedrooms, when, in fact, in your home they can be found in kitchens and bathrooms. Not only are residential homes a potential risk, but they can be found in hospitals, movie theaters, planes and gyms. People may believe bed bugs transmit diseases, but according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, bed bugs can carry more than 30 different human pathogens, but there is no evidence that bed bugs can transmit diseases.
New research from the University of Minnesota has also suggested bed bugs are attracted to dirty clothes, so keep them in a sealed bag or container when you travel. Bed bugs can multiply quickly, so early detection is critical to preventing a larger infestation.
“Education and prevention are key,” Dr. Harrison said. “Inspect your bedroom regularly, and be cautious when traveling. 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.”