Seattle hits #14 on top bed bug cities list

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Bed BugsATLANTA – The pest control company Orkin has released its list of the top 50 bed bug cities in 2012, and Seattle ranked high on the list.

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.”

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  • Dave

    I'm just going to validate this column a little. I live downtown Seattle. I had never seen a bed bug in my life before about 3 years ago. Then suddenly I found them living in my apartment yikes. It was pretty horrifying.

    With manic intensity I began the battle. I looked online for how to kill them and was pretty discouraged so I took it upon my own ingenuity. 1st I cleaned them all out of my bed (tedious) and used a scrub brush and bleach water to follow after. This was pretty effective but regular checks would find a few of them starting to make a home again. The process was also very cumbersome.

    Then I got the bright idea I needed. I went and bought one of those hand held steam cleaning wand things. They aren't so great for cleaning stuff but for the $30 investment I can steam my bed's seams and surface killing anything that may be hiding there very quickly and easily.

    I also began seeing these little bast@ards periodically on the wall. Just one or two. This clued me in to also take my steam wand thingie to all the seams of carpet along the wall.

    All of this only took me a couple repeats and when I check I am pleasantly surprised that I find no more bugs :)

    Now that I'm bed bug paranoid I find these little things periodically all over the place. When I attend a local church basement gathering I sometimes find one crawling on my show or pant leg. The same if I sit at the local library in a chair or annoyingly I've even seen them on more than one occasion at my workplace. My point is its easy to drag one back home with you so I still find one or two periodically and I have to watch and monitor but they can be handled.

    Hope this helps someone.

    • Carol

      Wow Dave! I'm surprised you are seeing them in so many places. I just recently was introduced to an All Natural Bed Bug product that you can not only use in your home but you can spray on your clothes or in your car so you don't have to worry about bringing them home with you. This product not only kills them but repels them. If you are interested in learning more let me know. It sounds like Seattle is in need of something like this. I did hear you can get them from a theater or library too.

  • Gilbert Benson

    How can the residents live – or sleep for that matter – with so many bugs crawling around their beds? You'd think most people living in big cities would be able to afford any form of pest control.

  • Katlyn

    Hi there.Howdy to Each. I'm definitely glad I ran across your internet site. Now i'm wanting to get caught up. I got noted this for future reference and hope to participate in future chats. Many thanks.

  • William Sheckes

    I wonder if the pest controllers in Chicago are experimenting with new Bed bug sprays? Becuase they really need to be innovating and testing new methods of controlling their bed bug problem else they are going to stay at the top of the infamy list for a LONG time…

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