Going out of town for the holidays? Traffic, blizzards or spending a long weekend with your crazy uncle may put a damper on the holiday cheer, but in your haste to come home make sure you're not transporting six-legged souvenirs: bed bugs.
A decade ago bed bugs were still the vermin of lore--blood-sucking creepy-crawlies laid to waste by the amazingly effective (and toxic) pesticide DDT.
These pesky insects have made quite the stateside comeback lately.This year bed bug outbreaks have been reported everywhere from homes to office buildings, hotels, stores, schools and hospitals. No less than former president Bill Clinton's Manhattan offices suffered an outbreak.
Although the exact cause remains a mystery, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chalk up the resurgence of these tiny terrors to "increased resistance of bed bugs to available pesticides, greater international and domestic travel, lack of knowledge regarding control of bed bugs due to their prolonged absence, and the continuing decline or elimination of effective vector/pest control programs at state and local public health agencies."
Translation: Bed bugs are great travelers. Every region of the country has been besieged, with bed bugs hitchhiking rides in handbags, the folds of clothes, luggage, planes, trains, cars--even ambulances.
While every major metropolis has reported infestations in 2010 (as well as a rapidly increasing number of smaller towns), some cities have been harder hit than others. We tapped the nation's two largest pest exterminators, Orkin LLC and Terminix, to find the cities with the worst bed bug infestations. Each company has 400 offices nationwide and compiled a list of the hardest-hit metros, based on the number of calls they've received and bed bug jobs performed relative to population. From their lists of the 15 cities with the worst bed bug problems, we then focused in on 13 cited by both.
"This list is based on our experience, and it's not to say that other cities might not be as bad," stresses Ron Harrison, Orkin entomologist and director of technical services.
Bob Young, Division Service Manager for the Northeast and Mid-South Divisions at Terminix, explains his company's methodology like this: "We based it on sheer number of calls that come into our service centers...plus the services that we perform...basically total that and measure the increase that we've been seeing, and it's been growing exponentially over the years." External source: To read complete article 'Click Here'