By Hadas Kuznits
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new survey by Terminix finds that Philadelphia has retained its rank as the second most bedbug-infested city in the United States (see previous story).
The top 10 most bedbug-infested cities, according to the survey:
1. Cincinnati, Ohio
2. Philadelphia, Pa.
3. Detroit, Mich.
4. New York, NY
5. Columbus, Ohio
6. Los Angeles, Calif.
7. Dallas, Tex.
8. Chicago, Ill.
9. Houston, Tex.
10. Baltimore, Md.
Exterminator Bob Manley, with A&B Pest Control in Bensalem, Pa., says he’s not surprised about Philadelphia’s bedbug ranking.
“I see a lot (of bedbug cases),” he tells KYW Newsradio. “Right now I have between 10 and 15 jobs going at one time. I mean, it’s all over Philadelphia. It’s not just Philly — it’s Bucks County, Montgomery County.”
Killing bedbugs can be successful, Manley says, but it takes work on the part of the homeowner as well as the exterminator.
“They clean their dressers out, they go through all their clothes, they wash and dry everything, they bag everything. And I come in and I rip apart beds, sofas — everything.”
And Manley says bedbugs don’t discriminate. Anyone can get them, from people who go on expensive vacations, to commuters, to college students.
“I think a lot of times they’re being transported by friends visiting friends,” he says. “I’ve done jobs on people that commute by train, by bus. That’s the worst part about the whole thing: trying to figure out how somebody got them.”
And now, with colleges starting up again, he says, you have to be careful in dormitory rooms. He says some college students like to shop at thrift stores, where an item may have come in already infested.
“When you do buy something like that, keep the bag tied tight and throw it in the dryer. High heat in the dryer will kill anything,” Manley advises.
He says bedbugs go through five growth stages. “Between each stage they need a little blood meal, but as they get bigger, they start to leave bigger marks on people.”
He says a bedbug bite may look similar to a mosquito bite.
“Sometimes it’s a reddish mark, and sometimes they irritate people and the individual could start scratching it and make it worse,” Manley says.