PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphians are not going to be proud they are ranked at the top of this list. Terminix released its annual ranking of “Top 50 Bed Bug-Infested Cities” in the country ahead of summer vacation season and Beg Bug Awareness Week. Philadelphia reclaimed the No. 1 spot on the 2019 list, which it also held back in 2014.
Last year, Philadelphia was ranked second in the nation for most bed bugs.
Terminix based its rankings on the number of services rendered in each city in the past year.
New York landed No. 2 on the list and Dallas-Fort Worth ranked No. 3.
“Bed bugs continue to pose concerns for public health, as their presence is felt across the country, in cities large and small,” said Matthew Stevenson, president of Terminix Residential.
Terminix experts warn that bed bugs can be found in more than just bedding and mattresses.
They can also hitchhike from place to place via personal belongings, including jackets, purses and luggage, or hide in upholstered furniture and behind baseboards.
Here are some tips to mitigate the risk of being bitten or transporting bed bugs:
- Check hotel headboards, mattresses and box springs for live bed bugs, their exoskeletons and or dark blood spots.
- While full-grown, bed bugs are about the size, shape and color of an apple seed. Travelers should also look for newly hatched nymphs, which are cream-colored and the size of letters on a penny, as well as small translucent eggs, which may be found in the tucks and folds of sheets.
- Hang all clothing. Leave nothing lying on the bed or furniture.
- Avoid storing clothing in a hotel’s furniture drawers.
- Store suitcases on a luggage rack as far away from the bed as possible.
- Vacuum suitcases when returning home, and immediately wash clothing in hot water.
- Between trips, store luggage in a sealed plastic bag in a garage or basement away from bedrooms.