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. In order to get a handle on the “epidemic,” Forbes Magazine contacted 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, Forbes created another one of their “rankings” by selecting out the 13 cited by both. (I have created a ranking list that I will be happy to send.)
What they found was densely populated urban epicenters with high turnovers of tourists and business travelers – New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. – were among the worst sufferers, as were metros in Ohio – Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton – the state with the biggest bed bug problem.
We in Detroit are not spared as Orkin ranked us #5 and Terminix gave us a #3. It makes me feel a little uncomfortable knowing that both my city of birth – Cincinnati – and my adopted home – Detroit – both come in high in the rankings. I guarantee that both my home and that of my mother are free and clear, thus making me blameless.
Getting rid of bed bugs is complex. It can take up to several visits and treatments. While immediate attention is needed to eliminate the problem, the good news, as Edwin Rajotte, professor of entomology and IPM coordinator at Penn State University says, is that “bed bugs don’t carry diseases and are physiologically the same everywhere.” Unfortunately, he finds it necessary to add to this last point, “There aren’t super bugs in Detroit or something like that.”