redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports – Your Universe Online
Chicago is now the bed bug capital of the US, replacing Cincinnati as the city where most bed bug-related treatments occurred over the past calendar year, claims on prominent pest-control company.
The Rollins Corporation, parent company of Orkin and seven other pest control firms operating worldwide, released their list of the Top 50 bed bug cities for 2012 on Friday. Topping the list, which was based on the number of treatments performed by Orkin from January through December of last year, was The Windy City, which moved up one spot from its second-place finish in 2011.
Detroit moved up one spot to second, followed by Los Angeles, Denver, and then Cincinnati, which dropped four places from the 2011 rankings. The Ohio capital of Columbus was sixth, followed by the nation´s capital, Washington, DC, in seventh and the greater Cleveland area (which includes Akron and Canton as well) in eighth. Dallas/Ft. Worth and New York rounded out the top 10, according to the pest control company.
“Seattle/Tacoma jumped 14 spots in 2012,” Orkin officials said in a statement. “Other cities making significant jumps include Indianapolis, Omaha, Milwaukee, Hartford/New Haven, Knoxville, Charleston/Huntington, Cedar Rapids/Waterloo and Minneapolis. Atlanta, Honolulu, Charlotte and Las Vegas all dropped significantly.”
“This list shows that bed bugs continue to be a problem throughout the U.S.,” Dr. Ron Harrison, the company´s Entomologist and Technical Services Director, added. “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.”
In an interview with the New York Daily News, Rachel Rosenberg, executive director of the Chicago-based nonprofit group Safer Pest Control Project (SPCP) said that the list was not “a scientific estimation” because it was based solely on Orkin´s consumer base. Nonetheless, she said that it does bring to light a “very serious issue.”
According to the New York newspaper, the SPCP is joining forces with Chicago legislators to craft a city-wide strategy for dealing with bed bugs. Their ordinance, which is scheduled to be brought before city council before the end of the month, is designed to help lay out the rights and obligations of both tenants and landlords. Rosenberg also said she is hopeful that topping Orkin´s list will help push through the proposed guidelines.
As for the bloodsucking pests themselves, Orkin reports that sanitation “is not a factor” in the development of bed bugs. They also note that they can also be found in kitchens and bathrooms, not just bedrooms, and that homes, hospitals, movie theaters, airplanes, and gyms are all locations where they could be found.
“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,” the pest control company added. “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.”