Exterminators say Ohio is experiencing an “epidemic” of bed bugs, especially in northeastern cities.
Columbus, the Cleveland-Akron-Canton metro area and Dayton are some of the worst cities for bed bugs, according to pest control company Orkin in its 2018 “Top 50 Bed Bug Cities” list.
Columbus topped the list at #5, the Cleveland-Akron-Canton area came in at #14, and Dayton at #34.
The list is based on residential and commercial treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from December 1, 2016 – November 30, 2017.
The top three places where pest professionals report finding bed bugs are apartments/condominiums, single-family homes, and hotels/motels, according to a survey by the National Pest Management Association.
WHAT TO DO?
To identify a bed bug infestation — even a minor one — homeowners should look for “reddish” stains on mattresses and sheets, tiny dark spots that are likely excrement and the “pale yellow skins” that smaller bed bugs shed when they grow, the agency says.
Bed bugs cannot be completely prevented so early detection is critical. To help detect bed bugs, Orkin recommends homeowners and travelers do the following:
- Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check the places where bed bugs hide during the day, including mattress tags and seams, and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets and picture frames.
- Decrease clutter around your home to make it easier to spot bed bugs on your own or during professional inspections.
- Inspect all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home. This is a common way for bed bugs to be introduced into homes.
- Dry potentially infested bed linens, curtains and stuffed animals on the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.
Bed bugs are an elusive threat to your household and beyond, as they can reproduce quickly and travel on your belongings, so it’s critical to detect and treat for them as early as possible. Anyone who suspects a bed bug infestation should contact a pest management professional immediately.