MEMPHIS, Tenn., June 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Philadelphia has won the dubious title of most bedbug-infested U.S. city, according to the annual Most Bedbug-Infested Cities ranking, released today by Terminix, the world's largest pest control provider and a division of the ServiceMaster Company.
Philadelphia took the top spot from New York City, which held the title for two years.
The 2012 most bedbug-infested cities include:
10. New Haven, Conn.
3. New York City
6. Washington, D.C.
7. Columbus, Ohio
8. San Francisco
The list was created by compiling data from the 300 Terminix branches across the country. The company created the ranking by evaluating service calls from customers, as well as confirmed cases by service professionals.
The 2012 ranking proves bedbugs continue to be a problem across the country, with five cities – Cleveland, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami and New Haven – joining the top 15 this year. Other cities, such as Columbus, Dallas, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., saw growing bedbug populations this year.
Ohio continues to be a hotbed of activity, with three of its cities making the top 15.
"Bedbugs continue to increase their presence across the U.S.," said Stoy Hedges, an entomologist with Terminix. "While major metropolitan areas are most at risk, it is important to note that bedbugs have been spotted in cities and towns across the country."
Terminix, the country's largest provider of pest control services, has seen an increase in the prevalence of bedbugs in most states since releasing its first bedbug ranking in 2010. The company expects bedbugs to continue to plague the nation this summer as travelers encounter the tiny pests in hotels, airports and public transportation.
"Bedbugs can cause itchy welts and rashes, and may go undetected for months in a home or business," Hedges added. "It is important for consumers to know the signs of an infestation and to have their home inspected by a professional if they suspect a problem."
Astravelers prepare to hit the road this summer, Terminix offers tips to slow the spread of bedbugs:
Check hotel headboards, mattresses and box springs for bedbugs and dark blood spots.
Hang all clothing. Leave nothing lying on the bed or furniture.
Avoid storing your clothing in the hotel's furniture drawers.
Store suitcases on a luggage rack as far 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.
If you suspect your hotel has bedbugs, ask for a change of rooms.
Bedbugs should only be treated by a trained pest control professional.
About Terminix Terminix, a division of the ServiceMaster Company, is the world's largest pest control provider. Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., Terminix services approximately 3 million customers in 47 states and 14 countries. Terminix provides pest control services and protection against termites, rodents and other pests threatening human health and/or safety. To learn more about Terminix, visit www.Terminix.com.
About ServiceMaster With a global network of more than 6,900 company-owned, franchise and licensed locations, Memphis-based ServiceMaster is one of the world's largest residential and commercial service networks. The company's high-profile brands are TruGreen, Terminix, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec. Through approximately 21,000 corporate associates and a franchise network that independently employs over 31,000 additional people, the ServiceMaster family of brands serves more than 8.2 million customers every year. Our brands hold market-leading positions in residential and commercial lawn, tree and shrub care, termite and pest control, home warranties, furniture repair, home inspections, residential and commercial cleaning and disaster restoration. Go to www.servicemaster.com for more information about ServiceMaster or follow us at twitter.com/ServiceMaster or facebook.com/TheServiceMasterCo.