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 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.”
Here’s the complete list of the top 15 most buggy cities:
- New York
- Washington, D.C.
- Columbus, Ohio
- San Francisco
- New Haven, Connecticut