Even though the bites and resulting welts are annoying, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the little blood suckers are "not considered as a medical or public health hazard."
Earlier this summer, Terminix ranked the cities with the most bedbug activity nationwide. Many of these cities are home to large universities. Cities followed by an asterisk are also among the top 15 cities posting the greatest increase in total number of bedbug customer calls from Jan-May 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.
The top 10 most bedbug-infested cities
- 1. Cincinnati, Ohio
- 2. Philadelphia, Penn.
- 3. Detroit, Mich.
- 4. New York, NY
- 5. Columbus, Ohio*
- 6. Los Angeles, Calif.*
- 7. Dallas, Texas*
- 8. Chicago, Ill.
- 9. Houston, Texas*
- 10. Baltimore, Md*
Tips for students returning to campus this fall:
- Use zippered encasements on mattresses and box springs.
- In the dormitory, hang all jackets or clothing. Leave nothing lying on the floor. (Mom said!)
- Never pick up and repurpose used mattresses, crates or furniture discarded by others. (Bedbugs could be the least of your concerns.)
- Inspect items such as used books before bringing them into the living area.
- Wash (in warm water) any previously-worn clothing from thrift or consignment stores.
- Don't allow your backpack or purse to sit on the floor or in close proximity to other bags.
--Written by Hal M. Bundrick for MainStreet