Local/State

How Philadelphia ranked number 1 in bedbugs

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A new ranking for Philadelphia could literally make you scratch your head.

The City of Brotherly Love has been named the number one city for bedbugs, according to the pest-control company Terminix.

Terminix gathered data from 300 of its branches nationwide to get its rankings.

At the Terminix office in Newtown, Pa. they have tripled the number of teams they have dealing with bedbugs, and they plan on adding a fourth team in the next couple of months. The average cost of treating a three-bedroom home: between $700 adn $900 dollars.

Bedbugs don't spread by themselves. They are carried from place to place.

Infestations are up in dorms, nursing homes, offices and schools. But it's hotels that have the worst reputation.

That's why the number one ranking doesn't sit well with Ed Grose, of the Philadelphia Hotel Association.

In a statement, Grose said, "We have not had any major bedbug issues in Philadelphia hotels. Our association has been proactive on the bedbug issue long before it got the attention of the media. This is a marketing ploy by Terminix. It's ridiculous that they can get away with this."

Trucker Charles Walden says he's never seen bed bugs where he stays.

"I feel fine. I've been sleeping in hotels for the last five or ten years," he told Action News.

Tom Homka, a Terminix service manager, acknowledges many hotels are bedbug-free. But just to be safe, he always checks for them when he travels.

"I lift up the back of the headboard because bedbugs like to forage near the host. You can actually see if there's bedbug activity behind there. You want to check the mattresses and box springs and inside the drawers," Homka said.

Homka says clothes should be kept in a suitcase, preferably inside a plastic bag, or hung up in the closet, and never put in drawers, on the bed or the floor.

And when you get home, he advises washing all your clothes in hot water and vacuuming or steam-cleaning your suitcases.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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philadelphia, bedbugs, local/state, amy buckman
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