Monday, April 21, 2014

Itching for vacation? We hope not

Rankings don't always bring bragging rights. Consider annual Orkin's Top Bed Bug City list, released this winter. Chicago won for the second year in a row.

Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville took top honors in the Carolinas -- moving up three places to the No. 12 position.

While Charlotte barely made it into the top 25, our competitive burg may have its eyes on besting Raleigh even in this -- rising a whopping 18 places in just one year!

If you're itching to know, the Greenville, S.C., /Spartanburg/Asheville area rose an impressive (?) 11 places, coming in at No. 36.

Here's the top 25:

Los Angeles (+1)
Columbus, Ohio (+3)
Detroit (-2)
Cleveland/Akron/Canton (+2)
Dayton, Ohio (+4)
Washington D.C. (-1)
Denver (-5)
Indianapolis (+6)
Richmond/Petersburg, Va. (+1)
Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville, N.C. (+3)
Dallas/Ft. Worth (-4)
Syracuse, N.Y. (+7)
Atlanta (+14)
Houston (+2)
New York (-7)
Seattle/Tacoma (-5)
San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose (-5)
Boston (+2)
Milwaukee (-2)
Miami/Fort. Lauderdale (+3)
Nashville, Tenn.  (+17)
Pittsburgh (+12)
Charlotte (+18)

The Orkin list ranks the cities by the number of bed bug treatments Orkin performed from January to December 2013, along with any shift in ranking compared to January-December 2012.

With a nod toward tourist season, the  National Pest Management Association's site published bed bug data this month. 

It noted that 59 percent of all U.S. adults take some kind of precaution against bed bug infestations:

34 percent inspect sheets, mattress pads and mattresses for signs of bed bugs upon checking into a hotel.
33 percent wash all clothes in hot water after returning home from a vacation.
29 percent avoid visiting homes or locations that have had a bed bug infestation.
28 percent remain vigilant of where they place their belongings when in public places.
12 percent vacuum suitcases after returning home from vacation.
8 percent keep their suitcases in a plastic trash bag or protective cover for the duration of their hotel stays.

These tips -- and others at -- may help you avoid encountering the little biters on your vacation, as well as bringing them home as accidental souvenirs.

Oh, yes. The NPMA press release noted that April 20-26 is national Bed Bug Awareness Week. And that's their photo of one of the dinky critters at the top of this page.