INDIANAPOLIS–Two cities in Indiana are on a list that most people consider gross and undesirable. Indianapolis is 9th worst in the country for bed bugs, said a study by Orkin. That’s up five spots from last year. Ft. Wayne also made the list.
“While bed bugs have not been found to transmit any diseases to humans, they can be an elusive threat to households,” said Chelle Hartzer, an Orkin entomologist. “They are excellent hitchhikers, and they reproduce quickly which make it nearly impossible to prevent bed bugs. Sanitation has nothing to do with where you’ll find them.”
Bed bugs, which are typically 4-5 mm in length and red to dark brown in color, can travel from place to place with ease, including luggage, purses and other belongings, said a news release from Orkin. Normally nocturnal, bed bugs will come out of hiding to take blood meals from sleeping or quietly resting humans.
Places where bed bugs are found:
Single-family homes (91 percent), apartments/condominiums (89 percent) and hotels/motels (68 percent).
And they are expensive to get rid of. Hotels spend an average of $6,383 per bed bug incident, said the “Bugs Without Borders Survey” by the National Pest Management Association.
.The breed quickly. Females can deposit one to five eggs a day and may lay 200 to 500 eggs in their lifetime. Under normal room temperatures and with an adequate food supply, they can live for more than 300 days, often making treatment challenging.
“The key to preventing a bed bug infestation is early detection,” Hartzer said. “When one or more bed bugs enter a space, we call it an introduction. During an introduction, bed bugs probably haven’t started reproducing yet, but they could soon. Vigilance is key to stopping bed bugs before infestation levels.”
What to look for:
Small black spots indicating bed bug feces or nymph bed bugs in places such as mattress seams, bed frames and furniture. Their small size and ability to hide make them difficult to see during the day, so it’s important to look for the black, ink-like stains they can leave behind.
The city with the most bed bug infestations is Washington, D.C. The list is based on the number of infestations Orkin has treated.
BED BUG Photo Courtesy ORKIN