With bed bugs becoming resistant to common insecticides used against them, it’s no wonder we have seen a resurgence of bed bug infestations in the last 5 to 10 years.
Bed bugs, known scientifically as Cimex lectularius (Cimicidae), are oval-shaped wingless insects that feed on blood from people or animals. No more than 0.5 centimeres long, these tiny critters range in colour- from white to dark brown/ black and they turn brownish red after feeding. Bed bugs get their name because they like to hide in bedding and mattresses. They often latch onto luggage, purses and other items during travel so besides hotels and dorm rooms, they can also be found on cruise ships, buses, trains and even at movie theaters. Bed bugs are found worldwide, but most commonly in developing countries. Once rare in North America, they may be on the rise due to increases in international travel.
The Top 10 Bed Bug Cities List (in the U.S., by Orkin):
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Washington, D.C.
- Chicago, Illinois
- New York, New York
- Columbus, Ohio
- Los Angeles, California
- Detroit, Michigan
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, California
WHAT CAN WE DO TO AVOID BED BUGS?
- Check your hotel beds upon checking into the hotel. Pull back the sheets, check the seam and corners of the mattress near the pillows and the headboard. Look for brown or black spots (the bugs) or yellowish skins that bed bugs shed.
- Don’t place open suitcases against a wall. Try to keep them closed and set them on a hard surface (not the hotel bed).
- Don’t leave your clothes lying around the hotel room. Remember, bed bugs can latch onto clothing and other items.
Following these tips will ensure that you have a good night’s rest. As the old saying goes, “Good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!” Happy travels!
To see what bed bugs look like and learn more about these critters, click here.