If you’re “itching” to go on vacation this summer, you might be interested in finding out which cities have the most bedbugs.
And the winner, if you call it that, is…Philadelphia, according to a study released by Terminix, the world’s largest pest exterminator.
New York City topped the list in 2010 and 2011.
The disturbing rankings come from data gathered from 300 Terminix branches across the country based on customer service calls and confirmed cases from service professionals.
Here is the complete list of the most bedbug cities:
- New York City
- Washington D.C.
- Columbus (Ohio)
- San Francisco
- New Haven (Conn.)
A Terminix official cautions that the bedbug population isn’t just a problem restricted to urban areas:
Bedbugs continue to increase their presence across the U.S. While major metropolitan areas are most at risk, it is important to note that bedbugs have been spotted in cities and towns across the country.
These critters can do a lot of damage. Here’s what Time has to say about them:
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius L.) are parasites that feed on human blood and prefer to live in beds or other household furniture. Victims are often attacked in their sleep, unaware that they are being bitten.
Symptoms of bed bug attacks include itchy red welts on the skin and, for some patients, allergic reactions triggered by the insects’ saliva. Because the bites remove some of the victim’s blood, prolonged exposure can in rare cases lead to anemic conditions.
When you’re traveling, Terminix recommends among other things checking hotel headboards, mattresses, and box springs for bedbugs and “dark blood spots.”