Philadelphia finds itself near the top of a dubious list of the top places to find a bloodsucking household pest.
The City of Brotherly Love came in at second on Terminex’s list of “Top 15 Cities Where Bed Bugs Bite.” At least Philly has ceded the top spot to Detroit, Michigan.
"Most of the cities in our top 15 are big tourist and business destinations, making travelers even more at risk for encounters with bedbugs -- whether it's on the plane, at their hotel, in a movie theater or riding in a taxi,” said Paul Curtis, manager, technical services at Terminix. The name 'bedbug' is deceptive, as these pests can thrive just about anywhere."
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the bugs -- that can grow to the size of Lincoln’s head on a penny -- can live hidden in mattresses for “several months without a blood meal.” Bedbugs don’t pose a public health hazard, however, said the CDC.
Philadelphia Health Department said it doesn’t monitor bedbugs since the tiny pests don’t transmit diseases such as mosquitoes or rodents.
The reddish-brown insects, however, can leave marks on the skin of people who have them in their homes.
"We've seen a steady increase in bedbugs since the 1990s, which has been influenced by increased international travel and infestations left untreated,” said Curtis.
Terminex, a major pest control company, compiled data from more than 300 branches around the country from Jan. 1 to Dec. 17, 2015 to come up with its results.
The Cleveland-Akron area, Los Angeles and Dayton, Ohio, rounded out the Top 5.