After years of topping lists ranking undesirable superlatives, Philadelphia has been crowned with what may be its most objectionable moniker to date: the most bedbug-infested city in the United States.
According to information released today by pest control behemoth Terminix, Philly jumped from the number five position last year to knock reigning two-time champ New York City from its spot as the country's foremost haven for the creepy critters.
NYC fell to number three on the list this year, with Cincinnati coming in second. Chicago and Detroit rounded out the fourth and fifth spots.
The ranking was compiled using data from 300 Terminix branches across the country that evaluated service calls from customers and cases confirmed by exterminators.
Terminix said in a release that the company has seen bedbug infestations rise in most states since completing its first ranking in 2010, with major metropolitan areas carrying the highest risk.
Exterminators said that infestations are likely to spread even more during summer months as travelers bring the unwanted souvenirs back home following visits to breeding grounds like hotels, airports and public transportation hubs.
Terminix offered the following tips to help vacationers prepare for the summer inundation:
– Check hotel headboards, mattresses and box springs for bedbugs and dark blood spots.
– Hang all clothing. Leave nothing lying on the bed or furniture.
– Avoid storing clothing in hotel furniture drawers.
– Store suitcases on a luggage rack as far from the bed as possible.
– Vacuum suitcases and immediately wash clothing in hot water after returning home.
– Between trips, store luggage in a sealed plastic bag in a garage or basement away from bedrooms.
– If you suspect your hotel has bedbugs, ask for a room change.