Philly ranked No. 1 in ‘Top 50 Bed Bug-Infested Cities’


June 3, 2019  –  Nate Homan

We’re number one!

…On a rather nasty list.

Philly scooped up the number one spot on the Terminix annual ranking of “Top 50 Bed Bug-Infested Cities” in the country ahead of summer vacation season and Bed Bug Awareness Week.

Where did the City of Brotherly Love rank last year? Second. Is this the first time Philly has been crowned most bed bug infested city? Nope. These insufferable little pests were snug as a bug in a rug in Philly in 2014 too.

“Bed bugs continue to pose concerns for public health, as their presence is felt across the country, in cities large and small,” Terminix Residential President Matthew Stevenson told BuisnessWire.

Rankings are determined through a compilation of bed bug-specific data of service calls reported at more than 300 Terminix branches across the country. The rankings represent Metropolitan Statistical Areas with the highest number of actual services between April 16, 2018 and April 15, 2019.

Thanks to increased travel, bed bug infestations have gone up since the 1990s.

Terminix research revealed that 22 percent of Americans polled have had a bed bug encounter, and that the odds of encountering them are much higher for those with children.

Despite the high incidence rates and increased awareness of bed bugs, this research shows nearly half of the country who travel do not know what precautions to take to guard against them.

Appearently, Philly is a hotbed for such individuals.

There are some pretty standard signs and symptoms of a bed bugs infestation.

Terminix experts warn that bed bugs can be found in more than just bedding and mattresses. They can easily hitchhike from place to place via personal belongings, such as jackets, purses and luggage, or hide in upholstered furniture and behind baseboards.

Infestations are notoriously difficult to treat. They can mature in about 35 days, and can survive seven months until a year.

Bed bugs are largely active at night, so infestations can be difficult to spot. Look for signs of the insects like shedded skins and blood spots on mattresses or sheets.

Terminix reccommends washing all clothing and other belongings, as recommended on the label, suspected of being exposed to bed bugs at high temperatures to help kill off the pests, and keeping potentially compromised luggage in a plastic bag to prevent the insects from spreading to other belongings.

Another telltale sign of bed bugs is their smell. The scent of their pheromones can be quite strong. It’s often described as a musty odor.

Oh yeah, another indicator that you might have an infestation: Burning raised itchy bumps with a clear center, or a dark center and lighter swollen surrounding area scattered in zigzag patterns or in a line. The bite itself is pretty much painless. On average, they suck blood for a solid 10 minutes while their victim sleeps.

Here are some tips to mitigate the risk of being bitten or transporting bed bugs:

Check hotel headboards, mattresses and box springs for live bed bugs, their exoskeletons and or dark blood spots.

While full-grown, bed bugs are about the size, shape and color of an apple seed. Travelers should also look for newly hatched nymphs, which are cream-colored and the size of letters on a penny, as well as small translucent eggs, which may be found in the tucks and folds of sheets.

Hang all clothing. Leave nothing lying on the bed or furniture.

Avoid storing clothing in a hotel’s furniture drawers.

Store suitcases on a luggage rack as far away from the bed as possible.

Vacuum suitcases when returning home, and immediately wash clothing in hot water.

Between trips, store luggage in a sealed plastic bag in a garage or basement away from bedrooms.


BALTIMORE (AP) — About 150 state employees are getting a paid week off because of a bedbug infestation in the state office complex – Maryland Comptroller’s Office.    Entire fourth floor shut down for remainder of week while DEADLY PESTICIDE CHEMICALS are sprayed

Officials say workers from the comptroller’s office were sent home after officials discovered evidence Tuesday that two previous sprayings of bedbugs had failed to eradicate the insects.

Spokesman Andrew Friedson says the issue was first brought to the attention of the comptroller on Oct. 1.  Friedson says employees were sent home that day and returned the next after an overnight spraying.

After rediscovering bugs this week, workers were once again sent home on paid leave.

The General Services Department, which serves as the landlord for the building, says that the infestation appears to be confined to the comptroller’s office.

Employees could return to work as soon as Monday.

“We acted as quickly as possible,” said Andrew Friedson, a spokesman for Comptroller Peter Franchot (D). “We’re trying as best we can to provide a comfortable work environment for our employees.”

Friedson said the temporary closure of the office will affect 150 employees who work for the comptroller’s compliance and collections program. They were released from work on Wednesday and are expected to return to Monday, after the state Department of General Services, which operates the building, gets rid of the bugs.

Friedson said because of the confidential nature of the employees’ work they can not telecommute.  Instead, they will receive paid leave. The closure of the offices was first reported in The Daily Record.

“They are bringing in dogs that sniff out bed bugs,” Friedson said Wednesday. He said this is the second time the offices will be treated for bedbugs.

Workers reported seeing bedbugs on Oct. 1 and were sent home for the day, Friedson said.

“THIS WILL BE THE 3RD TIME BUILDING WAS TREATED FOR BED BUGS – If I worked in that building I would definitely NOT want to go back to work there on Monday esp. after ALL that has been reported of Terminix and Orkin using poisonous PESTICIDES to get rid of bed bugs [brain damage].”


Florida Boy Was Poisoned by Pesticide (Terminix), State Investigators Say

A Florida boy who has been hospitalized since August and suffered brain damage after his home was fumigated was poisoned by pesticides, a state investigation concluded.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in a statement Thursday that 10-year-old Peyton McCaughey’s sickness was a “pesticide-related illness and injury.” The boy’s Palm City home was fumigated on Aug. 14.

The report said Sunland Pest Control, which was subcontracted by Terminix, could not provide investigators with working gas meters when asked. The meters ensure that it is safe to reenter the home.

Attorney Bill Williams, who is representing the McCaughey family, told NBC News on Thursday that the family filed a lawsuit claiming that Terminix and Sunland failed to verify that the home was safe before permitting the family to go back.

According to the complaint, Peyton McCaughey “sustained a catastrophic brain injury,” after Terminix and Sunland “failed to properly make certain” the home was safe to enter. The lawsuit also alleges Sunland did not properly ventilate the home after chemicals used to kill the termites were used.

The family was allowed to reenter the house Aug. 16 and fell ill. Peyton had the most severe symptoms, including slurred speech and muscle contractions. He remains at a South Florida rehabilitation facility, Williams said.

A Terminix spokesperson said on Thursday its thoughts and prayers are with the family, however company policy prevents it from commenting on pending litigation. The company said Sunland was its subcontractor. Sunland Pest Control did not return a request for comment.

Aaron Keller, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Agriculture, said that the department suspended Sunland Pest Control’s license on Wednesday.

“The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services executed a suspension order against Sunland Pest Control. We will continue to build our administrative case against Sunland Pest Control,” Aaron Keller, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Agriculture, said.

McCaughey’s uncle Ed Gribben spoke to NBC affiliate WPTV just before the results of the state investigation were released and said his nephew requires around the clock care.

“It’s hopeful and encouraging that he has made some improvement but he’s nowhere near the kid that he used to be,” Gribben said.