Indy is a hot spot for bed bugs; What can you do to prevent them?

INDIANAPOLIS – The Circle City ranks in a top ten list. But… it’s not exactly a good thing.

An annual report by Orkin lists Indianapolis no. 7 for bed bugs.

In fact, did you know if you miss one pregnant bed bug, you can be reinfested with more than 300 adult bed bugs and 1,000 new eggs in roughly three months! That’s according to Orkin’s website.

Bed bugs are red to dark brown little insects that can move easily from one location to the next. They hitch a ride on your personal belongings. With Indiana ranking so high, we wanted to ask the professionals, why?

Orkin officials say it’s because Indianapolis must be a travel hot spot right now. Bed bug populations have fluctuated during the pandemic, but now they’re back in full force with people wanting to get back to traveling.

“If you go stay at a hotel that may have a small infestation and they get into your luggage or purse and you bring that home, that’s one way. Also, sometimes people get used furniture and so, if someone had them at their house and then got rid of some used furniture and someone goes and grabs it off the street – that could have bed bugs in it,” said Ben Hottel, the Technical Services Manager for Orkin.

So what can you do to spot these little insects?

Orkin says they typically look for the actual, physical bed bugs crawling around. That’s the obvious sign.

You can also look for fecal spots on your sheets. It’s not necessarily the feeling of getting bit or being itchy, that can be several other factors.

“It’s good to be aware of the risks and if you do find them to take quick action,” explained Hottel.

Orkin recommends checking the places where bed bugs hide during the day, including mattress tags and seams, and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets, and picture frames. Try decluttering your home to make it easier to spot bed bugs.

“I just assume there’s always a possibility when I’m traveling that there could be those types of bugs and so I make sure I don’t leave my luggage or bags right next to the bed,” said Hottel, “You can always put your clothes into the dryer and put it at high heat and same thing when you’re traveling you can take your clothes and put them in the dryer on high heat and that will kill all the bed bugs.”

Chicago ranked number one in this list. Two other Indiana cities round out the top 50. South Bend is 28, and Fort Wayne is 35.

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