This year, Chicago ranked fourth in a national survey by Terminix for bed bug infestation. Last year, the city was listed at 5th. The Pest control company based their findings on both call volume of customers complaining of the pests and confirmed cases.
A similar survey by competitor Orkin ranked Chicago second in the country.
Regardless of the rankings, bed bugs are a big concern among many. The National Pest Management Association released a survey earlier this year indicating that one out of five Americans had had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel. Bed bugs can follow one home on a purse, handbag, or coat and can be picked up in a cab, on the train, or at the office.
There are many products on the market designed to help combat bed bugs and protect your home and belongings from picking up the blood sucking creepy crawly critters.
Ways to protect against bed bugs
- Bedding encasements, bug traps, etc.
- Box Spring Encasement ($35) - More likely to hide and lay eggs under the box spring then in the mattress. This protectors takes away their number one hiding place so they are easier to detect earlier.
- BB Alert Passive Monitor ($20) - 4x6" bed bug hotel that goes on your bed to catch bed bugs. Can detect bed bugs in just a few days before they multiply
- ClimbUp Interceptors ($21) - Plastic cups that go under feet of bed to catch bed bugs as they crawl on and off the bed.
How to get rid of bugs
- Heating and steam technology
- Vapamore Dry Vapor Steamer ($299) - Ideal for killing bed bugs on mattress, bed frame or other furniture. Can penetrate in cracks and crevices better than chemicals.
- PackTite Portable Heater ($309) - Safely kills bed bugs from books, clothes, toys, shoes, suitcases.
Tips for homeowners and travelers to prevent bed bugs:
- During the summer/After the summer months
- BugZip Luggage Protector ($10 - $20) - Zips around suitcases and personal items while staying in hotels or anywhere outside your home. Prevents bed bugs from crawling in and coming home with you.
- LED Flashlight ($6.99) and magnifying glass ($5.99) for inspecting hotel rooms
- Green Rest Easy Cinnamon Spray (Starts at $9.95) - Kills on contact and repels bed bugs.
- Year round vigilance is necessary as bed bugs are indoor pests and don't die off in the winter
- Make sure you find actual bed bugs or their tell-tale signs. Don't start treatment on bites alone as it could easily be something else.