Seattle named 13th worst bed bug city

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by HEATHER GRAF / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 18 at 2:01 PM

Seattle is a city known for lots of rain, a great cup of coffee, and is consistently ranked tops in the country when it comes to coffee.  Now it's earned a new title and a new ranking that residents aren't exactly proud of.

Pest Control company Orkin puts out a list each year that ranks the 50 worst bed bug cities in the United States.  This year, Seattle jumped 14 spots, to 13th on the list.

"I'm kinda shocked, because I picture Seattle as a pretty clean city, and you don't associate cleanliness with bed bugs," said Seattle resident Christopher Taylor.

One person not surprised by the new statistic is Nick Cartoso.  He works for Eden Advanced Pest Technologies, and said the number of calls the company receives regarding bed bugs has skyrocketed over the past two years.

"Seattle is a place where a lot of travel comes through here.  People visiting, a port, there's a lot of access of bed bugs to transfer between areas.  So people traveling generally means bed bugs," he said.

On Thursday, Cartoso and his crew spent hours treating a home in Seattle.  They focus their attention on boxsprings, mattresses, bedframes, and baseboards.

It didn't take long to find the first bed bug.

"The adult bed bugs look like an apple seed with legs.  They're about the same color, about the same size, six legs, and they're not very pleasant," he said.

The city of Chicago earned the No. 1 spot for worst bed bug city in the country.  Also in the top ten are Denver, Dallas, and New York.

Orkin also said it saw a nearly 33 percent increase in bed bug business compared to 2011.

Cartoso cautioned people not to panic.  Instead, he said you must be vigilant.

"Every time you change your sheets, just monitor your mattress.  Keep an eye for that and keep an eye for bites, and if you notice anything, give us a call and we'll come down and take a look," he said.

According to the King County Health Department's website, bed bugs are difficult to get rid of because they can be hard to find and hard to kill.  In most cases, you will need a pest control company to help eliminate an infestation.

Check out the King County Health Department's bed bug factsheet.

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