Dallas, Texas is no stranger to pests. From mosquitoes, termites and those pesky fire ants are just some of the insects faced by people across the Lone Star State. But another nasty pest has been creeping up under the radar -- bedbugs. These parasites, once nearly eradicated in the U.S., have been making a come back.
Orkin, a leader in pest and insect control, releases an annual list of cities with the most significant bedbug problem. According to the company, the U.S. saw and overall 33 percent increase in bedbugs between 2011 and 2012. In a list of 50 cities across the U.S. with the biggest bedbug problem, Dallas/Fort Worth took an unfortunate spot on the list at number nine.
Still, that's better than last year, when the metropolis was named number seven, but the small drop in rank may not necessarily reflect improvements in the bedbug population. Instead, it may simply reflect less growth in Dallas bedbug proliferation than that of other higher ranking cities, such as number one, Chicago.
What Can You Do About Bedbugs?
It is important to recognize that bedbugs are not an issue related to sanitation. Even the cleanest rooms in a five-star hotel can hide bedbugs. The pests hide in carpets, headboards, throw pillows, linens and the seams of mattresses. They bite at night while hosts are obliviously sleeping, and worse -- they can infest luggage, going home as an unwanted souvenir.
A good way to avoid bedbugs is by inspecting linens and mattresses for droppings or stains upon checking into a hotel. It is also a good idea to keep luggage and clothing off of the floors on luggage racks provided in many rooms, and try to keep dirty or soiled clothing sealed in bags, as bedbugs are attracted to these types of clothing.
Finally, keep in mind that although hotels are most often associated with bedbugs, they can hide anywhere, including in gyms, retail stores and movie theaters.