Mobile society contributes to Cincinnati's bed bug program

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A new report shows that Cincinnati may no longer be the bed bug capital of America, but that doesn't mean it's still not a major problem.

In the report released by Terminix, Cincinnati ranks 2nd on the bed bug list. The list was created by compiling data from 300 Terminix branches from across the country.

In fact Ohio's three major cities made the top 15, with Cleveland at 15th and Columbus at 7th.

One through six is Philadelphia, Cincinnati, New York City, Chicago, Detroit and Washington, D.C.

Dr. Gene Kritsky is an Entomologist with Mount St. Joseph College who says today's mobile society contributes to the bed bug problem.

"We're within a days drive of 61 percent of the United States' population. People can drive in and out of Cincinnati. We've got wonderful attractions that bring people in and that has contributed to the movement of bed bugs into the area....and it's also what drives the bed bugs going into Philadelphia and New York and other metropolitan areas as well," said Kritsky.

Kurt Scherzinger with Scherzinger Pest Control in Evendale says he's seeing more and more service calls for bed bugs.

"About five, seven years ago we were doing about a handful of bed bug jobs a year. Just last year we went over 1,200 bed bug jobs and we're on pace to beat that this year," he said.

Greg Kesterman, Assistant Health Commissioner with the Hamilton County Health Department says there are more reports of bed bugs because of better public education.

"I think maybe it's just that its getting reported very well here. Our agency has a very pro-active response, we're very pro-active at getting educational messages out there and teaching people about bed bugs and the first thing we teach them is if you have the problem you have to tell somebody to get rid of them," said Kesterman.

Scherzinger says not everyone around the globe worries about bed bugs and he says that's causing some concern as the city prepares to host the World Choir Games.

"The big fear especially that we're getting feedback from the hotel community is not necessarily what's going to be there now, but what's going to show up when all these people from various countries show up to our city and what's going to be left inside those hotels when it's all said and done," said Scherzinger.

Experts says 24 percent of hotels and motels in this country have had a bed bug problem at one time or another, but at any given moment less than one percent of rooms are infested.

When staying in a hotel experts recommend checking the rooms for bed bugs before you unpack.

Copyright 2012 WXIX. All rights reserved.