MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Myrtle Beach and Florence are among the top 50 cities with bed bugs, according to a list issued by a pest control company.
The list, released by pest control leader Orkin, ranks the cities by the number of bed bug treatments Orkin performed from January to December 2014.
"Bed bugs are a serious issue across the country, and they're very difficult to control," said Orkin Entomologist and Technical Services Director Ron Harrison, Ph.D. "Bed bugs are not limited to any level of cleanliness or income, which means they can be found in any home or hotel. They're great hitchhikers, and people often bring them inside on their clothes or in their luggage."
Myrtle Beach and Florence was ranked number 45 on the list by Orkin.
Orkin said this was the first time the Grand Strand-Pee Dee cities made the Bed Bug Cities List.
The following tips to prevent and treat bed bugs were suggested by pest control experts at Orkin:
· Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check locations where bed bugs hide during the day, including in furniture, mattress seams and bed sheets, as well as behind baseboards, electrical outlets and picture frames.
· Decrease clutter around your home to make bed bug inspections and detection much easier.
· Inspect and quarantine all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home.
· Dry potentially infested bed linens, curtains and stuffed animals on the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric
During travel, remember the acronym S.L.E.E.P. to inspect for bed bugs:
· Survey the hotel room for signs of an infestation. Look for red or brown spots on sheets.
· Lift and Look in bed bug hiding spots: the mattress, box spring, sheets and furniture, as well as behind baseboards, pictures and even torn wallpaper.
· Elevate luggage on a rack away from the bed and wall. The safest places are in the bathroom or on counters.
· Examine your luggage while repacking and once you return home from a trip.
· Place all dryer-safe clothing from your luggage in the dryer for at least 15 minutes at the highest setting when you return home.
Bed bugs are not known to spread human disease like many other pests, but can leave itchy, bloody welts on skin, and they are active year-round. Because every bed bug scenario is different, it's important for homeowners to call a professional who can create a solution tailored to their home's needs.