Syracuse among worst cities in nation for bed bugs

Syracuse is one of the worst cities in the nations for bed bugs. That is the finding of a survey by Orkin, a pest control company.

Orkin found that the Syracuse region ranks number 21 among 50 cities in the number of bed bug treatments it has performed.

The ranking comes as "no surprise" to Orkin Branch Manager, Jim Barnhart. He says there has been a significant "uptick" in bed bug complaints in his region which covers all of Central New York.

Nationally Orkin has seen a 33 percent increase in business to control bed bugs in 2012. If you suspect you have a bedbug problem, Barnhart says it's important to have a professional inspection to confirm the presence of bed bugs. He says the tiny bugs, which feed on human blood, can reside in areas other than a mattress, like furniture, walls, and kitchens. Barnhart says his staff is finding bed bugs in commercial buildings including gyms and banks.

Syracuse Codes Enforcement Director Corey Driscoll says she is working with the city's legal department to find ways to convince landlords to be more responsive to bed bug complaints. Driscoll says the city may soon demand better documentation to confirm inspections and extermination. She says the city may also require that landlords disclose the current or past presence of bed bugs to prospective tenants.

Sharon Sherman, of the Greater Syracuse Tenants Network, calls it an "epidemic." Sherman says she's held workshops with landlords to help them combat the problem. The Tenants Network has posted a series of recommendations on its website to prevent the spread of bed bugs.

"Sanitation is not a factor when it comes to the development of the tiny bloodsuckers," Orkin stated in a news release. "People may believe bed bugs transmit disease, but according to the Journal of the American medication Association, bed bugs can carry more than 30 different human pathogens, but there is no evidence that bed bugs can transmit disease."ã??

The top 25 worst cities are:

1. Chicago

2. Detroit

3. Los Angeles

4. Denver

5. Cincinnati

6. Columbus, Ohio

7. Washington, D.C.

8. Cleveland/Akron/Canton

9. Dallas/Ft. Worth

10. New York City

11. Dayton

12. Richmond/Petersburg, VA

13. Seattle/Tacoma

14. San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose

15. Raleigh/Durham/Fayetteville, NC

16. Indianapolis

17. Omaha, Neb

18. Houston

19. Milwaukee

20. Baltimore

21. Syracuse

22. Boston

23. Colorado Springs/Pueblo, Colo.

24. Lexington, KY

25. Miami/Ft. Lauderdale