RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It's a story that may make your skin crawl! A list outlining the top 50 cities for bed bugs was released on Thursday-- and our area is on it.
The study ranks the Metro Richmond - Petersburg Area as number 14 in the country when it comes to bed bug infestation. The pest control company, Orkin, conducted the study which is based on the number of treatments the company performed from the beginning of the year through mid-April.
The sight and thought of bed bugs send shivers through Lee Gilliam's spine.
"It makes me itch when I think about them," said Gilliam.
She's seen the bugs-- from afar.
"I haven't had any problems with them yet. So far, thank god," Gilliam added.
She's surprised to hear the Richmond/Petersburg areas ranked high on the list -- but former exterminator turned state health entomologist, David Gaines says he's not surprised.
"We're on the I-95 corridor. Major cities are typically more prone to bed bugs than small towns," said Gaines.
Blood sucking bed bugs can be found in homes, hotels, even hospitals.
"If I go to stay somewhere overnight -- a friend's house or a hotel -- one should do an examination of the sleeping area and look for signs of bed bugs," said Gaines.
Signs include bloodstains on the sheets, fecal spots on walls and furniture, and eggs stuck to surfaces.
"Check the mattress and the box spring -- pull the sheets away from the mattress and box spring at the head of the bed. Be careful where you sleep," said Gaines.
Also, keeping your home clutter free will help eliminate where bed bugs can hide. If you find the bugs in your home you may want to call an exterminator and have your home treated.
As for Gilliam, she hopes she'll never see a bed bug again.
"Those bed bugs got to go," said Gilliam.
In the Orkin study Cincinnati is ranked number one followed by Chicago and Columbus, Ohio.