Where the bed bugs bite in Philadelphia

Watch report from Action News
January 9, 2014 2:33:29 PM PST
Maybe this will help you rest easier at night - bed bugs aren't very active in winter

But be ready - they'll be on the move and hungry for blood in the springtime.

A research team, headed by Michael Z. Levy, Ph.D., a Penn Medicine entomologist, has created a map of the bed bug hot spots in Philadelphia.

You may not hear about them daily, but bed bugs haven't gone away in Philadelphia.

In fact, Levy's team says reports to the city's Vector Control Service indicate infestations are still on the rise.

4 years of incident reports show that although the bugs are all over the city, South Philadelphia had the most reports. There were other hot spots in West, North, and Northwest Philadelphia.

Levy says his team was surprised to find that infestation reports are at their lowest in February, but rise through spring and summer, peaking in August.

He says knowing the seasonal cycles may help in fighting the critters.

"It'd really be helpful if people could find infestations early, before they grow to very large numbers. We may be able to control them more easily," he told Action News by Skype.

While bed bugs don't carry diseases now, Levy told us by Skype that doesn't mean they won't in the future.

"We need to really err on the side of caution, and keep checking the bugs for diseases, and really understand what diseases can live in the bugs," he says.

Dr. Levy's team is working on finding more effective, less expensive ways to control bed bugs.

For more information on Levy's study, click here.


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