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Most Bedbug Infested Cities: Where Will Bloodsuckers Strike Next?

bedbug bites all over a woman's back
Joel Carillet

Bedbugs don't spread disease but do leave red marks. (iStockphoto)

(CBS/AP) Bloodsucking bedbugs heart New York. They seem to have a taste for Philadelphia, Detroit, much of Ohio too.

The pest control company Terminix today released a list of the 15 most bedbug-infested cities.

NYC topped the list, followed by Philly and Detroit. 

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Ohio has four cities in the top 15 -- Cincinnati is fourth, Columbus is seventh, Dayton is eighth and Cleveland is 14th.

Other cities on the list are Chicago, fifth; Denver, sixth; Washington, D.C., ninth; Los Angeles, 10th; Boston, 11th; Indianapolis, 12th; Louisville, 13th; and Minneapolis, 15th.

Bedbugs can be found in mattresses, furniture and clothing, and they feed off animal and human blood.

The bites don't spread diseases but do leave some people with red, itchy welts - which are sometimes mistaken for mosquito bites.

Insect scientists say bedbugs are showing up on a scale not seen since before World War II, due to the rise in international travel and the elimination of certain pesticides once used to fight them.

The latest high-profile bedbug target was the iconic Empire State Building. Exterminators had to clean an employee changing room in the tower's basement after bedbugs were found there last week.

Yet bedbugs don't discriminate - you don't have to be big-name attraction to be targeted by the quick-breeding bedbugs, it seems.

An outbreak brought an early end to a 4-H science camp on the campus of North Carolina Wesleyan College earlier this month.

So what to do? Bedbugs are resistant to insect repellent and incredibly difficult to get rid of. Folks are getting creative.

In northern Kentucky, the Boone County Public Library brings in a dog four times a year to sniff out the pests.

In Ohio, the Department of Agriculture is seeking federal approval for its residents to use Propoxur, an industrial-strength pesticide. But the EPA says it's concerned about children being exposed to Propoxur, because research has found their nervous systems could be harmed.

Terminix recommends that travelers check hotel headboards and mattresses for bedbugs, and the dark blood spots they leave behind. Baggage should be stored far from the bed, and clothing should be hung rather than placed in hotel drawers or left lying on hotel furniture.

After a trip, people should vacuum suitcases and wash clothes in hot water.

The EPA, which held a bedbug summit in April, warns consumers not to treat the problem on their own or use strong outdoor pesticides to get rid of bedbugs.