Bed bugs in Michigan
One of the nationís most annoying pests are spreading throughout
Michigan. Bed bugs have caused headaches for East Coast residents over
the last decade, with major outbreaks hitting Philadelphia, Boston, and
most famously, New York City. The bugs have taken over entire apartment
complexes in ultra-dense Manhattan, affecting thousands of residents and
causing million-dollar removal fees.
For the better part of a decade, Michigan residents sat back and
watched as other states contended with the parasitic pests. Cities such
as Detroit and Ann Arbor were almost completely free of them, as only
the occasional outbreak featured on television shows and online reports.
Itís been this way until 2007, when the bugs started taking over the
state at truly unbelievable speeds.
Today, Detroit ranks among the ten most infested cities in the United
States, with a wide variety of hotels and apartment buildings reporting
issues with the bugs. Pest control companies are working overtime to
ensure that the bugs canít spread further, using new chemical cures and
innovative heat and ice-based methods to keep the city clean. Itís
working, although not as quickly as many hope.
While Detroitís bed bug problems are minor next to those seen in
other major cities, theyíre enough to cause severe trouble for its
residents. An apartment building in the inner city has had mail service
dropped after a major outbreak was reported, and several other buildings
within the city have been forced to temporarily house their residents
in hotels, serviced apartments, or even family homes.
How are bed bugs spreading through Michigan?
As with other major metropolitan areas, itís travel thatís to blame
for Detroitís surge in bug-related problems. With one of the countryís
most active international airports and a direct road linking the city to
nearby Canada, the bugs are easily able to spread into Michigan from
other regions. Cities outside of Detroit have also seen outbreaks due to
short-term hotel guests and their luggage.
The bugs are surprisingly athletic, able to crawl at a rate few
humans would expect. As such, they can easily move from bedding to
luggage without being noticed, particularly during the night-time hours
when theyíre most active. Pest control experts have stated that the bugs
move into luggage, clothing, and other possessions during the night and
are subsequently transported to new cities.
Theyíre also fierce hair residents, able to take refuge in human hair
during the daytime. The bugs can cause skin irritations and severe
itching, making them a fairly easy pest to spot when on your person.
However, their fairly small size and tendency for compact spaces makes
them difficult to spot on clothing, as they can easily burrow into seams
and collars in order to avoid detection.
Which cities are most at risk of bed bug infestation?
Michiganís economic center Ė Detroit Ė is most at risk of infestation
due to its busy international airport, road link with Canada, and its
relatively large population. Hotels in the city have played host to the
bugs for years due to high turnover and limited staffing, with cleaning
staff unable to detect the bugs in between guests. Most infestations are
noticed by guests during the night.
Smaller cities such as Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor are also at risk,
although due to their smaller travel appeal the two are less likely to
experience outbreaks than Detroit. Several infestations in small towns
have been reported, although due to the lower population density they
are generally dealt to quickly and more effectively.
What steps can Michigan residents take to eliminate bed bugs?
Resident of Michigan Ė and also travelers in Michigan Ė should take
steps to ensure that personal items donít come in contact with the bugs.
Bed bugs are infamously tough, and removing just one infestation can
cost thousands of dollars and several weeks worth of spraying. Keep your
clothing and suitcases away from bedsheets or carpet by storing it in
the bathtub or using plastic cases.
Secondly, check mattresses, bedsheets, and pillow cases for any
traces of the bugs before sleeping in a hotel bed. A story by Connect
Michigan outlines the most effective ways to avoid catching the bugs in
luggage or clothing, and even solutions for removing them from an
infested home. There are numerous pest control services in the state,
most of which offer a bed bug removal service.