According to Mike Jacobs, TMJ4, bed bugs "are spreading like wildfire in the Milwaukee area."
That's alarming, but is it true?
Terminix has released a list of cities that have had the biggest jump in bed bug infestations.Yikes!
Number one is Sacramento, and unfortunately, Milwaukee is number two! Las Vegas comes in third.
“Bedbugs continue to have a significant presence across the country, in cities large and small, and pose concern for public health,” said Stan Cope, PhD and entomologist with Terminix.
“There is now evidence that suggests that severe bedbug infestations may be associated with anemia. Also, bedbug bites can result in secondary infections due to excessive scratching. Bedbug infestations are also known to have a psychological impact and can cause emotional stress and irritability.”
The Milwaukee area is infested!!! Only Sacramento has more bugs. Milwaukee is even worse than Vegas!
This sensationalized reporting is misleading. What did the Terminix "new report" really show?
From USA Today:
Terminix has just issued its annual list of top bed-bug infested cities. In a twist this year, the exterminator has identified the 15 top cities with the largest increase in infestations.These numbers are meaningless.
We'll get to that, but first, a look at where the most bed bug-specific calls from anguished (we presume) customers are coming from. Terminix has 300-plus branches nationwide.
Cities with the top number of calls related to bed bugs through May of this year:
The same cities have tended to pop up in various spots on the list since it debuted in 2010. Tallies for previous years are on the company's website.
The 15 cities with the greatest increases in bed bug complaint calls to Terminix:
Sacramento — 54%
Milwaukee — 53%
Las Vegas — 50%
Columbus, Ohio — 47%
Baltimore — 46%
Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. — 41%
St. Louis — 40%
Cleveland — 36%
Louisville — 31%
Denver — 28%
Los Angeles — 27%
San Francisco — 26%
Dallas/Ft. Worth — 25%
Nashville — 17%
Houston — 15%
"Greatest increases in bed bug complaint calls to Terminix" does not mean that bed bugs have increased in the Milwaukee area by 53 percent.
Do all the calls result in the identification of bed bug infestations as opposed to other pests?
Moreover, the 53 percent measure for Milwaukee doesn't reveal anything about the number of calls previously. The Milwaukee area may have less of a bed bug problem than other cities on the "increase" list.
Furthermore, these are Terminix figures, not a nationwide report including all exterminators regarding bed bugs. The numbers could easily be skewed based on where Terminix branches are located.
This "new report" is very poor on control.
It seems that this year Terminix simply decided to identify the "15 cities with the greatest increases in bed bug complaint calls to Terminix" to drum up business, seeking to create greater concern about the pests in new markets. And the local media dutifully spread the word/panic.
The top cities with the worst infestations have remained relatively constant.
"The same cities have tended to pop up in various spots on the list since it debuted in 2010."
I understand why Terminix decided to mix things up and add some new cities to its "report."
It's good to expand business.
The local media report the story because it's good for ratings.
THE BED BUG APOCALYPSE!!!
Oh, the humanity!!!