NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — On a week where thousands of visitors from around the world will come to Nashville for CMA Fest, the city is ranked as one of the worst in the country for bed bugs.
A new survey by pest control company Terminix finds Nashville is the 18th most bed bug infested city in the country. Music City was ranked 21st last year.
Philadelphia was ranked number one in the report, followed by New York City. Memphis was ranked 17th.
Terminix said the rankings were based on the number of services the company has performed in the city in the past year.
“A lot of the problem we have here in Nashville is driven by the fact we are a transient city,” said Chris Bryant, a Service Manager at Terminix. “Summer tourism is starting to peak this time of year.”
To prevent transporting or being bitten by bed bugs, Bryant recommended people check headboards, mattresses, and sheets in hotels or Airbnbs for any signs of bed bugs.
“What you are going to be looking for looks like small black dots, like someone tapped it with a black ball point pen,” said Bryant.
Bed bugs are visible, and when fully grown are about the size of an apple seed.
Bryant also recommended hanging all clothing rather than putting it in drawers, and to keep your luggage away from the bed. When you return home from a trip, wash all your clothes in hot water.
The bugs can bite and leave behind red itchy marks on your skin. Bed bugs do not transport disease.
“Especially if it’s at night and you are in bed and you are being bitten by bed bugs, it will wake you up and cause you to itch,” said Brian Todd with the Metro Health Department.
Todd said any bed bug sighting in a hotel should be reported to management immediately. Problems can also be reported to the Metro Health Department at (615) 340-5630. It is helpful to provide the name of the hotel and the room number. The Department’s Environmental Health Bureau will look into the cases.
Bryant said Terminix hoped the study would increase awareness that bed bug sightings are on the rise, and to educate people on how to prevent transporting them.
“It just takes one to hitch a ride on you, and when you go back home, you’ve taken it with you.”
Bryant said a professional treatment can eliminate the bugs. For more information on Terminix’s services call 1-800-TERMINIX.