Junction, Montrose rank No. 39 on list of bedbug centers
The Grand Junction/Montrose area moved down two slots but still made it into this year’s list of the top 50 metropolitan areas for bedbug treatments.
Pest control company Orkin releases a report each year that ranks U.S. metropolitan areas based on how many total bedbug treatments Orkin has provided during a calendar year in various cities. The current list uses data from 2012.
Chicago topped the list, followed by Detroit, Los Angeles and Denver. Grand Junction/Montrose came in at number 39, down from 37th place the previous year.
Grand Junction and Montrose are linked on the list because the Grand Junction branch serves much of the Western Slope, including both cities. Kevin Wold, an Orkin sales service manager in Grand Junction, said the number of bedbug calls in Grand Junction and Montrose are comparable.
“One doesn’t outweigh the other. I don’t have the exact numbers but we get calls on a daily basis,” Wold said.
Wold said multifamily housing units top the list of buildings that receive bedbug treatments, followed by hotels and motels. Bedbugs are “a hitchhiking insect,” Wold said, and tend to travel to new destinations like hotels through luggage and brief cases.
When the bugs arrive at an apartment, infestations can spread quickly from unit to unit. Once they’re in, it can be hard to get the bugs out.
“They’re a very hardy insect,” Wold said. “Orkin has found through the scientific community bedbugs have become resistant to a lot of the materials being used on them.”
Bedbugs also hide in tiny spaces, are nocturnal and can survive up to a year without a blood meal, Wold said. Making sure all bedbugs are truly gone can require numerous inspections and treatments and Orkin’s Colorado branches use a German Shepherd to help find the bugs. She can point out living bedbugs with 98 percent accuracy, compared to 80 to 85 percent accuracy for human inspectors.
Wold said the 39th-place ranking “seems about right,” considering the large area covered in and around Grand Junction and Montrose. Roy Moore, owner of Jerry’s Pest Control, said he feels the ranking is high considering how many large cities are on the list, but he has noticed an increase in residential bedbug calls in the last year.
“It can be hard to say why. Moving can do it, people vacationing. Some people can’t tell you where they came from and some people know exactly where they got them,” Moore said.
Grand Junction Terminix Sales Manager Tyler Lehr said it’s hard to compare Grand Junction and Montrose to other areas without knowing what other cities are dealing with but he feels the bedbug problem here is “like an epidemic.”
“It’s spreading and it’s not going to stop,” he said. “They’re a nightmare but there are some things you can do.”
Those precautions include buying encasements for both mattress and box spring to keep bedbugs from invading the many nooks and crannies of the bed or, if they’re already there, from getting out.