07/17/2011 02:28 am ET Updated Mar 29, 2012

Why We Still Can't Stop Bed Bugs

Seems like everywhere you go someone in the media is talking about bedbugs. Most recently, a study compiled by Terminix, a pest control service company, ranked the top most infested cities in 2011. Among those in the study include: Cincinnati, Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia and, edging out all of the competition at number one, New York.

So, why are these little bloodsucking critters not going away? It would seem that with all the news stories, we as a public would know the precautions needed in place so that we don't find ourselves battling a case of the bedbugs. Well, we would be mistaken.

Our bedbug problem has been around in large numbers since 2000. It has grown and effected more homes, offices, theatres, planes and retail establishments in 2010 than any previous year.

There are so many answers as to what we should do. Knowing that the information you receive from a pest control professional can vary due to experience and education, here are some things to keep in mind when calling a "professional."

1. Are they licensed and insured?
2. Do they take the time to answer your questions and give you great customer service?
3. How are their online reviews? (Remember you can't make everyone happy all the time.)
4. Do they have a guarantee on their work?
5. Can they supply you with the labels to the chemicals they are using upon arrival to treat your home or office? (In New York, it's law, and you should research what they are putting into the atmosphere within your home.)

We can also take several pre-emptive measures to help place a barrier around our homes, offices and automobiles so that, if and when, we come in contact with bedbugs, they won't hitchhike over to our place:

• Purchase mattress encasements. (They even have crib encasements now)
• Open packages from retailers (both on and off line) outside or in a garage.
• Be wise when you stay in a hotel. Watch my video on hotels and bedbugs here.
• Don't bring used furniture into your home.
• Buy a bedbug spray that specifically says bedbugs on the can or bottle.

Number five on our pre-emptive measures checklist is one of the most important steps you can take to help keep the bedbugs out. Creating a barrier around your home, office and automobile is a triple threat cocktail to kill whatever comes into these areas.

Bedbug sprays come in all sizes and shapes. I recommend Pronto Plus® bedbug spray, as it's effective in providing the coverage and barrier on the items you choose to apply it to and won't leave you coughing for hours. Always research and find the solution that is right for your current situation and remember to read the labels of any product you spray or use in your home.

So now I ask you, why are bedbugs still growing in numbers all across America? We all have a responsibly to protect our families, friends and even our coworkers. Take the time to educate yourself about how these little critters work, especially if you are living in or visiting New York.

Michael Colongione is a spokesperson for Pronto Plus, manufactured by Insight Pharmaceuticals. The advice and opinions he expresses in this article are his own.