Local/State

Bed bugs becoming a growing problem

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bed bugs have become a biting problem for travelers across the country.

They are great hitchhikers, and find their way around in clothing, bedding, and luggage.

They are blood sucking souvenirs a lot of vacation travelers this year are taking with them.

"I rented a condo in South Jersey for a week," said traveler Bill Scarcelli. "I woke up every day from itching, feels like bites."

He's not alone. According to health and pest experts across the county, reports of the pesky parasites are on the rise. They leave behind a trail of bites bumps and rashes.

Experts say it's almost an epidemic.

"With the regulations, the old chemicals we used to have, it really did a number on the bedbugs, but the resistance has built up, and we don't have the products to use anymore -- the chemicals," said Jason Viar with Clegg's Pest Control.

Pest control companies say nearly half their calls are for bedbugs. According to Orkin, Chicago is the number one city in the country for bed bug treatments. The Raleigh-Durham-Fayetteville region is number 15 on that list.

Some scientists believe that through global travel, hotels are increasingly playing host to bedbugs. It's enough to give some travelers nightmares.

"Just because you want things clean and neat, you don't want to pass on disease or anything," said traveler Jean Woodard. "I am a former nurse."

For travelers, experts offer these safety tips:

  • Closely inspect rooms and furnishings-before unpacking-pull back sheets and inspect mattresses.
  • If you find evidence of bed bugs, request another room.
  • Don't unpack suitcases on beds or chairs.
  • When you get home wash and dry clothes on high heat.

Travel experts say be cautious, but don't panic if you find bedbugs on your vacation. If you bring the unwanted guest home, call a pest expert.

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