Bed Bugs Make a Comeback
Homeowner Christine Kopsachilis isn't moving she's trying to get rid of some unwanted guests. "I had some red marks on my arms and on my forehead."
The culprit? Bed bugs - those tiny blood sucking creatures that roam at night and male your life miserable.
"You feel dirty, you don't feel like you're keeping your house clean." Bed bugs are back and reaching epidemic proportions. In the past five years, pest control companies nationwide report a 75% increase in bed bug calls.
"It's gotten to the point where we have specially trained crews to just perform bed bug services," says Lin Frank with Suburban Magic Exterminators.
The outbreak is blamed on an increase in international travel and the banning of potent pesticides like DDT.
From homeless shelters to swanky condominiums, bed bugs don't discriminate. Even three and four star hotels have been sued by guests claiming they were victimized by bed bugs.
Kopsachilis' bed bugs apparently hitched a ride with her mother-in-law when she returned home from a trip to Puerto Rico. "If you put your luggage down somewhere, or even clothing that you're wearing, they can crawl onto it and try to nest in it," says Anthony DeVito with Suburban Magic Exterminators.
Fighting an infestation is costly - about $300 per room, and time-consuming. "You have to clean the house out. You have to empty all your drawers, all your closets, all your clothing."
Since they reproduce rapidly, repeat visits are necessary to stamp out the critters completely so you can sleep tight and not let the bed bugs bite.
It's also a good idea to vacuum out your suitcase after returning from a hotel. If you think you have bed bugs, call an exterminator immediately. Bed bugs aren't the kind of pests you can get rid of on your own.