Experts say bed bugs are surging to the worst infestation in seven years. They're tiny, spread like wildfire and many never see them coming.
For pest control specialist Scott Fisher, it means business is booming. In seven years, he's gone from a few calls a month to a few calls each day. Now, he's on the front lines against the pests.
Mancy cities are now hosting workshops teaching those in the community how to spot signs, clear clutter and kill bugs properly.
"I don't want that problem, so I'm here for like preventative measures." Lawanda Sturdivant is one of more than 200 people seeking answers before things get pricey.
Exterminating can cost more than $1,000. "We really want to get the information out to our tenants that it's not a financial burden on them, but it definitely hits our budget hard."
Bed bugs don't carry disease, but heatlh experts say they can cause stress, anxiety or even sleep deprivation.
To keep bedbugs from entering your home in the first place, you need to:
Clean other second-hand furniture outdoors when you buy it. Be sure to remove all drawers before cleaning, inspect all crevices, and clean underneath the item, too.
Wash all purchased clothing (new or old) immediately and run it through a hot dryer for at least 20 minutes to kill bedbug eggs. If you can’t launder it right away, seal it in a plastic bag until you can.
In apartments, use caulk to seal cracks around wiring and plumbing fixtures to keep bedbugs in neighboring units from entering yours.
When moving, skip the cardboard boxes from behind the liquor store and either buy your own or get donations from bedbug-free friends.
Don’t put things on your bed, including backpacks, shopping bags, purses, or other items. (This includes guests’ coats when you’re throwing a house party.)