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Bed bugs making a comeback in Michiana

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's a small bug that's causing some big problems in Michiana. Decades after they were nearly wiped out, bed bug infestations have been found in all 50 states. That infestation has made it's way to the Midwest.

"Within the last couple of years, it's really taken off," says Bob Seske, Rose Pest Solutions.

Seske says bed bugs are making a comeback. In 2003, he didn't have a single case of bed bugs. Now, it's his main business.

"Bed bugs are hitchhikers. The only way to get around is to be carried around, used furniture, luggage, on a person's body," says Seske.

He says they may have the name "bed bugs", but these bugs can live almost anywhere.

"Picture frames, headboards, couches, chairs, ottomans, all clothing and linens," says Seske.

Seske says to add to the problem, they multiply quickly as long as they have your blood to feast on.

"They have this little stabber that gets into your skin and sucks your blood," says Dr. Ken Elek, Memorial Hospital.

Dr. Ken Elek says the bad news is they bite. The good news is that they don't appear to transmit diseases.

"They are not dangerous, just really annoying because they bite you and put venom in you that lasts for a while so you get these red bumps that itch and hurt," says Dr. Elek.

The big question everyone has is how do you get rid of this. The short answer is it's very difficult. Exterminators say the earlier you detect this, the better.

There are a lot of tips out there on how to get rid of this yourself, like washing all bedding in very hot water, vacuuming everything and using pesticides to kill the bus. However, this won't get rid of everything. That's why it's recommended you call a professional.

There are a few things you can do to try to keep them away. You can start by doing a good inspection, you can cover your mattress with plastic, consider getting rid of old furniture, and clean your house regularly.

While you are doing your search, look out for small, reddish brown marks on your sheets. These bugs are visible. Some describe it as a small apple seed.

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