Bed bug crisis in Virginia

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Bedbugs are disgusting little insects about the size of a tick. They're a flat brown, rusty colored bug that feed strictly on your blood.

They hide out almost anywhere, and one way to tell if they're around is by the black spotty feces they leave behind.

"They feed at night, they come out at night when you're sleeping and typically between the hours of one and four in the morning and they feed on you," said Conrad Lyons, Operations Manager for Richmond's PestMasters.

Lyon says they've been doing a lot of feeding. Pest control companies have seen a dramatic growth in these cases.

"We've gone from probably 2-3 years ago, from maybe a call a month, to now a full time operation," he said.

From two to three calls a month to just as many in a day, The Virginia Pest Management Association says with the rise in travel in recent years, bed bugs are hitching a ride in suitcases coming from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East - places where they thrive. And once they enter the states, these bugs are carried into homes, college dorms, and hotels.

"Just because we call them bed bugs doesn't mean that's where they're always going to be, sometimes they'll be on your sofa, because where ever you go, they go," said Lyons.

Lyons says his guys will check behind stationary furniture and the corners of rooms, ceilings, and any tight area.

"Places like the corner folds of a box spring is where they'll nest in these areas," he said. "Or if you lift the mattress you can look under here they'd be hidden sandwiched in between."

Once you see them in your home, experts say it's already too late, the best thing you can do then is call a professional and have your house inspected.

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