Bed bugs have been here for years - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bed bugs have been here for years

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Bed bugs are creeping across the nation and have infested apartments... homes... and businesses in southwest Georgia.  South Georgia Exterminators are getting regular calls about the pests. 

In north Georgia, students at Reinhardt College had to sleep in the gym after a bed bug infestation in the dorms. Exterminators say they're difficult to get rid of and they are a nuisance, but Public Health officials say they can't make you sick.

Health officials describe bed bugs as the hitchhikers of the world, they hitch a ride in your luggage or in a pocket. You'd may be surprised to know they've been in southwest Georgia for four years.

Our global society, is this tiny bed bug's dream.  "These particular insects are hitchhikers, they just don't magically show up," said David Reed, Adams Exterminator General Manager.

For most they're a nightmare. Adams Exterminators had four calls last week. They've been found in mattresses, couches, anywhere you might spend a few hours during the night. 

 "They actually numb the area before they bite and that's the reason you don't wake up when they feed," said Dewayne Tanner,Southwest Georgia Public Health Environmental Health Dir. 

A female lays eggs every day, they can live up to ten months, so that's 200 to 500 eggs during a lifetime. They're commonly found in hotels, but typically stay confined. 17:12:06

"Because one room of the hotel has an infestation by no means does that mean the rest of the hotel does," said Tanner.

David Reed of Adams attended a Bed Bug conference in Chicago this week. He says simple things like these 'Climb Ups,' put under the legs of a bed can catch the pests that travel best on a rough surface. "This is actually paper around here and, they can actually climb up there on paper and when they get in, this is a smooth surface here, a slick surface and they can not climb out of that. A special mattress cover can also work. You can put these encasements on and it locks them out."

High heat or Freezing temperatures or chemicals can typically do bed bugs in, but you usually need a professional, and two or three treatments to get rid of the pests. You can also use something as simple as this sticky paper fixed under the bed to see if you have a bed bug problem.

Treatment for these pests doesn't come cheap, you're looking at more than a hundred dollars for the initial treatment and then about half of that for additional treatments.

Health officials say if you see a problem with bed bugs at a hotel or business, you should alert the business or the health department so the problem can be addressed. As we told you yesterday, the Health Department continues to investigate a complaint in Moultrie.

More details on bed bugs:

  • They are small nocturnal bloodsucking insects that feed on us and other animals
  • They like to hide in mattresses, but you can also find them just about anywhere in your house where there is a source of food
  • The bites cause swollen, red, itchy welts
  • Their saliva has an anesthetic that numbs the pain and contains an anti-coagulant to keep the blood flowing while it eats
  • Small reddish brown spots on your sheets are the first sign of an infestation

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