Bed Bugs On The Rise In The 4-States
Thursday, February 2, 2012

JOPLIN, MISSOURI - Bed bugs have been a problem that has plagued hotels in other states, but at least one pest controller has seen an increase in calls to exterminate the bugs.

"One of the scary things is you take one pregnant female, just one pregnant female that you brought home from a trip or whatever else and in six months you can have over 30,000," says Phillip Shane of Priority Pest Control.

The reproduction cycle of these creatures is based on the amount of food they receive.

"You give yourself two weeks and you've got 50 or 60, then that 50 or 60 becomes 500 or 600 in another two weeks because they just keep reproducing," Shane says.

The Joplin Health Department says it has seen an increase of incidents over the years as well.

"We get calls every month of the year," says Ryan Talken, the Environmental Health & Epidemiology Coordinator of the Joplin Health Department.  "There's not really an increase in any particular time."

And that rash, it could take anywhere from two days to two weeks before seeing the results of the bug bite.  Some people won't see a reaction at all.

Shane says the best way for him to treat bed bugs is with heat, up to 130 degrees for three hours.

"At all life stages they die at 113 degrees," Shane says.  "That penetrates your mattress so you're not throwing away your furniture."

Shane says for bedding, one household appliance will become your best friend.

"I love my dryer, at this point-in-time, because it's a simple and easy way to stop the problem," Shane says.

Shane also tells us anywhere a person rests for as little as five minutes can become a feasting ground for bed bugs.