Bedbug Complaints Spike In Albuquerque

Friday, August 5, 2011

City officials said actual bedbug cases in Albuquerque are not on the rise, but calls complaining of them are through the roof.

Joe Martinez, of Safe City Strike Force, said more and more Albuquerque residents believe the little bedtime bloodsuckers are feasting on them when they head to bed. In fact, Martinez said monthly calls to the Strike Force complaining of the critters are already in the hundreds.

Martinez said the tenant complaints have caused a 24-hour delay in Strike Force's response, and yet, when crews show up to investigate, they're not finding bedbugs.

"They will be red ants, gnats and other situations like that," Martinez said. "I would say we only have a few of the properties we go out to that are still infested with bedbugs."

Martinez attributed the spike in calls to a combination of heightened awareness and problem in national media, but the officer said people don't know the signs for which they are supposed to be looking.

"There's a lot of information on the Internet about bedbugs," Martinez said.

Martinez urged residents to talk to their landlords first about the problem before calling the city.