Bedbugs On The Rise In The Borderland

KFox 14 (TX)
Tuesday, May 3, 2011

EL PASO, Texas -- Bedbugs problems are on the rise in the Borderland, according to local pest control experts.

Omar Martinez, branch manager of Truly Nolen Pest Control Termites in El Paso, said he's seen a 30 to 40 percent increase in calls asking the company to respond to bedbug problems within the last few months.

Martinez said the big problem is that as the weather warms, more and more people in the Borderland are traveling. Also, as many people travel over the border, or in from locations all over the country to work at Fort Bliss, they are bringing bugs with them. In some key locations, such as the East Coast, bedbugs are a huge problem. Martinez said the parasites will latch onto anything, such as clothing and bags, and come home with you.

According to Martinez, bedbugs are a nationwide problem because they produce at extremely high rates. He said one bedbug can lay up to eight eggs per day, laying over 300 eggs per year. Martinez said bedbugs can affect even the cleanest house.

But how do you know if you have a problem? Martinez has a checklist:

1: Check your mattress for blood stains. Since this is what bedbugs feed off of, you'll see the evidence all over the mattress and possibly the nearby wall. 2: Sniff. Bedbugs emit a musky odor. 3: Examine yourself for welts You could see several bites, often in a series of three anywhere on your body.

If you know you have a problem, Martinez said over-the-counter sprays are only a temporary fix, sometimes working only as little as one hour. Often times, the spray will kill the few bedbugs in sight, but sends the rest of them scattering and hiding. Sometimes the only option is to hire a professional pest control company. In the Borderland area, the average cost can range between $300 and $3,000.

But when is your mattress beyond saving? Martinez said it will be covered in dry blood. He said that is something that simply cannot be salvaged, because by that time, the bedbug situation has ruined your mattress beyond cleaning.

For more on bedbugs, visit The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Bedbug Factsheet.