(Fort Wayne, IN) -- Halloween may be over... but very real, blood-sucking creatures are invading Northeast Indiana, and may be lurking in your home, right now.
Over the past few years, Diana Wallace of Arab Termite and Pest Control has seen a huge increase in calls for bed bugs -- from hotels and homeowners alike.
Diana Wallace\Arab Termite & Pest Control: "They are called bed bugs, but that doesn't mean they're going to stay in your bed. Many times they're in headboards, they're around the end tables, they are around cracks and crevices around the bed, the baseboards. They can get into electronics. They can pretty much go anywhere."
While the nocturnal insects don't carry diseases, they do live on your blood, by biting you and sucking it out before they scurry away.
Bed bugs are also great hitchhikers -- on your clothes after visiting a friend's house, in a backpack from a dorm, or in your suitcase from a hotel.
When you're traveling, you may think that booking a room at a nicer hotel would make the difference as to whether it has beg bugs or not. But Diana says that's not necessarily the case.
Diana Wallace\Arab Termite & Pest Control: "Bed bugs are not prejudiced. They don't care if you're clean or not. They are transported. In fact many cases, you have 5-star hotels out there that have problems."
She says never put personal items in hotel drawers, leave them in your closed suitcase.
Getting rid of bed bugs involves traps, sprays and flushing compounds in infected areas. If applied correctly, you and your pets should not have a reaction.
According to the National Pest Management Association, because bed bugs can live for six months without a blood meal, getting rid of them can take a long time, and a lot of cash -- more than $1000 for difficult cases.
Diana Wallace\Arab Termite & Pest Control: "You need to follow up in a week, you may have a plan where you're going to be following up for several months. I have had a situation where everything looked really good until about six months later, and had another outbreak. Just constantly inspect. Look your mattress over, look a headboard over. Look your clothes over before you bring them back. And just keep your eyes out."
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