GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- After being inundated with dozens of calls a day, a local exterminator says bed bugs are on the rise, but they can be stopped or at least slowed down. They say the problem is mostly because people don't know the correct ways to contain those pests, and its becoming a vicious cycle.
When you’re in a bed bug panic Raymond Cummings, owner of Simply Pest Control, knows what to do.
“For this season it has been completely bonkers. We are actually scheduling about two weeks out at this time, and have 50 to 60 calls coming in a day,” he said.
Cummings says we are at a bed bug peak, and the little red vampires are everywhere, but it has nothing to do with the season, rather a fierce cycle.
“People will take the items that they have and actually remove it from the home. They put it outside on the curb, and somebody comes by and picks it up, and god knows what happens to it. They might sell it at the flea market. They might sell it at a yard sale. The cycle continues,” said Cummings.
Cummings says if you find an item with bed bugs you have to properly destroy it, like calling a garbage control of bringing it to a dump. Cummings doesn’t want to cause alarm, but these six-legged creatures can spread quickly due to peoples’ denial.
“They think it’s a spider bite or mosquito,” said Cummings.
Cummings says that more times than not it’s a bed bug.
“In the life cycle of 10 to 11 months they can have 200-250 eggs, and meanwhile that’s spreading throughout the house,” said Cummings.
Most bed bugs are found in apartments.
“We are starting a new program where we bring a dog in. We are doing vacant units after someone moves out, and inspecting those. We are making sure we can see if there’s anything left behind,” said Cummings.
For those of you that might notice a bug or two on your furniture, zapping bugs isn’t the cheapest. There are various professional treatments that start at about $300 and can go as high as $3,000, but it’s better than trying to move it yourself, because you might be spreading the problem.
“A lot of times they try to get the mattress out and its bouncing down the hallway, and the bed bugs are falling off that mattress, and now the whole house is infested and it could have just been one room,” he said.
Wrapping furniture in a tarp isolates the issue, and opting for a heat treatment from a professional can save your favorite couch altogether.
Cummings says you can also go to local distributors and actually get certain devices to solve the problem yourself. There’s a little machine that's designed to invite bed bugs into it, and traps them there. Also, you should also check around the seams of your mattress regularly to make sure you don't have any bugs.