LAWTON, OK (RNN Texoma) - A Lawton pest control business says they have treated more than 200 homes and apartments in Lawton for bed bugs in 2018 alone.
Environmental Pest Control says they treat roughly 20 homes and apartments for bed bugs in Lawton each month. They say that is a significant increase over past years as bed bugs continue to become a growing problem in our area.
Scott Brown with Environmental Pest Control said increased recognition of bed bugs is one reason for the increased calls.
"A lot of it is due to people becoming more known about bed bugs, people know more about them now, so they are identifying them quicker which entail helps us come out and take care of the problem,” Brown said.
But, changes in treatment options also contribute.
"Back in the old days, they had chemicals that could get rid of them very quickly. We can’t use those type of chemicals anymore. So, they’ve made a re insurgent across the world basically,” Brown said.
Brown said because bed bugs have become more prominent, it’s even easier than ever for them to become a problem.
"You’re generally picking them up from somewhere. A good example is if you travel and you go to a hotel or a family members house and you put your suit case down. Bed bugs can get in the suitcase and now your transferring them back to your house,” Brown said.
Brown said they recommend a treatment plan that includes spraying chemicals on the bed bugs, while also killing them with heat, but he said once the bed bugs are in your home, they can become quite the nuisance.
"Female bed bugs can lay one to five eggs a day, 500 in a lifespan so it can become a really big problem very, very quickly,” Brown said.
Brown said if you have bed bugs, you’ll likely have been bit by them but if you’re unsure, there are a few areas in your home you should check.
"Look in all the seams of the mattress, your box springs, your headboards, if you have a night stand or anything within about 10 feet of the bed is where generally they’re going to be so you’ll want to check those areas,” Brown said.
But, Brown said there are things you can do to prevent bedbugs from getting into your home in the first place.
"If you’re traveling, don’t hesitate to check that hotel room or check wherever you’re staying. Once you get back to your house, we highly recommend taking anything you can safely put in a dryer, to put in a dryer and run on a high heat cycle. That will kill anything that you bring back to your house,” Brown said.
Brown said you can also buy covers for your mattress that will protect them from bed bugs.