LAWTON, Ok (RNN Texoma) -A local pest control company said they're seeing an up tick of bed bugs around town. Around this time of the year the pesky parasites like to come out and get inside your home.
Bed bugs can be your worst night mare, but simple things like checking your bag, suitcase, or purse after you leave a trip is one way from letting the creepy crawlers bite you and get inside your home.
The parasites are small, flat, and the size of an apple seed.They are reddish-brown color and have 6 legs.
"Years ago when we were kids you had the story don't let the bed bugs bite but we never had bed bugs. They've started making a comeback being chemical resistant and they've slowly worked their way from the north to the south and they are here 100%," said Scott Brown.
Environmental Pest Control Technician Scott Brown said their office has been busy.
"On average we will get two to three calls a day for bed bugs. Our heat treatment machine runs three to four days a week," said Brown.
If these critters get inside your home, they're hard to catch.
"They can hide in any little crack or crevice. So in the seems of your mattresses, pillows, blankets, furniture," said Brown.
Bed bugs crave blood and can live up to 1 year. Once the bugs start reproducing they bring big problems.
"The female bed bug can feed every other day and lay up to 10 eggs," said Brown.
Bed bugs don't jump or fly, but they're fast runners and hitch hikers.
"When you stay in a hotel or you are going somewhere check it out. Look to see if there are any bed bugs, or signs of bed bugs. When you get home what we recommend is to take all your clothing and stuff that you traveled with and immediately put it in the dryer, let it run a full cycle on high heat and that should kill anything that you are bringing back home with you," said Brown.
But if the problem doesn't end there, Brown said they have to use professional heat treatments to kill them.
"That heat is going to range from 117 up to about 135 degrees. That's the killing point for bed bugs. That penetrates your mattresses, your furniture, base boards and inside the walls," said Brown.
A heat treatment can range from 8 to 12 hours and Brown said once it is done, there is something you can purchase to keep the bed bugs from biting you.
"We do recommend having mattress covers for your mattresses after your application and before will definitely help out too," said Brown.
You can find mattress covers at local stores. Brown said if you have bed bugs in your home and you get a professional heat treatment, he recommends you follow up with your exterminator after 2 weeks to double check that none of the bugs have returned.
Bed bugs do not carry any diseases. If you are bitten by them it may cause itching.