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Yuma County

Bed bug misconceptions result in rise in infestations

CBS 13's April Hettinger addresses some bed bug signs to look out for

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Don't get too itchy... this is a sign to get a flashlight and check your mattress.

Yuma Pest gets 15 to 20 calls a week for bed bugs when it used to be just 15 in an entire year.

Victor Mendoza, customer service specialist with Yuma Pest says the blood-sucking insects are host-specific to humans.

"They itch as if it was a mosquito bite, but it is multiple welts depending on the level of the infestation," Mendoza explained.

Bed bugs can go a while without feeding which is why throwing out your mattress won't get rid of them.

"They do hide in crack and crevices, in walls of homes, behind uh, underneath carpet or behind furniture," Mendoza said.

Emiliano Gaona, sales supervisor for Yuma Pest says they are more prominent in the winter when Yuma's population nearly doubles.

"There's a lot of people that come through Yuma, and the thing about the bed bugs is that they're hitchhiker bugs," Gaona explained. "You could get them from the higher end hotels to the lower end hotels to, you know, your church or you go eat at a restaurant."

They can leave feces, larvae and pillow stains, therefore spreading quickly.

"You sleep in your bedroom and then you go hang out on the couch, so now you took them from the bedroom to the couch," Gaona stated.

A common misconception is to do home remedies and buy new furniture.

"It will only be a matter of time when that brand new furniture that you just paid $4,000 for is going to be infested as well," Mendoza said.

But most home remedies are aerosol pesticides which will only spread them further. Professionals like Yuma Pest are trained and use a strong heat treatment to kill the insects.

"Do not throw any furniture away," Mendoza stated. "All furniture is salvageable with proper treatments."

The pest companies say taking the easy way out might be more expensive in the long run and will never fully eliminate the pest.

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April Hettinger

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