Yakima Bed Bug Infestations On The Rise

Yakima Bed Bug Infestations On The Rise »Play Video
YAKIMA - Bed bugs can leave more than bite-size reminders on your arms. Infestations can also leave people on edge mentally.

"Now before I go to bed, I look at my bed to see if I see any bugs or in my pillows," said "Jenny," who has chosen to remain anonymous. "And I lay down now and sleep with a light on."

Jenny is one of many here in the valley who have battled bed bugs.

These once rare tiny blood-suckers are crawling back into the spotlight as a growing concern for many homeowners and hotel operators.

Senske Pest Control says they used to receive one or two calls a week. This number has now tripled.

"Over the past three or four years, there's been a steady increase in bed bug controls," said Gene Chafe, a general manager at Senske Pest Control. "And don't get me wrong, it is an increasing problem in the U.S. In some cities almost epidemic proportions."

Action News spoke to valley Pest Control, and they tell us that they've received more calls in the last 2-months for bed bugs, than all of last year.

"We started seeing little bites on our arms and we didn't know quite what it was. If you have an infestation, you're getting bit head to toe," said Jenny.

Bed bugs may be small but finding them isn't always hard.

Pest Control says simply looking on the lining of your mattress could reveal some unwelcome guests.

But Chemical and heat treatments are costly; running anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 for a 3-bedroom home.

Detection kits can be found online for as low as 15 dollars and used in your home or a hotel to test for bed bugs.

But not everyone can afford to spend the thousands for treatment.

"It was cheaper to just do it ourselves, clean it, replace items, than it was to have professionals come in," said Jenny.

This saved her thousands but pest controls say it's best to seek professional help before using chemicals that could be dangerous if not used correctly.

Nationally the numbers are alarming as well, with bed bug infestations nearly doubling in just ten years.

Health experts suggest you get a professional involved anytime you suspect you might have bed bugs.

Even if you can't afford an exterminator, most will offer some advice on getting rid of the pests.