Exterminator on bed bugs: 'Some people go absolutely ballistic'

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Bed bugs are making life miserable for more and more people. Exterminators say they're getting ten times more calls than last year. And the problems aren't just at home.

At full size, bed bugs are no bigger than an apple seed. But these small critters are causing big problems in Yakima.

"Some people go absolutely ballistic," said exterminator Bob York.

They survive by feeding off of your blood while you sleep.

"They are masters of living in cracks and crevices," York said.

They're not just in homes but in hotels as well.
Action News went with pest expert Bob York to Yakima's Ledgestone Hotel to show you how to check for bed bugs.

"The first thing we are going to do in a room, we are going to pull the pillows back," York said. "This is what I do when I check into a hotel. I pull the fitted sheets back. Now this one has an encasement on it. That's even better."

He does this on all four corners.

"Where they are going to live is right across the seams right there," he said.

York showed us that the bed was clean, but if there were bed bugs you would see small black specks. Then he actually takes off the headboard.

Then it's on to the bathroom.

"I shake it," he said. "Then I look in the tub I see if there is anything in the tub."

The last place he checks is where you put your luggage. York says luggage racks are a great place for them to hide.

If you find them, use heat to kill them. Put sheets and shower curtains in the dryer. And place furniture outside in the sun. If all else fails, call an expert.

Bed bugs aren't known to carry disease, but you could have an allergic skin reaction.