Bed bug problem continues to grow

YAKIMA, Wash. -- The problem with bed bugs just keeps growing. Yakima pest control services say this past month has been the busiest yet. Action News learned this has nothing to do with cleanliness and how you can protect your own home.

Although only the size of an apple seed, bed bugs can quickly grow into hundreds in hot weather. This month has been keeping pest control businesses rushing from call to call.

"It has escalated into getting several calls a day," said Bob York, owner of York's Exterminating.

York says the problem with bed bugs is people don't know what to look for or how they're getting them. People are also embarrassed to admit the problem. No one wanted to take part in this story Wednesday. Most are worried bed bugs mean you don't clean your home.

"Sanitation has nothing to do with bed bug infestations," York said. "If you have blood, you qualify."

So, how do you get them? The top ways are from traveling and buying used furniture, such as on Craigslist or at a garage sale. Bites from bed bugs may irritate your skin, but they are not known to spread disease.

"The name of the game in bed bug management is early detection."

Bed bugs thrive in hot weather. Just like the name implies, they're most often found in places you sleep or rest. It's recommended to check your couches and your beds and really get inside the crevices.

You're looking for tiny spots that look like blood, white shells or bugs. If you ever think you've visited a place with bed bugs, put your clothes in the dryer for the hottest cycle possible.

If you cannot afford to call pest control, there are methods on the internet that you could try. However, it's important to keep in mind the problem can get out of hand quickly.

"When you go into an apartment or house and you can actually smell them because there are so many of them in there, it's a very, very aggressive treatment that has to be done," York said.

A treatment that hopefully stops the bed bugs from running rampant in your home.

Treatment for bed bugs isn't cheap. It starts around $500. If you plan to do it yourself, experts recommend to do the research because you could make the problem worse.