Bed bugs on the rise - South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Bed bugs on the rise

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Bed bugs are making a comeback. Some pest control experts say they are getting five times the number of calls from homeowners with bed bugs than last year, at an average of 60 a week in Southeast Texas.

Sitting in frustration, Ashley Redmon tears up looking at her mattress infested with bed bugs.

"It's creepy to just know something is crawling on you at night," said Redmon.

Bite marks can be seen on arms of the mother of two. An exterminator came to treat her apartment.

Bed bugs like to hide in the crevasses of mattresses. They can be difficult to spot.

Aattaboy exterminator, Andrew Kennedy, says they can come from anywhere, and one reason experts believe they are on the rise is because people travel more.
"You can pick those up from staying at a hotel, you can pick those up from a friend's house."

To protect yourself from the bugs when traveling, experts say to put your luggage in a bathtub because the critters can't crawl on the slick tub. Then, check mattresses and corners in hotels for any bugs. If you see a bug, contact management and don't stay there.
At least three cases were found at Redmon's complex, Sunlight Manner, in four months.

"Three o'clock in the morning I had to take my furniture out," said one tenant who also had bed bugs, Carolyn Edwards.

The National Pest Management Association says the bugs can spread between apartments. 

"They should spray every apartment not just one," said Redmon.

Supervisor of the complex says they treat the bugs as instances are reported.

"Once the person tells us they go to neighboring apartments to see if they have bed bugs, and if they do, they'll go in," said Supervisor Cindy Moreno.

While the blood suckers can't be prevented, treating an apartment can take up to eight hours, spraying mattresses and combing through clothes and closets. 
"Who wants to go to bed and be at up at night and for sure I don't, and I don't want my kids to be eaten up  by bed bugs," said Redmon.

Treating these bed bugs is not cheap. Experts say a low cost would be $65 an hour. That's more than $500 for eight hours.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development might start charging tenants as well according to Property Supervisor Moreno.

That's because it is costing those who provide affordable housing so much to treat for bed bugs.