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Bed Bugs Snuggle Into KELOLAND

September 22, 2010, 6:10 PM by Kelli Grant

Bed Bugs Snuggle Into KELOLAND
SIOUX FALLS, SD - They're two words that will probably make you itch and squirm.  Bed bugs are infesting homes and businesses across the country and nesting in beds right here in South Dakota.

Fortunately, it's not a huge problem in this area, at least not yet.  But it's important to look for them now and get rid of them, so the bugs don't snuggle in to your sheets.

You've heard the phrase, "Good night, sleep tight; don't let the bed bugs bite."  But that saying is now taking on a whole new meaning as people right here in KELOLAND are fighting off the bugs.

Flipping up a mattress and looking through its every nook and cranny is just part of Justin Bosma's day job now. Over just the past few weeks his business, P & K Pest Control, has answered a ton of bed bug calls.

“I was probably getting two or three calls a day for them. I was maybe treating one to two residences a day probably for bed bugs,” Bosma said.

He says the critters are the most difficult insect they spray for. That's because they like to snuggle into tight places: cracks and crevices not only in the mattress and box spring, but any furniture near the bed.

“Where you're going to find them is in any areas or folds in the mattress. If you pull those a part, you can see them crawling in there. Sometimes you can see little tiny eggs,” Bosma said.

“There's not very many insects out there that look like a bed bug,” Larry Wager with Minnehaha County Extension Service said.
Wagner can spot the bugs and does so under a microscope when people bring them in to his office.
“If there are more bugs now, it's probably more because people are looking for them and finding them.  They've always been here,” Wagner said.

But Wagner says that doesn't mean the bugs aren't a problem.

BED BUG FACTS

  • Small, flat, brown insects
  • Less than 1/4 inch long, about size of apple seed
  • Hide in cracks, seams, creases and corners of mattresses and furniture
  • Prefer wood and fabric over metal or plastic
  • Hide during day and come out at night
“In Ohio, the University Labs there get an average of about 150 sampled, positive samples daily," Wagner said.

He says we're definitely not seeing those kinds of numbers here in KELOLAND yet.

“I believe that we do need to be very concerned,” Wagner said.

Bed bugs detect warm body temperatures and the carbon dioxide humans give off as they breathe. And once they bite, they bite.

“They're gonna bite once and they're gonna latch on probably for about five minutes while they're feeding so they often do it while you're sleeping,” Bosma said.

Bosma says it's very difficult to treat them on your own and get rid of them completely. A professional, who can find the hidden bugs, typically needs to treat the infested areas.

“You're gonna do a clean out initially. But you're probably gonna have to come back in and hit some of the hot spots or problem areas again,” Bosma said.

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