Bed bug cases growing across the Tri-State - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Bed bug cases growing across the Tri-State

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EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

There's a creepy-crawly problem spreading through the Tri-State, and it may be something that's not even on your radar yet, but it should be.

Pest control companies from across the tri-state say the same thing - bed bugs are here, and the number of cases is rising every day. 

In hopes of reducing the problem, one K-9 detection business is doing a new service. 

You've probably heard the saying before, "don't let the bed bugs bite."

They're words that are, to some, just a saying. 

Telia Ditzer, who lives here in Evansville, quickly learned that's not the case.

She took her son to the doctor after he started getting what looked like bug bites that kept coming back.

The doctor told her they were bed bug bites.

Ditzer called in K-9 Detection Services to search her house, and she says what they found wasn't pleasant. It was a bed bug infestation.

"They were in the crevices of my couch," Ditzer said. "They were in the crevices of my bed."

Ditzer says she has some relief knowing she isn't alone.

Action Pest Control says last year they averaged between six to eight calls a day. This year, it's jumped to 10 to 15.

Swat Pest says they've dealt with 17 bed bug jobs in just this past week. K-9 Detection says they see at least three to five cases every single day.

Chad Bailey, the owner of K-9 Detection, believes a lot of people in the area are like Ditzer and have the bugs, but don't know it. 

"A lot of people are just not aware of the problem here in the Tri-State," Bailey said. 

Bailey says it's important to know that the insects aren't going anywhere. 

"Experts say this is only going to continue to get worse," Bailey said.

That's why Bailey and his company added a new service for rental properties. Before a tenant moves in, they bring the dogs in to check the unit. If all is clear, that house or apartment is then certified as bed bug free. 

It's something Bailey and Ditzer hope will become mandatory city-wide. 

"I've contacted the mayor's office about this process," Bailey said. "I'm going to continue to try to persuade them to maybe look into this."

Where to look for bed bugs:
  • Behind a bed's headboard
  • On the mattress
  • Inside the hollow areas of a bed
  • In the coils of a bed
  • Inside a box spring
  • Behind peeling wallpaper
  • Behind walls and baseboards
  • Near the edge and underneath rugs and in closets
  • Within curtains, draperies and shower rods
  • Within electrical equipment like lamps, clocks, radios, smoke alarms, irons and phones
  • Within and on the exterior of sofas and chairs or their upholstery
  • Within and on the exterior of furniture, cabinets and drawers
  • Around access panel doors
  • Within popcorn ceiling cavities 
  • At wall floor and wall ceiling junctions

What to look for:
  • Fecal stains (looks like an ink pen made dots)
  • Blood spots
  • A uniquely sweet raspberry-like or musty odor (emitted by the bugs)
  • Bed bugs or eggs themselves
  • Cast exoskeleton skins from molting

For more information about bed bugs, contact your local health department, a pest control company or a detection company.

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