Bed bug infestations hit the Central Valley

FRESNO, Calif.

Local exterminators say this summer has been the busiest in recent memory when it comes to battling bed bugs.

On Friday an entire Fresno hotel will be fumigated. The pest company doesn't want to reveal which one, because these infestations can be bad for business and troublesome for those who are bitten.

They're little. They're ugly. And they bite. Bed bugs have made headlines recently for incidents back east, but now we know they're also causing problems here.

Local pest control businesses are seeing a spike in the number of calls asking them to get rid of these pesky parasites.

"Each year I've noticed a steady increase in the number. And this summer's been by far the most." said Fran Oneto of San Joaquin Pest Control.

Bed bugs are visible from the naked eye. When they bite it usually causes red marks on the torso and arms. Constant itchiness is also a major symptom. For the most part bed bugs are found naturally in people's mattresses.

"The head of a screw they'll be laying their eggs in there." added Oneto.

Oneto says these annoying bed bugs can also spread to your furniture, blinds and drapes. Even electrical sockets and switch lights aren't immune to becoming a bed bug breeding ground.

Oneto is now fumigating three to five homes and businesses a week and says other local companies are just as busy. Bed bugs are biting their way across the country.

"This is resurgence all across the board at this point. So it's a very serious problem." said Jeffrey white of bed bug central.

In Lexington, Kentucky an entire apartment complex had to be evacuated. And in New York this movie theater had to be temporarily closed down after dozens of moviegoers complained of getting bit while sitting in their seats.

The big apple's no stranger to bed bugs. A Victoria Secret and an Abercrombie and Fitch have also seen bed bug infestations in their stores this summer.

So where do these guys come from? Oneto has a theory. "Ease of travel. The people can hop on a plane and travel to different part of the world that doesn't have any control and they seem to have brought the problem back with them."

Getting rid of bed bugs doesn't come cheap. Fumigating costs can be anywhere between $350 - $1500 and it usually takes 2-3 sessions to eradicate the bed bugs entirely. And in most cases the mattress and furniture are tossed out.

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