Bed bugs back with a bite in Beckley - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Bed bugs back with a bite in Beckley

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 Beckley (WVVA) The little critters can definitely wreck a good night's sleep. Experts say bed bugs are back with a vengeance, with renters and homeowners reporting some of their highest levels in three years in Raleigh County. 

"Roaches used to be the number one problem in terms of insects. Now, it's a bed bug infestation. We're getting enormous amounts of calls for bed bugs, and around this time, I think it's mostly due to travel," said Ron Phillips with Phillips Extermination in Beckley. 

For many, Phillips said the term 'bed bug' can be very deceiving, especially for an insect that can hide almost anywhere. 

"It's hard for a lot of people to admit they have a problem. We don't look at it that way. Sanitation is not the main issue when it comes to bed bugs. I think it's hard for people to say, yes, we've got a problem and then get it corrected," added Phillips. 

From the well-kept home to the downright sloppy, it is an insect Entomologist Richard Whitman said doesn't discriminate. "The treatments and corrective measures, though, are quite costly. It's not like treating your cockroach problem. This is very time consuming and costly to do." 

According to Whitman, one of the biggest misconceptions about the insects is that they are carriers of disease. In reality, he said they are really just more of a nuisance. "There are about 25 different diseases that a bed bug can have in it's body. But they can't share. It's not a pathogen." 

According to Phillips and Whitman, another misunderstanding about bed bugs is that they can be treated by drug store repellents. While they say those treatments may work initially, the solution only works short-term. 

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