Exterminators say that Minnesota is one of the leading areas in the nation for bed bugs. It used to be a problem relegated to the Twin Cities, but it's growing to the outstate region as well.
"There's a huge 'ick' factor when it comes to bed bugs, you know," said Todd Leyse, president of Adam's Pest Control, Inc. "We were raised with 'sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite.' When people get them, they don't want them."
Wednesday, the Kelly Inn in Plymouth played host to the 2012 Bed Bugs Minnesota Conference. Property managers and people in the hospitality industry learned from experts how to control and prevent bed bug infestations.
Exterminators say bed bugs are hitchhikers that travel from place to place by latching on to a person's luggage. One effective method for fighting the problem is to use trained canines, which can smell the bugs and seek out low levels of infestations.
However, on the positive side, bed bugs aren't known to spread disease.
"But they do really cause some welts with people, and if you have enough of them, you could actually lose a little bit of blood out of the deal," Leyse added. "But they can cause almost a hysteria or an anxiety with people, so they have a strong mental component to them as well."
Another effective method for fighting bed bugs is using a heat treatment. That's where pest control experts raise the temperature of a room to about 140 degrees. They say that method is more effective than using chemicals because it kills them quickly.
There's another bed bugs conference scheduled in Medina for Oct. 12. The focus of that will be on how supervisors can train their staff about bed bugs.
Sept. 26, 2012