(NC)-There's no doubt: bed bugs are still biting.
According to experts at Orkin Canada, the bed bug resurgence can likely be contributed to an increase in travel, changes in treatments, and incorrect management of infestations, among other factors. The pests' nocturnal habits and ability to survive for a year without a meal, in extreme temperatures and in almost any location - from homes to hotels to cruise ships - only add to the challenge.
The size of an apple seed, adult bed bugs are flat, oval-shaped insects that are light tan to brown in color. Bed bugs feed only on blood, and the pests swell and turn a reddish color after eating.
"Bed bugs are great hitchhikers and can travel easily from place to place," said Orkin Director of Quality Assurance Zia Siddiqi, Ph.D. "Anyone is susceptible to an infestation - we've treated multiple infestations in the past year in homes, small motels and luxury resorts. While it's never been proven that bed bugs transmit disease, it's important to stop an infestation before it gets out of hand."
To help identify and prevent bed bugs, travelers should follow these tips:
. Monitor for small brown or red stains on sheets that emit a musty, sweet odor, similar to soda pop syrup.
. Check for the pests along mattress seams and tags and behind baseboards and headboards. Bed bugs travel 15 to 20 feet to feed, so examine furniture (upholstered, wood, or even metal) and window treatments near the bed, as well.
. Be on the lookout for itchy, bloody welts on the skin, which may be a result of bed bug bites.
. After traveling, wash all clothing immediately and keep the luggage outside of the living space - preferably in the garage.
. Trap any suspicious pests and show them to a pest management professional immediately.
Bed bugs are extremely difficult to treat, so trust an experienced professional to determine the best treatment options. More information is available online at http://www.orkincanada.ca or toll-free at 1-800-800-ORKIN.