Knoxville (WVLT) - Get ready to squirm in your seat and run to your bedroom to check under the covers.
Bed bugs are back and as Volunteer TV’s Stacy McCloud explains, in such large numbers that they are being called the bug of the 21st century.
"We eliminated bed bugs in the US back in the 30's and 40's,” says Jim Holsomback from Heritage Termite and Pest Service.
Now some 60 years later, "about an eight of an inch long. they are flat until they have a meal but then they have a rounded body."
They're finding a way back.
"Bedbugs are notorious hitchhikers.”
"They prefer humans as their food supply," says Holsomback.
And ready to call your house home.
"They will get in the tuffs of your bed, furniture and in a heavy infestation behind pictures and door casings."
If we got rid of them so long ago, why are they suddenly a problem now?
"They have taken a lot of products off the market we used that would affect the bed bugs. They have started to make a comeback and have come from where people have traveled overseas."
Despite being visible to the naked eye, you'll likely have no clue, until it's a little too late.
"They multiply very quickly and they mature in about 9 weeks and once they are mature they can start multiplying.”
The best way check for bed bugs is to inspect every crevasse of your mattress and furniture.
"There will be dark spots around the tuffs of the mattress, that is their feces."
There is no way to get rid of bed bugs yourself, a pest control company must come in and vacuum, steam, and maybe even spray, likely more than once.
Big business for the bug man
"We're gonna make a lot of money off them.”
If you're leaving for a trip, don't think taking your own bedding will help. They live in the mattress.
Just make sure and check the bed before bringing your stuff to the room.
Then when you get home, wash all your clothes and vacuum out your luggage.
Don't forget to put the vacuum bag in a plastic bag, tie it tight, and throw it away.
Bedbugs have nothing to do with cleanliness. Even four star hotels have had problems.
Doctors say not to worry, while they can leave you with little red bumps, they don't carry any diseases.