Experts work to take bite out of bed bug problem

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CNN

Posted on January 21, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Updated Friday, Jan 21 at 8:59 AM

WASHINGTON, DC – Bed bugs seem to be a growing problem – in Hampton Roads and across the country.  

They aren’t just in homes, apartments and hotels anymore; some are showing up in office buildings, retail stores and even libraries.

The biting bugs were the topic of a day-long summit at the DC Department of Health on Thursday.

"In the last 10 years, we have seen it reach a tipping point where the level of bed bugs is so high in certain areas that it is spreading throughout all areas," said entomologist Larry Pinto, an entomologist.

While the insects don’t carry disease, they can cause problems, both physically and mentally.

"Some people have no reaction; some people have a very strong reaction to the bites. Scratch their bites, they'll bleed, they'll get infected, they'll end up with scarring," he adds.

Experts have some tips to keep bed bugs at bay.
1) Look closely at used furniture or beds to see if they’re infested.
2) When you travel, keep your luggage closed and off the floors and beds in your hotel room.
3) When you return home, wash everything immediately.

The Environmental Protection Agency is holding its second national bed bug summit on February 1 and 2 in Washington, DC.

There's information to read and download, in English and Spanish, about controlling bed bugs on Virginia's Agriculture and Consumer Services Website.

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