NEWPORT NEWS -- The number of calls to exterminators about bed bugs is increasing in Hampton Roads.
Expert Cory Newell says one out of every 10 calls that exterminating companies are getting is about bed bugs or bed bug-related issues.
"The national pest control associations are saying that Hampton Roads is in the top 10 percentile of the worst in the country. We're becoming the next New York, Philadelphia with pandemic levels of bed bugs. They're here and they're biting, and their all over Hampton Roads."
In Newport News, property managers, housing officials, and senior facility operators filled a conference room on Tuesday to learn how to deal with the blood suckers. They also talked about how hoarding can create an environment that bed bugs like.
"The hoarding situation creates an opportunity for bed bugs to have even more ample spaces to hide," Newell explained.
Newell says tourism is the main reason the problem is so bad.
"Our locals are serving these communities and they're picking them up in the hotels and in the service industries or even in the home care companies, etcetera."
Getting a professional to take care of a bed bug problem in a home can cost any where from $400 dollars to $5,000.