Bed bug cases in Abilene are on the rise, extending beyond motels and into homes.
Since a story appeared about a woman with a bed bug infestation at her Abilene apartment appeared two weeks ago, there have been several more reports around town of the pests.
Gene Reed, executive director of the Abilene Housing Authority. said he has seen more cases of bed bugs during the past few months in Abilene than ever before. They come from unexpected places: suitcases when traveling and even items purchased at yard sales.
One thing is certain: when found, they need to be exterminated as soon as possible.
"Whether it's a hotel, office, home, apartment, as soon as you find bed bugs, get a licensed professional involved," Reed said.
Reed said that everyone needs to realize that prevention is key to slowing or eliminating the spread of the bugs.
"What we really want to do is kill them, not just throw them outside," Reed said.
Bed bugs look about like an appleseed. To check for them, take pillows off the bed, pull back the comforter and check the mattress pad. Also, look under the mattress and check the seams. Don't forget to look behind headboards and hanging pictures.
And remember, these bugs don't discriminate.
"It has nothing to do with housekeeping, race, social status -- this is a bug that likes blood," Reed said.
Bed bugs spread very quickly so don't hesitate to get them treated. Once they're adults they can multiply five to seven times per week.