Sacramento tops a new national list for the biggest increase in bed bug calls for the first half of this year.
In six months – under the right conditions – one pregnant bed bug can produce 7800 adults, 121,000 babies and 69,000 eggs. Those facts mean Bailey and her four-legged colleagues at Cimex are pretty busy these days.
That chocolate lab’s nose is key to the fight the Cimex company is waging against the creepy critters known as bed bugs.
At Cimex’s bed bug education and training center in West Sacramento, Bailey and other dogs go through a long association process that teaches them to find the sweet, musky odor of the bed bugs humans often can’t see.
Pinpoint inspection like that is critical for the kind of targeted pest control that can flush those bugs out from everywhere they shouldn’t be.
To Sonny Henegar, it’s no surprise Sacramento tops the new ranking by Terminix for bed bug service calls.
“We’ve at least doubled. In the last four weeks we’ve done over one million square feet of inspections,” said Henegar.
And most of those square feet had tiny bed bug feet crawling over them.
Henegar says since bed bugs crept into California four years ago, populations have been exploding – mostly because of misconceptions that they’re only a problem in unkempt areas.
“Because this pest hides so well, it spends 92% of it’s life hiding. You can live a long time with these things not knowing you have them, unless you react to their bites. And 30% of the population doesn’t respond at all to the bites,” said Henegar.
If you end up in a hotel environment without Bailey, he says check behind headboards for signs of droppings or bugs, and don’t put your clothes in hotel dresser drawers.
Pregnant bed bugs are looking to separate themselves from the rest of their group, which is why they might be eager to travel home with you.