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Bed Bugs, A Pesky Problem That Can Happen Anywhere You Live

Posted at 4:30 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 19:23:23-05

TULSA, Okla. — Apartments have had issues where creepy critters easily moved from one unit to another.

A local exterminator told 2 Works for You what it takes to get rid of the bugs and what renters need to ask about who pays to get rid of them if it happens to you.

"They are a very strong bug and they can lay dormant for 12 to 18 months without a food source and kind of hibernate," Joseph Hall said.

Hall knows all about bed bugs. He says they can be picked up in any public place and end up in your home.

So, what do you do when they move in?

"I would suggest not spraying any chemicals especially the over the counter chemicals," Hall said. "Most of those are detectable. Any detectable chemical can and will send the bugs into hiding."

However, he says most apartment complexes treat with chemicals.

"We recommend not using any chemicals unless you're having a heat treatment done with it, and a non detectable chemical as well," Hall said.

Hall says over the years, bed bugs have grown a thick wax shell to protect them from chemicals. Heat is the only thing that works.

"A generator powers our heaters that are 460,000 volts a piece," Hall said. "There are six of them. We spread them out around the property that we are treating. We heat it up to 135 to 150 degrees in that range."

Keri Cooper is the executive director of the Tulsa Apartments Association. She says renters should be aware of bed bug policies before moving in.

Also, they should be aware that you have a little time after moving in to report an infestation without being charged.

"Review those lease documents that you are going to be signing," Cooper said. "Make sure you are comfortable. Make sure you understand everything that you're signing."

And know the rules aren't always the same from one property to the next.

The Health Department wants you to know bed bugs don't carry diseases, but their bite can make you itch.

Exterminators say they often hear from parents that fear schools or day cares won't let their children attend if there are bed bugs in the home.

if you have that concern, talk to your school or daycare to find out what their policy is.

For additional bed bug tips, click here.

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