When bed bugs attack

Dewayne Tanner

Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite.

But bite they will. And bite, and bite, and bite.

"You can be at someone's house or in their bedroom and one could just hook onto you and you won't know until a couple of days later when you wake up with bites all over you," said Keith Sproul of Adams Exterminators.

Cimex Lectularius, better known as the bed bug, first made its presence known â" or felt - in Albany 4 years ago.

The insects are nocturnal, feeding on the blood of humans and leaving itchy whelps on the skin.

They spread quickly thanks to a longer-than-normal lifespan and a rapid rate of reproduction.

"A female lives around 10 months," said Dewayne Tanner of Southwest Georgia Public Health. "She can lay 200 to 500 eggs."

One of the problems with getting rid of bed bugs is that they could be anywhere, not just in your bed - behind furniture, underneath cushions, even behind picture frames.

So what can you do if you have a bed bug infestation?

"We ask the customers to break down their beds, take their sheets off, wash them," said Sproul.

And use caution when traveling - bed bugs often make themselves at home in hotel rooms.

"Don't throw your luggage on the bed. As soon as you get back home, you wash your clothes in hot water, the hottest water your clothes can take," said Tanner.