Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  Bedbugs — they’re not just found in bedrooms anymore.

The pesky critters and rude houseguests are spreading their domain to include airplanes, taxis, restaurants…and movie theaters.

Basically, any place that people go bedbugs are sure to follow.

“You have to imagine that a person staying in a hotel puts down their purse or their laptop case, or whatever,” explains Jeff Phillips, owner of Blue Chip Pest Services. “They’re showing up in offices, they’re showing up in a variety of different areas.”

It’s the greatest comeback story that nobody wanted to hear.

“Twenty years ago, (bedbugs) were non-existent,” Phillips tells KMOX News. “Ten years ago I think I saw my first bedbug. Five years ago I maybe got one call a month.”

And now?

“We’re getting several calls a week.”

He adds that bedbugs seem to give people the skeevies even more than spiders, ants, or cockroaches, which are still much more prevalent.

“When you’re dealing with something that bites and sucks your blood, it’s certainly got much more of the ‘ick factor’ than an ant or a cockroach,” Phillips says.

Bedbug proliferation and what can be done to stem the tide top the agenda during the Missouri Pest Management Association’s annual meeting, which wraps up today in St. Louis.

“It’s a hot topic right now,” points out MPMA regional vice president Jeremiah Ryden. “It is something that is cyclical and it is coming back.”

And unfortunately, coming back to stay.

“There is no permanent eradication of them anymore,” concludes Blue Chip Pest Services owner Jeff Phillips. “That’s something that I think is going to be impossible to accomplish.”

Copyright KMOX Radio

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