(KFVS) - The Heartland is seeing a rash of unwanted guests. Bed bugs are invading homes at an alarming rate.
Not just in hotels, pest control experts say the pests are invading our homes more than ever.
What use to be something some of us only worried about when we traveled or stayed in hotels, is now becoming very common problem in our homes.
Heartland exterminators say it's happening because of one very common mistake.
"It's a nightmare," said Pamela Muech.
Although only the size of an apple seed, bed bugs can quickly grow into thousands.
"Once you get them in your bed you can't sleep anymore," she said.
As a landlord, she's dealt with the pest firsthand on more than one occasion.
"You might think you are getting them all and a month later you start getting bit again," she said.
"There is not a product we can use that is effective on bed bugs," said Chris Horrell from Bug Zero.
He said the biggest problem with bed bugs is people think they can treat it themselves.
Horrell recommends that once you've spotted the bug to call in the professionals.
"The only thing we found is effective is heat. You have to heat them up," he said. "Anything from 122 will kill them from egg to adult."
High-risk areas include anything within 2 feet of your bed or couch. You're looking for tiny spots that look like blood, white shells or bugs. If you do come across one, don't panic.
"They throw away stuff they throw away mattresses they throw away furniture. I've heard of people throwing away clothing, which is actually more expensive than what a service would be," said Horrell.
One thing is for sure, Muech said it's a problem she hopes to avoid at all costs.
"By the time you find them in your bed, you are infested with them," said Muech.
The treatment of heating your home takes about eight hours.
Horrell believes another reason for the rise in the infestations is due to folks buying used or renting used furniture.
So you may wonder, how are they getting into your homes?
Horrell said they can be brought in on your clothing or on your purse. If you go to a place where bed bugs are present, you could be bringing them into your own home.