Bedbug cases on the rise, pest control experts say

Emily Sinovic

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — Just the thought of bedbugs is enough to make most people’s skin crawl, but actually getting them in your house could be just as costly as it is uncomfortable; and cases are on the rise.

Darryl Franke, owner of SOS Pest Control in Kansas City, says bedbug business has become a huge part of his business, nearly doubling the volume of calls during the past few years.

“In 2002 I think we did three jobs. In 2004 we did 20. We did 900 last year,” Franke said.

bedbugs have been making headlines in Kansas City recently.

In 2018, bedbugs have been detected in movie theaters, the airport and, most recently, at the Shawnee branch of Johnson County Libraries. The library was shut down for 10 days to kill all the bugs and clear that branch of the pest.

It wasn’t cheap. The total price tag was $20,000.

Franke says bedbugs are one of the hardest bugs to kill.

He warns trying to take care of the problem yourself usually doesn’t work because the average hardware store pesticide doesn’t work.

“They’re very resistant to insecticides naturally,” Franke said.

One of the methods used to kill bugs is heat, essentially cooking and killing the bugs.

Franke says a two-bedroom home could run about $1,200.

Kansas City Health Department recently launched its new “Healthy Homes” initiative, to make sure renters don’t get stuck with the bill or feel like they’re stuck with the bugs.

One of the most important things you can do to stop the spread of bedbugs is look for the signs: tiny reddish black bugs and the itchy red bites they leave behind.

The Environmental Protection Agency provides a thorough checklist here.

You can find more information on the KCMO’s Healthy Homes program here.

Click here for more bedbug information from the Kansas Department of Health.

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