GRAHAM, N.C. — Don Summey of Pest Management Systems is the guy homeowners call in after what’s usually weeks of itching and scratching.
“The investigation is usually about the same,” said Summey as he combed his way through a bedroom infested with bed bugs. “They can hide anywhere, even in the walls. You really need to catch them early.”
Bed bugs are a problem in the Piedmont because Summey says as a whole, people here tend to travel a bit. Service calls about bed bugs go up this time of year because it’s weeks after the holidays and people picked up bed bugs while traveling and are now just determining it’s not allergies or a random rash.
“They drop their guard traveling and bring home an egg, a nymph. The next few days, they find out they’ve got a problem. It’s tricky though, because some people don’t react to bed bug bites and others do. So it’s easy to think at first that it’s a reaction to detergent or whatever,” Summey said.
Bed bugs like to hide in wood and fabric. Summey says the best way to not get bed bugs is to make sure you hang up your coat and purse or put them on a cold, ceramic bathroom floor or even in a dry bathtub, as opposed to carpet or furniture, when you’re traveling.