What to know about bedbugs

HOUSTON The problem with bedbugs has gotten so out of hand that there is a national bedbug convention taking place right now.

Bed bugs have gone from hotels to apartment complexes and even retail locations in some cities. Houston is faring a bit better, but before you get bitten, there is a way to check out a hotels bedbug past.

Bed bugs sure are grabbing a lot of attention lately. In Chicago, a national bedbug convention is under way dedicated controlling the pests. Here in Houston, new reports of infestations come in every week to pest control companies.

"My mom is extremely paranoid of them. She has been keeping up with them as well," said Haley Hester.

She recently stayed in a hotel out of town and fortunately remained bedbug free. Hester's next stay won't be left to chance because now there's way to check out a hotel's bedbug history before you check in.

"I would not want to stay in a hotel that has bedbugs," Hester said.

The web site is called bedbugregistry.com and has postings from hotel guests around the country who detail the hotel and room where bedbugs were found. However, if you see a hotel on the list, be sure to check when the bugs were reported.

"They have probably taken care of that problem. They isolated the room and had it treated," said Steve Martin of ABC Home & Residential Services.

Martin says hotels in the Houston area quickly respond to bedbug complaints and his company moves in fast to eradicate the pests.

"We've gone in, identified the problem, treated for it and monitored the surrounding rooms for a period of time," Martin said.

He adds while other cities around the nation are seeing bedbugs in retail outlets and movies theaters, in Houston, the infestations are confined to two basic places.

"Multi-family housing, and in single-family housing," said Martin.

Changes in the pest control industry away from spraying bedbug repellents in homes have in part led to a resurgence of the pests.

"Now there is nothing out there really that is keeping them at bay," Martin said.

Bedbugs can and do appear in all sorts of places, from five-star hotels all the way to super cheap places to stay, so you can't let that be your guide.

You can check out the bedbug registry website here.

Just because you see a report of a hotel with bedbugs in one room doesn't mean that the entire place is infested. The bedbugs can be in only one room, but when the room is treated, pest control companies treat all the rooms around the one with the bedbugs to make sure they have not spread.

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