LAS VEGAS - Bed bugs are spreading in Las Vegas. According to one local exterminator, calls for bed bugs are up 50 percent from last year. Las Vegas ranks third in the nation among cities with the highest increase in bedbug infestations.
Las Vegas is one of the top travel destinations in the country, so exterminators say it's no surprise bed bugs are found in hotels, movie theaters and other high traffic areas.
"They are hitchhikers. They go where we go. They're in our movie theaters. They're any place we like to be at," said Terminix exterminator Ray Strickland. "They like the controlled environment the same as we do. So, they can be in our cars, air planes, luggage."
Exterminators say the city's bed bug ranking isn't necessarily a bad thing. It means people are paying closer attention to these little bugs. Hotel companies, for example, are aggressively attacking bed bug problems before they spread.
When checking for bed bugs in your own home, exterminators say look for fecal matter that looks like black pepper and tiny blood stains around the head board and edges of the bed. That usually means you need to make a quick call to your local exterminator.
While bed bugs aren't as dangerous as other insects such as spiders and scorpions, you should take steps to prevent bed bugs from entering your home. One solution is, when you're traveling, put your luggage on the rack and not on the floor.
Also, hang your clothes. Don't just leave them around furniture or hotel dresser drawers.