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Bed Bugs Hide During Day, Wait For Your Slumber

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. -- It hides during the day and bites while you sleep. A bed bug is a bloodsucking insect, no bigger than an apple seed. It's capable of laying up to 500 eggs in its lifetime.

"Bed bugs are on the rise and we're seeing probably a 500 percent increase over three years ago," said Cindy Mannes of the National Pest Management Association. "We're seeing bed bugs in places from anything like five-star hotels to dormitories, to school lockers, to apartment buildings to residential homes."

So why has the number of these biting bugs ballooned across the country? Bed bug are great hitchhikers. They can catch a ride in your luggage, shoes and pant hems. "They're not only in the mattresses like people think -- they can be behind picture frames, chairs in the room, anything surrounding the bed itself," said Dean Vatteroni of All Season's Budget Pest Control. "Behind the framing are very hot spots for them. They can be tucked in there, the underside of the box spring. The tufts of the mattress here are very common spots to find them."

Many times, you'll see small red dots of blood from feeding bugs. They also leave droppings on the sheets. A serious infestation will cause a sickly, sweet smell.

 Health experts believe they do not carry diseases. But most people do have an allergic reaction to the bite and end up with itchy, red welts.

The best way to battle the bugs is a multi-pronged attack. Contact a pest-control company if you have an infestation.

Reduce the chance of bringing the bugs in by vacuuming out your suitcases after returning from a trip. Throw the vacuum cleaner bag away in an outside container.