WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Pest control experts say bed bugs can actually crawl out of your bed, down your bed post, on to your night side table, and in to your cell phone while you're sleeping and then eventually spread through a community!
Most recently, we’ve seen bed bugs spreading through the Winston-Salem portion of the Triad.
On Wednesday evening, the Winston-Salem Transit Authority staff discovered bedbugs inside the restrooms and office areas on the first and second floors of the Clark Campbell Transportation Center.
On Sunday evening, McNeely Pest Control crews wheeled in three trailers full of equipment in to the downtown Winston-Salem bus depot.
So 2 Wants To Know's Ben Powell found out how quickly bed bugs can spread.
Pest control expert Steve Arnold with Clegg's Pest Control in Kernersville says bed bugs are opportunists.
“They can spread anywhere that people take stuff with them,” said Arnold.
Arnold has been battling bed bugs for 25 years.
He was not surprised to hear about the bed bugs at the bus depot in Winston-Salem.
"They are not limited as to where they can go," he said.
Arnold says bed bugs can crawl in to your purse or your luggage beside your bed.
They can also crawl in to your clothes.
Arnold says they can even sneak in to your phone or your laptop when you're asleep!
"They can go into any of those cracks and crevices,” said Arnold. “Any place you can stick something in the headphones, that bed bug can go in there."
Then let's say you take your family to the park, or a restaurant, or the movies, Arnold says those bed bugs can crawl out of your stuff and in to other people's bags or clothes.
Then, Arnold says the problem has the potential to keep spreading and spreading until it affects and entire community or even an entire city!
“They rely on being able to crawl into something that you are going to move or perhaps on to you and then they are going to move with you or with whatever you're moving around,” said Arnold. “They move around like that. They hitchhike wherever we happen to take them.”
"Who would've thought? I actually thought they only existed in the bed and not really something that could spread around to another location," said Nzea McQuitry, a bus rider from Winston-Salem. “It makes me concerned about actually if I have any in my own phone.”
"I'm definitely concerned and I think I will have the family be a little more careful in public places,” said Christopher Gale, a father of three children. “It's something that will be in the back of my mind all the time now."
Treatment for bed bugs continues Monday at the Winston-Salem bus depot.
Meanwhile, all the buses are still running on schedule and they have portable bathrooms outside for staff and riders.
Experts say this is a good reminder to always check your clothes, bags, luggage, and cell phones for bugs.
A lot of times, people bring home bed bugs after summer trips with family and friends.
When you head on vacation this summer, the last thing you want to do is bring these little critters home with you.
First, in your hotel room, check behind the headboard.
Use the room key, or a credit card, or the laminated television channel card and run it all the way around between the back of the headboard and the wall.
Second, do not unpack right away.
Place your bags on a dresser or in the bathroom and inspect your room immediately.
Never put your suitcase, purse, or cosmetic bag on the bed.
Finally, take your luggage and everything you traveled with straight to the room in your house with light surfaces -- like a laundry room or bathroom.
It's easier to see the bugs.
Then, put your dirty clothes straight into the washing machine and dryer.
The heat can actually kill bed bugs.