Lincoln Learns About Biting Bed Bugs

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Halloween is around the corner, and the blood suckers could be in your house.

Bed bugs are a growing problem around the nation. Wednesday, UNL and the Department of Health and Human Services held a workshop to help Lincolnites keep them at bay.

More than 120 landlords, renters, and pest control workers attended the seminar. The most popular speaker was Spots, a rat terrier trained to sniff out the bugs.

Spots' handler James Pelowski of K9 Bed Bug Detection, says dogs are 95 percent effective at finding the bugs compared to 35 percent for humans. He says this is because the dogs can actually smell the insects, not just see them.

Pelowski says if prevention and early detection aren't used, the pests can cost thousands of dollars to exterminate with extreme heat, extreme cold or chemicals.

Pelowski's dog Spots is currently the only dog in Nebraska certified to tackle this job. They'll check your home for 10 cents per square foot.

Below are a list a facts about the bugs provided by UNL:

- When Bed Bugs bite it's painless and can take weeks to see any kind of reaction.

- Bed Bugs do not transmit diseases, but scratching the bites can cause infection.

- Bed Bugs will travel in anything. Luggage, clothing, purses and backpacks, furniture and boxes.

- Bed Bugs are attracted to carbon dioxide and body heat.

- They can live for 6 months or longer.

- They can hide everywhere. Beds, closets, electrical outlets, picture frames, pillows, etc.

What to do:

- Check bedding when traveling.

- Check clothing when doing laundry at laundromats.

- Encase mattresses and box springs and use interceptors on the bed legs to prevent bugs from crawling up.

If you think you may have bed bugs, a link is provided below for Pelowski's K9 Bug Detection service.