By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- State health officials have seen a rise in the number of bedbug infestations in hotels and motels.
The problem has grown in recent years due to the increase in cases on the east and west coasts. Out-of-state travelers unknowingly bring bedbugs with them into the hotels.
"The transfer of the bug from location to location has to do with your luggage," said Tressa Madden, Oklahoma Health Department.
The blood sucking creatures are lurking in hotels and motels.
"They will go behind the pictures on the wall. If there is a hole or tear in the mattress, that is the perfect opportunity for them to enter. You see it in the furniture. You see it in the carpet," Madden said.
Health experts also said to take caution on your summer vacation, or you could bring bedbugs into your home.
Be sure to check the hotel room thoroughly including the bed, dresser drawers and window treatments. They advise to never put luggage directly on the floor, always use the hotel luggage holder because bed bugs cannot crawl up smooth surfaces.
Experts said once the pests infiltrate a room, it can take days to kill them off.
"It's a 21 day process," Madden said. "A couple of occasions it has been bad enough that the carpet was removed and put down to the bare walls."
Experts said if you want to check to see if the hotel or motel you are staying at has had a history of bedbug complaints, visit BedBugRegistry.com.