Undated, LA (KSLA)- New bed bug statistics are out for Louisiana, and like the rest of the country, sightings are on the rise.
State health officials report 28 bed bug complaints - ten of them in New Orleans. While that number pales in comparison to larger cities.
The Department of Health and Hospitals has created a bedbug task force to deal with what promises to be a growing problem, a problem that's already apparent to exterminators in Arkansas.
Pest control experts say the parasites are small and can get into any crack or crevice in a home.
"They see us as their meal ticket. They live where we live. Wherever we are at, they are happy because they know where we go their food is going to be there," said exterminator Eric Anderson.
Exterminators believe bed bugs are on the rise in the River Valley. Five Star Pest Control already treated four cases this year and anticipate seeing many more in the future. "People are traveling oversees. They are staying in hotels. They are picking them up there and bringing them home with them."
Exterminators estimate it can cost thousands of dollars and take days, weeks, and sometimes months to get rid of the critters.
"Basically we have to tear your house apart as far as removing base boards and hard to reach areas where they are at."
Exterminators use steam treatments and powerful chemicals to kill the parasites. Washing and drying your clothes can also help get rid of them.
Despite their name, experts say bed bugs can live in other place inside your home like the couch or a chair. Exterminators say the parasites are easy to pass on to others and you may have them, but not even know it.
Pest control experts believe the bugs affect everyone differently, but people usually have red dots on their legs if they have been bitten.