Bed Bug Problems Becoming More Common

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Bed bugs are popping up across Mid-Michigan with Jackson County the latest to be dealing with the problem.

The small bugs are causing a big disturbance. Nurses at Allegiance Health are noticing bed bug bites on more patients who are coming into the hospital for other treatment.

"They tend to be on the patients clothes they've been laying in at home and often the whole house is infested," explained Director of Nursing For Emergency and Critical Care, Gillian Jobson.

In order to keep an infestation out of the hospital, staff are on the lookout for anyone who might be bringing the pests in. Jobson says if a patient has bites their room is cleaned immediately.

"We have an outside contracting company that we use that come in and clean and disinfect the room appropriately," she added.

One exterminator in Jackson told News 10 he's getting more calls about bed bugs in apartments, with people bringing them in on their belongings. He says used furniture is one of the biggest culprits.

That's why St. Vincent Catholic Charities says it's not taking any chances with its donations.

Sean Morse, Purchasing and Housing Setup Supervisor, makes sure every item is inspected before the charity accepts it.

"We've got some magnifying glasses, we go through all the creases basically anywhere that they would hide," Morse explained.

If the furniture is clean St. Vincent brings it back to it's warehouse, where everything still gets steamed because high heat is one of the best ways to kill the bugs.

"We steam clean everything--wood, upholstery, metal-- it does not matter," Morse said. "We try to be proactive with it because reactive doesn't really work so well."

Bed bugs are also a growing problem in Ingham County. The Health Department says it just held a training for its employees who do home visits, teaching them what to look out for and how to prevent spreading the pests.