FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Multiple pest control experts in the Fort Smith area said cases of bed bugs have been on the rise for the last few years.
Doug Grimm, and his team at Terminator Termite and Pest Control on Towson Avenue in Fort Smith, is one one of many teams that are often called to get rid of the problem.
Grimm spoke about the stigma often attached to the bothersome pests.
"You need to get a hold of a professional, if you think, or know, you got them. A lot of people don't feel comfortable because they think, 'maybe they have done something wrong, or maybe they are not as clean as they should be', that is absolutely not the case," He said.
Experts say bed bugs are attracted to heat and people, especially when people are in one place for a prolonged period of time, giving them the name of bed bugs.
Grimm along with several other pest control experts in the Fort Smith area have said some families are returning home from vacation with them.
"It's a good idea, when you go into a hotel or motel, I always check around the bed frame. Pull the sheets up and look in the frame," Grimm said. "If you see any signs, little spotting or any dark red spots around the bed that could be an indicator."
Grimm shared a tip he and his family use when returning from vacations.
"Whenever we go on vacation I take our stuff and put it through the dry cycle, whether it's been used or not. The high heat cycle in the dryer will kill any eggs or live bed bugs," Grimm said.
Experts say most of the time over the counter products used to combat bed bugs rarely work. Bed bugs hide and can live without feeding for up to 18 months.
Many hiding spots can only be reached and treated by a professional service.