Sacramento is No. 1 in cities with the highest increases in bedbug infestations, according to a national pest control company.
Terminix, the pest control company whose job it is to eradicate bed bugs, created the list by analyzing bedbug calls to its more than 300 branches in the United States. The rankings represent the biggest percentage gains in bedbug calls.
Sacramento had a 54 percent increase in bedbug customer calls, from January through May, when compared to the same five-month period last year.
Bedbugs, once thought to be eradicated after World War II, are making a comeback, according to Terminix. The pest company claims that parasitic insects are on the move, hitchhiking in seams of luggage and folded clothing.
When the critters strike, they inject an anesthetic and anticoagulant that prevents a person from feeling the bite. Usually the bites happen when a person is asleep.
Once awaken, small red welts appear. The bites may itch.
The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta notes that the bites are the easiest way to know that a bed bug infestation is present.
However, welts may take as long as two weeks to show up so look for other clues:
The bed bugs' exoskeletons after molting,
Bed bugs in the folds of mattresses and sheets,
Rusty-colored blood spots from their blood-filled fecal material that they excrete.
A sweet musty odor.
Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079. Follow him on Twitter @Lindelofnews.