ROSEMONT, IL (WMAQ/NBC) - You may not hear as much about bed bug infestations as you did a year ago, but at the Bed Bug University North American Summit taking place in Rosemont, IL, this week, it's clear to see that the business of beating them is growing by leaps and bounds.
"Last year we had about 45 exhibitors, and this year we're over 75. So it's a huge leap; our attendance is double from last year," BedBugCentral.com's Phil Cooper said.
The bed bug business is booming for Bruce Klassen's Heat Assault Company, which makes equipment designed to heat entire buildings to kill the bed bugs living inside.
"We have done 17-story buildings, a floor a day, knocking the bedbugs down to zero," Klassen said.
Some have invented boxes to kill the bugs in your luggage with heat. Others have invented trailers to do the same thing to your furniture.
"We load your furniture in, and we run a heat cycle on it to kill bed bugs with heat, no chemicals," explained Corey Westrum of Insect Inferno.
Others do the dirty work of finding and killing the bugs in homes and commercial buildings.
People like Shellie Beno have found new work in the bed bug business. Beno joined a company named Detective Bedbug after a career in property management.
"With the property management industry, we're seeing a rise in bedbug cases within facilities, so therefore this was a niche I wanted to get into," Beno said.