Rental bugs can leave you bitten

Bed bugs sneaking into homes
Despite all the warnings, bed bugs are still taking a bite out of sleeping Mid-Southerners.
Despite all the warnings, bed bugs are still taking a bite out of sleeping Mid-Southerners.

(WMC-TV) - Everyone's heard the horror stories from people who have been bitten by bed bugs in hotel rooms or who have moved into an apartment that was already infested.

They're as small as an apple seed and that means they can creep into your house in surprising ways.

For instance, they can hide in medical devices.

John Montgomery needed a medical chair to lift himself after he had hip replacement surgery.

So he rented one and 11 days later discovered that the chair's fabric was infested with bed bugs.

"We were like so many other people, we didn't know what bed bugs looked like," said Montgomery. "We didn't know any of their habits. We were under the mistaken notion that 'Gee, people like us never get bed bugs.'"

In a separate case, another man believes he got the bugs from a truck he rented to move into his new home.

"It's the only place that it could have been, as the place I moved from did not have them, and my new home did not have them to start," he wrote on Facebook.

He ended-up throwing away his furniture and treating his whole house.

To find out how professional movers deal with bed bugs, Action News 5 spoke to a rental truck and storage company.

"Typically when we start a move, we start with the big things: the bed board, the mattresses, couches, chairs," said Stephen Sabatalo, moving expert. "And those are places where predominantly, if there was any type of infestation --- particularly bed bugs, they would be in those areas."

If bed bugs are found, they won't move your things until the bed bugs are gone.

If you find bed bugs in your house, no matter what their source, you should call a professional exterminator.

The Centers for Disease Control says 111 people in 7 states have become ill after using bed bug related pesticides between 2003 and 2010.

One person died from the poisoning.

After all, bed bugs may bite, but they won't kill you.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.