Are Bed Bugs a Problem in Region 8?

REGION 8, AR -- It's a problem in hotel rooms across the country:  bed bugs.  This insect is too tiny to see but big enough to feel when it bites.

"They do leave a nasty little bite and they'll feed for about two to three minutes in the early morning hours," said Dale Masson.

Masson gets calls every year from area hotels about bed bugs.

"The easiest way and the safest way is to remove all your bed linies, wash them, vacuum out the entire room," said Masson.

And area hotels are doing just that.  The Days Inn in Pocahontas has never had bed bugs, but hotel workers said they check for them every day.

"We do an inspection on the seams of the mattress on the top and on the bottom," said Joanne Jansen.

"The easiest way for a bed bug to be transported is by luggage and clothing," said Masson.

The blankets and comfortors, which can be carriers for bed bugs, are not washed everyday.  Hotel staff said that's because those are so costly they would shrink or fade from the washing.

"If the room was exceptionally dirty or if there was a pet in the room we'd wash it again," said Kathi Conrad.

All the laundry  is washed in washers that go up to 180 degrees that should kill any bug or bacteria on the laundry.

Masson's company does not spray for bed bugs because if someone with breathing problems were to stay in that room after it were treated it could make them sick.