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Did you find bed bugs in your home or hotel room? Here's what you need to know.

Sun News - 8/1/2022

Aug. 1—Bed bugs — pesky parasites that feed on sleeping people — are a frequent annoyance for some tourists in the Myrtle Beach area.

The insects, which are reddish brown and tend to be one to seven millimeters in length, ingest people's blood while biting them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the hearty insects can survive long periods without feeding.

Although they do not spread diseases, bed bugs can cause much discomfort for those who are bitten.

People who travel and sleep in frequently visited hotel rooms and other forms of lodging are at higher risk of coming in contact with the insects and spreading them, the CDC's website says. Bed bugs can be hard to detect because they hide in mattresses, luggage, clothes and furniture for a long period of time.

The state's Department of Health and Environmental Control does not keep track of bed bug infestations or respond to complaints at hotels or residences, said Ron Aiken, the department's Media Relations Director.

He said DHEC would be responsible for regulating bed bug infestations if given permission by the state legislature. But that has not happened.

The CDC recommends people and businesses treat bed bugs with insecticide. For infestations at residences, people should tell their landlord or contact pest control.

Usually, individuals can identify infestation if they find bite marks on the face, neck, arms or other parts of the body, according to the CDC. But it can be hard to tell if you've been bitten because the insects inject an anesthetic when they bite.

The CDC does not consider bed bugs to be a health concern, but the agency does provide guidance on how to deal with bites.

How to treat a bite

— Avoid scratching the area

— Use antiseptic creams or lotions

— Take allergy medicine

This story was originally published August 1, 20225:00 AM.


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