Are these bugs 'bugging' you?
QUINCY, Il. —
Quincy resident Taylor Steffen calls them "Ninja Bugs."
That's because she says you can't see them most of the time and you won't know you have a problem until it gets out of control.
"The first time we found one was in a book," said Steffen.
She rents an apartment in Quincy. Almost two months ago, Steffen found a bed bug and the nightmare began.
"We looked under couch cushions. We took out bedding off. Our bed...our sheets...and we didn't find another one. And then one of our cats poked his nose at our mattress and then there was another one right there," Steffen recounted.
These are no ordinary bugs.
"They're really small. They do not get big. They're reddish and they'll be a bright red after they feed," said Rod Becks, General Manager of O'Donnell's Termite and Pest Control in Quincy.
If you notice black pepper marks or blood stains from being bitten around your box springs or mattress, then you probably have bed bugs.
"The whole situation is scary. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.... sometimes at night I'll go to lay down and I'll almost be asleep and then I'll feel like something's crawling on me and I'll be awake," said Steffen.
Becks says treating the problem is no easy feat.
"It's time consuming. When we go in it takes time to tear the bed apart. We turn the mattress upside down. Chairs we turn over," Becks explained.
He says the worst thing you can do is try to treat the problem yourself.
"If you try it yourself and do it poorly, you scatter them. They don't usually go from apartment to apartment or house to house," said Becks.
Steffen says she’s glad she didn’t try to tackle the problem herself.
The longer bedbugs are left untreated properly, the worse the problem becomes.
"I just want people to know that this is not something you can try to conquer by yourself," cautioned Steffen.
Her landlord is paying to professionally treat her apartment as well as her neighbor's.
Exterminators say it's important to know that bedbugs only bite humans and are not known to carry diseases.
However, they can survive up to nine months without feeding so the problem needs to be addressed as soon as possible.