Don’t Let The Bed Bugs Bite

February 7th, 2012

Bed bugs – these tiny little creatures are making their way from hotel beds to homes and businesses in our area. You can find these slimy creatures anywhere.

Bed bugs can be spotted under picture frames, on furniture, under your baseboard, and even in your clothes. Exterminators say they’re not only found in dirty places.

“People will say my home is clean – but it has nothing to do with filth. They just pass from place to place when you travel,” says Billy Jackson, an exterminator at Bug Busters in Chattanooga.

We spent the day with Jackson who showed us common areas where the bugs hide out. He showed us pictures of what your skin may look like if you’re bitten by one.

Jackson says folks should be extremely careful when staying in public places like hotels.

“They jump on board your luggage and your clothing and stuff … and when we bring them home, first thing we all do is throw our luggage on our bed and start unpacking. Next thing you know, you got bed bugs in your bed at home,” says Jackson.

The Hamilton County Health Department does inspections at most public places twice a year.

They recently threatened to take away the permit at the Crown Inn in East Ridge after there were bed bugs reported. Without a permit, the hotel would have to close.

“We’ll tell the operator they have 10 days to rid the room or rooms of those pests and we’ll be back for a follow up to make sure they’re gone,” says Bonnie Deakins from the Hamilton County Health Department.

“I started seeing little red spots in my skin, in my elbow, my shoulder, my lower back,” says Mauricio Tarazona.

Mauricio Tarazona says he was bitten by bed bugs about a week ago, while living at the Intown Suites on Gunbarrel Road.

Meanwhile, exterminator Jackson says the bed bugs will get you when you least expect it.

“When you’re in that deep sleep is when they’ll come out and start feeding on you,” says Jackson.

Exterminators say if you have bed bugs, you should wash and dry your clothes and sheets in very hot water. For a complete list of how to prevent them and how to get rid of them, log on to

There is an online resource you can use, to check on reports of bedbugs around the country.

The website gives users a chance to report bed bugs at hotels.

Founded in 2006, the web site has collected about 20,000 reports of bed bugs, including several reports in Chattanooga.

But, the last reported case from Chattanooga on the site, is from the summer of last year. And a reminder– this is not an official site. It’s up to you to figure out the posts are true.

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