Fight bed bugs before they bite

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Don't let the bed bugs bite! That's what local pest control employees, state health officials, and people in the tourism industry learned Tuesday.

About 70 people took part in a training session in Gulfport to learn more about the tiny insects that can inflict very painful bites.

Bed bugs thrive around mattresses, box springs, headboards and sofas. They've been found in homes, hotels, and university dorms across the country.

One local pest control expert said while there is no bed bug epidemic in south Mississippi, it's still important to tackle small infestations before they get worse.

"We're going to be faced with more problems with bed bugs. We will. That's just the trend we're seeing around the nation right now. We want to be more aware of the current treatment techniques and inspection techniques, Redd said.

You can prevent bed bugs by practicing good hygiene and housekeeping, and by purchasing special protective barriers for your mattresses. If you suspect a bed bug problem, call a professional.