We all heard as kids about not letting bed bugs bite, but bed bugs are quickly becoming a major concern in the Roanoke Valley.
Exterminator Bill Saunders said he used to only deal with bed bugs once or twice per year, but he's personally dealt with 50 cases of beg bugs in the Roanoke Valley since January.
"We really didn't expect this kind of spike and this quickly," Saunders said. "It's come about mainly in the last six to eight months."
Saunders wouldn't give any names but did say the bed bug problem isn't isolated to homes.
"The majority of what we've been treating are hotels," he said. "We've done quite a bit of residential, usually in apartments settings. Not too many single family homes."
Exterminators aren't the only ones who have seen a jump in business.
Roger Shields is an Assistant Manager at Northwest True Value on Williamson Road in Roanoke.
He said sales of bed bug products are 10 times higher than what they were last year, meaning shipments are up as well.
"(Shipments were) usually once every couple of months," Shields said. "Now we're having to order twice per week on these products."
So what's the best way to prevent the spread of bed bugs?
Saunders suggests checking your mattress or headboard before staying in a hotel room.
It also matters where you keep your suitcase.
"Keep your luggage in the bathtub when you travel," he said. "(The bed bugs) are not likely to cross that cold tile floor and get into that tub," which can help prevent the spread of bed bugs and make sure they won't make their way into your home.