More bed bug infestations in Arkansas

More bed bugs are invading Arkansas.

The Arkansas Department of Health is receiving an increasing number of complaints over last year.

Bed bugs feed on the blood of sleeping people and animals. They are about the size of an apple seed, reddish-brown in color, and wingless. They can live several months without a blood meal.

According to Susan Weinstein, DVM, state public health veterinarian, the presence of bed bugs in an area does not necessarily mean the place is not clean.

"Bed bugs are, unfortunately, staging a comeback in the United States and their presence has nothing to do with cleanliness or disease," Weinstein said. "They are certainly a nuisance, and very hard to get rid of, but some of the finest hotels in the country have had the same problems."

Bed bugs are usually transported from place to place in the seams and folds of luggage, overnight bags, folded clothes, bedding, furniture, and anywhere else where they can hide when people travel. Most people are unaware they are carrying the insects until it is too late.

Experts believe the uptick in bed bug infestations is due to an increased resistance to available pesticides and more travel.

The insects do not carry diseases, but do leave itchy or painful bites. Bites look like little red bumps. They sometimes resemble mosquito bites.

For more information on bed bugs, click here.