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How common are bedbugs in the Okanagan?

KELOWNA – It’s a worst case scenario for many tenants: finding out your new place is infested with bedbugs. This week Global Okanagan brought you the story of a Vernon woman who is living that nightmare.

But how common are bedbugs in the Okanagan and what can you do to prevent them?

The Interior Health Authority says they don’t track bedbugs since they don’t transmit diseases.

Matt Wright, Interior B.C. lead hand with Orkin Canada, says they are called to homes, apartments and hotels on a weekly basis to deal with bedbugs.

Wright believes travel is the biggest factor behind the spread of the pests.

“When you are travelling check your room out, check your bed out, look for black dots on the mattress,” he says. “Be careful where you put your luggage when you get to a hotel.”

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However, Wright says people can be quick to jump to the conclusion they have bedbugs.

“People think they have bedbugs if they get any kind of bites or welts on their skin. That is just not the case,” he says.

Wright says people often see carpet beetles and think they have bedbugs. If the real thing does show up in your home, Wright’s advice is to call a professional.