Some bed bugs may be harder to exterminate this year

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COLUMBIA — If you have ever had a problem with bed bugs, getting rid of them this year may be more difficult.

A recent study done by the University of Sydney said some hybrid bed bugs have evolved so much, they are actually growing thicker skin to withstand insecticides commonly used by in households and pest control companies. 

Mike Calvert of Otto's Termite and Pest Control in Columbia said he has recently seen a few bed bugs that were twice as large as a normal bed bug and had much thicker exoskeletons than usual.

"I was really surprised when I saw them at first," Calvert said. "I've never seen a bed bug that big."

He said although the bugs looked like they might pose a problem, the insecticide Otto's uses exterminated them just as it would other bugs. 

"When it comes to bed bugs, they are usually near your head because they are attracted by carbon dioxide," Calvert said. "They also hide in your headboard where it connects to your bedframe and in picture frames."

Calvert said one way to guarantee customers get rid of bed bugs for good is to wash all bed clothes, pillow cases and all other cloth items that are found around the bed.

"They really stay in the bedroom," he said. "People are always worried about them being in the carpet. Bed bugs can travel through the carpet but tend to hang out near your bed."

Calvert said bed bugs cannot survive in temperatures above 140 degrees or below 40 degrees and most pest control companies should be able to exterminate them normally.