MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
“Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” is a well-known saying, but even though many people have become familiar with the pests, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany officials note none have been found here.
They want the base community to be prepared in case an infestation becomes a reality.
“Bed bugs are hitchhikers because they hitch a ride in your luggage, purse or other personal belongings when you travel,” said David Reed, general manager, Adams Exterminators, Inc. in Albany. “We received the first call about bed bugs four years ago, but there are no reports of an infestation yet. Bed bugs come from a place you may have stayed while traveling or with a guest who visited you.”
Nocturnal, little, oval-shaped bed bugs feed off human blood, according to the Web site, www.bedbugsguide.com. There are many different kinds, but the ones most are worried about usually live inside of mattresses, where they have convenient access to a food source - people. They crawl out just before dawn and bite, sucking out blood for about five minutes. Individuals don’t feel anything until after the bed bug is already safely back in its hiding place.
Here are a few signs to look for:
* They like to hide in mattresses, but people can also find them just about anywhere in their house where there is a source of food.
* The bites cause swollen, red and itchy welts.
* Its saliva has an anesthetic that numbs the pain and contains an anti-coagulant to keep the blood flowing while it eats.
MCLB Albany officials said its housing management team is both certified and trained in bed bugs’ identification and prevention.
“All residents of permanent-party housing or transient billeting should immediately contact the housing office if they have a suspicion of bed bugs being present or have any questions about our prevention efforts,” said Fred Broome, director, Installation and Environment Division, MCLB Albany. “Those numbers are (229) 639-7442, 639-5614 or 639-5699.”