GILMER, TX (KLTV)- You may have heard about the massive bed bug invasion in the northeastern part of the country. East Texas exterminators are now telling us the problem has trickled down to our area.
In Gilmer, on the 700 block of East Scott Street at the Gates Apartment Complex, three apartments have been invaded. The problem stems from a couch in a woman's home. The manager of Gates Apartments says the problem is under control, but exterminators say they think it's just the beginning.
"They invaded my life," said Eliza Grant.
Grant says thousands of bed bugs infested her home. "They was all on my pillow and when I did lay on my pillow they probably got in my hair," she said.
Her arms and back are covered with painful bites, some have turned into permanent reminders. She says she never saw them bite.
"No, they're sneaky," said Grant. "They bite like a mosquito. They'll bite and go on, expect these didn't go on. They just kept biting."
Gates Apartment Manger Gordon Finney says three units underwent extensive treatment for parasites. It was a week long process.
"The men put on hazmat gear and went after it," said Finney.
Eliza says her bed bugs are gone and so is all of her stuff. Her furniture was infested and had to be thrown out.
"They was all in my couch, in my chair," she explained.
Precision Pest Control owner Phil Fowler says there's no way to prevent bed bugs from coming into your home. He's already seen several cases here in East Texas.
"I think anybody in the business would be wise right now to gear up for bed bug control," said Fowler.
He suggests inspecting your mattress and furniture if you're suspicious or have bite marks.
"If someone does feel like they have bed bugs they will leave little tiny blood spots on the mattress or on the bedding that's when they feed," he said.
Fowler says killing the bugs is a difficult job, only one professionals should tackle. "One of the products we use right now a lot for control is called an Insect Growth Regulator and that interrupts the reproductive process," said Fowler.
For Eliza, the bed bugs got to her before the exterminator got to them.
"I feel like they're going to come back....I feel like they're going to come back," she said.