This week, a Los Angeles family was awarded the biggest payout ever in the country for a bed bug case — $1.6 million. They were living in an Inglewood apartment at the time, where their infant was scarred from all the bites. A jury ruled that the owner owes them compensation.
So how common are bed bugs throughout L.A., beyond this one case? The short answer is very. Last year, the city ranked fourth in the nation for bed bug infestations. That's according to the pest control company Orkin.
Here's what you should know about these tiny, bitey creatures:
- They're small wingless insects that not only feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. They gorge on it.
- They're stubborn little buggers, too, that can endure temperatures from freezing to 120 degrees.
- And if there's anything worse than a bed bug, it's a lady bed bug. She can lay up to five eggs in a single day.
Their bites leave red marks, usually on the arms or shoulders. As for where they lurk, they can hide in your pillow or mattress or box spring. Or maybe a chair or even your walls.
But there's good news. You can get rid of them, or prevent them from biting you in the first place. Just use a protective cover on your mattress, vacuum frequently and spray.
So we're very serious when we say: "Don't let the bed bugs bite!"