Bed bugs have already taken over Paris and experts say New York can soon be under attack from a mass infestation.

Bed bugs are nasty, flat parasites that can turn any household into a living hell. Their bites can be painful and their mere presence can drain anyone's mental and physical health.

Not to mention, getting rid of them isn't only time consuming - it can be super expensive depending on the extent of the infestation.

A Perfect Storm Heading for New York

New York isn't a stranger to bed bugs. The Big Apple struggled through an epidemic in 2009, which saw these parasites invading apartment buildings and retail shops.

Now, it appears an even bigger invasion is coming for the Big Apple - and the rest of the state.

Bed bugs
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Licensed pest control professional Zachary Smith, who owns The Pest Dude, is reading the tea leaves about what New York could possibly be in store for and is issuing a dire warning to residents.

He says these parasites pose "a very real risk" to New York and could spread very quickly across the state if preventative action isn't taken now.

In this rapidly evolving situation, awareness and timely action are our best defenses. While bedbugs have always been a concern, their resilience and adaptability make it crucial for everyone to be informed and proactive.

While bed bugs are found in every state, no one wants to endure what's going on in Paris.

The bed bugs there have not only taken over households, hotels and apartments - they've also been found in movie theaters, stores, planes, trains, busses, cruise ships, and cars.

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So how can New York stop that from happening here?

Where to Spot Bed Bugs

Smith says one of the first line of defenses against a bed bug infestation is early detection.  He encourages people to know where to look for these parasites as they are very good at hiding and won't come out if the room they're in is brightly lit.

Bed bugs don't like to hide in plain sight. These parasites also prefer the dark and will feed at night, when most people or animals they feed on are asleep.

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Smith says a good place to start looking for these critters is the mattress and says people should search all their folds, seams and buttons. People should also lift the mattress to check underneath, where the headboard meets the bed frame, and closely inspect the box spring.

When it comes to the headboard, smith says people should investigate every crack, crevice and attachment point to the frame or wall.

Bedding is another popular place for these creatures to hide, so Smith recommends a thorough check of all quilts, blankets, bedspreads and pillows near the bed. These pests also enjoy fabric and will live in upholstered items, drapery, and joints of furniture like sofas and chairs.

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These parasites will also seek out clothing and cluttered areas like piles of books or magazines to hide.

Bed bugs will also seek shelter in areas near the bed, behind faceplates, wood paneling, trim, and baseboards. They have also been known to wiggle between carpeting and baseboards, as well as under the carpet edges.

He say bed bugs have also been found in the areas around and inside nightstands, including devices like clocks, phones, TVs, and computers. This also goes for gaps in the molding or cracks in the frames of windows and doors.

Signs You Might Have Bed Bugs

Smith warns to be on the lookout for these red flags of a possible bed bug infestation.

One sign is finding blood spots on the sheets or mattress while another is detecting a sweet but busty odor around the bed.

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Other telltale signs are finding tiny pale yellow eggs or eggshells on the bed or bedding, as well as white, oval eggs about as big as an apple seed. Additionally, finding black dots about the size of a period is likely evidence of bed bug poop.

Bed Bugs will also shed and will leave their skin behind.

Of course, if a live bed bug is found during a routine search, it should be assumed there are a lot more where it came from and immediate action is needed.

Managing an Infestation

If your search yields evidence of an infestation, Smith says the first thing to do is not panic. One of the worst things a person can do is throw out the furniture, sheets or clothing that show proof of bed bugs.

Instead of dragging the infested items through the house, thus giving the bed bugs to explore even more of the home, Smith said obtain mattress encasements as well as bed bug traps to either catch these creatures, and prevent their migration as well as cut off their food source.

Read More: If You See This Bug in New York, Kill It Immediately

Later, Smith advises to pick up the vacuum and start sucking up any and all places that show evidence of bed bugs. Once that's done, Smith says seal the bedding or infested materials in plastic bags and wash them on the hottest setting.

For items that can't be washed, Smith said tossing them in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes should do the job. He adds washed items should also go through the dryer.

Bed Bug Treatments

For those who want to get rid of bed bugs right away, Smith says there are two chemical treatments that can annihilate these creatures.

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  • Insecticides: Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are common, with low toxicity to humans and pets. However, some bugs are resistant. Alternatives include pyrroles and neonicotinoids.
  • Residual Treatments: These provide long-lasting protection, targeting both adult bugs and eggs post initial treatments.

Smith understands not everyone is keen on using chemical methods to control a bed bug infestation, so there are a few non-chemical treatments that can keep these pests at bay.

  • Temperature: Use heat by washing affected items in hot water for 30 minutes and drying on high heat for another 30 minutes. Alternatively, freeze items for four days.
  • Steam: Use a steamer on bug-infested areas like mattresses and couches.
  • Desiccants: Substances like silica aerogel and diatomaceous earth destroy the bugs' protective coating, causing dehydration. They're effective with a high kill rate and resistance is unlikely.
  • Botanical Sprays: Natural sprays with ingredients like clove oil can effectively kill bed bugs.

Smith also encourages those who don't want to do the heavy lifting to consult a professional to take care of the problem.

In all, while bed bugs can spread across New York as they've done in Paris, Smith says New Yorkers can battle these parasites by knowing how to find them and also how to kill them.

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