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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Cockroaches, bed bugs and ants, oh my! Hundreds of pest control technicians convened in Wrightsville Beach to share secrets and tips of how to better master bugs and rodents. Though very tiny, some even invisible to the naked eye, pests can multiply quickly, rapidly becoming a huge problem for homeowners.

WWAY spoke with a critter expert about some of the newest pests that have made a home for themselves in this area.

“They come into your home and invade your space,” said Lee Smith, a director with the North Carolina Pest Management Association. “They can infest your food, into your living space. It just make people uncomfortable.”

Smith says brown-marmorated stink bugs as well as bed bugs have been especially invasive. He says both insects breed pretty fast, which is why they have become such a huge problem in North Carolina.

“It is a bit of an explosion,” said Smith. “What we’d say is a population explosion.”

He says the brown-marmorated stink bug typically enters homes through cracks and crevices and because of their obnoxious odor, the foul smell is what really puts people off. However, they are not native to the U.S. He says they originated in Asia.

“The brown-marmorated stink bug started off in the northeastern part of the United States and is now filtering down through Virginia, West Virginia and now North Carolina.”

Bed bugs have also become more and more prevalent, not only in our area, but throughout the country.

“They piggy back with us so where we go if someone has a bed bug infestation they can carry it in their luggage,” said Smith. “They can come visit you in your home as a guest and maybe leave you a present of bed bugs.”

He says it’s not too hard for these bugs to get under your skin.

“On a bed, you’ll see spotting, which is dried blood from where they have fed and then dropped that blood particle out,” said Smith.

He says the best way to prevent an infestation is to call a local pest control company at the first sight of any bugs.

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