Here's how bedbugs travel

Is it possible to take bedbugs home with you from a movie theater?

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Less than two days after a Facebook post of possible bedbugs in a theater auditorium at AMC Westgate 20, the movie company’s representative said the hall had been treated for bedbugs and reopened.

But bedbugs are known for hiding out in hotels, apartments and other homes—hence their name.

So, how did they end up in a local movie theater?

PREVIOUS STORY: AMC Westgate 20 investigating bedbug claim

To know exactly which route the insects took is difficult if not impossible, but we are learning bed begs travel better than you may have thought.

"They're what I call a ninja bug,” said Dylan Christ, the owner of Whitehorse Pest Management, which specializes is bed bug control. "They're very good at getting what they want."

They want your blood.

People started bugging out this week after Crystal Roze Mitchell posted three pictures to Facebook, in which she said you can see bedbugs in the crevices of a chair at the local movie theater.

As of Thursday evening, it had been shared more than 30,000 times.

"Is [a movie theater] as common as an apartment complex? No,” said Christ. “But it's completely possible for them to be in movie theaters at this point."

How though?

"They're not going to go from neighbor to neighbor outside,” Christ said, explaining how they travel. “The bad thing is you can absolutely carry them on your clothes. They cling really well."

That may be how the bug was introduced to the theater in the first place, and it makes it possible for you to take them home with you if you are near them without realizing it.

It’s not uncommon for bedbugs to target dogs or cats for their next meal of blood, but they prefer humans.

"It's like us smelling a steak or a burger cooking,” Christ said. “They love people."

There are ways to treat bed bugs at home yourself. Christ said to make sure you do not buy a generic pesticide, because it won't work. Instead, it may make it worse since other bugs are natural predators of bedbugs.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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