You’re just not that into them. In fact you hate them. They appear in bed uninvited. They’re home bodies — lurking in mattresses and cushions — but they also love to travel. They are bed bugs, and they’re more of a pest this year than usual.

An April report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) said that there has been a worldwide explosion of bed bugs. It doesn’t appear to be a hoax: major cities like Toronto are reporting that bed bugs are a growing nuisance.

If you have bed bugs, it doesn’t mean that you are dirty. It means that someone has brought them into your home or apartment building, and you’ve got a challenge on your hands: the pests are tough to get rid of. Even hotels, clubs, subways and movie theatres can be infested. “Five-star hotels are just as susceptible as little cheap ones,” reports JAMA.

Bed bugs bite humans, usually at night. Although their bites are itchy and ugly, these insects don’t transmit infectious diseases.

If you have bed bugs, you may need to call a professional pest control company and also vacuum the affected areas thoroughly.

Wash linens in the hottest water possible and put them in a hot dryer for 20 minutes.

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