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Bedbugs discovered in Mountain View complex

Blood-sucking critters plaguing East Coast found in apartment building on Calderon Avenue

After infesting East Coast beds with a vengeance, bedbugs are beginning to jump into bed with West Coast residents, including some who live in Mountain View.

The tiny blood-sucking creatures have appeared in a pair of apartments in Mountain View's Avalon at Creekside apartment complex at 151 Calderon Avenue. To kill the bugs, exterminators were heating the two adjacent apartments in building 70 with special fans on Monday.

"They're all over the place," said one of the exterminators -- not about these apartments in particular but about the various bedbug infestations he'd fought up and down the San Francisco Peninsula.

The exterminator actually said he couldn't comment about what bugs in particular he was killing, but a neighbor in the same building was happy to explain. Apartment managers had brought in dogs to sniff surrounding apartments for the bedbugs, said the neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous. Though no bedbugs were found in the neighboring apartments, the news that the two units were infested had some neighbors "freaking out," he said.

The bugs are known to leave large red welts behind on their victims, not to mention a social stigma if the victims tell the news to others.

"They say they can spread, that's why we're worried," he said. "I'm going to continue to look under my mattresses to make sure nothing is there. I mean, anything is possible right?"

Bedbugs usually spread by hitching a ride on people or animals, jumping off their victims to infest new spaces. They are found in hotels most often, where people come and go more frequently.

According to bedbugregistry.com, there have been complaints about bedbugs all around the Bay Area, but only one complaint from Mountain View in 2009 at a Central Avenue apartment complex. By a large margin, complaints made on the West Coast are outnumbered by those made on the East Coast.

To deal with the problem, exterminators were using a process that heated the air inside the apartments until the bedbugs were killed along with any other bug or living thing, such as mold.

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