LODI (CBS13) — The Lodi Stadium 12 Cinemas closed Monday while pest control trucks investigated moviegoers’ complaints bed bugs bit them while they sat in the theater.

The movie theater released a statement saying the theater would be closed until Thursday after “limited evidence of insect activity” was found inside some auditoriums.

Clark Pest Control technical director Darren Van Steenwyk can’t confirm if his crews found any evidence of bed bugs, but said he’s seeing more cases of bed bugs in the valley.

“Hotels, dorms, office buildings, coffee houses, buses, airplanes, and airports,” Van Steenwyk listed, adding that a movie theater’s cool temperature would not deter the bugs from sticking around.

“They hide in things, in crevices,” said Van Steenwyk, who said the temperature where the bed bug is hiding most likely is warmer than the atmosphere.

Van Steenwyk said bed bugs have been with us for a long time.

“People started living in caves and that’s when they essentially started hanging out with us,” said Van Steenwyk, who says bed bugs primarily feed on human blood.

A local Lodi dermatologist said the bed bug’s victim doesn’t feel the bite, but will get the irritation the next morning. Dr. Abdallah Khourdaji said he’s seen several bed bug victims in recent years. He says for any one person, all of the patient’s bites could come from the same bug.

“The bug crawls on the skin and makes many bites, and they’re usually appear in a line,” said Khourdaji.

Khourdaji said people are allergic to the bug’s saliva, which causes intense itching or burning. However, Khourdaji doesn’t recommend people see a doctor.

“Not much you can do about them,” said Khourdaji, who says the symptoms can last 48 hours. “You can use some hydrocortizone cream and sometimes you can take some antihistamine like Benodryl.”

One bed bug can feed ten to 15 times before eventually dying off, but if it mates and multiples, a home or business could develop an infestation. Clark Pest Control said treatment can kill the bugs in one day.

“Our preference is to heat it,” said Van Steenwyk.
“We actually bring in industrial, specialized heating equipment. Temperatures from 130 to 140 degrees Fahrenheitwill kill them off.”

Clark Pest Control said there is no evidence that bed bugs carry any disease.

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