LOS ANGELES, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Already troubled by as many as 55 bedbug cases a month, Los Angeles County would see an explosion of the problem during the holiday season, a newspaper report said on Saturday.
"L.A.'s slow trickle of bedbugs may turn into a flood," the Los Angeles Times warned on its website.
Bedbugs have turned up in the Golden Triangle retail district of Beverly Hills and inside homes and apartments in more than two dozen local communities, the report said, quoting health officials.
"It's really all over the county," said Angelo J. Bellomo, director of environmental health for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Since public health officials began tracking reports of bedbugs last spring, there has been an increase in reports from tenants, property owners and businesses, the report said.
Exterminators fear that the number of reports might rocket because of increased travel and gift-giving, said the report.
The pests are "very good hitchhikers" that can be transported on luggage, clothing, beds, furniture and other items, L.A. County Public Health Director Jonathan E. Fielding was quoted as saying.
The bugs also hide out in draperies, throw pillows and even electronics, and adults can live more than a year without feeding, according to the report.
Los Angeles is among many cities that have been haunted by bedbugs.
Although the problem in L.A. appears to be far less prevalent than in New York, Ohio and other hotbeds, health officials have launched a campaign to heighten public awareness of the pests, according to the report.
Across the United States, bedbugs have turned up in posh hotels, movie theaters, churches, hospitals, dormitories and high-end clothing stores, the report said.
Fears of hotel infestations, particularly in New York, have thrown the travel industry into a tizzy, and national "bedbug summits" have drawn standing-room-only crowds, said the report.
Experts blame global travel and immigration as major causes for the bedbug resurgence in this country, the report said.