Bed bug report giving movie-goers the creepy crawlies at area movie theater

Originally sourced from KMBC News 9

"INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Something at your movie theater may give you the creeps - and it's not what's showing on the screen.

In Independence - reports of a bed bug at a popular movie theater.

A movie-goer at AMC 20 was horrified by the find. She noticed the bite - then saw the bug.

The theater has already taken action, and the Independence Health Department is investigating.

"Bed bugs feed on blood," said Independence Health Department Director Andrew Warlen.

That's why, when the woman noticed the large bite, her husband searched the movie theater seat. He found a photographed what is presumed to be a bed bug.

"Generally what they prefer is human blood, although they can survive off of dogs and cats," said Warlen.

The tiny creatures thrive in beds where they can hide in the day and attack at night.

But they travel, too. "They're hitchhikers. So if they get on a human where they like to transfer, they'll get on you and that's how they survive," said Brian Hull with Edge Pest Control. "They have to get a blood meal."

The Independence Health Department gets periodic reports of bed bugs in a variety of public places - like the one they got about AMC Monday. "In the past three years, it's averaged between 5 to 10 complaints that we've gotten. Not all of those were able to be validated, but some were," said Warlen.

There is one good thing about bed bugs. They don't carry disease. But they certainly area a nuisance. And for good reason. "Either cold or hot - they can survive in the freezing temperatures, or, up to 125 degrees," said Hull.

After receiving the report, AMC had already shut down the affected theater and started professional treatment. And that's exactly what the health department recommended when they arrived.

Inspectors found no trace of any additional bed bugs. AMC said out of an abundance of caution, they'll have a third party pest control company come in and inspect every seat in the theater - every month."


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