"Hopefully, they got rid of them. But it would not surprise me if there are bed bugs around here," one customer said.
The bugs left Kathryn Prior with big ugly welts after going to a movie at the empire last Sunday night.
Area exterminators say the bed bug problem is reaching "pandemic proportions."
That's what entomologist Stuart Aust, president of Bug Doctor told Eyewitness News. The Paramus-based pest control company is seeing business increase 100-percent, he said. But why now?
"People traveling from overseas. But within the country, now that the bed bugs are here, people are moving them from the workplace, from home to the workplace and back and forth," Aust said.
There are less potent pest control products, he adds.
At Bug Doctor seven of 20 calls a day taken by sales coordinator Justine Boone are for bed bugs in businesses.
"You go and try other clothing on. You've now spread that to that store," she said.
A Hollister store in the city found bed bugs recently, forcing it to shut down while exterminators dealt with the problem.
Many businesses are concerned.
"They want immediate service. They want to take care of this problem as quickly as possibly," Boone said.
At AMC Empire, they have exterminated the theatre but will be back in two weeks to check again.
BED BUG RESOURCES
If you have a bed bug problem, please contact us by clicking here.
EPA Bed Bug Summit
Centers for Disease Control
How to get rid of bed bugs
Health advice from the Mayo Clinic
See bed bugs? Here's where to report them.
General info about bed bugs