Brace yourself for the summer of bedbugs.
The creepy crawlers that infested city cinemas, apartments, hotels, schools, department stores, concert halls and offices during the fall are on pace for a summer resurgence to make your skin crawl.
Bedbug infestations are most common in July, August, and September, but Jeffrey White, research entomologist for Bedbugcentral.com, said at a seminar Wednesday that the bloodsucking critters' presence in the city will be particularly apparent in a few months, according to the Daily News.
"I firmly believe that this year is going to be worse than last year," White said.
Bedbugs in the city are not a new phenomenon, but heightened awareness of the health and financial concerns that stem from their invasions has New Yorkers on acute alert.
Nearly 7 percent of adult residents in the city reported bedbug infestations in 2009, according to health department data. And NBCNewYork has learned bedbugs are plaguing public schools like never before.
City schools reported 1,700 confirmed bedbug cases in just the first five months of the school year – a rate that's on pace to triple last year's total of 1,019 cases, according to the latest stats from the Department of Education.
"If we combine the seasonal trends, with the bugs getting more and more embedded in our community, that allows the bugs to make that resurgence all the more stronger," White said at the seminar, according to the News.
Bedbugs are famously difficult to eradicate; they hide in many more places than beds and can go for a year without feeding. Once the creepy crawlers establish themselves in your homes or offices, it can cost thousands of dollars to get rid of them -- and even then, there's no guarantee they won't return.
The city and other websites offer a slew of tips to prevent bedbug infestations, including plugging up all holes around pipes and wires, limiting clutter in your rooms, doing laundry on a regular basis and checking for bedbugs before unpacking during a trip away from home. Also, check your mattress and laptops for signs of bedbugs.