Bed bugs have been so prominent in the media in recent years, they might have Max Clifford doing their PR.
But recent high-profile cases of bedbug infestations, such as at the Nike Store in New York, has brought the subject to a fever pitch.
Recent research has shown some bedbugs are resistant to the insecticides used to treat infestations. However, a Cardiff based company is helping in the quest to find a new solution.
I2L Research have branches in Newcastle, Czech Republic and Spain, but their headquarters are based on Wentloog Road. They test products for the pest control industry to check their effectiveness before they are sent to be licensed for use.
Technical Director Graham Small said: "It's a growing problem worldwide now and no one's really got a firm handle on what it is that is causing the spread of the bedbugs."
Bed bugs can easily hide away in people's luggage, and with more people travelling world-wide infestations can spread to hotels and people's homes.
Dr Small said: "It's also probably partly to do with insecticide usage. Products they use in pest control now are a lot more targeted against the species you want to control."
People are not always aware of them, they are excellent at hiding in crevices in mattresses or sofas where they will subsequently reproduce and lay eggs, known as a harbourage.
But people will react differently to a bedbug's bite, which may cause their presence to be undetected.
Dr Small said products they have been testing in Cardiff have proved successful at controlling infestations and these, he believed, could be available for use in around a year. "The challenge at the moment is to get a product that will work first time every time, because of the resistance problem, and several companies are very near to getting products registered that will crack the resistance problem," said Dr Small.
Working with these pests may have given Dr Small a little sense of paranoia: "Wherever I go now I'll always check my bed, I just can't stop myself."
But this does not mean he can not stand the sight of them, or to be more precise, the smell: "I don't know if I'm freaky but I like the smell of bed bugs. It has a sort of sweet smell to it."
This smell, he explained, is caused by an aggregation pheromone, which help the bedbug find its way back to its harbourage. Some pest control companies are looking into using it to detect possible infestations.
The pheromone would be placed within a trap which would attract the bedbug to it, snaring it and alerting people of its presence.