Bed Bugs Make Big Comeback

We’ve previously written that <"">bed bug infestations are becoming increasingly more prevalent, with pest control companies seeing a sharp increase in the number of bed bug-related calls from hotels and motels in recent years. The tiny bloodsucking parasites are transient in nature, traveling in luggage, furniture, and clothing. Once they infiltrate, they are extremely difficult to eradicate completely.

Many believe the resurgence could be tied to increased travel and the reduced use of powerful pesticides like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), which was banned in the 1960s, as well as the use of narrow spectrum products targeting specific pests, allowing others to survive. Bed bugs appear to be developing pesticide resistance, leading the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue a warning against using outdoor chemicals indoors, said The New Star. Some can have adverse effects on the central nervous system and can cause skin and eye irritation and cancer, said The New Star.

According Betty Best of Best Exterminators, “We used to not have bedbug problems, but traveling to other countries is so easy now bedbugs are becoming prevalent. This is a year-round problem because it is an inside pest. You don’t want to put off spraying because it will get worse,” quoted The New Star.

Best noted that the creatures can be found in the nooks and crannies of mattresses, such as in seams and areas between the mattress and box spring. “If it is a heavy, heavy infestation, we have seen them where it is just black underneath,” she added, quoted The New Star.

Exterminators spray beds and all the area surrounding and near the bed, including wall cracks, furniture, and behind pictures, explained The New Star. Now, the EPA and others are determining the best chemical to fully eradicate the bugs.

According to Wayne Kramer, an assistant professor of Entomology at Louisiana State University, some exterminators don’t really know how to get rid of bedbugs because infestations have been pretty much unheard of since the 1940s and 1950s when DDT was used, The New Star reported. DDT was banned in 1972 over its toxicity, specifically to wildlife, especially birds, added The New Star.

“It is probably a bigger problem in areas where there are multiple residents together,” Kramer said, quoted The New Star. “They are becoming more abundant and being found in more places. They are not a concern because of disease, they are a concern because they do take blood. The bites are nasty and some people react to them more than others.” And, when they mate and when incorrect insecticides are used, some bugs and their eggs can die, others are forced deeper into hiding where they can live extensively without feeding, Kramer explained, said The New Times.

Courtney Weston, a nurse practitioner with St. Francis Medical Center, described the bites as small, red, itchy, and clustered, explained The New Star. “If you are allergic to bedbugs, you can develop severe itching, blisters, or hives,” she said. “If this happens, you need to see your doctor immediately,” quoted The New Star.

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