Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bedbugs are returning, lying in homes and apartments in ambush; a horror movie scenario?

The latest scourge to come back, or at least get attention from the media, is bedbugs. They bite and feast on humans like vampires, but amazingly they are not known to transmit specific infectious diseases.

According to the media, they have been making a comeback since the mid 1990s, partly because pesticides are not as effective as they once were (when DDT was used), and partly because of so much travel.

They seem to be coming back more in some states, like Ohio and Kentucky, but recently a movie complex near Times Square closed down for a day to deal with them.

One treatment that has been touted is superheating the room, expensive and labor-intensive, as explained in this story by Maureen MacDonald for the Detroit News, “Decontamination company finds success with bedbugs; firm boosts sales by adding eco-friendly pest eradication,” link here.  The company is BioGreen Solutions (not the same as “Biogreen Energy Solutions), link.

The Harvard School of Public Health has a useful reference here.  It seems as though they tend to get brought in on luggage, clothing from travel, and sometimes in apartment moves, sometimes with old furniture. For tenants, a landlord’s need to treat for bedbugs could be disruptive, necessitating putting some items in storage for a while.

Contrary to popular conception, bedbugs are not related very much to housekeeping effectiveness.

The Mayo Clinic also has a reference here.

Wikipedia attribution link for bedbug picture of “traumatic insemination” here.

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