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Pesticide-Resistant Bedbugs Spreading Worldwide


Bedbugs are something we contemporary folks in the United States no longer think much about. The advent of pesticides and an understanding of how to keep our homes properly clean all but eliminated a tiny pest that was once a problem our ancestors dealt with on a regular basis.


They were thought to have been eradicated in most of the developed countries in the 1980s.


They were around recently enough that the old saying: "dont let the bedbugs bite," is still repeated. And few kids in the U.S. today have no concept of what it is to wake up in the morning with bedbug bites.


That is changing.


The scourge of the bedbug is coming back with a vengeance.


The new breed is pesticide-resistant. The bugs are invading Britain and parts of the United States. And health experts are quietly concerned because they are spreading so fast, they may be in everybodys home soon.


In the UK, where the problem is growing quickly, the Institute of Biology has found a rise in infestations in hotels and hostels throughout London. People who study such things theorize that modern lifestyles . . . with people traveling all over the world and staying in hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts as they move around, is a major contributor.


"Every time we move on, there is a chance we are taking a few bedbugs with us," said Clive Boase, a spokeperson for the Pest Management Consultancy, Haverhill, England.


Other cause: the increased sales of second-hand furniture where the bugs may be hiding. This stuff is passed from garage sales to second hand stores and antique stores, then back into peoples private homes. Antique furniture collectors may be especially vulnerable, especially if they take home chairs or furnishings with fabric.


Like cockroaches, bedbugs are extremely difficult to get rid of once they enter the home. And homeowners definitely want to get rid of them once the pest is identified.


Bedbugs take more blood in a single feed than any other insect. They are known to carry the various strains of Hepatitis, AIDS and a variety of other blood-borne diseases. They also can cause allergic reactions and anemia.


It is believed that a single pregnant female bedbug can produce of a colony of several thousand within a year. Infestations can spread through a home within weeks. When deprived of blood, the bugs are known to survive for more than a year. This is why they can successfully ride around on stored furniture or hang around in empty homes for months until new tenants move in.


Bedbugs are rarely seen. They scamper during the light of day, hiding in seams of mattresses, under headboards, curtains or carpeting. When the lights go off, they come out in search of food. 


So sleep tight all . . . and don't let those bedbugs bite.