Bed bugs -- they're back! According to a Rutgers University study (February, 2010) bedbugs are "a fast-growing urban pest of significant public health importance in the U.S. and many other countries." (Sid Johnston, "Office Memo: Bed Bugs Are Back," Forbes, September 5 2010) Richard Pollack, Ph.D, an entomologist at the Harvard School of Public Health agrees. "It's a national problem," says Pollack .They've even moved out of private dwellings and into movie theaters, retail stores, libraries, firehouses and, inevitably, the workplace.Worldwide, bed bugs never went away, but they have become more common in the developed world over the past 10 years.
In a study the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky have released the 2010 Comprehensive Global Bed But Study. The study suggests: "We are on the threshold of a bed bug pandemic, not just in the United States, but around the world," according to Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. The survey is based on responses from nearly 1,000 U.S. and international pest management companies. Seventy-six percent of the respondents consider bed bugs to be more difficult to treat than cockroaches, ants or termites. (, Lexington Herald-Leader, August 2010)
Sid Johnson reported, "Earlier this year, Orkin, the Atlanta-based pest control company, conducted a national survey with the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and found that 10% of bed bug reports were from commercial properties. At a bed bug conference last year, the Environmental Protection Agency said the incidence of infestation in the U.S. has tripled since 2005." ("Office Memo: Ted Bugs Are Back," Forbes, September 5 2010)
From a Times Square movie theater to a Denver public library to a Nashville dentist's office, cimex lectularius has been invading places without welcomed invitation. Some think hotels or campuses are the only contact points with bed bugs, but retail stores, offices, schools, nursing homes and cruise ships have all faced bed bug outbreaks. They are not just an urban issue; they can just as easily invade suburban and rural spaces.
Why Are Bed Bugs Back?
Michael Potter, Ph.D., an entomologist at the University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, believes the explanation for the new storm of bed bugs lies in a perfect storm of these element:
* Increased international travel and immigration
Symptoms of Bites
Bites from bed bugs can be treated with topical emollients or corticosteroids, or victims can also take an oral antihistamine.Bed bugs have not been conclusively proven to carry infectious microbes. However, researchers have implicated bed bugs as possible vectors of American trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease). Chagas is one of the major health problems in South America