Ewww! Bed bugs come crawling back

Posted on June 14, 2007 

Ewww! Bed bugs come crawling back

Largely absent, or at least little noticed, for more than 50 years, these little suckers have now been detected making people miserable in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since the new millennium began, pest-control companies have reported a 70 percent or higher uptick in bed-bug calls, and some entomologists predict that rate to continue or even grow.

“No place is immune. No person is immune. The insect has the ability to appear almost at will,” said Orkin, Inc. technical director Frank Meek, who, after being bitten himself by a bed bug in an Orlando, Fla., hotel in 1999, became a pioneer in identifying and combating the resurgence of the pest.

A scourge of mankind since caveman days, the wingless creatures all but disappeared in the United States after World War II, when the widespread use of DDT and other powerful insecticides apparently spelled their doom.

A general shunning of such chemicals in recent times, and a surge in international business and tourism travel, are most often identified as responsible for the re-emergence, which some say has not yet even peaked.

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