Almost wiped out after World War II, bed bugs are back with a vengeance. Recent bed bug infestations have been reported in a wide variety of locales, from college dormitories to hospital wings, homeless shelters to swanky hotels in the big apple and the windy city. The resurgence of these little brown bugs has become so problematic in parts of the nation that the Environmental Protection Agency held a two-day summit on the issue.
While bed bugs do not transmit diseases, their bites often cause discomfort from swelling and itching. Creepier still: bedbugs excrete a numbing agent in order to not wake their slumbering victims. The small bugs, about a quarter of an inch in length, live in sheet folds, couch crevices, and mattresses.
The resurgence of these little buggers is international and the problem is worse in densely populated areas. One reason for the rise is that there are few pesticides approved for use on mattresses that kill bedbugs. Since the approval process of pesticides is lengthy, the EPA is considering approving some pesticides for emergency use. There is also a push to study the effectiveness of alternative removal solutions, like heating, freezing, or steaming to remove the bedbugs. Have you dealt with bedbugs? Are you itchy after reading this? I know I am!