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New York Bed Bug Problems

Jan 26, 2008
There are some universal truths to preventing bed bugs. Do not use common bug killers. Call a professional it is less expensive in the long run. Do not bring used furniture into the house until you really inspect it. Make sure your new mattress is wrapped in plastic when you bring it home.

Because of hundreds of complaints about bedbugs recently, New York City announced a series of seminars Wednesday to teach people how to deal with the blood sucking vermin that have been terrorizing their way through the city and nation in growing numbers. In fiscal year 2004, the city received 1,800 calls about bedbugs, city officials said. By 2007, the number had increased more than threefold, to over 6,000.

And it's not just New York. Bedbugs have become a problem in every state, even as far as Alaska, so says the National Pest Management Association. Companies that got one or two calls a year are now getting several calls a week. This is the first real problem pest for the 21st century.

Even though the vermin are not known to carry disease, having a bedbug problem can be very upsettin. Paul Woller can attest to that. The bugs infested his Hackensack, N.J., home and he spent thousands of dollars and several months last year trying to get rid of them. He has had to throw out many of his possessions and apply pesticides throughout his home several times. "My wife and I used to have a beautifully decorated home," he said Wednesday. "Now I've lost everything."

Reddish-brown and flat, bedbugs were all but eradicated in the United States decades ago. But with the banning of DDT used to kill them and increased global travel, there has been a resurgence of bedbugs.

Their habits make them tricky to get rid of. They conceal themselves during the daytime, not only in bedding, but also in all kinds of cracks and crevices, from picture frames to radios. Then, like the creature of the night, they come out, biting humans to feed on blood. Their victims may not sense the bite as they are happening, only to wake up with red welts. Often the only proof of their existence is welt-like spots of fecal matter or specks of dried up blood on bed sheets.

They're also robust - they can go a very long time without blood. Research has show that they can survive for over 500 days without a meal. They lay eggs by the hundreds. And they are as likely to be found in a ritzy hotel as they are in housing project.

The purpose of the seminars being offered by the housing department is to educate people on prevention and dispel erroneous ideas about how to get rid of them.

For instance, don't use ordinary bug spray - it just spreads them around. Pay attention to your surroundings when you travel - they can hitch rides on clothing and jump between people in elevators and on crowded streets.

Eradication might require fumigating the infested space and laundering or dry-cleaning every piece of clothing.

New York City Councilwoman Gale Brewer pushed for the seminars, which start later this month.
About the Author
Tim Russell is a web site junkie that happens to have an interest in bedbugs.
Bed Bug Bites Website
Email Tim: tlrussell@american-girl-doll.net
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