Published on: December 6, 2010
Forensic entomologist Bob Kimsey (right) of the Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, studies bedbugs--those little bloodsuckers that prey on you while you're sleeping.
There's an "alarming resurgence in the population of bedbugs" in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The exact cause is not known, but the CDC says it could be linked to "increased resistance of bed bugs to available pesticides, greater international and domestic travel, lack of knowledge regarding control of bed bugs due to their prolonged absence, and the continuing decline or elimination of effective vector/pest control programs at state and local public health agencies."
The Los Angeles Times warned in a Dec. 4 headline: L. A.'s Slow Trickle of Bedbugs May Turn Into a Flood.
That's a big "bah-humbug" for the holidays.
Senior museum scientist Steve Heydon of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, UC Davis, was quoted as saying:
BEDBUG--"Bed bugs are small, flat insects that feed on the blood of sleeping people and animals," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). "They are reddish-brown in color, wingless, and range from 1 to 7 millimeters in length. They can live several months without a blood meal." (CDC Photo)
CLOSE-UP of bedbug. "Bed bugs are experts at hiding," according to the CDC. "They hide during the day in places such as seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, dresser tables, cracks or crevices, behind wallpaper, and under any clutter or objects around a bed. Their small flat bodies allow them to fit into the smallest of spaces and they can remain in place for long periods of time, even without a blood meal. Bed bugs can travel over 100 feet in one night, but they tend to live within 8 feet of where people sleep." (CDC Photo)