Bedbugs make a comeback in a BIG way

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Bedbugs make a comeback in a BIG way


Bedbugs make a comeback

Posted: Nov 19, 2009 1:29 PM PST
Chris Proffitt/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - The resurgence of an old pest is causing concern in bedbugsIndiana and across the nation. The bedbug is back big time, and they can be found everywhere, including five star hotels and your own mattress.

Eyewitness News found an Indianapolis home infested with a problem that's become so severe that some are calling it not far from epidemic.

"They're here. They're here to stay. They're going to be transferred anywhere humans are," said Elia Levin, pest control company owner.

They are bedbugs. They are about the size of an apple seed and their populations are exploding across the country. Hiding in mattresses, bed sheets, couches and even luggage, they have a sole purpose.

"Ecologically, their role in life is that they are predators on mammals and blood feeders," said Prof. Tom Turpin, Purdue University etomologist.

Their prey includes humans, sleeping soundly while the bedbug, travelling through walls and electrical outlets, finds its prey and feeds, gorging on human blood and often leaving telltale bite marks on their victims.

The old saying, "sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite" had real meaning before World War Two. The insect was popularized in "Mean Old Bedbug Blues," a 1927 jazz recording by Bessie Smith.

After the war, insecticides came alone and wiped out the bedbug in North America until international travel reintroduced the population, now up by some estimates as much as 500 percent.

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