Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite
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Don't Let the Bedbugs BiteHello?

Caller 1
Hi, my car keeps going forward when I shift into reverse –

Uh….wrong show ma’am – you want the other guys!  Just as handsome though! 

Caller 1
Uh.. okay, bye.

That was interesting……

(brrring..)

Hello?

Caller 2
Hi…my neighbor Edna is terribly afraid of bedbugs when she travels – should she be, or is she being irrational?

Edna’s right to worry – bedbugs are back with a vengeance.  

Over the past three years, the number of homes, hotels and businesses being treated is up more than ten-fold. Every part of the US has reported infestations, with most from the northeast.

Bedbugs are a blood sucking parasite that…

Caller 2
Eww… blood sucking!

Yes, ma’am.  Bedbugs hide in crevices, furniture, mattresse even under loose wallpaper. At night they come out to feed on unsuspecting guests!  

Once established somewhere, they’re hard to get rid of. In New York City, prominent retailers have had to pull all their clothing.

While bedbug bites can cause allergic skin reactions, they have not been known to transmit infectious disease, but researchers just discovered, bedbugs can carry disease.

Researchers have isolated bedbugs carrying two types of bacterial superbugs that are resistant to multiple antibiotics normally used to treat them. One is called vancomycin resistant Enterococcus faecium which can cause life threatening blood infection, pneumonia, meningitis and infection of the heart valves.

The other bacterial superbug they isolated was MRSA or methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Twenty thousand people die every year from MRSA, which can cause pneumonia, wound infections, and blood stream infections.  

Luckily, although bedbugs can carry these deadly bacteria, there’s no evidence they can transmit the disease through their bites yet.

Caller 2
Well, thanks professors, I’ll tell Edna she was right about those bedbugs.  

 

For more information…

Bed Bug Information
Informative site from the Environmental Protection Agency that presents information about identifying, treating, and preventing bed bug infestations. In addition, there is a section on bed bug biology and myths.

Bed buds as vectors for drug-resistant bacteria
Letter to the editor describing a research study that documented the recovery of antibiotic resistant disease causing bacteria from bedbugs infesting homeless people in Vancouver, British Columbia.

CDC and EPA - Joint statement on bed bug control in the US from the CDC and US EPA. US HHS, 2010..
Informational document from the EPA and CDC that discusses the impact of bedbugs on public health, bedbug biology and integrated pest management to control these pests.