Bed Bug Epidemic (03:52)
Bed bug populations have exploded over the last 10 years, fueled by crowded urban conditions, travel, and pesticide restrictions. Although problematic, media hype leads to overreactions.
Bed Bug Infestation (02:46)
A Nova Scotia resident recently discovered bed bugs in her home. She has trouble sleeping and feels ashamed—although they are beyond her control.
Growing Pest Problem (01:59)
Bed bugs reappeared in North America in 2002 and are affecting all socioeconomic communities. Entomologists emphasize the importance of educating the public.
Debunking Bed Bug Myths (01:52)
The pests can be seen with the naked eye, live around the bed, can't fly but can survive the winter, and do not transmit disease. Although relatively harmless, media hype creates anxiety and prevents people from learning to manage them.
Bed Bug History (02:05)
The pests became prevalent during the Industrial Revolution with central heating. Introduced in the '30s, DDT nearly eradicated them but was later banned due to toxicity—leading to a new epidemic. A lack of public knowledge allowed them to spread.
Public Education Efforts (04:05)
Entomologist Jeff White created a website to explain prevention, detection, and eradication methods. He helps shelters manage infestations; learn about bed bug blood sucking methods. They hide in clutter and are more prevalent in underprivileged homes due to extermination costs.
Professional Detection Methods (03:00)
Business is booming for pest control companies. Bed bugs can fit into nearly any crack, and leave behind skin and droppings. Exterminators use carbon dioxide traps and dogs to find them.
Unreported Bed Bugs (03:14)
Extreme infestations usually occur when residents are psychological disabled. Pest control teams inspect apartments for the biting insects; in one home they crawl visibly in the open. The landlord must evict the residents and call an environmental specialist.
Bed Bug Psychology (02:50)
The recent epidemic has reversed the bedroom's safe haven status. Infestation victims fear blood sucking at a basic level, and face social stigma.
Bed Bug Reproduction (01:48)
Female bed bugs lay up to seven eggs daily and traumatic insemination is thought to cause them to scatter populations within buildings. The landlord is generally responsible for exterminating the pests.
Bed Bug Lawsuits (02:30)
New York attorney Timothy Wink has represented infestation victims in cases against hotels, hospitals, municipalities, and landlords. Survival instincts lead to extreme reactions.
Exterminating Bed Bugs (04:07)
It costs up to $6,000 to treat the household pests. Exterminators use a variety of tools over months, including pesticides, vacuums, traps, heat, and freezing. Most items can be treated for bed bugs, except in extreme cases.
Infestation Mismanagement (03:29)
Portable heating units can kill suitcase "hitchhikers." a New York journalist shares her two year fight against bed bugs. After three failed extermination efforts, she threw out her possessions and moved in with her parents.
Traveling Bed Bugs (03:22)
The household pests can hitch a ride on clothing, books, luggage, and used furniture, and planes—affecting the tourist industry. Hear precautions to take when staying at a hotel. New York hotels are training staff members in detection methods.
Thailand Tourist Death Mystery (02:49)
A New Zealand journalist investigates a young woman who suffered heart failure after staying at a Chiang Mai hotel. Authorities suspect insecticides were used to treat bed bugs.
Bed Bug Insecticide Coverup (02:26)
Samples from the hotel room of a deceased New Zealand tourist revealed a toxic agricultural pesticide. However, chemicals break down in the body and Thai authorities demolished the building—making it impossible to prove she was poisoned.
Bed Bug Research (03:43)
Entomologists are developing a bio-pesticide using a fungus harmless to humans. An ER doctor is testing ivermectin, a drug used to kill tropical parasites, on patients. It disrupts the insect's life cycle and could eradicate infestations.
Bed Bug Outlook (01:53)
Kelly has had to move out of her apartment due to an infestation. Experts predict populations will plateau as people learn prevention and early detection methods.
Credits: Bite Me: The Bed Bug Invasion (01:41)
Credits: Bite Me: The Bed Bug Invasion
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