Ouch! Bedbugs are on the rise in the United States

Think the bedbugs are biting? You’re not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency say the pest that was oh-so last century is making a big comeback in the United States as well as other countries. There’s currently no bedbug hotline to record the extent of the bug’s return, but federal agencies suspect the rise of pesticide-resistant bedbugs and increase in international travel may have led to the latest invasion.

Cities like Chicago are feeling the pinch. Alejandra Cancino of the Chicago Tribune reports: “Bedbug complaints to the city’s 311 help line increased by about 76 percent in the last year, with 1,478 made between Sept. 1, 2009, and Aug. 31, compared with 842 in the same period the year before.” The spreading problem even came to the attention of the governor who in July authorized a bedbug committee to determine the extent of Chicago’s problem and what to do about it.

Read the full story: Resurgence of an age-old pest is driving Chicago buggy
Bedbugs on rise, though no one’s sure to what extent

Before you burn down the house trying to get rid of bedbugs, make sure you aren’t getting bitten by fleas or ticks. Check out photos of bedbugs, what bites look like and how to identify telltale stains they leave on pillows and mattresses. Then discover out how to get rid of them (hint: don’t douse your mattress with industrial strength pesticides) and how to vet a hotel room for bedbugs when you’re on the road.
--Mary Forgione