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EDITORIAL: Defend family, home against bedbug infestation

Tribune-Democrat - 11/21/2017

Nov. 21--"Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite" was a popular phrase in Colonial times, historians say.

Before there were box springs, mattresses rested on a support system made of ropes. The tighter the ropes were pulled, the better night's sleep an individual was afforded.

This also allowed the mattress to rest off the floor, thus hopefully helping to keep bedbugs away from those who slept.

The small, biting, bloodsucking insects, once considered eradicated in the United States, have made a resurgence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The pesticide DDT had kept the bugs at bay until the agent was banned because of health and environmental concerns.

The bedbug's return has been linked to an uptick in international travel and immigration trends in the country, the agency reports.

"Bedbugs are the easiest traveling insect out there," Kevin Fitzpatrick, owner of Able Pest Control in Richland Township, told reporter Randy Griffith. "They can travel in suitcases or electronics."

The holiday season is a perfect time for bedbugs to spread. Shoppers who buy gifts from the internet will have those packages delivered to their homes.

More than likely, they will take the packages inside before opening, allowing the small critters a chance to escape undetected -- until they begin to bite the unsuspecting homeowners and others while they sleep.

"They can travel in boxes being shipped," Fitzpatrick said. "It's an easy way for them to travel."

Although they are called bedbugs, the insects don't live in the bedding, Fitzpatrick said.

"They basically have hiding places everywhere," he said. "They seek you when you are sleeping. When you are down and the air is not moving, they begin to feed at that point."

Bedbug bites create welts and the gnawings usually are in a straight-line series of three, the CDC states.


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