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Published on March 07, 2013

Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite!

Yes, Bedbug infestations are here! FREE Program! Monday, March 11 from 6:30-7:30pm For more information or to enroll, please contact LMH ConnectCare at 785-749-5800 or email connectcare@lmh.org

Prevalent in the 1930s and 1940s, then forgotten about for 50 years, bedbugs have crawled back into prominence, infecting hotels, cruise ships, dormitories, hospitals, apartments, offices, schools, public transportation and many homes.

Bedbugs are small insects (about the size of an apple seed) that feed on the blood of humans and animals. Hiding during the day in small cracks in furniture, woodwork, mattresses or bed springs, they come out at night to feed on sleeping bodies. Bedbugs are not thought to transmit disease. Their greatest health hazards are probably the anxiety they cause and the pesticides people misuse to try to manage them.

According to the EPA, bites on the skin are a poor indicator of a bed bug infestation. Bed bug bites can be misidentified, which gives the bugs time to spread to other areas. Bed bug bites can look like bites from other insects, rashes, or even hives. Some people do not react to bed bug bites at all.  A far more accurate way to identify a possible infestation is to look for physical signs of bed bugs.

No one knows for sure what is responsible for the resurgence of bedbugs but increased travel is thought to be one factor. Bedbugs thrive in both clean and dirty accommodations so are even found even in high-end hotels. They can hitch a ride in luggage and can crawl quickly through cracks in walls, as well as live in nooks for up to a year without food.

The pesticide DDT was able to eradicate them decades ago but it is now outlawed. Today, getting rid of bedbugs is a complex, challenging process that in most cases will need professional exterminators to manage. There are also many personal steps people need to take to defeat bedbugs and to protect their furniture and belongings should they acquire these unwanted roommates.

For more information on bedbugs, visit www.cdc.gov/parasites/bedbugs or www.epa.gov/bedbugs. The program is free but advanced registration is registration is requested. For more information or to enroll, please contact LMH Connect Care at 785-749-5800 or email ConnectCare.

Bedbug Life Cycle

Join LMH & John Elliott, Lodging Inspector, Kansas Department of Agriculture in an intersting program on the recent revival of these pesty pests.