Bad News from IllinoisMarch 6, 2009 at 7:53 am | Posted in News | 9 Comments
Bedbugs aren’t a joke anymore. Although they virtually vanished from the American scene after the 1950s, they recently made a shocking comeback in New York City (thus ending soft-furniture scavenging there) — and now these nasty critters are plaguing Illinois.
“Bed bugs are on the rise in Illinois after a dramatic decline,” we read at Medical News Today. “A couple reasons for the return are more world-wide travel and today’s insecticides, although safer for people, are less effective in killing these bugs. Bed bugs are small, flat insects, usually reddish-brown and up to ¼-inch long. Bed bugs do not fly or hop, but can move quickly across floors and walls. Bed bugs most commonly enter hotels or residences by ‘hitch-hiking’ on a suitcase or backpack, used furniture or other objects moved from one building to another. Bed bugs can survive several months without feeding.
“At night, bed bugs leave their hiding places in mattresses, box springs, bed frames, nightstands, curtains, couches, and wall voids, and behind baseboards, door and window frames, and carpet edges to feed. The bugs feed on the blood of animals, including people and pets. The bug’s beak-like mouth painlessly pierces its victim, injects saliva and sucks up the host’s blood, in about three to five minutes….
“Although bed bugs are not known to transmit disease, their bites can cause an intense itch and scratching could produce secondary infections. Bed bugs may be brought into well-maintained hotels and clean homes because all they need to survive is a place to hide and a host to supply their only food — blood. New infestations may go undetected when only a few bed bugs are present, allowing the infestation to grow and spread.”
To prevent bringing bedbugs into your living environment, the Illinois Department of Public Health recommends:
“Inspect all used furniture carefully for bed bugs before bringing it into a home — do not scavenge furniture left on the street.”