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EPA Bedbug Summit to Take the Bite Out of Sleeping

By: Katie Cordrey - Published: • References: insects.about and abcnews.go
Complaints about bedbugs are on the rise, even in high-end lodging establishments. In response to widespread frustration, the Environmental Protection Agency hosted its first-ever bedbug summit.

Bedbugs, cimex lectularius, a reddish-brown, oval-shaped wingless insect, grow to about a quarter of an inch long and live by sucking blood. They especially like human blood.

Broad-spectrum pesticides like DDT, which killed a wide variety of bug types, nearly eradicated the insects after WWII, but health and environmental concerns caused the pesticides to be abandoned. Bedbugs have not posed much of a concern in the recent past, the targeted methods of pest control we now use have not addressed them.

That’s about to change. A bill called the, Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite Act, will be introduced to provide funding to public programs that deal with the insects.

While the bites can be unsightly and painful, bedbugs are not known to carry any diseases.