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13th November 2019
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Bug bites man

Posted 12/01/2011 by KatieJ

Since C&I first reported the steep increase in bed bug infestation in the US that was highlighted back in 2009 at the American Chemical Society Spring meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah (C&I 2009, 9, 4), these rapidly reproducing insects have remained a major issue in the US.

This is particularly in New York, with even the luxurious Waldorf Astoria hotel on Park Avenue the subject of at least three law suits from former guests who have suffered from bed bug bites. One former guest is suing for $10m after the bugs caused multiple serious injuries during a stay back in 2007. The litigant is claiming that she will require plastic surgery to treat permanent scars on her face, hence the size of the claim.

According to the US National Pest Management Association, bed bugs cost American industry $258m in 2009. But the UK is not immune to the problem; according to a recent report in The Sunday Times newspaper, UK pest management company Rentokil says there has been a 24% increase in call-outs to tackle the problem during 2010. Back in Utah, the banning of DDT and the focus on the development of species-specific insecticides were blamed for the bed bug pandemic that appears to be affecting every major city in the world. The problem centres on the extremely broad spread of the various species of bed bug so even when an infestation has been eliminated a chance encounter with a single bed bug on a train or plane, or a restaurant seat or hotel bed, can set off the whole process of infestation. Is this all an unintended consequence of the pressure from environmental groups to force regulatory authorities around the world to reduce pesticide use or is it just a factor of humanity’s move from the countryside to the cities?

One thing is certain, just like the manufacturer of the perfect mousetrap, the public will beat a path to the door of the first life science company to come up with a universal bed bug killer that can be used as often as required without the need for warnings and precautionary advice that exceed all the available printable space on the final product pack.

Neil Eisberg - Editor

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  • Peter Hambleton said:
    21/01/2011 02:35

    A universal bed bug killer sounds great until you think of the inevitable consequence - the emergence of a totally resistent bed bug.

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