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Bed Bug Bafflement 2010-09-01

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Health, Science.
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Don’t be too quick to dismiss the common bedbug as merely a pestiferous six-legged blood-sucker. Think of it, rather, as Cimex lectularius, “International arthropod of mystery”.

In comparison to other insects that bite man, or even only walk across man’s food, nibble man’s crops or bite man’s farm animals, very little is known about the creature whose Latin name means — go figure — ‘bug of the bed.’ Only a handful of entomologists specialise in it, and until recently it has been low on the government’s research agenda because it does not transmit disease. Most study grants come from the pesticide industry and ask only one question: “What kills it?”

  • But now that it’s “The Bug That Ate New York, Not to Mention Other Shocked American Cities”, that may change.

This month, “The Environmental Protection Agency” (The EPA) and “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” issued a joint statement on bedbug control. It was not, however, a declaration of war nor a plan of action. It was an acknowledgement that the problem is big, a reminder that federal agencies mostly give advice, plus some advice: try a mix of vacuuming, crevice-sealing, heat and chemicals to kill the things. (more…)