Why Bed Bugs Won't Go Away

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Reports of bed bugs invading cities such as Paris and New York have been making headlines lately, and new research shows the insects are here to stay.

Researchers at Ohio State University have sequenced most of the genetic map of bed bugs, and have found the blood-sucking insects are one thousand times more resistant to common pesticides than they were a decade ago.

"The resurgence of bed bugs poses an urgent situation as infestations are rampant globally, nationally, and locally," the researches write in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.

"During the past decade or so, the resurgence of [bed bugs] has been recorded across the globe including North America, Europe, Australia, and Eastern Asia with an estimated 100 percent to 500 percent annual increase in bed bug populations," the researches continue.

The bed bug revival has been blamed on many factors, including frequent international travel, the increased exchange of used furniture, and the insect's resistance to insecticides.

Hotels are far from immune from the bed bug invasion. The famed Waldorf-Astoria in New York recently faced a third bed bug lawsuit. Travelers are encouraged to check hotel rooms for the tiny, rust-colored insects in mattresses and cracks.

The bugs are extremely resilient, and can live for a year without feeding. Bites from the blood-sucking insects cause itching but do not transmit serious diseases.

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