Bedbug Killers Brainstorm at Chicago Conference

It is exterminator day for the Edelhart family. It's time to get rid of the bedbugs that have been infesting their home for weeks. "I have no idea how I got them," says Courtenay Edelhart, a single mother of two (pictured). "My best guess is they hitched a ride on the used clothes I buy on a regular basis. I shop a lot at thrift stores."

But while the Bakersfield, Calif. family were readying for removal, some 400 folks in Chicago happily welcomed bedbugs to Chi-Town.

A two-day conference billed as Bed Bug University's North American Summit 2010, took place this week near O'Hare Airport in Rosemont, Ill. Nearly 200 others were turned away from the sold-out event, reports the Chicago Tribune.

At the conference, researchers, entomologists, government agency officials, housing administrators and exterminators, demonstrated how to annihilate the bloodsuckers, as well as detect them.

If you spot any in your home or car, there are simple steps you can take to get rid of them, but it will be time-consuming.
"Demonstrators sprayed a white cloud of carbon dioxide to freeze them. Entire trucks with propane furnaces were on hand to roast a houseful of furniture up to 180 degrees, more than enough to kill the bugs," according to the daily.

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The idea of bringing the bugs into a hotel, where experts say they thrive, just makes one's skin crawl.

"You know these are entomologists and these are the professionals in the industry," Aaron Bastable, director of sales at the Hyatt Rosemont told the Charlotte Observer. "If anyone knows how to contain them, then it's going to be them."

"I'm terrified of hotels," Courtenay Edelhart wrote to friends on her Facebook page. "Most of them are infested, too. In fact, that was the bug guy's first question to me. [He] wanted to know if I had recently gone camping or stayed in a hotel."

The answer was no on both accounts, she says.

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