Probing Question: Why are bed bugs on the rise?
The quick answer is two fold. First of all they are on the rise because many of the pesticides that were traditionally used against them have been banned due to their effects on human health/the environment. Also, the bugs themselves have in many cases developed a resistance to many of the available bed bug spray. Lastly, people are in general more mobile than they were decades ago, as such they are more likely to come into contact with the bugs and take them to new locations.
By Jesse Hicks Research/Penn State “Bed Bugs Invade New York City.” “Bed Bugs Biting All Over US.” “Bed Bugs Are Coming To Get You.” From the headlines, you might think America was under attack by an army of millimeter-sized parasites. Media reports have bed bug “epidemics” plaguing cities from New York City to Bloomington, Ind., to Los Angeles. Similar upticks in bed bug populations have been reported in recent years, an apparent resurgence after almost 50 years of relative quiet. So what’s causing these infestations? And can they really be called “epidemics”? Not really, said Alexis Barbarin, a doctoral candidate in entomology at Penn State. “Epidemic,” she said, suggests “a mental picture of something huge, serious and possibly life-threatening.” It grabs the reader’s attention, but probably overstates the seriousness of the problem. The Centers for Disease Control has hesitated to call the bed bug problem an epidemic because they do not spread disease. “Have bed bug infestations re