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Why Has There Been A Seeming Sudden Upsurge of Bed Bugs?

Why Has There Been A Seeming Sudden Upsurge of Bed Bugs?

Allen Szalanski, professor of entomology in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, replies:

Since the late 1970s, bed bugs have undergone a resurgence that became widespread in the late 1990s, and it seems to be global across the developed world. Reasons for this resurgence may include increased long-range airline travel, the ability of bed bugs to disperse locally, reduction in the use of residual insecticides around structures, and movement of bed bugs from birds and bats to humans. Our research has revealed that bed bugs in Arkansas are highly resistant to DDT. We also have found that human DNA can be recovered from bed bugs for up to 90 days, and this DNA could then be used for forensic purposes.

Photo by: Janice Haney Carr, Public Health Image Library (PHIL)

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