Bed-bug summit opens near Chicago

Sept. 21, 2010 at 7:43 PM

ROSEMONT, Ill., Sept. 21 (UPI) -- The first-ever North American Bed Bug Summit, which opened Tuesday near Chicago, attracted a sellout crowd to hear experts on the tiny biters, organizers said.

That appears to be one more sign that bed bugs, once almost routed in the United States by pesticides, are back in a big way, the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald reported.

"Ten years ago we got about one call about bed bugs a year, and now we get at least one call a day," Melaney Arnold, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health, told the newspaper.

Organizers of the two-day event at the Hyatt hotel in Rosemont put together a panel of 14 entomologists and other bed bug experts, WGN-TV, Chicago, reported.

Curt Colwell, an entomologist with the state of Illinois, said until recently the only bed bugs he had seen were dead. He said one problem in dealing with their comeback is a lack of hard information, including what percentage of the bed bug population has become pesticide-resistant.

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