NYC theater reopens after bedbugs sprayed

Aug. 19, 2010 at 12:57 PM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A popular movie theater in New York's Times Square reopened after being sprayed for bedbugs as the city seeks to wipe out the elusive parasites.

The AMC Empire 25 theater on 42nd Street, part of the giant AMC Theatres chain, shut down Tuesday after a theatergoer complained of being bitten, an AMC Theatres spokesman said.

A guest at the AMC Magic Johnson Harlem 9 theater also reported a bite in late July.

The bedbug outbreak is part of a growing city epidemic that also hit Hollister Co., Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria's Secret stores, the offices of Elle magazine, the Rikers Island jail complex and the Time Warner Center, home of CNN's New York offices, officials said.

The epidemic prompted the city to allocate $500,000 to eradicate the pests, the New York Daily News reported.

Bedbugs feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals and prefer human blood.

They were largely eradicated in the developed world in the 1940s, largely through the use of DDT, which is now banned in the United States, but have been resurgent since about 1995.

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