Bedbugs becoming major U.S. nuisance

Aug. 20, 2010 at 12:48 PM
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DETROIT, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- A plague of bedbugs spreading across the United States prompted a federal conference and calls for vigilance by the hotel industry.

The nation's worst cities for bedbugs are Cincinnati; Columbus, Ohio; Chicago; Denver and Detroit, according to data from Orkin Pest Control reported by the Detroit Free Press.

Officials in Ohio, ranked the worst bedbug state, and federal officials discussed ways to control the pests at a meeting Wednesday.

Bedbugs feed on blood, biting victims at night, although they do not spread disease, experts say. Outbreaks have been reported on cruise ships and airplanes -- plus stores and movie theaters in New York and even a library in Denver.

The insects can crawl into luggage or hitch a ride on clothes. They can lurk on airplane seats or hide in a hotel bedspread. The rebound has been partly attributed to a rise in international travel.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association has urged member hotels to train housekeeping and pest-control staffs to watch for bedbugs. When hotels get bedbugs, they usually rely on insecticides.

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