Bed Bugs on the Rise

Don't let the bedbugs bite? Mom might have been right, Dr. Bruce Hensel reported.

A new report says the bugs are on the rise. It looks at whether or not they can actually cause or spread infection

"Let's be clear about one thing: bedbugs don't necessarily mean the sheets are dirty.  They can come in all sorts of ways. But the study does show they're on the rise," Dr. Hensel said.

Researcher Jerome Goddard, Ph.D. of Mississippi State University explains the findings, "There's a tremendous increase in bedbugs in the united states and other parts of the world. Many different studies show a 3, 4, 500 percent increase in reports of bedbugs or reports of bedbug infestations."
Goddard,knows a lot about these tiny, human blood suckers, and understands their resurgence is most likely due to international travel, immigration and changes in pest control practices.

"They're parasites, they suck blood, so they're brought into someplace in someone's luggage or belongings, they start living there it has nothing to do with how clean you are. Some of the cases I've investigated, they've been five star hotels.
But for all that's known about bed bugs, there's still much that's unclear," Goddard said.
Some scientific papers say that bed bugs transmit human diseases, some say they don't. Some people say you're supposed to throw out the mattresses when there's an infestation of bedbugs, some people say you don't.

So researchers analyzed studies from over 50 related investigations with clinical input from Dr. Richard Deshazo. The study is featured this week in  the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"These research findings show one, there is little evidence for human disease transmission by bedbugs. Two, human bedbug bites range in reaction from none to cutaneous to occasionally or rarely systemic. And lastly, pest control of bedbugs or eradication is problematic. It's not impossible, but certainly difficult," Goddard said.

"The summary: No evidence the bugs spread disease. Other studies show getting a pest control specialist in and washing sheets in hot water help. The expert can tell you if you need to replace your mattress," Dr. Hensel said.

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