Eeww! Bedbugs are Everywhere! (Are You Itchy?)

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Image from The Bed Bug Resource

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The biggest bedbug outbreak since World War II has hit the United States. The small, reddish brown bugs are in hotels and homes across the country and these little suckers (literally—they suck human blood) are tough to get rid of. They travel easily (they get from place to place in packages, suitcases, boxes) and they can live for up to a year without food.

The problem is so bad that the Environmental Protection agency held its first-ever bedbug summit and legislation has even been proposed. The Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite Act of 2009 (yes, really) would add bed bug issues to the programs in the Department of Health and Human Services, and it would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research bedbugs' impact on public mental health.

I've never had bedbugs (knock on wood), but just reading about them makes me itchy. They can cause major discomfort. A former co-worker scratched and couldn't sleep for weeks before she knew what the problem was (her skin was all red and puffy). She spent a lot of money on doctors and on furniture—she had to get rid of her bed (and her boyfriend whom she blamed for the outbreak). Bedbugs are not fun.

Have you ever had bedbugs? How did you deal with them? Do you think a federal law helping to solve the national bedbug problem is a good idea?

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