Bedbug breakout - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Bedbug breakout

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Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

(WFLX) - Bed bugs are back! pint-sized pests, some tinier than an apple seed, touching off bedbug breakouts across the country.

"They are some nasty, insidious very reproductively capable creatures," said Wayne White with American Pest Control.

He studies insects and how to kill them, and, at his pest control firm in Maryland, the business of bedbugs is way up. "We go out to units and homes where there are hundreds and sometimes thousands of bedbugs."

Ten years ago, only about a quarter of the nation's exterminators reported ever encountering a bed bug. This year, it's 95 percent.

Bedbugs want to be wherever the people are, including homes, hotels, airplanes. 'Human' blood is all they feed on.

In Manhattan, One Times Square movie theater was forced to shut down this week because of bedbugs.

Even the city's most iconic building is not immune. Bedbugs were found in an employee changing room in the basement.

Some experts suggest it's the rise in international travel. Bedbugs were all but eradicated in the U.S. for 50 years.

The pesticide DDT helped wipe them out. The chemical's since been banned in the U.S., but some scientists say, it may not be as effective now against the ever-evolving bed bug. "If we had DDT now, we probably would have some DDT resistant bedbugs to try to deal with," said Wayne White.

More of a nuisance, there are no known health risk, but the tiny bugs are proving to be a big headache to get rid of.

Here are some tips on how to treat and prevent bedbugs.

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