The sight of bedbugs is enough to cause minor panic attacks among some people. But a new study shows that some are also getting physically ill from exterminating the tiny blood-sucking pests.
In a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers noted that at least 111 people in seven states have been sickened from improper use of pesticides over the last seven years. Most of the incidents—64—occurred in New York, one of the many states reporting a rise in bedbug infestations. But in one case, a woman in North Carolina actually died from after applying an improper pesticide to her home and body.
Still, experts worry that bedbugs are developing resistance to synthetic pyrethroid pesticides. Earlier this year, researchers believe they've identifed the bedbug gene tied to its pesticide resilience which could lead to discovering new way to manage the blood-sucking pests.
Read "Keeping the bedbugs at bay," to learn how one Consumer Reports writer deal with her personal experiences with the pest. Our experts also have information about what travelers need to know and offer tips to help avoid bringing bedbugs home with you from your travels.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln also offers tips on managing bedbugs.
Acute Illnesses Associated With Insecticides Used to Control Bed Bugs --- Seven States, 2003--2010 [CDC]
Scores got sick, 1 died trying to kill bedbugs [AP via ABCNews]
Bedbug Panic Often Creates More Danger Than Bites [New York Times]
Bedbug Pesticides in Excess Hurt People, Too [NY Times' City Room]
Bedbug panic worse than bite [San Francisco Chronicle]