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Bedbugs Actually Prefer Certain Colors

Like other insects, bedbugs appear to gravitate toward red and black

(Newser) - If you want to keep the bedbugs from biting, one possible deterrent may come in the form of home decorating—because bedbugs, as researchers at the University of Florida have found, seem to have strong color preferences. Reporting in the Journal of Medical Entomology , they note that the bloodsucking pests... More »

Chemicals Failing Us in Fight Against Bedbugs

Study shows they have developed 'dramatic' resistance

(Newser) - Here's some bad news for anyone who lives by the credo the only good bedbug is a dead bedbug: The nocturnal bloodsuckers that infest homes, hotel rooms, and even movie theaters are getting harder to kill. In a study in the Journal of Medical Entomology , researchers say that bedbugs... More »

Man Fights Bedbugs With Fire, It Ends Poorly

Detroit guy recovering from burns

(Newser) - Maybe the old slumber send-off of "sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite" is due for an addendum … namely "and don't set yourself and your apartment building on fire ." Case in point: A Detroit man was recovering from burns Friday after dousing himself and... More »

NY Man Demonstrates How Not to Get Rid of Bedbugs

Soak them with alcohol, celebrate with a cigarette

(Newser) - Someone told Scott Kemery that if you saturate bedbugs with alcohol, they'll die. Nobody, apparently, told Scott Kemery that you shouldn't light a cigarette after soaking the inside of your bedbug-infested car with alcohol, while still sitting in the car. Result: the 44-year-old Long Island man suffered first-... More »

Why a Scientist Willingly Suffered 180K Bedbug Bites

Researchers track down chemicals to catch pests

(Newser) - If, someday, bedbugs are no longer a cause for concern, remember to thank Regine Gries. She's a biologist in British Columbia who was willing to tolerate 180,000 bites as a host for the creatures so that her team could study them. "I calmed myself down thinking when... More »

Woman Finds Bedbug-Ridden Old Mattress Inside New Mattress

So, yeah, even the mattress you thought was brand-new is apparently not safe

(Newser) - If this isn't enough to scare you off from ever purchasing another mattress, we're not sure what would do the trick. A Phoenix mother bought two mattresses from Mattresses 101 last November; they appeared to be new, complete with plastic coverings, but two and a half months later,... More »

Chicago: America's Bedbug Capital

City gets dubious honor for 2nd year in a row

(Newser) - Don't expect the tourist board to brag about it, but Chicago has been named the most popular city in America—for bedbugs. Pest control company Orkin has awarded the city the distinction for the second year in a row, despite the city council's efforts to boost detection and... More »

NJ Man Sets House on Fire Trying to Kill Bedbugs

Space heater + hair dryer + heat gun = not a good idea

(Newser) - Bedbugs are creepy and gross, but it may not be such a great idea to try and kill them using a space heater, a hair dryer, and a heat gun. That's a lesson one New Jersey homeowner learned the hard way—after his methods caused a house fire, reports... More »

Balkan Folk Remedy Beats Bedbugs

Bean leaves make effective traps, researchers find

(Newser) - Scientists looking for new ways to combat bedbug infestations have found that Eastern European housewives hit on a pretty good strategy centuries ago. Researchers found that leaving kidney bean leaves near beds and burning them the next day, as was long done in Bulgaria and Serbia, is remarkably effective because... More »

Worst Cities for Bedbugs

Chicago, Detroit, and LA top Orkin's list

(Newser) - Bedbugs may not in the news as much these days—except when they turn up in weird places such as old library books —but that doesn't mean they're getting wiped out. In fact, pest-control company Orkin says its bedbug business is up 33% over 2011, reports ABC... More »

Great, Now Bedbugs Are Hiding in Library Books

They apparently like the spines of hardcover books

(Newser) - Just when you thought you were safe from bedbugs as long as you never stay in a hotel, go shopping for clothes or to the movies , or, you know, work in an office ... now it turns out you also must refrain from borrowing books. Yes, library books are the latest... More »

Delta Passengers Quarantined Over Bug Bites

Rash on flier from Uganda triggers health scare

(Newser) - Dozens of Delta passengers spent a nervous two hours quarantined on a plane in Chicago before health officials decided a passenger's mysterious rash was caused by bedbug bites, not a tropical disease. Passenger Lise Seivers noticed she had a small rash before boarding her flight in Uganda. While she... More »

Body Hair Is Bedbug Warning System

Our layer of fine hairs aids parasite detection: study

(Newser) - Scientists who wondered why human skin still boasts as many follicles as that of great apes—ours, of course, grow hair much, much finer—believe our species' continued hairiness serves as an alarm system that protects us from bedbugs and other biting insects, the Economist finds. The researchers, who shaved... More »

Dozens Sickened Trying to Kill Bedbugs

CDC even reports one death over misguided use of pesticides

(Newser) - Don’t let the bedbugs bite—but if they do, don’t panic. While the creatures themselves aren’t known to cause much more than itching, the chemicals used to get rid of them have been linked to 111 illnesses and a death between 2003 and 2010, a CDC study... More »

Scientists Find Bedbugs Carrying Nasty Surprise

Drug-resistant MRSA bacteria found on bedbugs in Vancouver

(Newser) - Hate insects? Afraid of germs? Researchers are reporting an alarming combination: bedbugs carrying "superbug" germs. Canadian scientists detected drug-resistant MRSA bacteria in bedbugs from three hospital patients from a downtrodden Vancouver neighborhood. The study is small and very preliminary: Five bedbugs were crushed and analyzed after a simultaneous boom... More »

Vets' Hospital: Please Stop Sending Quilts

Quilters say it's because of the bedbug scare

(Newser) - Enough with the quilts already. That's the message the Minneapolis VA has sent to local quilters, even if there's disagreement on the reason why. As the Star Tribune explains (in a story spotted by Pat's Papers ), the VA says it simply has no more room for... More »

Bedbugs Scoff at Our Puny Pesticides

They just keep getting better at building up resistance

(Newser) - Bedbugs are starting to take on the characteristics of comic book villains. The first comprehensive study shows that as we keep dosing them with pesticides, they keep getting stronger, reports the Wall Street Journal . They've quickly developed natural defenses on three fronts—better nerve centers to fight off the chemicals,... More »

'Bedbug Lawyer' Battles Creepy Crisis

Sues building bosses as 'unstoppable' creatures surge

(Newser) - The veteran of eight bedbug-centered lawsuits since September seeking $100,000 to $3.5 million, a Maryland attorney has earned himself a reputation as the bedbug lawyer, the Washington Post reports. Some are calling Daniel Whitney a “bloodsucker,” but he calls that “nonsense. These people need help.... More »

Bedbug Mess Brings Work to NYC Actors

... helping people clean apartments before extermination

(Newser) - At least one group of New Yorkers has benefited from the city's bedbug problem: out-of-work actors, many of whom have taken jobs as extermination preparers, the Wall Street Journal reports. They "have great personalities and follow directions well," says the owner of one company who hires them to... More »

Stink Bugs Invade Eastern US

Vacuum these well-armored critters, experts advise

(Newser) - Stink bugs have infested the eastern US, devouring crops in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and nearby states, CBS News reports. The brown marmorated stink bug has no interest in people, but farmers hate the insect because of its voracious appetite for crops and because it, well, stinks. (When threatened, it emits a... More »

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