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Victoria's Secret Store Infested: Bedbugs Are Back

Recent NYC store closures mark comeback
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2010 6:34 AM CDT
Victoria's Secret Closing: The Bedbug Is Back
In this undated photo released July 24, 2001, by the University of Florida, a common bedbug is engorged with blood after feeding on a human.   (AP Photo/University of Florida, File)

(Newser) – The recent closures of a Victoria's Secret and an Abercrombie & Fitch to rid the New York City stores of bedbugs are only the latest example of the strong comeback the blood-drinking bugs are making worldwide. Bedbugs were largely eradicated from the US in the 1950s, but now they're back with a vengeance, with bedbug infestation complaints in New York rising from 500 in 2004 to 10,000 in 2009.

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Countries around the world are facing similar resurgences. The chemicals most effective against the bugs, like DDT, have been largely banned, while today's bugs are resistant to many pesticides. The dramatic increase in international travel in recent decades may also be helping the bugs' comeback, the Christian Science Monitor reports. And people's attitudes changed during their decades-long absence, an expert says: "Back then, if you saw a bedbug, it was just a part of life. Now, you see a bedbug, and you shut down an entire store or a floor of an office building.” (Read more bedbugs stories.)

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