Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite

We share this planet with billions of insects, which serve as critical food sources for other species and perform countless ecosystem services, from breaking down dead matter to aerating the soil. A number of insects feed on on other living animals, and human beings are not immune to this cycle of life. One of the more notorious invaders, bed bugs, have been making a comeback in recent years.

Bed bugs were nearly eradicated during the 1960s with the pesticide DDT. However, as scientists began to notice the chemical’s negative effects on the environment, it was banned in the U.S.

It’s not entirely clear why bed bugs are on the rise again, though it is true that most people have not actively sprayed for them for years. It is also true that many bed bugs have become resistant to some pesticides.

This infographic by www.BedBugs.Org shows some interesting (and alarming) facts about the re-rise of bedbugs in the United States.

Photo: Bed bugs infographic


Some of the more interesting data points mentioned above include:

  •       Reports of bedbugs have increased over 300% in New York City schools
  •       The bedbug population has increased by over 500% in the past few years
  •       The surprising list of cities and regions with the highest bedbug population
  •       Clean and “sanitary” rooms don’t necessarily have fewer bed bugs (though you still might want to avoid certain hotels)

Find out more about bed bugs at www.BedBugs.org.


Brian Clark Howard is a writer and editor with NationalGeographic.com. He was formerly an editor at The Daily Green and E/The Environmental Magazine and has contributed to many publications, including TheAtlantic.com, FastCompany.com, MailOnline.com, PopularMechanics.com, Yahoo!, MSN and elsewhere. His latest book, with Kevin Shea, is Build Your Own Small Wind Power System.

  • Frank C

    Frank the BedBug Chaser and I want you to look at this chart for yourself http://www.bedbugchaser.com/BedBug_Chaser_100__chemical.html and see why exterminators using our equipment can heat your house faster than those using other brands. This is why exterminators using our Avtron heaters can charge less money per sq ft than those using Brand “X” – time is money and we save you time! Without burning your house down!!

  • […] animals, and human beings are not immune to this cycle of life. One of the…   Original post on nationalgeographic.com →   Comments on digg.com →   Related PostsEarliest human bedding […]

  • Stephanie

    I find this so interesting…I can’t believe that the population of bedbugs has increased 300% in NYC schools!

  • […] by Myers Pest on Mar.07, 2012, under General Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite. […]

  • […] Let the Bed Bugs Bite – National Geographic Patriot-NewsDon't Let the Bed Bugs BiteNational GeographicWe share this planet with billions of insects, which serve as critical food […]

  • M

    Ugh, this is one of those times that it’s not so great being #1. I work in an industry where we have to deal with bed bugs regularly. There is a lot of panic and unfortunately, some of the information found on the internet feeds this panic.

  • Haikal

    I like this articles 🙂

  • […] are a growing public health issue in the United States and around the world, but their resurgence in recent years may have been aided by humans who unwittingly helped the pests evolve numerous ways of thwarting a […]

  • Reese Newnan

    This information by now is a little outdated. Chicago is the number one city for bed bugs right now, and it is a lot cheaper to get rid of bed bugs yourself than to hire a professional. With just a little digging I found this site: http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/how-to-get-rid-of-bed-bugs-c-39_95.html.

  • Raegan

    Bed bugs are everywhere now, it seems almost weekly that I hear of someone who is infested with them. I don’t care where you live you should prevent yourself and home from getting them. I use http://www.thermalstrike.com as my prevention method. it is way cheaper to prevent than to get rid of them once you have them. they are nasty.

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