HEALTH BEAT 10-1-2001

Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts October 2001 Current Issue
October 2001
IMAGEShort Cuts:

The bedbug's bite

They are wingless, feed on human blood and are very good at hiding. And bedbugs, says a recent report by the University of Florida's Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences (, are checking into hotels and motels at an alarming rate. Blame it on the increased numbers of international travelers and tough government laws that ban the use of harsh bug- control sprays, say the experts.

The tiny creatures make their way into hotels by piggybacking on luggage, clothing, used bedding and second-hand furniture. Once inside, they delve into cracks and crevices, emerging only at night to feast on unsuspecting sleepers.

While their bite is painless, about 80 percent of victims develop itching and swelling at the site, similar to a mosquito bite. But some have an allergic reaction, which can cause nervousness, lethargy and a pale pallor.

Because bedbugs can live up to six months without a meal, they are difficult to eradicate. Telltale signs include tiny blood spots on walls, furniture and bedding, and an odd, musty odor.


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