Bedbugs biting in New York City | Nation | -- Your State. Your News.

Jun 30th
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Bedbugs biting in New York City

bedbug040409_optBedbugs are biting insects which can live in mattresses and wall cracks ... and the complaints in New York City are skyrocketing.There were 8,830 complaints about bedbugs in fiscal 2008, which ended June 30, up from 1,839 in 2005, according to the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

What makes things worse, is that the bedbugs creating havoc in New York appear to be of a mutant strain ... and are 264 times more resistant to the pesticide that kills the average bug.

The bugs have shown up in unexpected places: An executive with Fox News told the New York Times that the Manhattan newsroom had to be exterminated for bedbugs and have its furniture replaced after an employee tracked the insects in from home.

During the daytime, they tend to hide near places where people sleep -- such as the seams of mattresses -- or in wall cracks or beneath furniture. The eggs are white, sticky and about the size of a speck of dust, so people can unknowingly spread them from room to room or even across town.

Set a bag down on the carpet, or walk through an infested area, and it's almost impossible to tell that you're walking out with shoes or a bag that has bedbug eggs stuck to them.

The bugs are not easy to kill. Most over-the-counter insecticides won't work, and clearing up the problem can take several treatments from a professional exterminator.

There's also a social stigma associated with the insect, but unlike some other vermin, bedbugs are attracted to blood -- such as a human's or an animal's -- not to garbage.

Renee Corea has battled the bugs in her New York apartment for months but shies away from talking to friends about the details.

"My home is clean. It's always been clean," said Corea, who helps run the online support and policy advocacy "I have lost a lot of belongings because of this. The whole experience was emotionally draining and exhausting. It still is."

Read Mutant bedbugs attack the Big Apple



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