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Bedbugs

Bedbugs invading New York City

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: bedbugs, New York, health news


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(NaturalNews) More than one in 10 New Yorkers have already suffered from infestations of bedbugs in the home, according to a Daily News-Marist poll.

Eleven percent of respondents -- 800,000 people -- said they had been bitten by bedbugs in their own homes, more than twice as many as in 2009.

"I got all chewed up," said Margaret Martinez, 61, of the Bronx. "I woke up and I had bites all over my arms and my face. I was all swollen."

Bedbugs are bloodsucking insects the size of a grain of rice that are active only at night. They were nearly wiped out in the 1940s by widespread use of the toxic pesticide DDT, but since then the insects' population has rebounded. They spread quickly due to their ability to hide inside clothes, luggage and furniture, and to go for months at a time without food.

Survey respondents in all five boroughs reported infestations, although the prevalence varied slightly between them. While 10 percent of respondents in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island reported infestations, only 8 percent of Bronx residents had been bitten, and only 3 percent of Manhattan residents.

Bedbug prevalence also varied by wealth and party affiliation. Only 2 percent of Republicans had been bitten by bedbugs in the home, in contrast with 12 percent of Democrats. People making less than $50,000 per year were twice as likely to have an infestation as those who made more.

The true prevalence of bedbugs is probably even higher. Although 67 percent of respondents said that seeing bedbug bites is the best way to detect an infestation, only half of all people are allergic to bedbug bites.

The poll also found that half of New Yorkers believe that municipal officials are not doing enough to combat the bedbug problem. The city has already allocated half a million dollars to the problem, and is thinking of appointing a "bedbug czar."

Sources for this story include:
http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/08/....

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