FRIDAY, Sept. 3 (HealthDay News) -- From sunny California to New York City, in flophouses, theaters and high-end offices, bedbugs are popping up in droves although, these days, they're found in a lot more places than just your bed.
According to a National Pest Management Association (NPMA)/University of Kentucky report, 95 percent of U.S. pest management companies surveyed said they had "encountered a bedbug infestation in the past year."
In New York City, the irascible little critters have forced temporary closures of a Times Square movie theater as well as tony retail chains Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria's Secret. They've moved into the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn District Attorney's office, not to mention the rarefied halls of Elle magazine. Bedbug complaints from city residents have soared from just over 500 in 2004 to 10,000 in 2009, according to news reports.
In Ohio, dubbed the new "Bedbug Capital of the United States," some residents have taken to sleeping on the streets just to get away from their co-habitants, reported Time magazine. But other areas are getting bitten, too. According to exterminator company Terminix, while Ohio is the most infested state, the top five cities for bedbugs are New York City, Philadelphia, Detroit, Cinncinnati and Chicago.
They've even made it to California, with reports of outbreaks at hotels in Monterey and Big Sur.
Why the comeback? Experts are blaming the resurgence largely on a surge in humans traveling internationally.
"There has been increased travel, particularly international travel, and that really speaks to how bedbugs move around," said Missy Henrikson, NPMA vice president of public affairs. "They need humans for their very survival so they have become more mobile and move right along with people. They're hitchhikers."
And travel begets more travel and
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