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I am sure many of you are familiar with the old refrain, “Good night, sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Until just a few years ago, I can’t recall ever receiving a question about bed bugs.
But recently, bed bugs have been the topic of local and national news stories. They have infiltrated private homes and public areas, and we’ve received information about these infestations during Extension trainings.
Bed bugs were a common problem prior to World War II. But with improvements in hygiene, and especially the widespread use of DDT during the 1940s and ’50s, the bugs all but vanished in the United States, according to Mike Potter, University of Kentucky Extension entomology specialist.
The pests remained fairly prevalent, however, in other regions of the world including Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe. Because of immigrational and increased international travel, bed bugs have made a comeback here and are being found in homes, apartments, hotels, motels, health-care facilities, dormitories, shelters, schools, movie theaters, office buildings and modes of transportation, such as buses, planes and trains.
Changes in modern pest control practice — and the use of less-effective bed bug pesticides — also are considered by experts to be factors suspected in the recurrence of the pests.
If you would like to learn more about this potential pest, plan to attend our educational program, “Controlling Bed Bugs,” which meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, at the Trimble County Extension Office, High Country Lane, Bedford. The program will be presented by myself and Jane Proctor, county Extension agent for family and consumer sciences.
Michael Pyles is Trimble County’s Cooperative Extension agent for agriculture.