Boom in tiny bedbugs is causing big trouble: (May 15, 2009)
The biggest bedbug outbreak since World War II has sent a collective shudder among apartment dwellers, college students and business travelers across the nation.
The bugs — reddish brown, flat and about the size of a grain of rice — suck human blood. They resist many pesticides and spread quickly in certain mattress-heavy buildings, such as hotels, dormitories and apartment complexes.
Two shelters have closed temporarily in Charlotte, N.C. , because of bedbugs, a Yahoo chat group dedicates itself to sufferers and countless bedbug blogs provide forums for news, tips and commiseration. State inspectors say that more emphasis may be needed to tackle the creatures.
Federal officials have taken notice of the resurgence. Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency held its first-ever bedbug summit, and now a North Carolina congressman wants to take on the insect.
Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield just introduced legislation that would authorize $50 million that's already in the Department of Commerce budget to train health inspectors how to recognize signs of the insects.