A class-action lawsuit was filed last week by a group of residents of two Iowa apartment complexes who claim they have suffered “unconscionable and substandard living conditions” due to a bedbug infestation. More than 250 people at Ligutti Tower and Elsie Mason Manor apartment buildings claim that the bedbugs have scarred their bodies and affected their health, and that apartment owners have done almost nothing to solve the problem. The lawsuit is seeking immediate fumigation of both buildings and $7.4 million in damages. Jeff Eckhoff, DesMoines Register
Bedbug Infestation Caused Substandard Living Conditions
“Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite”… A quaint old saying that usually gets a giggle—until recently that is.
After reading this article, I began to itch incessantly as I imagined being eaten by bed bugs. I decided to check into the causes and remedy for bedbugs. What I learned is there are a number of reasons for the resurgence of these pests, and that the remedy is very complicated and difficult.
-Bed bugs were common in the U.S. before World War II and became rare after widespread use of the pesticide DDT began in the 1940s and 1950s. (Who would have thought there was anything good to say about DDT?)
-They remained prevalent in other areas of the world and, in recent years, have been increasingly observed again in the U.S. Increases in immigration and travel from the developing world as well as restrictions on the use of stronger pesticides may be factors that have led to the relatively recent increase in bed bug infestations.
-While bed bugs are often reported to be found when sanitation conditions are poor or when birds or mammals (particularly bats) are nesting on or near a home, bed bugs can also live and thrive in clean environments. Crowded living quarters also facilitate the spread of bed bugs.
-Bed bugs can live in any area of the home and can reside in tiny cracks in furniture as well as on textiles and upholstered furniture. They tend to be most common in areas where people sleep and generally concentrate in beds, including mattresses, box springs, and bed frames. Other sites where bed bugs often reside include curtains, the corners inside dressers and other furniture, cracks in wallpaper (particularly near the bed), and inside the spaces of wicker furniture.
-Since bed bugs can live for months without feeding, they can also be found in vacant homes
-Bed bugs are most active at night and bite any exposed areas of skin while an individual is sleeping.. A peculiarity of bed bug bites is the tendency to find several bites lined up in a row. Infectious disease specialists refer to this as the “breakfast, lunch, and dinner” sign signifying the sequential feeding that occurs from site to site.
-Getting rid of bed bugs is not an easy process, and most cases of bed bug infestation will require treatment by a pest-control expert.. The pest-control company can help determine if the mattress can be disinfected or must be discarded. Since beds cannot readily be treated with insecticides, it’s often necessary to discard infested mattresses and beds.
-The pest-control expert may recommend certain forms of deep-cleaning such as scrubbing infested surfaces with a stiff brush to remove eggs, dismantling bed frames and furniture, filling cracks in floors, walls, and moldings, encasing mattresses within special bags, or using a powerful vacuum on cracks and crevices
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