Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wealthier people are to blame for NYC's bedbug problem

The Guardian UK checks in on NYC's bedbug infestation...Per the article:

Richard Cooper is a director of BedBug Central, an educational website and prevention company that last week organised a nationwide "summit" in Chicago, attended by about 400 of America's top bedbug experts. He also sits on Bloomberg's advisory board.

Over the last 10 years he has got to know the bloodsuckers very well, watching them multiply from virtually nothing to take hold of New York, and now other US cities such as Philadelphia, Detroit and Cincinnati. So what does he think of them?

"I'm fascinated by them. I respect them. They have extraordinary strategies for succeeding."

One reason often cited for the resurgence of the pest is the banning of the toxic chemical DDT, with which they had previously been brought under control. But Cooper believes the main cause of their success today is human ignorance. People are unaware of what to look for and miss the early signs, allowing the bedbugs to establish themselves and spread throughout a dwelling. Part of the problem is the assumption that infestation is confined to poor neighbourhoods with dirty and crowded living spaces.

Wrong, says Cooper, who is taking a PhD in the impact of bedbugs on low-income communities. The bedbug invasion began among the wealthy and middle classes, where frequent international travel for work and/or leisure allowed the insects to penetrate salubrious homes via luggage.

[Image: Photomontage by Guardian imaging/Getty]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The bedbug invasion began among the wealthy and middle classes"

Interesting how the headline almost matches with the article. Almost.