SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The number of bed bug infestations reported in South Bay homes and hotels nearly doubled in 2010, and officials said Thursday they expect even more cases this year.
“So many people are calling because they have an increased awareness of bed bugs,” said Jose Colome with the Santa Clara County Vector Control District.
There were 125 cases reported in 2010 compared to 65 in 2009. Colome said the number of complaints logged so far in 2011 suggested another bumper year for the blood-sucking pests.
KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:
Like Colome, Don Street at D&J Pest control suspects an increase in international travel could explain why his company has received four times as many calls as it did last year.
“You really have to be detailed about what you’re looking at when you get back from trips,” he said, advising that luggage and clothing be washed after travel.
What if that doesn’t work?
“The best thing to do is a heavy crack and crevice treatment,” Street said, injecting bug killer directly into bed frames. That treatment doesn’t come with a guarantee, he added.
A letter to the Centers for Disease Control’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal suggests what has historically been a disgusting nuisance could be evolving into a public health threat.
A Canadian microbiologist documented five cases where bed bugs plucked from patients in Vancouver carried methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. That bacteria, usually called MRSA, is common in hospitals and resistant to antibiotics.
Street and Colome both expect word of that letter will lead to even more calls, even though transmission of MRSA between humans by bed bugs has yet to be shown.
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