NEW YORK (MainStreet) — As a child you may have often been put to bed with a “goodnight, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite” from your parents or grandparents, but younger generations growing up in more sanitary times probably know little if anything about the real insects known as bedbugs.
Well, that may have been true until recently. The bedbug, a pest and health hazard that had been as good as wiped out with modern pesticides in the U.S. by the middle of the 20th century, is making a big comeback.
Experts have a number of theories on how that comeback has come about, but some of the most widely accepted theories suggest the problem was never totally taken care of to begin with.
One theory holds that bedbugs built a better immunity than previously thought to the pesticides used to treat them. Another blames the fact that we no longer have the same strong tools to combat bedbugs, as some of the pesticides have been banned for their potential to harm people. A third common theory proposes that because people weren’t looking for them, or didn’t even know they existed during a time in which more people travel the world, bedbugs simply went largely undetected for several years and used that under-the-radar status to spread.
“It has been almost 15 years since bedbugs first made their reappearance in the U.S. For almost 10 years, they were quietly multiplying and spreading and no one was looking for them or able to identify them properly,” said Adam Greenberg, a frequent traveler who also invented a luggage cover to help travelers avoid bringing bedbugs home.