Tue., September 14, 2010 2:06pm (EDT)

Bed Bugs Are Back
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 4 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Bed Bug crawling on human skin (photo courtesy U.S. Government)
Bed Bug crawling on human skin (photo courtesy U.S. Government)
Fifty years after they disappeared, the Centers for Disease Control say bed bugs have made a comeback, even here in Georgia.

Eight years ago North Georgia exterminator Lewis Pritchett got his first call about bed bugs. A teenager had returned from a vacation to Ohio and brought back something extra in his suitcase.

“He had bites inside his ears, behind his ears, all down his neck, his entire body all the way down. I mean it was really a bad situation.”

Back then calls about bed bugs were rare, but in the last year Pritchett’s seen an increase to three or more calls a week. He says the bug’s resurgence is partly due to a reduction in pesticide use and stricter environmental regulations. People are also traveling more.

Pritchett says treating an apartment or hotel for bed bugs can cost more than a thousand dollars. Treatment can include pesticides or a new method of heating rooms to 120 degrees which kills the bed bugs.