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Angry Man Releases 100 Bed Bugs in City Office

In a twist on news that doesn’t happen every day, reports that an angry man who was told he didn’t qualify for public assistance responded by dumping a cup of live bed bugs in a city building in Augusta, Maine. The office had to be closed and treated for bed bugs — with city officials hoping that will be the end of it.

Bed bugs not only are notoriously hard to get rid of, but actually are spreading rapidly across the U.S. In 2015, Chicago won the dubious ranking as being the top bed bug city. Although not considered disease spreaders, bed bugs can cause allergic reaction, uncomfortable itching and severe emotional distress. The treatment for them — usually strong insecticides — can be even worse, however, and rates of illnesses caused by pesticides used to treat bed bugs are also on the rise.

Bed bugs' bodies are flat and their shape, combined with their reddish-brown color, makes it easy for them to hide out along baseboards and the folds of luggage, bedding, folded clothing and furniture. If you look carefully, you may be able to spot bed bugs near your sleeping area. Look for their exoskeletons, which are released after molting; rust-colored spots on mattresses or furniture (from their blood-filled fecal matter) and a sweet, musty odor.

If you discover bed bugs at home, to avoid pesticide exposures, try thermal remediation, which essentially turns your home into an oven for a number of hours, during which the extreme heat (upward of 130 degrees Fahrenheit) kills the bugs. Cold treatment to a temperature of zero degrees of smaller, bug-infested items is also good. Bed bug traps are another effective option.
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