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15 animals making headlines

April 22, 2011, 12:04 p.m.
bed bugs

Photo: Orkin LLC/AP

12 of 17

Bed bugs

If you’ve been following the news during the past year, then you know that bed bugs are everywhere — from New York to Paris and from Victoria’s Secret to federal buildings. One in five Americans has had an experience with bed bugs or known someone who has, according to a recent survey, and the insects are showing no sign of slowing down. The bloodsucking bugs can cause itching, but they don’t transmit serious diseases; however, 30 percent of people say they’d prefer a root canal over a bed bug problem. Scientists aren’t sure why there’s been a resurgence of the tiny, upholstery-loving bugs, but they have several hypotheses. They say frequent international travel, exchange of used furniture and a shift in popular insecticides could all be contributing to the bed bug infestation.