The real reds under the bed: they waited 50 years before climbing back in - Times Online
Five decades after being declared officially dead, the most toe-curling of all America’s critters has returned, with a spate of bloodsucking attacks on unsuspecting victims as they sleep. The culprit is Cimex lectularius - otherwise known as the common bedbug. Until recently it was known happily to Americans only from nursery rhymes.
Not any more. Up to 5mm in length, wingless, nocturnal and covered in microscopic hairs, the bedbug was supposed to have been eliminated from the US by the pesticide DDT, which was later banned by the US Environmental Protection Agency in 1972 because of the damage it caused to fish, birds and other wildlife....with DDT banned, the bedbugs laugh in the face of the pyrethroid-based compounds now used against them. “We’ve had cases where we’re spraying 200 to 300 times the label dose of toxins and we can’t kill ’em,” ...
But now the insect is back, and its sudden return has been proclaimed “one of the great mysteries of entomology”. Over recent months bedbugs have been turning up in hospitals, nursing homes, cinemas, dry cleaners, schools, public housing and even some well-to-do residential homes.
They are attracted to the very thing that has caused the US, and the rest of the world, so much grief lately: carbon dioxide. While historically it is the carbon dioxide in human breath that has brought them out to feed, experts speculate that rising levels in the air could be behind their renaissance
Oh yea! That rise in CO2 from 370 parts per million to 380 parts has made all the difference, that banning of nasty old DDT, the only effective control, pah! not a factor...