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bedbugs really seem to like the state of Ohio. The problem is so dire in Cincinnati that some people with infested apartments have resorted to sleeping on the streets.

Cincinnati created a Bedbug Remediation Commission in 2007 and, like other local and national governments around the world, the city is trying to mobilize strategies to control infestations of the resilient insects, which can hide in almost any crack or crevice and can go a year or more without eating. On Aug. 10, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a consumer alert about off-label bedbug treatments, warning in particular of the dangers of using outdoor pesticides in homes. The Ohio Department of Agriculture has mounted a more unusual response to the crisis: it petitioned the EPA for an exemption to allow in-home use of propoxur, a pesticide and neurotoxin banned in the 1990s out of concern for its effects on children.

OMG! blink.gif That would make me want to sleep in the street, as well. Thanks, Arthur. Now we all know to not invite anyone from Ohio for a visit.
Bed bugs were common in the United States prior to World War II, after which time widespread use of synthetic insecticides such as DDT greatly reduced their numbers. Improvements in household and personal cleanliness as well as increased regulation of the used furniture market also likely contributed to their reduced pest status.  The widespread use of baits rather than insecticide sprays for ant and cockroach control is a factor that has been implicated in their return. International travel and commerce are thought to facilitate the spread of these insect hitchhikers, because eggs, young, and adult bed bugs are readily transported in luggage, clothing, bedding, and furniture. Bed bugs can infest airplanes, ships, trains, and buses.
QUOTE (NymphaeaAlba+Aug 18 2010, 04:19 PM)
OMG! blink.gif That would make me want to sleep in the street, as well. Thanks, Arthur. Now we all know to not invite anyone from Ohio for a visit.

I know.

My brother lives in Ohio. (luckily not in Cincinnati)

Still, reading up about this, there is of course the "eweeeh" factor, but when you get past that and look at the cure if someone brings them into your house, that seems quite extensive and also pretty expensive.

Natural enemies of bedbugs include the masked hunter (AKA "masked bedbug hunter"),[17] cockroaches,[18] ants, spiders, mites, and centipedes. The Pharaoh ant's (Monomorium pharaonis) venom is lethal to bedbugs. Biological control is not very practical for eliminating bedbugs from human dwellings.[7]
I'll have to take issue with Wiki's last statement there. I find that biological control works very well on all prey, so I'm including bedbugs, which thankfully I've never had. Biological as in a couple of the critters mentioned. I keep a healthy number of various spiders and thousand leggers in the house. Thousand leggers especially are your friend. Poor buggers, they're so stereotyped. Predator bugs don't carry disease, don't wantonly bite humans, and eat the bugs that do pose multiple threats. I've yet to be tagged by a single wolf spider or thousand legger, having these sentinels patrolling around for the last 40 years. Those two excellent creatures alone are worth their weight in gold, or at least in chemicals and meds.

It's ironic that houses can be besieged by dangerous parasitic bugs that humans don't but should fear, whilst the predator bugs that wander in - bugs that are not interested in you, only in the vermin that are interested in you - are immediately dealt with out of learned fear. I'm not talking about the giant hornet that accidentally flies in and obviously needs to be outside, but the gentle predators that are comfortable inside. They don't have to look benign to be benign. Sometimes I have to gently help a thousand legger out of the kitchen sink. Never would it bite; they can't breach the skin anyway, but why it's in the sink makes it worthwhile. They go down drains looking for silverfish. That's after the crickets, their favorite food, are dealt with. All I have around here are trees and boulders and shade - perfect conditions for a lot of life. These creatures are my DDT.
For the Cincinnati problem, if I was there, I'd have no issue with dumping about 3 dozen thousand leggers in my bedroom. They'll soon get hungry, and what do you think they'll do?

btw I've been reading for a while on the stinkbug from China that has exploded over eastern U.S. in spots over the last 10 years or so. One of the issues is that this creature is not at all recognized by our predators and so these stinkbugs are not being hunted, there is far less attrition, and the creatures are all living full length breeding lives. The result is an explosion of these things in many areas.

Well I have seen some hopeful news. I have seen 3 outside webs now that have the stinkbugs in them. I looked close to make sure that 1) it was indeed the Chinese variety, and 2) the spider was actively feeding on it, not abandoning it. I would extrapolate this out to say these species of spider (Theridiidae - the typical corner of the window cobweb spider) is having a go at them, which is a very good thing.
Do you know of any other predators that will eat bed bugs? I could live with spiders but not fire ants, cockroaches, or centipedes. It looks like the masked hunter also bites.

Furthermore, and by most accounts, the masked hunter will readily bite when mishandled or trapped between clothing and skin. The bite is described as being very painful. In 1899, USDA entomologist L. O. Howard described it thusly:

“This species is remarkable for the intense pain caused by its bite. I do not know whether it ever willingly plunges its rostrum (mouthpart) into any person, but when caught or unskillfully handled it always stings (pierces). In this case the pain is almost equal to that of the bite of a snake, and the swelling and irritation which result from it will sometimes last for a week. In very weak and irritable constitutions it may even prove fatal.”

Is there an insect that will eat bed bugs?
Thousand leggers can't sting. It has no stinger. It does not have mandibles like the outside centipede, which can bite you badly. The thousand legger has a mouth more like the harvestman (daddy longlegs) and it will not bite you. But it will eat all parasitic insects and even mites and lice in your home. Think of them as leukocytes that keep at bay things you didn't even know you had. I've kept a thousand legger trapped in my hand for several minutes. Basically they go to sleep until you open your hand. There is nothing to fear. They are your friend. The predators that aren't friends are the black widow, the brown recluse, and the hobo spiders. The outside red centipede won't live indoors. I'm not exactly advocating this as a remedial treatment after the fact, but as a preventer.
My hamster (RIP sad.gif ) was an excellent bedbug magnet. Once he alerted us to the problem - (I didn't know hamsters could swear quite like that ohmy.gif ) we got most of them with a hoover and the rest he dealt with himself smile.gif .
QUOTE (Confused1+Aug 19 2010, 04:26 PM)
My hamster (RIP) was an excellent bedbug magnet. Once he alerted us to the problem - I didn't know hamsters could swear quite like that we got most of them with a hoover and the rest he dealt with himself .

laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif .............. blink.gif

Good-one C2 - wacko.gif
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I don't think I could get my wife to look favorably on a thousand legger or centipede.
I have lots of cave crickets in the basement and we do not kill black crickets in the house. Would crickets find and eat bedbugs? Thks Roger
Linda Simth
That's really terrible!some actions should be made!
QUOTE (Linda Simth+Oct 13 2010, 05:06 AM)
That's really terrible!some actions should be made!

Hey SarahJackassSmith. It is ''Some actions should be taken.''
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