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They’re getting stronger.

Due to an increased immunity to insecticides, the dreadful curse of bed bugs is back in America and spreading. Experts believe that a new strain of bed bugs resistant to DDT — the insecticide not-so-commonly known by its full name, Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane — has developed in recent years.

Michael Potter, a professor of entomology at the University of Kentucky, told the Telegraph that the problem has been getting worse in recent years as products meant to exterminate bed bugs are simply not as effective as they once were. He also attributes some of the problems associated with bed bugs to less attentive travelers. “Back in the day, they knew to check beds when travelling or after people paid them a visit. Folks are so busy these days, bed bug prevention often takes a back seat to other pressing issues,” he said.

Some believe that the bed bugs have spread with travelers themselves, potentially by tagging along in luggage. After all, the unwelcome insects have made appearances on airlines, like last year’s British Airways flight incident in which a crew refused to fly on a plane allegedly visibly infested with bed bugs.

It goes without saying that bed bugs are not only a huge turn-off for travelers, but they can also be a quite scarring experience for anyone who comes face-to-face with them. Besides making people extremely squeamish and itchy — you’re probably itching yourself just reading this — owner of My Bed Bug Lawyer Brian Virag notes that bed bugs can also lead to allergic reactions, bleeding and scarring.

“There has been some really really bad stuff, even bed bugs harboring in people’s ears and laying eggs,” he shared. “Emotionally it has been nasty and in some cases humiliating.”

Whether you are trying to avoid picking up bed bugs during your travels or have an invasion of your own on your hands, read our comprehensive breakdown of how to avoid and deal with bed bugs while traveling. It’s always smart to check up on your prospective hotel’s track record and be aware of what to look for.

H/T: The Telegraph

Featured image by Joel Carillet via Getty Images.

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