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Bedbugs: Not a Public Health Epidemic

Making It Grow Minute

  Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. I don’t know of anything that strikes fear in the heart of travelers than the idea of getting a room with bedbugs – the only thing worse is the idea of bringing them home. Problems with bedbugs are on the rise, but contrary to tabloids headlines – it is not an public health epidemic. Bedbugs are awful, creepy, disgusting insects but they do not spread disease. The rise of encounters with bedbugs – infestations in hotel rooms, apartments, and houses is probably due the fact that the public can fly almost anywhere in the world almost anytime and increased population densities in cities makes the spread of these creatures more likely. Also, bedbugs have multiple generations, from egg to adult as quickly as a month, per year in favorable conditions and have developed resistance to many of the pesticides we relied upon to control them.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.