When the flesh-eating insects began their U.S. resurgence in the late 1990s and early 2000s, we humans had our chance. Brought into airports and hotels by international travelers, a focused attack could have eradicated the pest not seen in such great numbers since the mid-20th century.
But no one talked about bedbugs then. And by the time the widening epidemic was noticed by the general population in the late 2000s, it was too late.
Now, according to Richard Cooper, one of New Jersey’s foremost experts on bedbugs, humans are in for a long, entrenched war whose progress will be measured in years.
“I think we had that opportunity and missed it,” Cooper said.
New Jersey is in the heart of the Northeast’s bedbug outbreak. Located between two major urban infestations — New York City is No. 1, according to a 2011 Terminix ranking of the most infested U.S. cities; Philadelphia is No. 5 — reports of bedbug problems are increasing in the Garden State as the pest makes its way from city centers into the suburbs and their public spaces. Full Article...