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Bedbugs Check In but Don't Check Out

July 26, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

A University of Florida researcher says America's luxury hotels are increasingly playing host to some unwelcome guests: bedbugs.

Phil Koehler, an urban entomologist with the university's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences in Gainesville, Fla., said the blood-feeding insect is being found more frequently in cities that have an influx of international tourists.

Infestations have been reported in hotels and motels, and, Koehler noted, not just seedy ones.

"Bedbugs are associated in the public's mind with filthy living conditions, but that's not the case," Koehler said. "They can be brought into any environment and are very good at hiding, so even upscale hotels can have infestations."

Pest extermination companies have reported a tenfold increase in bedbug service calls in Florida since 1999.

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