Dirty laundry could be to blame for worsening global bed bug epidemic

Dirty laundry could be to blame for worsening global bed bug epidemic

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Bed bugs are known to be prolific international travelers.They’re not picky, and are just as likely to be found in rural villages in developing countries as they are to be noticed in luxury hotels in Toronto, New York or Paris, with their populations spreading rapidly in North America and Europe, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Story continues belowTo make things worse, the blood-thirsty critters may be developing a resistance to common insecticides, making them exceptionally difficult to get rid of.READ MORE: Here are Canada’s Top 10 bed bug infested citiesBut the simple act of putting away your dirty laundry while traveling could go a long way towards curbing the spread of these minuscule monsters, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports.For the study, researchers from the University of Sheffield set up two identical rooms in which two bags of soiled clothes and two bags of clean clothes were placed in the vicinity of bedbugs.They found that the blood-thirsty critters were twice as likely to congregate on soiled clothes as opposed to clean ones. This is likely because the presence of human odor on dirty clothes prompts “host-seeking” behaviour on the part of the bedbugs.WATCH: Ask an Expert: Bed bugs

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