Don't let the bed bugs bite
Bedbug U: How to avoid the blood-sucking critters at college
A word of caution for the tens of thousands of students who will lug their belongings back to the University of Kentucky and other state schools this weekend: beware of blood-sucking bedbugs.
Michael Potter, professor of urban horticulture and medical entomology at UK, is among the bedbug experts who on Wednesday released a study saying that a bedbug resurgence continues to gain steam from coast to coast.
The report — titled The 2011 Bugs Without Borders Survey — said college residence halls experienced explosive growth in bedbug eradication treatments in the last year.
Three recent infestations in Lexington — the Lexington Public Library on Main Street and two at the University of Kentucky (the student center and the William T. Young Library) — have put the spotlight on the apple seed-size critters just as students return to campus.
"What we're seeing is this ooze of bedbugs" into places where they have not been before, Potter said. "They're amazing hitchhikers."
Bedbugs have come fast and furious to Lexington, according to records at the county health department, which received 502 reports of bedbugs from May 2010 to May 2011. The calls came from elementary and middle schools, apartment complexes, hotels both modest and upscale, stores, shelters and individual homes. In 2004, the health department had no recorded bedbug complaints.