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Unfortunately, critter infestations do exist in the workplace and people tend not to want to talk about them. All kinds of workplaces have had problems or infestations: hotels, hospitals, office buildings, department stores, and TV studios, as well as institutional environments such as prisons, old-age homes, daycare centers, nursing homes, schools, and orphanages. Unfortunately, critters can hop a ride home with us.

Bedbugs have been associated with humans worldwide for thousands of years. Pre-WWII, it has been estimated that about 30% of American homes had bedbugs. But after WWII, many long-lasting pesticides were developed, making bedbugs rare for ~50 years. Then, in the late 1990s, a world-wide resurgence began, attributed to the use of less-toxic pesticides, bedbugs developing pesticide resistance, and an increase in international travel.


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© Cornell University. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Recommended Citation
Brown, N. J. (2019). Critters in the workplace: Bedbugs [Electronic version]. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, Workplace Health and Safety Program.