There’s a new movie villain: Bedbugs - KansasCity.com

Bedbugs get their name from their tendency to snuggle up in mattress seams as they wait for their “dinner” to hit the sack.

But every once in a while they go out for a movie.

It’s rare for bedbugs to infest a theater because they prefer a steady diet of human or animal blood. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and area exterminators, because the pests can go for long periods without feeding, they survive and spread elsewhere.

Their haunts span social and economic classes, bunking in bus stations or traveling in style on cruise ships. They make stops in five-star hotels, dorm rooms, retail stores — and an occasional movie theater.

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“As far as we know, bedbugs do not spread disease,” unlike mosquitoes or ticks, he said. “As a result, they are typically considered a pest control issue rather than a health issue.”

According to the Kansas City company Gunter Pest Management, there are two ways to kill bedbugs. Exterminators can use a residual insecticide to kill the adults and a growth regulator to sterilize the ones that have hidden away or come into the infested area later. Or the infested area can be heated up to 130 degrees.

“That kills them all. We usually do a combination of the two treatments,” said Jay Gunter Besheer, president of Gunter. “But bedbugs in theaters, that’s a rare thing. It’s unusual to spot them in public places where people were not sleeping.”
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