Scores Got Sick, 1 Died Trying to Kill Bedbugs

September 22, 2011 - 12:10 PM
MED Bedbug Superbug

File In this Wednesday, March 30, 2011 file photo, A bed bug is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington. Canadian scientists detected drug-resistant MRSA bacteria in bedbugs from three hospital patients from a downtrodden Vancouver neighborhood. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Atlanta (AP) — Worried about bedbugs? Maybe you should be more concerned about the insecticides used to get rid of them.

A government study counted one death and 80 illnesses linked to bedbug-targeting insecticides used from 2008 through 2010. Many were do-it-yourselfers who misused the chemicals or used the wrong product. Most of the cases were in New York City, the apparent epicenter of a recent U.S. bedbug comeback.

The study of seven states by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the first to look at the problem.

The lone death occurred last year. Health officials reported that a 65-year-old North Carolina woman with a history of health problems set off too many bug bombs in her home.