As if life in the nation's technology hub wasn't complicated enough -- what with Apple, Google and Facebook fighting to the death for what's left of our private lives and personal information -- South Bay residents now have to compete with a home-grown scourge: bedbugs.
The bedridden bloodsuckers have increased in numbers steadily over the past few years in Santa Clara County, according to pest expert Jose Colome. Not only is 2011 continuing the upward trend for the hardy parasites, it's not even peak bedbug season yet. With most bedbug cases between July and November, this year's worse may be yet to come, reports the San Jose Mercury News.
Santa Clara pest control received 125 calls about bedbug infestations in 2010, up from 65 the previous year and way up from only eight calls in 2008. Nine out of 10 infestation reports are confirmed, meaning the Silicon Valley bedbug population has exploded nearly 15 fold in less than three years.
Bedbug attacks have increased nationwide since the 1990s, the newspaper reported. Theories as to why include increased domestic and international travel, increased pesticide resistance among the bugs, and a decline in effective state and local pest-control programs.
The hardy pests hide in the tiniest of surfaces and can live for long periods of time in between feedings. Infestations are no joke: at a cost from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, homeowners and renters must have their beddings discarded and pesticides injected into every nook and cranny in their homes.