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April 28, 2012 By JILL SCHRAMM - Staff Writer, Minot Daily News Pest exterminators say bed bugs are on the increase in North Dakota, but tenants of one Minot apartment building are relieved that treatment does work. "I have been sleeping in my own bed," said Brian Neal, a resident of Henry Towers who spent six months sleeping in his car, living-room floor and bathtub to escape the bugs that now have been exterminated. "I am comfortable. It just feels so good," Neal said. Resident Dorothy Wagar said she finally is able to rest after repeatedly using bug sprays to try to rid her apartment of the insects. Neal and Wagar said they appreciate that their landlord was willing to take care of a costly problem that wasn't his fault. The source of the bedbugs is unknown. Extermination was conducted earlier this month in a number of the 80 units in the low-income high-rise that serves elderly and disabled residents. "We are very thankful and satisfied," Neal said. Bedbugs were common in the United States until the widespread use of DDT during the 1940s and 1950s. With the elimination of DDT due to health dangers, bedbugs have been making a comeback. "The bad news is the bedbugs are back, no matter where you live. The good news is there's a way to treat this that's very effective," said Stacy O'Reilly, owner of Plunkett's Pest Control, Minneapolis. Plunkett's has offices in Fargo and Bismarck. "We are definitely getting more calls in North Dakota and all over the state. This isn't a big-city issue or a small-town issue. Wherever people travel to, it's possible these days for bedbugs to come with them," she said. It's unlikely that the influx of people into northwestern North Dakota is a factor in the bedbug increase, she said. People have always traveled, and bedbugs are showing up everywhere, regardless of the level of human migration, she said. "It was bound to happen whether or not you had the oil boom," she said. "There's not a state in our service territory that has avoided bedbugs." To read the full article in the Minot Daily News, please click here.

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