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Bedbugs biting county hotels
August 26, 2006, 12:00 AM By Dana Yates

They come in large numbers to infest your bed, laying eggs by the hundreds and feasting on human blood. They’re bedbugs and they’re on the rise in San Mateo County.

The county usually doesn’t get reports of bed bugs, but received about four in the last year, said Dean Peterson, director of environmental health for San Mateo County.

Peterson would not disclose the exact location of the bedbug infestation, except to say they were all at hotels. Each case was dealt with quickly and the bedbugs were exterminated, he said.

It’s a small amount compared to "epidemic” numbers seen in San Francisco and New York City. However, the rise is a point of concern for the county and officials are keeping a close eye on the tiny bugs.

"At this point we’re just watching and waiting,” Peterson said.

Bedbugs are infesting mattresses across the San Francisco Bay Area, in keeping with a national trend that has seen a resurgence of the parasites after 60 years of near-eradication, according to the Associated Press.

A San Jose State University dormitory room underwent extensive fumigation and cleaning on Thursday after a student discovered them in his bed last week. Earlier this month, the San Francisco Health Department passed new regulations requiring precise records and procedures for training staff to respond to bed bug reports, according to the Associated Press..

Jennifer and John Fioti of Chicago filed suit Tuesday against the Four Points Sheraton near the San Francisco International Airport for their stay in the allegedly bedbug-infested room, according to the AP.

Entomologists blame the ease of global travel and the more restrictive use of pesticides in the United States for the spread of the pests.

 Dana Yates can be reached by e-mail: or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106. What do you think of this story? Send a letter to the editor:<

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