As if the recent resurgence of bed bugs wasn’t bad enough, Canadian researchers have found some of the little blood-sucking critters carrying a potentially deadly superbug, and a recent survey has found that Chicago is the fifth-most bed-bug-infested city in the United States. To make matters worse, earlier this year in Boston, researchers found hundreds of natural gas leaks under the streets and sidewalks there. While residents of coast US cities are worried that methane may outgas from the ocean floor, in Boston the methane may arrive from right under their feet!
Earlier findings revealed that unaccounted-for gas leaks amounted to eight billion cubic feet in Massachusetts, costing about $40 million. These leaks have been implicated in damage and mortality of urban and suburban street trees. Evidence from other cities shows that the situation in Boston is similar to what’s going on underneath the streets in cities and towns across the nation. But back to the bugs: Researcher Jorge Parada says, “It’s an intriguing finding, especially since we’re having an epidemic of bed bugs and an epidemic of multidrug-resistant organisms. But what remains to be proven is that bed bugs actually are implicated in the transmission of (superbugs)." So what should we do–we can’t stay either outside OR inside. Parada says, "Washing your hands a number of times a day is the best defense we have against many infections. That simple act trumps most everything else that you can do." That may help with the superbug bed bugs, but this won’t help us avoid the methane–is the answer just to walk faster?
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