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Science Competition at Major University Leaves Visiting Students with Bedbug Bites

EMSL Analytical provides testing services to identify bedbugs utilizing advanced PCR techniques.


Cinnaminson, NJ, June 21, 2013

Last month, Fox News reported that some high school students and their chaperones that traveled to Penn State University for the Junior Academy of Science State Meet got more than they were expecting after a stay at one of the school’s dormitories. According to reports, a number of the visitors discovered they had been bitten by bedbugs.

The predominant type of bedbug in the U.S., also known as Cimex lectularius, has made national headlines over the past several years as they have been found in everything from fancy hotels and apartment buildings to dormitories and individual homes. Bedbugs are from the Cimicidae family of insects. They feed exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals, including humans, typically while they sleep. Adult bedbugs grow to a size of 4 to 5 millimeters. Their small size can make them difficult to find and identify.

Bedbugs can be an annoyance because their presence may cause itching and loss of sleep. Some people may also suffer an allergic reaction. Sometimes the itching can lead to excessive scratching that can increase the chance of a secondary skin infection.

EMSL Analytical, one of the nation’s premier environmental testing laboratories, offers a PCR technique to identify Cimex lectularius. “Bedbugs are hearty parasites that can survive a wide range of temperatures and atmospheric conditions which has helped them in their ability to spread nationwide,” reported Charles Li, Ph.D., Director of PCR and DNA Analysis at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “Due to the size and nature of bedbugs, identifying them can be a real challenge by traditional optical means. EMSL offers a highly sensitive analytical technique which utilizes advanced PCR technologies that look for DNA markers specific to bedbugs,” he continued.

EMSL has sponsored an online video about things people should know about bedbugs that can be seen at: learn more about testing for bedbugs or other environmental testing services, please visit, call (800) 220-3675 or email .

About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider of environmental, indoor air quality and materials testing services and products for professionals and the general public. The company has an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.



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