How Do Bed Bugs Come To Be

Department of Health

Bed Bugs – What They Are and How to Control Them

Bed bugs have been around for thousands of years. They feed on blood, but are not known to spread any diseases to humans. Some people can be allergic to their bites. Getting rid of a bed bug infestation is not easy, but there are steps you can take to control the problem. There are also steps you can take to avoid bringing bed bugs home.

What are bed bugs?

How can bed bugs get into my home?

  • They can come from other infested areas or from used furniture. They can hitch a ride in luggage, purses, backpacks, or other items placed on soft or upholstered surfaces.
  • They can travel between rooms in multi-unit buildings, such as apartment complexes and hotels.

How can I avoid bringing bed bugs into my home?

  • When staying in a hotel, place your bag on a suitcase stand rather than on the bed or floor. Keep the rack away from walls or furniture. When returning home, wash the clothes from your trip and put them in a hot dryer.
  • Inspect new and used furniture before bringing it inside. Look in seams, tufts and under cushions.

How do I know if I have a bed bug problem?

  • You can see the bed bugs themselves, their shed skins, or their droppings in mattress seams and other items in the bedroom.
  • There may also be blood stains on sheets.

How do I control a bed bug problem in my home?

It can be done, but it usually requires what is called an "integrated pest management" (IPM) approach. This combines techniques that pose the lowest risk to your health and the environment. Try these strategies:

  • Clean and get rid of clutter, especially in your bedroom.
  • Move your bed away from walls or furniture.
  • Vacuum molding, windows and floors every day. Vacuum sides and seams of mattresses, box springs and furniture. Empty the vacuum or the bag immediately and dispose of outside in a sealed container or bag.
  • Wash sheets, pillow cases, blankets and bed skirts and put them in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes. Consider using mattress and box spring covers –the kind used for dust mite control–and put duct tape over the zippers.
  • Seal cracks and crevices and any openings where pipes or wires come into the home.

Should I also try pesticides?

Pesticides may not be effective and can be dangerous if used improperly. If you decide to use pesticides, follow these rules:

  • Only use pesticides that are registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (look for the U.S. EPA Registration Number on the label) and make sure they are labeled to control bed bugs.
  • Do not apply pesticides directly to your body (there are no repellents registered to control bed bugs that can be used on the human body).
  • Do not use outdoor pesticides indoors.
  • If you decide to hire a pest control company, make sure they have experience with bed bugs. They should follow the steps of IPM, along with any pesticide application. Use a company that is registered and employs licensed applicators. The Department of Environmental Conservation has a list of registered companies.

It takes time and persistence to get rid of bed bugs, and in some cases, the cooperation of landlords, neighbors and others. It can be physically and emotionally exhausting. It can also be expensive when pest control companies are called in. Just remember – bed bugs are more of a nuisance than a health concern and, with vigilance, you can avoid or deal with infestations.

See the following for more information on bed bug biology and control measures:

Photo courtesy of Dr. Harold Harlan, Armed Forces Pest Management Board Image Library

Where Do Bed Bugs Come From – How Do You Get Bed Bugs

How do you get bed bugs in your house? Anyone who has ever woken up with a chain of red blisters from the bites of night parasites would wonder where bed bugs come from. In most cases, bed bugs are not transferred to the apartments. The thing is that they live there for decades, not revealing their presence at once. Mostly these insects spread from one apartment to another, but where do bed bugs come from?

It is impossible to answer this question because they just spread through the building being attracted by the presence of humans. How do bed bugs get in bed? After penetration into the premises, insects hide under the beds, in the wardrobes, under the carpets, behind the baseboards, in the cracks of furniture and in mattresses. These insects prefer to settle in places where they can bite people during night time.

In suburban areas bed bugs find human dwelling using their sense of smell. Then insects move to the buildings from chicken coops and rabbitries, where they parasitize on the skin of medium-sized animals. However, bed bugs parasitism on other mammals and birds is more like an exception, because these insects usually feed on human blood.

Bed bugs are not very mobile insects. They cannot fly and run much slower than cockroaches, but they can survive without food for quite a long time. Thus, bed bugs can travel for long distances. How do bed bugs spread? Despite the fact that these parasites cannot run fast, they spread through the apartment considerably quickly. They move freely through ventilation holes, electrical wiring channels and cracks in doors. Due to flat shape of their bodies these insects are able to crawl even where no cracks or holes are visible. It is impossible to isolate an apartment from bed bugs because they come through the outlets and by the outer walls through the windows. It is especially true for the apartments in old high-rise buildings and the houses built in the countryside.

How Do You Get Bed Bugs in Your House

First, people get bed bugs by bringing them home from journeys. For example, bed bugs can be in the luggage and the things brought from the trips, to the warm countries in particular. Tropical Egypt, Thailand, Indonesia and India seem to be a paradise for thermophilic bed bugs. Thus, travelers have to remember that the last place they traveled to before the bugs appearance is the most likely to be a historic homeland of the blood-sucking parasites. In this case, you can bring a single adult female that may lay eggs and give rise to a new population. You should be cautious because these insects can hide or accidentally fall into the pleats of the clothes, into the suitcases, bags and footwear, and travel through several time zones. This way of getting bed bugs is particularly relevant for backpackers, who often change hotels.

One more common method of how bed bugs come to the new house is hiding in the furniture, especially in the new one. In furniture factories or stores bugs have nothing to eat; thus, new products are not infested. Pieces of furniture from infested houses and apartments are, on the contrary, the main breeding ground for these parasites.

People can also get bed bugs on clothes. Although these insects prefer to bite open skin areas, they often hide in the clothes left in the apartment or taken off before going to bed. Thus, you can bring bugs into your house by visiting the infested house or taking guests from such a place. Moreover, there are known cases when bed bugs were found in expensive clothing shops in unworn clothes. The insects got there from people who lived in the infested apartments or from neighboring premises.

Furthermore, bed bugs can get into the house with new appliances. These insects prefer to spend the daytime in warm places. Thus, they can stay in laptops, tablets, scanners, microwave ovens, and any other appliances, and be transferred to a new place from the store.

Moreover, bed bugs can get into the apartment being carried by animals. It is a very rare way of transferring these insects, but it may happen too. Despite the fact that bed bugs do not feed on cats and dogs because they cannot bite their skin tissue, these pets can transfer the parasites. Moreover, bats and birds can be transmitters of these parasites as well.

Thus, once appeared in the house, bed bugs can spread through the entire apartment. They can inhabit all the places where they can be caught only by the professional desinfectants. Moreover, bed bugs can fall into anabiosis because of the absence of food. Thus, the bugs can stay in uninhabited apartments for more than a few months. A flat can be perfectly clean at first glance, but insects and their larvae will crawl out of the cracks as soon as they smell a human body.

How Do You Get Bed Bugs

By DoMyOwn staff

How do people get Bed bugs in the first place? To some it seems like they just magically appear, and people are often left scratching their heads (and other areas…), confused and frustrated that they’ve wound up with a bed full of bugs. However, it is no mystery how bed bugs are spread from place to place; humans have helped spread bed bug infestations for hundreds of years.

How Bed Bugs Spread

The incorrect assumption is that dirty locations attract bed bugs and house bed bug populations. Although most dirty locations do attract a host of nasty insects that spread germs and contaminate areas, bed bugs are pleased with clean or dirty.

Bed bugs are able to spread via human travel and movement. The unique flattened and small round shaped of the bed bug allows them to hide just about anywhere they can squeeze.

They hitch rides onto the fabrics of furniture, mattresses, luggage, clothing, etc., where they ride until they find a suitable host area, like your bedroom. This is where bed bugs can establish populations, which they can accomplish fairly quickly.

Where You Can Get Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are most often found in homes, apartment buildings, college dormitories, and hotels, which are all places with consistent hosts at rest for bed bugs to feed. But bed bugs have also been found in daycares, movie theatres, and even city buses; these places generally don’t have large established populations, but bed bugs can be picked up and transferred from people resting in these areas. Since people are constantly rotating in these spaces, bed bugs can be deposited and picked up on clothing, bags, and purses and taken home.

Bed bugs hiding in furniture, mattresses, and other items you might bring into your home is another common way of picking up these little hitchhikers.

Since bed bugs are hitchhikers, they travel commonly by luggage. Hotels and motels, no matter how clean or shining the reputation, can be susceptible to bed bug infestations. This is one of the most common ways people get bed bugs, when the bed bugs hitch a ride back to the traveler’s home.

Steps to Prevent Getting Bed bugs

  • Never bring in upholstered furniture, bed frames, mattresses, or box springs found on the street into your home.
  • Check all borrowed, rented, or second-hand furniture for bed bugs before you bring them into your home. Check all cracks and crevices, even in wooden furniture.
  • The best way to prevent the spreading of bed bugs when traveling is to check the rooms before you stay in hotels. The nicest and cleanest hotels can be infested. Don’t place luggage on the ground, and inspect mattress, box spring, headboard, etc., for bedbugs before spending a night in your room.
  • If you suspect you’ve been around bed bugs, inspect your clothing and any items you had with you before entering your home. If bedbugs are found, launder items immediately or place in plastic bags until further treatment can be carried out with products like Sterifab.
  • Even if you don’t have bedbugs, seal cracks and crevices in your bedroom with caulk. Door and window frames, baseboards, floorboards, etc., should all be sealed to eliminate bed bug hiding spots. You can even seal cracks and crevices in bedroom furniture. Consider using a bed bug mattress cover, a box spring encasement, and even bed bug pillow covers to prevent bed bugs from taking residence in these items.
  • To do your part in preventing the spread of bed bugs, if you have to throw away any infested items, make sure to cover them in plastic if possible. Always place signs on the items stating that the items are infested in bed bugs. Never donate infested items.

If you already have a Bed bug infestation, read our article: How to Get Rid of Bed bugs

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Where Do Bed Bugs Come From?

It’s a common misconception that filth attracts bed bugs. In fact, bed bugs aren’t picky about their environment as long as they have a host to feed on. Their existence depends on getting fresh human (and sometimes animal) blood, so everything else falls into second place. As for clutter and filth, they only provide extra hiding grounds for the population — something to blend in with, but not a cause of bed bug problems.

Why and how do bed bugs spread?

Bed bugs need sufficient blood meals at a certain frequency to survive, grow, and breed. And unlike mosquitoes who fly, and ticks who live on their hosts, bed bugs have developed another way to spread and get to their food source. They get caught up on various objects such as suitcases, clothes, and bags, and use those to crawl to places where humans live. Once they find a host, they try to stay close to it so they establish their colony in cracks and crevices near us, hence the name bed bug.

It’s really that easy for bed bugs to spread–a single pregnant female is enough to start a colony which, if left to grow, will manage to transmit and infest other places. Bed bugs tend to spread for the following reasons:

  • If you disturb them, be it physically or if you use bed bug bombs;
  • If food is scarce and there’s no host nearby, they will travel to other rooms in the property;
  • If you move or throw away any infested items, the bugs will spread around;
  • If the colony grows too big for the current harbourage area, the bed bugs will disperse to other rooms.

How do you get bed bugs in the first place?

The sneaky little buggers will use various ways to get to you. They attach themselves to other people and even objects to travel from one location to another until they find a host. Bed bugs are in for the long run, so they will look for a safe place where they can settle in.
Let’s see how we get bed bugs:

Travel

Hotels, motels and holiday inns are high-traffic areas where masses of people come and go on a daily basis. Travelling tops the list of risky behaviour because even the best hotels can be infested with bed bugs, if someone brings them in, willingly or not. With the open economy growing and creating opportunities such as Airbnb and CouchSurfing, the risk only increases.

Below, we will give you some tips on how to avoid bed bugs in hotel rooms.

Second hand furniture, clothing, toys

Items purchased from flea markets and yard sales may seem like a bargain but they are increasingly connected to bed bug problems in UK households. The thing is, you can’t always tell that second-hand furniture is infested with bed bugs. The seller will make sure that it’s in a good and clean condition, so it can be really hard for a non-professional to spot the signs of bed bug presence. But don’t be fooled, the fact that something looks clean and preserved doesn’t mean there are no pests hiding in it.

Sleepovers, guests

Since bed bugs aren’t the fastest runners nor the best jumpers, they will crawl from place to place looking for their next host. They hide in clothes, shoes, plush toys and all sorts of personal belongings when travelling. It’s possible that your child brings back the pest after a sleepover or that you pick some of the insects from a party at your friends’ place. Although you can’t prevent such turn of events, you can still warn your hosts of the bed bug issue–the sooner they know, the faster they will be able to react.

Shared housing

If your living arrangement includes sharing spaces with other people, the chances of bed bugs creeping up increase once again, especially if your neighbours have them. When expanding their colony, bed bugs crawl through wall crevices, air vents and other openings to get to their next victim. Even if you are doing everything in your power to prevent an infestation, the insects may appear in your own apartment.

Public transportation

Busses and trains aren’t the only public places where you can get bed bugs. Any location where people work and stay for longer periods of time may inhabit the critters–schools, offices and even movie theatres can all become breeding grounds for the bug. From there, it’s a short trip to your home.

Bed bugs can get to your home in many ways, most of which you cannot control or prevent. However, there are still some things you can do to lower the chance of bed bugs establishing near you, which we’ll discuss in a moment.

What to do to prevent getting bed bugs

When travelling

When travelling, it’s best to inspect your hotel room, and bed area in particular, for any signs of the insects, as soon as you arrive. Instead of unpacking, place your luggage in the bathroom and check the areas that are most likely to be infested (bed linen, headboard, mattress, box spring) before spending the night in the room.

Second hand stuff

Before bringing in any kind of borrowed, rented or second-hand furniture, make sure to check all fabric folds, cracks and crevices, even if the item is made of solid materials such as wood or plastic. Also, do avoid picking up items from the street, no matter how well-maintained they look. You never know what can hide inside.

When you live in a rental

To prevent bed bugs from entering your own apartment, seal cracks and crevices that may be used as entryways. Additionally, consider buying protective mattress covers, box spring encasements and special pillow covers to prevent wandering bed bugs from taking residence in your bedroom.

However, bear in mind that if your next-door neighbour has bed bugs, the above mentioned will not save you from an infestation, so make sure to check if they have dealt with the insect.

Don’t throw away stuff

Do a favour to your fellow citizens, and be careful when throwing away infested possessions. Cover them with plastic first and then put a label or a sign that states the items are infested with bed bugs. Of course, you should avoid donating or giving away such belonging.

What are some indicators of bed bug problems

Blood spots

Since bed bugs feed on blood, their excrements resemble blood spots. The marks can be easily spotted on the bedding and mattress but you can see them in any location bed bugs have been on.

You can find bed bug eggs and eggshells in various locations where the insects tend to hide during the day. The eggs themselves are whitish in colour. You can find them in the crevices and joints of your mattress, box spring and furniture.

Shed skins

Bed bugs’ life cycle goes through several stages and each time they moult, they shed their skins. Those cast skins are light brown in colour and unlike the blood spots can be found only in harbourage areas.

Musky odour

A very distinctive sign of severe infestation is the heavy odour present in the room. Some people describe it as a sweet, sickening smell of almost rotting raspberries. This bed bug alarm scent is released by male bugs to keep other males from mating with them.

Spotting an actual bug, be it a nymph or a full-grown bed bug, is the surest sign of an infestation. Nymphs are smaller and lighter, almost clear in colour but will turn red once they are fed. Adults, on the other hand, are brown to red in colour, the size of an apple seed. It’s a bit difficult to detect living specimen as bed bugs are nocturnal and notoriously good at hiding during the day.

How do people spread bed bug infestations

Getting bed bugs is a problem on its own. However, most people tend to act in ways which can worsen the situation, making extermination time-consuming and costly. Luckily, as experts, we can give you some tips on how to avoid just that.

  1. Relocating to another room -Nobody is delighted by the thought of being bitten at night. Some people decide that it’ll be a good idea to sleep on the couch in the living room instead. What they don’t know is that bed bugs can trace the carbon dioxide emitted by you and will eventually end up on the couch as well. So in the end, your temporary escape will help them spread further throughout the house.
  2. Moving infested furniture -Similarly, hiding infested furniture in the garage or basement will not gain you much freedom from the bloodsucking insects. You may think you’ve isolated them in a place where they’ll die off quietly but once again, they’ll find their way back to their food — you
  3. Vacuuming bed bugs the wrong way -Vacuuming is an effective way of lowering the bed bug population because it removes adults and nymphs but not eggs. Yet, you can do more harm than good if you don’t vacuum with a dedicated vacuum cleaner. After you’ve vacuumed the bug clusters, make sure to double-bag the bag before disposing of it outside.
  4. Letting the infestation grow -Although bed bugs love to stick around your bed, if the infestation grows, they will migrate to other areas in the room. This is why it’s so important that you recognise the problem as soon as possible. It’s way easier and less expensive to deal with a contained infestation.
  5. Disturbing the colony -The reason why bed bugs are mainly active at night is that they can feed uninterrupted and unnoticed. Disturbing the bed bug colony, be it physically or with DIY control methods (that usually don’t work), may cause them to disperse and look for hideouts around the house. This is why inspecting for bed bugs should happen alongside professional control procedures.

What to do about bed bugs

Have you found any of the little buggers around your home? If yes, here’s how to proceed:

Where Do Bed Bugs Really Come From and How to Get Rid of Them?

‘Where do bed bugs come from’ is one question many harassed people often wonder. The following article will cover everything you need to know about bed bugs and their journey into your house.

‘Where do bed bugs come from’ is one question many harassed people often wonder. The following article will cover everything you need to know about bed bugs and their journey into your house.

Bed bugs are tiny, wingless creatures that infest our homes, offices and take away our peace of mind. These blood sucking creatures are embarrassing pests that invade our homes and minds. They feast on our blood, when we are sleeping in our own beds. They tend to leave behind a trail of poop along our walls and furniture, that makes it look very embarrassing when you receive guests. Children tend to scratch and itch on the red, bumpy bed bug bites that may in some cases become infected. But where do they actually come from? They seem to be present everywhere, but how do they originate. Before we go onto the details of the journey of a bed bug into your house, let us start with their life cycle, that is, how do they come into being.

How do Bed Bugs Originate?

Bed bugs are members of the Cimicidae family and theCimex lectulariusis the common bug that gives us sleepless nights. These bugs have been a troublesome parasite to humans since a thousand years. It is said around 1940 they were almost eradicated from most of the developed countries. However, since the year 1995, they have again started to make a presence in the developed countries.

Bed bugs reproduce by traumatic insemination. Wondering what is a traumatic insemination? Well, it is mating procedure, where the male bed bug inseminates the female by piercing his hypodermic genitalia into the female beg bugs stomach (abdomen). The sperms are injected into the mesospermalege, that is a secondary genital structure. Injected sperms via haemolymph (blood) travel to the seminal conceptales, that is, sperm storage structure. Fertilization occurs at the ovaries. Eggs are released that then hatch into translucent nymphs. They feed and moult and reach maturity. These bugs communicate with the help of pheromones and kairomones. This helps them keep a track of the nesting location, reproduction as well as feeding.

Bed Bugs – Where do They Come from

The biggest question asked by many annoyed home owners with bed bug infestation is where do bed bugs come from? You tend to maintain the highest standards of hygiene and keep your home spick and span. Yet where do these bugs come from and begin sucking on your blood? Well, let me answer your question by explaining some possible factors related to the origin of bed bugs in your home.

There are many sources that lead to a bed bug infestation. There is not a single country in the world, that has not been traveled to by the bed bugs. The bed bugs are just 1/4″ in size and can easily sneak into baggage, luggage, clothes, trailers, planes, trains, buses, anything and everything without being noticed. These bed bugs hitchhike all over the world and make your home their heavenly abode. Let us see some of the possible sources of where do bed bugs come from.

If you have recently traveled or have received a guest in your home, chances are that the bed bugs had a piggyback ride in the travel luggage and baggage. They tend to hide in the seams of baggage and become the uninvited guests in your home. If you have school going or college going kids at home, chances are they have unwittingly bought home the bed bugs from their schools or college dorms. If you have just moved or received some packages, chances are these pesky creatures moved in with the boxes and packages received.

If you have bought some antique wooden furniture in the garage sale or purchased some furniture off the streets or during garage sale or even from a furniture dealer, it may be possible that the bed bugs came into your home absolutely free. It is possible that bed bugs come in with the furniture, as these bugs can even survive for a year without feeding. Thus, second-hand furniture may come along with a first-class problem, that is, bed bugs!

Your next door neighbor may unknowingly share their problem of bed bugs with you. If you have visiting neighbors, the bed bugs may hitch a ride in their clothes, bags, etc. and start living with you. It may even happen that the creepy crawlies, just stealthily crawl through the common pipes, vents, dead spaces between common walls from the next door apartment into yours. They may move in because they aren’t getting their daily bread and butter as your neighbor is away for a few days or may be they are forced to evacuate as the neighbor has treated his home with bed bug killing spray.

Bed bugs may also find laundry as a way to get inside your home. If you use laundry rooms to clean your dirty linen, it is possible that someone with a bed bug infestation has passed on the problem to you unknowingly. Many people launder their bed lines and clothes in case of an infestation and may unconsciously bring along some bed bugs in their laundry bags. Bed bugs can easily walk into your laundry bag kept nearby and travel along with you and your freshly laundered clothes into your home.

You thought a nice vacation with your partner in a quiet and peaceful locale with help you unwind your nerves. Well, instead you come back home and get entwined into a long and irritating bed bug infestation problem. Bed bugs are very common pest found in hotels. They are found in the pillows, under the mattresses, between the bed joints and the wardrobe. As they can survive a year without feeding, they are waiting patiently in the dark corners for their next victims.

Bed bugs are champion world travelers. They have no problems traveling by plane, train, ship, buses, cars, mopeds, cycles, etc. You never know, they may even hop into a rocket or submarine and make a cozy home there. Who knows, they may even have traveled to the far, far galaxy when E.T. visited earth! (I know, I am going crazy with my imaginary assumptions!). Anyway, these are just a few possible answers to your question where do bed bugs come from. Just to be sure you have encountered a bed bug in your home, let me explain in short what do bed bugs look like.

How do I Identify Bed Bugs

Most of you by now may have few questions popped into your heads, like how do I identify bed bugs? If you can’t differentiate between a mosquito bite and bed bug bites then you might find your answer in the article what do bed bugs bites look like.

Bed bugs are small wingless insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals. The hatchlings are just about the size of a poppy-seed. The adults can measure about 1/4th of an inch. They are oval in shape and flat from top to bottom. Bed bugs are white after molting. They may even have a tan brown or orange color. After feeding you may see your blood in their body as a dark red mass. You may even come across empty shell-like skin of bed bugs. It’s just their cast skin. They generally feed in the night, when their prey is sleeping, when it will not disturb their banquet. While feeding the bed bugs inject a tiny amount of saliva into the skin and repeated bites make many people sensitized to the saliva, or it may result in a full-fledged allergic reaction in some. The bites are scratchy but resist the urge to scratch, as it will just intensify the irritation and pain. But, you can breathe out just a single sigh of relief, bed bugs are not known to be carriers of any infectious disease agents.

Apart from the bug itself, you can identify its presence in your surroundings by black marks on your walls and furniture. These black marks are the bed bug droppings of dried blood. You may even smell over-ripe raspberries in the room infested with bed bugs. One may even find blood stains on bed sheets in the morning or molts.

Getting Rid of Bed Bugs

So, now you know where do bed bugs come from, what do they look like and how to identify them. The next logical thought is getting rid of bed bugs. You need to look for these creatures under the tufts, seams and folds of mattresses. You may even observe small black spots of dried excrement in the corners of your walls, furniture, etc. It may also happen that you will find them hiding under the carpets, loosened wallpaper, cracks and crevices of the walls, etc. In fact, you should not be surprised, when you find them hiding in your television, computer, etc.

Now that you found the hiding places of these creepy crawlies, you need to follow some steps for getting rid of bed bugs. You should reduce clutter around the house and clean your carpets, blankets, stuffed toys with a vacuum cleaner. You can bag these household items in plastic bags with Nuvan Strips in case of a heavy infestation. You should remove drawers from desks and check properly for possible hidden bed bugs. Caulk and seal all holes and crevices in the pipes and wires in the walls and floors. Launder garments and bed linen in hot water, that is about 120° F. Vacuum the bed seams, foot boards, bed stands, head boards, carpets, etc. and then discard the vacuum bag once done. Spray insecticides that can kill bed bugs in every nook and corner of your house. You may even call in professional pest control services, if the infestation is out of control.

This was a little about bed bugs. These are real annoying bugs that suck your blood just like a vampire. It is very important to act fast and control the spread of bed bugs on the first sign of a bed bug in your house. I hope this article on where do bed bugs come from, proves to be of some help to you.

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