The elderly man lived by himself in a low-income apartment near Cincinnati. But he was not alone. After dark the bed bugs would emerge from his recliner and tattered box-spring mattress to feed on his blood. Judging from the thousands of insects I found in his home, I would venture that it had been this way for many months. Imprisoned by poverty and infirmity, the man had nourished generations of these pests, enduring their bites night after night while their numbers swelled.