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Looking through the Reader's archives to see what we've published about bedbugs in the past (not much), I came across a couple posts from Cliff Doerksen's Bad News From the Past series. The first, from 1891, deals with an invention that will supposedly electrocute bedbugs. It doesn't mention whether the device has any effects on human occupants of the bed, though.
The second isn't concerned so much with how to get rid of bedbugs as how they may be useful in getting rid of in-laws: in 1908, an elderly woman reportedly jumped out of a second-story window out of frustration with the wee beasties.
I also learned while web-surfing that the cheapest brothels in Chicago's vice districts at the turn of the 20th century were in a section at Federal and 19th called Bed Bug Row. I hadn't thought before about the role of prostitution in spreading bedbugs, but it makes sense.