Phil Pellitteri, entomologist and head of the UW-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab, retired last week after a 36-year career. Pellitteri told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel he has been shocked at the explosion in human bed bugs over the last few years.
For decades Pellitteri has been the guy answering the phone at UW-Madison's Insect Diagnostic Lab, responding to emails, opening envelopes and boxes containing (hopefully) dead bugs and talking to people who show up at the lab. Is this a bed bug? What kind of year will it be for mosquitoes? How did this beetle/spider/gnat end up in my home/bed/hair?
Now Pellitteri is taking his butterfly net and going home. He retired Feb. 28 to spend more time with his family and write a book about his job. He'll continue his monthly appearances on Wisconsin Public Radio.
"It's an odd career, when you think about it," he told the Milwauke Journal-Sentinel in his office shortly before his last day.
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