Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bed Bug Knowledge

The majority of people nowadays are oblivious to bed bug signs and symptoms. It is perceivable considering that bed bugs underwent a massacre during our country’s once wide use of the powerful pesticide DDT, presently banned because it is very toxic to humans and animals. We are now witnessing a massive bed bug revival, primarily due to those who travel internationally and those coming into our country from other areas of the world where bed bugs are rampant. People are blind to the signs of bed bugs and only become cognizant of them after the extreme itching occurs. The bite marks are rounded, similar to mosquito bites and are raised and become swollen.

If you have a bed bug infestation in your home you need to inspect all your mattresses and bedding, furniture, clothing, and other areas that you think a bed bug might like to hide. The question still remains, how does one come to realize that their home has become invaded with bed bugs? One sign may be an unpleasant, sweet smelling aroma in the air which is given off from bed bugs. Other things to keep an eye out for are brown and red stains on your mattresses and sheets, dried skin that has been shed from growing bed bugs, and almost clear eggs. Pay special attention to the seams of your mattresses and other pieces of furniture. Also, do a thorough inspection of all household members’ dressers and the clothing in it. If you have small children you will want to go over each of their stuffed animals, hopefully they don’t have hundreds. One rule of thumb to follow is if anyone remains in a particular area of the house for half an hour or longer, the area should be inspected for bed bugs.

Bed bugs love to conceal themselves and do so close to areas we all rest and relax in, like in throw rugs by our beds and in the carpets under coffee and end tables. Another unsuspected place you may encounter bed bugs is under your wallpaper. They also prefer wooden pieces of furniture, so inspect anything made out of wood, even picture frames. If you are finding bed bugs all over your home you have a bed bug infestation on your hands.

Bed bugs get their nourishment from blood and use two hollow tubes to puncture our skin and draw up our blood. One tube injects saliva which consists of an anesthetic so we don’t feel them biting and an anticoagulant so your blood doesn’t clot while they are feasting. The other tube draws in your blood. Bed bugs rest during the day and feed at night. Female bed bugs can lay around 500 eggs during the course of their lifetime and each egg only takes about ten days to hatch open. Bed bugs can survive without any blood for 1 ½ years or more.

You can see why it so imperative to control the spread of bed bugs. There are ways to eliminate these pests and you can do so without the use of harmful pesticides. One way is to use natural products containing a powerful bed bug fighting substance referred to as diatomaceous earth. This substance will kill what bed bugs you do have and keep a protective barrier in your home or apartment. A protective barrier is particularly important if you live in an apartment or townhouse because it will not allow bed bugs from other apartments to infest your place of residence.

Keep in mind, the quicker you realize you have bed bugs the quicker you can get rid of them. Nipping a bed bug infestation in the bud in crucial in the control of a looming outbreak.

By: Bradley Skierkowski

Retrieved from "http://www.newtechbio.com/wiki/index.php?title=Bed_Bug_Knowledge"

Quiet commercials, bed bugs and Chi Chi Rodriguez await Congress

Quiet commercials, bed bugs and Chi Chi Rodriguez await Congress

WASHINGTON — The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, aimed at lowering the volume on loud TV ads, appears headed for approval. But a bill seeking to squash another annoyance, the Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite Act, is likely to fail. And the sponsor of the All-American Flag Act must figure that the bill's name alone should ensure its success.

With time running out on the congressional session, lawmakers are scrambling to get hundreds of their pet bills across the finish line, competing for attention against headline-grabbing issues such as whether to extend the George W. Bush-era tax cuts or end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays and lesbians in the military.

If lawmakers fall short during the lame-duck session after the Nov. 2 election, they will be forced to start over next year, perhaps against longer odds — that is, if they are still in office.

The workaday legislation awaiting action seemingly covers everything under the sun — including the Solar Uniting Neighborhoods, or SUN, Act.

Golf-loving Rep. Joe Baca, D-San Bernadino, wants Congress to honor Chi Chi Rodriguez, who "will go down as one of the all-time greats in golf history," the congressman said when introducing legislation to recognize Rodriguez's charitable work.

And Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, hopes his flag act, requiring U.S. flags purchased by the federal government to be made in America, will be waved on to passage. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, bothered that some so venirs sold in the Capitol gift shop are made in China, is awaiting Senate action on her bill requiring that congressional office supplies be made in America.

These are "bills upon which the fate of the republic does not rest," said Rep. John Campbell, R-Newport Beach, sponsor of a bill to add more than 40 small rocks off the Orange County coast to the California Coastal National Monument. But he fretted that many of the bills dear to lawmakers, their constituents or politically important groups weren't given enough priority by congressional leaders.

Democratic House leaders blame the Senate, where more than 400 House-approved bills await action.

An exception is the popular and cleverly named CALM Act to end those loud TV commercials. Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, is confident of winning final approval for a measure that her staff says has generated more enthusiasm than anything she has sponsored during her 18 years in Congress.

The measure, which recently passed the Senate with a push by its lead sponsor there, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., would require the Federal Communications Commission to regulate the volume of television advertisements.

Many other measures appear doomed. Of the thousands of bills introduced every session, relatively few make it into law.

"It is frustrating," said Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Pasadena, co-sponsor of a bill to set up a national system for tracking arsonists, named the Managing Arson Through Criminal History, or MATCH, Act.

It passed the House in 2007 and 2009 with bipartisan support but has never come before the Senate. Schiff has no idea why, but said, “My strategy is just to persevere.”

Even the HAPPY Act, for Humanity and Pets Partnered through the Years, drew growls because the tax break it would give to pet owners would cost the U.S. Treasury.

Also drawing little notice in Congress is a universal bane: bed bugs. A bill to fund increased bed bug inspections never got a hearing, even though the proliferating pests have garnered national attention.

With Congress dealing with health care reform, offshore oil drilling legislation, food safety and climate change, “that doesn’t leave a lot of air in the room for bed bugs,” said Ken Willis, an aide to the sponsor, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C.

Sometimes, passing a bill isn’t the point. Legislation can be introduced to call attention to a cause or give sponsors a way to show constituents or politically important groups they’re trying to do something about an issue they care about.

Whether a bill advances depends on a variety of factors, including whether it has broad support or, perhaps more important, the support of one person – the committee chairman.

It was no surprise that a Republican-sponsored bill to put Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill in place of Ulysses S. Grant never got a hearing before the committee chaired by Rep. Barney Frank, a liberal Democrat from Massachusetts.

Even broad support isn’t always enough. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has held up more than 100 bills – including measures sponsored by fellow Republicans – because of concern they will add to the federal budget deficit.

“We ought to be about creating confidence so people will invest in this country rather than continuing to undermine that confidence with superfluous, well-meaning bills that are put up for political purposes instead of addressing the real problems that are facing our country,” he recently said after objecting to a spate of bills, including the Shark Conservation Act.

Sourced By: Richard Simon
Los Angeles Times

Bed Bugs Wreak Havoc at Lawrence Townhome

Bed Bugs Wreak Havoc at Lawrence Townhome

LAWRENCE, KAN. - A 2-year-old girl is banned from her daycare because of bed bugs. The problem is spreading in the metro. Now, the country is facing a bed bug problem like it's never seen before.

The mother of a 2-year-old girl says they've been dealing with bed bugs for some time now and the property manager of the complex here will not provide a permanent solution. Experts say bed bugs are difficult to treat and for the metro, this may be only the beginning of the problem.

Rene Mellenbruch said she and her daughter Haley have a hard time sleeping in their rented townhouse in Lawrence because of bedbugs.

"I hate her to scream in the middle of night because bugs crawling on her," Mellenbruch said. "She says 'mommy there's bugs' or she screams because it hurts."

Bugs keep biting despite two different pest control companies treating her home since she first noticed the bugs three months ago. The cost of trying to treat the problem is piling up. She's thrown out clothes, a mattress, and now her daughter is out of daycare.

"They called back and said it's too much risk," Mellembruch said. "I can't put other kids in the same situation. I totally understand."

Experts' theories on the surge of bed bugs nationwide are increased by international travel and shipping. The bugs growing resistance to insecticides that are supposed to control them.

"I envision in the next 2-3 years that it will consume the business," said exterminator Darryl Franke. "The majority of our business will be bed bugs."

Mellenbruch blames her property managers for not solving the problem. No one from property management services was available and calls have not been returned to FOX 4.

Mellenburch says she just wants to get out of her lease and move, but says the property managers will only allow her to sub-lease her place.

She says the property managers have scheduled a treatment for bed bugs in her and her neighbors townhomes within the next week. But Mellenbruch remains skeptical it will provide a permanent solution to the problem.

Reported by: Dave Dunn FOX 4 Web Producer
Sourced By: Reported by: Dave Dunn FOX 4 Web Producer

By: Bradley Skierkowski

Monday, October 18, 2010

New York City Ballet bed bugs

Bedbugs have already exhibited their interest in film, having attacked several movie theaters New York City. Now the meddlesome insects appear to be expanding their cultural horizons and developing more high-brow tastes.

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts discovered a bedbug infestation in the dressing rooms of the complex’s David H. Koch Theater, home to New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera.

A spokeswoman for the opera, Maggie McKeon, confirmed the incident in response to an inquiry by The Wall Street Journal. The outbreak was confined to one dressing room, according to Rob Daniels, a spokesman for the ballet.

The outbreak was first reported by the New York Observer, which cited an Oct. 8 email from the theater’s managing director, Mark Heiser.

“Please understand that this is an epidemic,” Heiser’s email said. “Any signs of bedbug activity should not be considered a sign of an untidy house.”

Though the Koch theater is currently dark — the opera’s fall season is scheduled to begin Oct. 27 — it was occupied until Oct. 10 by the ballet. On Oct. 7, one day prior to Heiser’s email, the company used the theater for a black-tie gala attended by Sarah Jessica Parker, Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal, among others.

In addition to the bedbug outbreak at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater, the insects have also been found at the complex’s Metropolitan Opera House, a spokesman for the opera confirmed today.

The outbreak in a dressing room at the neighboring Koch Theater, home to the New York City Opera and New York City Ballet, prompted the Met to conduct “a check of non-public areas of the opera house,” the Met said in a statement. “Bedbugs were discovered in some isolated locations but not in any public areas. There was no evidence of infestation. Those areas identified will be treated this afternoon.”

The opera has been monitoring the lobby, auditorium and all public areas since August, it said, and the company will inspect all areas of the building overnight.

Sourced By: Associated Press
By: Bradley Skierkowski

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Even city lawyers can't win bedbug battle: Pesky pests found in Brooklyn offices

Even city lawyers can't win bedbug battle: Pesky pests found in Brooklyn offices

Sourced BY: William Sherman, Kerry Burke and Lukas I. Alpert
Even the city's top lawyer can't defend against bedbugs.

Inspectors fumigated the Brooklyn offices of the city's corporation counsel Tuesday night after a bedbug-sniffing dog discovered the nasty pests among some files.
"None of our lawyers were scratching or complaining of bedbug bites," insisted managing attorney Foster Mills. "We are doing this as precautionary measure."

The skin-crawling find was sniffed out by a specially trained beagle brought into the eighth- and ninth-floor offices of the city's legal department at 350 Jay St. on Monday night.

After doing a six-hour, room-by-room search, the pooch discovered the creepy crawlies tucked into 12 file folders on a desk and the floor of an office, officials said.

"The beagle went into every nook and cranny of both floors and that was all the beagle found," Mills said.

The discovery was made in the same building that houses the Brooklyn district attorney's office, which was fumigated over the weekend for bedbugs.

The Secret Service has offices there, too, and the building also houses the Brooklyn Marriott hotel.

The horrific situation comes as the city deals with a plague of the parasites that seem to be turning up everywhere.

A Daily News-Marist poll found that more than one in 10 New Yorkers has battled bedbugs in their homes - from tatty tenements to the toniest townhouses. The poll of 809 city residents has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The bloodsucking scourge has also turned up in posh clothing stores and even in movie theaters.

Officials shut down the AMC 25 in Times Square last week after a customer complained that she was bitten while watching a film there, WABC-TV reported.

Moviegoers Tuesday said they had seen signs last week saying the theater was closed due to "technical difficulties."

"I guess bedbugs might be technical difficulties," said David Cahill, a 29-year-old product manager from Astoria, Queens. He had second thoughts about dropping in to see a screening of "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" Tuesday when told the nasty news.

"I feel itchy already," he said before heading off to find another theater.

Hard to detect and even harder to kill, complaints about the vile vermin to the city's 311 phone line shot up 33% last year, officials say.

The pests had once nearly been eradicated but have come back with a vengeance after becoming pesticide-resistant.

By: Bradley Skierkowski

Bedbugs found in small area in basement of Empire State Building

First came King Kong. Now, bedbugs are trying to conquer the Empire State Building.

An infestation of the creepy crawlers has hit the city's most iconic building, the Daily News has learned.

The little critters invaded an employee changing room in the basement, prompting building officials to call in exterminators.

"There were guys there last night, spraying down the place," a source told The News yesterday.

An Empire State Building official said the bedbugs were discovered last week after they hitched a ride into the building on an employee's clothes.

"Like so many other buildings in New York City, the Empire State Building had a small incident of bedbugs," the building said in a statement. "The occurrence was specific to a uniform storage area in the basement of the building. The area has been treated and fully cleared."

Tourists streaming into the city's tallest building were sickened to hear it was visited by parasites.

"That's nasty and gross," said Allison Schoenfeld, 23, of Long Island, after returning from the Empire State Building's observation deck.

Her pal, Phalyn Kazmaerczak, said a building that charges so much for a view from its top should pay more attention to pests.

"That makes me think they're not cleaning when they should be, said Kazmaerczak, 23, of Buffalo. "You would think that for $20 a ticket, it should not be infested with bugs."

The bedbug epidemic has hit businesses and homes across the five boroughs in recent weeks.

In a clear sign it's not taking the problem lightly, the city recently allocated a half-million dollars to eradicating the bugs.

Among the spots reporting recent infestations were an AMC movie theater in Times Square, the Brooklyn district attorney's office, a Victoria's Secret store in Lenox Hill and the Time Warner Center.

Even with the widespread assault on the city, the infestation at the Empire State Building stunned its visitors.

"It's disgusting," said Valerie Mercier, a 21-year-old student from Quebec.

People who work in the majestic tower also were disgusted to hear bloodsuckers had inhabited the building.

"You would think in a building like this you wouldn't have these issues - but unfortunately that's not the case," said one man who works in the building and declined to give his name.

"That's just not good."

BY Rich Schapiro

Objection! Bedbugs invade Bronx DA's office

Objection! Bedbugs invade Bronx DA's office
We’ll say this about bedbugs. They’ll terrorize legal counsel in any borough.

After invading the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office last week, the little bloodsuckers have made their way into the Bronx, reports Gothamist.

Once again, a bedbug sniffing dog was brought in to go through the offices after city employees reportedly complained about repeated bites.

Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) employees were reportedly told to keep mum about the official cause of the dog’s visit, despite the fact that it was clearly a Belkin Environmental Services-clad worker guiding the bug-sniffing pooch, a tipster told Gothamist.

Last week, inspectors fumigated the Brooklyn offices of the city's corporation counsel after a bedbug-sniffing dog discovered the nasty pests among some files at 350 Jay St.

By: Lindsay Goldwert

Whistleblower says exterminators may lie about bedbug infestations to make more dough

Do you really have bedbugs?

Better get a second opinion, says a former Bronx cop-turned-exterminator who is blowing the whistle on some less reputable members of his trade.

Samuel Soto of First Rate Solutions, Inc. says unscrupulous exterminators will tell homeowners they have bedbugs when they really don't - using their bedbug-sniffing dogs to back up their phony claims.

A lot is at stake since a bedbug treatment can run into thousands of dollars."What's going on is like a robbery without the gun," said Soto, an ex-Bronx detective sergeant who now runs the exterminating business in upstate New Windsor and has clients in the Bronx and the rest of the city. "It's a highly emotional situation that people are sick over, and people try to take advantage of them. Dogs work great, but not when they're being used as a part of a scam," he said.

City officials said they logged nearly 3,000 bedbug complaint calls to 311 from Bronx residents as of the end of June, resulting in 1,104 violations issued.

Jim Skinner, 43, of A&C Test Management in East Meadow, L.I., agreed with Soto that some in their trade can be less than honest.

"Have I ever encountered it as an exterminator? Yes," he said, "but all you have in the end is your name. Some people believe in that and some people don't."

A year ago, Soto said he was hired by a Queens co-op to give a second opinion after a rival firm claimed its dog had detected bedbugs in eight of the building's 15 apartments.

"There were two guys and both of them had dogs and all of a sudden they found hot spots in all of these apartments - eight or nine," said a building board member who asked not to be identified. "They gave us an estimate ...over $30,000. So we called First Rate Solutions and their dogs only found one hot spot."

The board member added, "They're taking advantage of people that are fearful. Bedbugs is a hot issue right now, and if a professional tells you you have them, most people are going to say, 'Whatever it takes.'"

Skinner said his firm was hired to do a heat treatment - raise the temperature above 130 degrees - to kill bedbugs in a Manhattan high-rise six months ago after a rival firm claimed to have found the critters in 60 of the building's 120 units.

"It didn't sound right. To have a building have 50% infestation in an affluent area, that's really odd," he said.

"We met with everyone and said, 'Has anyone ever seen a bug? Has anyone ever been bitten?' And no one could answer yes. We later found that not one apartment had bedbugs in the whole building.

"There's no way to sugarcoat it. Some people are unethical."

By: Bradley Skierkowski

Sourced By: BY Mike Jaccarino

I went to court in Bronx and brought home bedbugs, single mom Brianna Duggan says

I went to court in Bronx and brought home bedbugs, single mom Brianna Duggan says

Forget the divorce lawyers. Brianna Duggan now has a whole new set of bloodsuckers to deal with in the Bronx courts: bedbugs!

The 36-year-old single mom says her Soundview apartment is infested with the bloodsuckers she picked up in Bronx County Family Court last month.

"It's disgusting that they let people inside the courthouse while bedbugs were crawling all around," said Duggan, who accompanied her cousin to court for custody hearings.

"I was already broke from helping her pay for divorce lawyers, and now I'm paying to get them [the bedbugs] out of my home."

A state courts spokesman confirmed the courthouse infestation, which was discovered the first week of September and quickly snuffed out, he said.

Duggan, who was in the court at 900 Sheridan Ave. that same week, said the exterminators showed up too late to help her and scores of other courthouse visitors.

"People were already itching and scratching, but no one in the court listened to us until after the fact," she said.

The creepy parasites were also reported in the Bronx's two main courthouses near Yankee Stadium last month, sources said - even infiltrating the Bronx borough president's offices in the old courthouse at 851 Grand Concourse.

The Bronx and Brooklyn district attorneys' offices have also had infestations.

By: Bradley Skierkowski

BY Kevin Deutsch

Bedbug City: 1 in 10 New Yorkers has grappled with bedbugs in their home

BY Samuel Goldsmith and Helen Kennedy

Bedbug City: 1 in 10 New Yorkers has grappled with bedbugs in their home
Bedbugs are taking over New York.

A new Daily News-Marist poll suggests that The City That Never Sleeps is probably too busy itching: One in 10 New Yorkers has now battled bedbugs in their home.

That's twice as many as the city estimated were plagued by the pests in 2009.

The poll results suggest that more than 800,000 New Yorkers have had bloodsucking bedbugs crawling in their sheets.

"I got all chewed up," said Margaret Martinez, 61, of the Bronx, one of the 11% of poll respondents who reported having personal run-ins with the tiny bloodthirsty insects.

"I woke up and I had bites all over my arms and my face. I was all swollen," she said.

From swanky glass lofts to creaky tenement walkups, the plague of parasites appears to have spread fairly evenly across the five boroughs.

But money makes a difference: Twice as many people who made less than $50,000 a year had bedbugs, compared with those with higher incomes. Only 2% of Republicans had bedbugs, while 12% of Democrats did.

Though infestations at downtown hotels and boutiques get most of the attention, Manhattan is the borough with fewest workplace bedbugs, according to the survey conducted by the Marist poll for the Daily News.

Ten percent of respondents in Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn reported bedbugs at work, as did 8% of Bronx residents, but just 3% of Manhattanites were afflicted.

Bedbugs are hard to see and hard to kill. The size of a rice grain, they only move around at night and can go many months without feeding. They spread by hitching rides on clothes, luggage or used furniture.

Nearly eradicated by DDT in the 1940s, they are back - and extra pesticide-resistant.

Upper West Side City Councilwoman Gale Brewer said panicked bedbug calls to 311 shot up 33% last year.

"Our phone rings off the hook with bedbug questions," she said. "There are many other stores with bedbugs out there that are not in the press."

The city recently allocated half a million dollars in anti-bedbug funds and is considering naming a bedbug "czar" so New Yorkers can sleep tight.

The News poll found half the city doesn't think officials are doing enough to stamp out the bloodsuckers.

The poll also found 67% of New Yorkers think the best way to discover bedbugs is to see their bites. But scientists say only 50% of people are allergic to bedbug secretions - the rest never develop visible bites.

"There's just not a lot of common knowledge about bedbugs," said Dan Kass, an assistant commissioner at the city's Department of Health.

"We're now at the point with the resurgence of bedbugs that everyone will have to start looking for them."


By: Bradley Skierkowski

Bedbugs in college dorms provide a bloody mess

The age-old adage "Sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite" is appropriate considering the current bedbug outbreak in the United States.

Bedbugs are tiny, parasitic insects that feed off of human blood. They live in mattresses, couches, carpets, clothes and other places that may provide them a host.

The exact origin of bedbugs is unknown, but it is possible that the early English colonists who settled in the United States brought them. Techletter, a training letter for pest control technicians, said that one-third of all English colonies had bedbug infestations, but Native American villages did not have the problem.

Though DDT eradicated the pests from most developed countries, including the U.S., by the 1950s, bedbugs have recently made a comeback. Invading everything from movie theaters and federal government buildings to college dorm rooms and hotels, the tiny insects are presenting a problem as to how to get rid of them.

Because they feed off of human blood, bedbug extermination is a tough task. They are hard to spot and have become immune to extermination methods and chemicals. Most often, bedbugs hide in mattresses and feed during the night. When a person is asleep, the bugs crawl out of hiding and inject a slight anesthetic into the spot where they will bite. This keeps the host from waking or feeling the bedbug feeding off of them.

In September, students at Reinhardt University in Cherokee County found bedbugs in one of their dorms. The students living in the building, all male, spent the night in the university's gymnasium while pest control specialists quarantined their rooms and belongings.

Though bedbugs were found in only two rooms, the university steam-cleaned every room in the dormitory building and had all of the other buildings on campus checked as well.

Reinhardt is not the only college with a bedbug infestation. There have been confirmed infestations in dorms at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Catawba College in North Carolina, Wake Forest University and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

There are precautions that students may take in order to prevent a bedbug outbreak in their dorms or apartments. Most of the time, bedbugs spread when people travel. When traveling, carefully inspect the bed and sheets in hotel rooms. Look for small bloodstains and check all cracks and crevices in the mattress.

Keeping all suitcases and clothing off of the floor may keep bedbugs from hiding in clothes and suitcase crevices. Wash all of belongings in the hottest water possible upon returning home. Bedbugs cannot survive in extremely hot temperatures.

When buying clothing or furniture secondhand, inspect it thoroughly. Check every nook and cranny for bedbugs and their eggs. That $20 couch may seem great at the time, but it defeats the purpose when it costs hundreds of dollars to get rid of bedbugs.

There are a few signs that prove a bedbug infestation. The first is red, itchy bumps on the body. These spots indicate where the bedbug has fed and are similar to a mosquito bite. Since bedbugs are filled with blood, their bodies burst easily. They leave small blood and feces stains where they infest. Last, bedbugs shed their exoskeletons as they grow, so they leave those behind.

There have not been any reported cases of bedbugs anywhere on the Georgia State campus. For suspected bedbug cases in on-campus housing, the Panther Resident's Guide to Community Living says to contact your Hall Director or place a TMA work order.

Sourced By: Suchi Sajja

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Celebrities Particularly Susceptible to Bed Bugs, Experts Say - FOX News: Bradley Cooper, Renee Zellweger, Howard

Bradley Cooper, Renee Zellweger, Howard Stern....

What do these celebrities have in common aside from money, fame and paparazzi camped outside their homes and places of business?

That would be bedbugs.

The blood sucking nuisances have attacked them in hotels, houses, apartments -- even their limousines!

Howard Stern announced on his Sirius XM Radio show that he was still “scratching every minute,” but that his apartment in New York City was now supposedly “100 percent bedbug-free.”

Same with his limo, where trained dogs sniffed out even more of the little buggers.

New couple Cooper and Zellweger had to throw out their mattress according to The National Enquirer. “Renee was really creeped out," a source told the tabloid, adding “Bradley’s been traveling a lot and staying in various hotels, and figures he must have picked up the bedbugs somewhere and brought them home.”

PHOTOS: Click for pics of Bradley and Renee.

Pop star Lauren Hildebrandt was bit by the bugs while staying at hotels in New York City. “People should be aware of the danger in NYC hotels right now,” she said in a press release, “I couldn’t sleep at night, because I kept thinking they were in my bed.”

While the name of the hotel has not been released, it is suspected to be a luxury chain hotel located in Union Square.

WWE announcer Jeremy Borash tweeted about his attack in late September while staying at a hotel in New Jersey.

“Face got bedbugged in 4star hotel. Inspectors confirmed. Hotel wants me to sign release in exch for compensation. What should I ask for?” Borash said in a post.

And while bedbugs are making headlines in 2010, it's not a new problem.

In 2006 Saturday Night Live’s Maya Rudolph and her director husband, Paul Anderson filed a $450,000 lawsuit stating that immediately after they moved into a SoHo apartment with their baby, they noticed the bites appearing all over their body. “Apparently unbeknown to the plaintiffs, the premises were infested with bedbugs,” court documents said.

Action Pest Control has been working night and day to rid clients of the pests. “The calls have just been out of control,” APC president John Russell said.

The company has added a K-9 Team to their unit in an effort to crack down on the parasites. “The dogs are quite helpful in that we can do roughly 35-50 hotel rooms in an hour,” Russell said.

However, celebrities traveling from five-star hotel to five-star hotel may be at increased risk for the little suckers because “high-end hotels are less receptive to the dogs because they don’t want the prestige of having bedbugs," according to Russell.

“Rather than facing it and saying ‘oh you know what? Bedbugs are a problem in the hotel industry, and we are taking preventative measures,’ they don’t want the dogs to be seen,” he said.

It’s not just the hotels that put celebrities at risk. Their tendency to buy multiple properties and perpetual-motion lifestyles also increase bed-bug risk.

“Moving trucks are a huge concern,” Jeffrey White, a Research Entomologist for BedBug Central said, stressing that once they move infected furniture, they act as vectors infecting otherwise healthy furniture.

Russell and his staff have gotten phone calls from landlords of apartment complexes where celebrities live, and often the client is concerned about keeping the problem quiet. Plus, "anyone that has any type of notoriety thinks that they should get special treatment,” Russell said.

“The scary part is how fast they are spreading, if you look at New York City’s 311 line, in 2005, they had just over 500 calls, and now they have just under 11,000,” Jeffrey White, a Research Entomologist for BedBug Central explained. “A lot of it has to do with people still thinking this is a nursery rhyme you know, ‘sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite.’”

Sourced By:Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author
Reporter: Darrell Huckaby
By: Alexandra Hein
By: Bradley Skierkowski

“Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

My mama used to say that to me almost every night as she tucked me in — right after my litany of “Now I lay me down to sleep,” which was followed, of course, by asking God to bless everybody I knew from “Mama, Daddy, Myron, Mama Ellis and Granny Huckaby” to Buck, the one-armed janitor who lived in the boiler room at Porterdale School.

I never gave much thought to bed bugs, though, and certainly never had to worry about getting bitten by one. My mama kept a clean house and washed my sheets every week — whether they needed it or not — and hung them out on the clothes line to dry. We were ahead of our time in Porterdale. We had solar clothes dryers before Al Gore even invented global warming or the Internet.

But nowadays the little critters are all over the news — not to mention a lot of very wealthy and very famous people. Bed bugs are not just for the poor and slovenly anymore!

In case your knowledge of bed bugs is limited, as mine was, to a cute little nighty-night rhyme, I have gone above and beyond the call of duty to learn all about them and, as always, I am more than willing to share my new-found knowledge with you, my faithful readers.

Bed bugs (Climex lectularious in formal circles) are blood-sucking little parasites from the family Cimicide. I will resist the urge to make a political joke here, but with the mid-term elections coming up in 20 days, feel free to make up your own. They are a lot like University of Georgia football players in that they are very active late at night.

They tend to attack people where they sleep — thus the name — and just typing these words is making my scalp itch. I bet you are wanting to scratch, too.

Ironically, a lot of luxury hotels, most notably many of those in New York City, have become infested with bed bugs. Imagine that! You can now pay upwards of $500 a night for the privilege of waking up with welts all over your body — just like the folks who pay $29.99 a night for a room at the Abide Awhile Motor Court or $19 an hour at the “Come and Go.”

Obviously these establishments aren’t publicizing the fact that they are offering close encounters of the nocturnal kind and are, in fact, doing their best to keep their battles with the bed bugs a deep, dark secret. But word has a way of getting out when folks like Oscar-winner Renee Zellweger and pop star Lauren Hildebrandt show up with little red bumps all over their pampered bodies. And just last week the venerable old institution the Waldorf Astoria has been fingered by a New York woman as a nesting place for the dastardly little varmints.

Do tell.

Now I hate to be this way, but it kind of tickles me to know that not even the rich and famous are safe from itching where they can’t scratch in public — and it does seem that bed bugs prefer those nooks and crannies and crevices of our bodies that offer the most, shall we say, inconvenient inconveniences.

Yankees, in other words, now have bed bugs. Welcome to the real world! If it keeps getting warmer up North perhaps knowing how to drive on snow will become a distant memory for most of our Northern brethren. Before you know it they might even abandon “pop” in favor of “Co-Cola” and find themselves with kudzu growing in their ditches — assuming they have ditches up north.

Of course this bed bug scare has created a bit of inconvenience for me, even though I have never spent the night at the Waldorf Astoria. (I’ve never spent the night at the Abide Awhile or an hour at the Come and Go, either — just for the record). I have slept at an awful lot of Holiday Inns and Best Westerns — not to mention the Marion Earl Hotel in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. — and my lovely wife, Lisa, figures that if bed bugs can find their way into the Waldorf they can certainly find their way into any establishment we can afford to frequent.

On a recent weekend out of town she wanted me to inspect the bed covers with a black light and suspend our suitcases from the ceiling. I did, too, because what Lisa wants, Lisa generally gets. She still wasn’t satisfied and insisted on sleeping fully clothed on top of the covers — although honesty compels me to admit that I am pretty sure she had other motives for this madness.

Oh, well. I will be pretty much homebound for the next few weeks, and I am virtually certain that we don’t have bed bugs. The Granddaddy Long Legs that have taken over our house would devour them.

Meanwhile, sleep tight and please excuse me — I have to go pour sulfur powder around my bed and pick up a bottle or two of Calamine lotion.

Sourced By: Darrell Huckaby is a local educator and author.

HUCKABY: Yankees let the bed bugs bite - Rockdale Citizen: “Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite

“Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” My mama used to say that to me almost every night as she tucked me in — right after my litany of “Now I lay me down to sleep,” which was followed, of course, by asking God to bless everybody I knew from “Mama, Daddy, Myron, Mama Ellis and Granny Huckaby” to Buck, the one-armed janitor who lived in the boiler room at Porterdale School.

Posted: 11:14 PM Oct 12, 2010
Sourced By Reporter: Darrell Huckaby
By: Bradley Skierkowski

HUCKABY: Yankees let the bed bugs bite

Sourced By:Reporter: Darrell Huckaby

“Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.” My mama used to say that to me almost every night as she tucked me in — right after my litany of “Now I lay me down to sleep,” which was followed, of course, by asking God to bless everybody I knew from “Mama, Daddy, Myron, Mama Ellis and Granny Huckaby” to Buck, the one-armed janitor who lived in the boiler room at Porterdale School.

By: Bradley Skierkokwski

Get Rid of Bed Bugs: Bed Bugs in D.C. (and the Dogs That Find Them)

Get Rid of Bed Bugs: BThis bed bug thing had gone out of control. We are going to need to dig deep into our pockets of this one.

By: Bradley Skierkowski
ed Bugs in D.C. (and the Dogs That Find Them)

Bed Bugs in D.C. (and the Dogs That Find Them)

Bed bugs have infested the Washingtonian media: apartment buildings and even government offices. And while D.C. has not yet been taken over by an infestation as large as New York City's, we definitely have a problem. Before you panic, though, we thought we'd cut through the myths and hysteria with some real information from a specialist in the bed bug business.

DCist spoke with Justin Shaffer, a NESDCA-certified handler in the K9 Bed Bug Detection Team at Connor's Pest Protection and k-9 Pest Detectors for some information about the blood-sucking pests, how to detect them and what to do (and not do) to get rid them. Shaffer has also graciously offered to answer any follow-up questions DCist readers have.

[Ed. note: Normally, we close our comments on interviews, but since Mr. Shaffer has graciously offered to field follow-up questions from our readers, we figured it'd be easiest to keep them open. Fire away on all your bed bug questions, folks!]

For some general information on how to detect and deal with bed bugs, check the EPA's bed bug site and Bed Bug Central, which has some helpful videos and podcasts. There's also the Bed Bug Registry, where people track outbreaks in hotels and residences, and Bedbugger.com, which covers an assortment of bed bug news.

Where in the area does your company do inspections?

As far as general pests like cockroaches go, Connor's Pest Protection inspects in most of the D.C. metro area. For bed bugs, they'll go further, like Ocean City and Raleigh, North Carolina. k-9 Pest Detectors are limited only by where planes fly. They take the dogs out around the country to do inspections.

How common is using dogs for pest inspection?

Not all that common, it's still a growing field. Dogs really aren't for every company. They are time-intensive to train and maintain.

Your company uses dogs to find bed bugs, why?

We wanted to get into the latest technology for bed bugs. We've worked with Dr. Dini Miller out at Virginia Tech, and read the literature that's come out about bed bugs. Then, three years ago we got into using the dogs for inspections. The hardest thing about bed bugs is finding them, especially in low level infestations, and that's where the dogs are best. Anywhere you can fit the thickness of a business card, a bed bug can possibly hide.

Where do they typically hide?

I've seen them in clock radios, next to the bed, in couches, in ceilings. I've seen bed bugs hiding in just about anything in a home. But they prefer to be near their food source, which is us. They tend to be in the box spring. They don't like to be disturbed, and when you move around in your bed, it bothers them. So they like to be in the box spring, bed frame, headboard.

How do you train the dogs?

We don't train the dogs, Connor's Pest Protection purchases them from J & K Canine Academy in Florida and they're already trained. I went down for a week's worth of training handling the dog. Then I was certified through NESDCA. All the dog handlers go through NESDCA certification. Dogs must be able to alert the owners of the presence of live bed bugs and viable eggs. The dogs have to be able to differentiate between live bed bugs and dead bugs, cockroaches, carpet beetles. The dogs learn to search for the odor of the bugs, similar to drug sniffing and bomb sniffing dogs. They're not using their eyes.

Are some breeds better than others?

They primarily train Beagles. I work with a Jack Russell terrier mix. Another trainer's dog is a Hairless Chinese Crested.

Are the dogs at risk of catching the bed bugs in their fur and spreading them?

Bed bugs primarily want to hide. When they're not coming up to take a blood meal, they want to hide. So the big risk that a dog or a human will pick up a bed bug is in a high-level infestation. And we don't need the dogs in high infestations. The dogs are needed in low infestations, when we're trying to find bed bugs.

How can someone prevent getting bed bugs?

The best thing to do is to educate yourself about bed bug biology. And if you're staying at a friend's place or staying at a hotel, the best thing to do is search the room. When I stay at a hotel, before I bring my luggage in, I remove the headboard. I'm looking for fecal spotting, the insects themselves, and any eggs. I wouldn't keep your bag next to the bed. The best thing to do is to put your suitcase on the luggage rack, after you inspect it of course. The farther you get your luggage from the bed, the better you are.

How easy is it to get bed bugs from public places?

What you're seeing a lot in New York, you're seeing more media attention. You have so many people living in a small area, and lot of multi-housing, people living on top of each other. The D.C. metro area isn't at the level of New York City.

How do you know if you have bed bugs?

Really, the first indication for a lot of people are the bites. There are four different reaction profiles: some people don't react, some have a mosquito-like bite (itches for a few days and goes away), then there's the, what I call, mosquito bite on steroids (a pronounced welt, persists for longer), or you have a delayed reaction (people don't react to the bites for a week or two after they've been bitten). When bed bugs come out to feed, they bite one to three times, that's where you get the three bites in a row -- what some people call the "breakfast, lunch and dinner bites."

What is the life-cycle of bed bugs?

Bed bugs have an incomplete metamorphosis. They go from the egg stage to the nymph stage and finally the adult stage. When they grow, they shed their skin, and have to take a complete blood meal to go to the next life stage.

What is the gestation period for eggs?

It takes about seven to fourteen days for the eggs to hatch, depending on humidity and temperature.

How do you treat a home with bed bugs?

We have two primary ways to treat. There's the conventional treatment, where we use pesticides to eliminate the insects, treating every crack and crevice of the affected area. And there's thermal remediation, or more commonly referred to as heat treatment. For this, electric heaters are brought in to elevate the temperature to over 113 degrees.

Is treating for the bugs different or the same for the eggs?

The heat treatment will kill all life stages, and it's a one-day treatment. The conventional treatment takes multiple treatments, because it doesn't work well on the eggs, and you can't apply it everywhere.

What else should we know?

Really, the best thing to do is if you think you have bed bugs is to have a professional do an inspection. Bug bombs/foggers, cans of Raid, or throwing out your bed and mattress isn't good enough, and can make things worse. With bug bombs, you're throwing up a mist and it has to come in contact with the bed bugs to kill them. If you have bed bugs hiding and you don't kill them with the bug bomb, you'll drive them deeper into spaces and spread to other rooms. This is particularly bad in an apartment or condo. The issue with throwing out the mattress and box spring is someone may come back and pick it up and carry it into their house, or back into your apartment complex. And now in the development you have multiple units infested.

How often are you treating for bed bugs?

We've been very busy. We've been at capacity, doing heat treatments every day for the past 60 days. We're actually in the process of expanding and getting more equipment and people.

How many dogs do you currently have on staff?

We have three canines and three canine handlers, and all they do are bed bug inspections. We are one of the few companies in the area that has a dedicated bed bug division.

Sourced By: Elisabeth Grant
By: Bradkey Skierkowski

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sabattus Primary School Closed Due to Bedbugs

Sabattus - The Sabattus Primary School in Maine is closed because bedbugs were discovered in two classrooms.
Sabattus Superintendent James Hodgkin says the bedbugs were isolated to the two classrooms in the kindergarten through grade 2 building. Hodgkin says a pest control company was brought in Monday to check the building after a parent came Friday to ask about bites on their child's arm.

School maintenance workers cleaned the rooms, but they will remain closed until after a pest control company treats them on Wednesday.

Hodgkin called the outbreak "pretty isolated," but officials decided to cancel school until the issue can be taken care of. (AP)

Sourced By: WABI-TV5 News Desk
By: Bradley Skierkowski

Dog's Nose Knows Bed Bugs

They've been known to sniff out contraband, missing people, even diseases and now, a dog in Stockton is putting it's keen sense of smell detecting bed bugs.

Sierra might just be the hardest working member of the Delk Pest Control company. If not the hardest, she's certainly the most accurate. Sierra's a beagle trained to sniff out tiny, disgusting little bed bugs and their eggs.

Our friends at KCRA tell us that with Sierra on the job, the company can inspect a room and detect the creepy critters in about five to 10 minutes. Without Sierra, it would take them about 30-40 minutes. Company sales manager Brad Delk trained Sierra to sniff out the critters and alert him by scratching when she finds them.

After Sierra finds the dreaded creepy crawlies, Delk uses special equipment to heat up the affected area to 120 degrees, killing the bugs and eggs, then brings his four-legged co-worker back to re-inspect.

Sierra has been on the job at Delk's Pest Control for just over a month and so far, has multiplied business so much, they had to set up a special branch just to handle the calls.

Sierra is one of only about 10 bed bug-sniffing dogs across the state, according to the Pest Control Operators of California.

Now, if they could only get her to answer those phones.

Photo from Greg Hayter's Flicker photostream.

Sourced By: Jessica Greene
By: Bradley Skierkowski

Pillow maker and bed bugs

When most Americans first learned of bed-bug outbreaks this summer, American Textile Co. was already on top of it.

The pillow maker, based in Duquesne, began churning out protective covers for pillows and mattresses in 2009. They are designed so the tiny insects can not bite through the fabric or sneak through the zippers.

"We started responding to bed bugs when there were just a few isolated reports every couple of months a year and a half ago. We developed a bed-bug barricade," said CEO Jack Ouellette.

"Our sales went up dramatically this summer," in response to media reports of the bed-bug breakout, said Ouelette, declining to provide figures.

Until this year, pest control companies got only one or two calls a year about bed-bugs, according to the National Pest Management Association. Now, companies are getting one or two calls a week.

Many reports have surfaced in the Northeast, especially in New York, the most bed-bugged city, according to a survey by Terminix International Co. Among the 15 most-plagued cities are Philadelphia, Washington, Cleveland and Columbus, but not Pittsburgh.

"We haven't seen anything much in the way of bed bugs around Pittsburgh," said Rod Altmeyer Sr., president of Altmeyer Home Stores Inc., which sells American Textile pillow and mattress protectors at its 12 area stores.

"But if this keeps going the way it is, sales may increase," said Altmeyer, whose company based in Delmont, Westmoreland County, has bought from American Textile for more than 60 years.

"More retailers are carrying protective covers because of bed bugs," said Karin Mahoney, spokeswoman for the International Sleep Products Association. But the Alexandria, Va.-based trade group had no specific data.

American Textile's bed-bug bump in sales occurs as the company -- whose motto is "Sound science, sound sleep" -- marks its 85th anniversary. It was founded in 1925 by the Ruttenberg family, which still owns the company.

American Textile's Aller-Ease pillows and protectors employ a cotton allergen fabric that protects the nearly one-third of Americans who suffer from allergies related to dust mites, Ouellette said.

Another line, Derma Therapy, is designed for people with chronic skin problems and is registered with the Food and Drug Administration as a medical device.

"There's a science to this industry," said Ouellette, who has worked at American Textile for 34 years.

The company's three pillow-making plants -- in Duquesne, Dallas and Salt Lake City -- produce a total of about 30 million pillows a year. That makes American Textile one of the five-largest such manufacturers in the country, Ouellette said.

The pillow and mattress protectors to ward off bed bugs are made by contract workers in El Salvador and China.

About 40 percent of the company's products are sold to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Most of the rest goes to Macy's Inc., Sears Holdings Corp., Target Corp., Kohl's Corp. and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., as well as to Altmeyer.

American Textile is in its third generation. The chairman is Reid Ruttenberg, while son Lance Ruttenberg is chief operating officer, and son Blake Ruttenberg is executive vice president of sales and marketing.

"We've seen a world war, the Depression, recessions, stock market crashes and retailers that have come and gone," said Ouellette of the company's long legacy.

A big break came in 1995, when 3M Co. approached American Textile to incorporate a synthetic fabric into its pillow and mattress protectors to ward off dust mites. The new line increased American Textile's sales by "double-digit" percentages from 1995 to 2009, Ouelette said.

The increase led the company to relocate from smaller quarters in Lawrenceville in 2003. It moved to a much-larger, 193,000-square-foot headquarters and plant in Duquesne.

The current headquarters has a history, too. The 11-acre site was the location of U.S. Steel Corp.'s former Duquesne Works plant along the Monongahela River.

About 340 American Textile workers and family members attended an 85th anniversary celebration Saturday at the company's headquarters, Ouelette said.

By: Thomas Olson

By: Bradley Skierkowski

With bed bugs on the rise, students take caution

Bed bugs have recently begun to surface all across the United States and are now being found in hotels, apartment complexes, hospitals, and even college dorms.

A few years ago bed bugs were virtually non-existent and were only a part of a bedtime myth. Now, they are affecting colleges and universities nationwide. According to experts, it is possible that in as little as one to two years it will be difficult to find a college or university residence hall that is not being affected to some degree by the pests.

It is uncertain why these bugs have made such a drastic and sudden appearance; some explanations include changes in pest control practices like the types of pesticides being available to companies, increased international travel, and the lack of focus and emphasis that has been placed on the bugs in the past.

These insects do not crawl or fly in from outside. They are transferred from one infested environment to another. If you have picked up an item that was already infested, then it is unlikely that you will encounter a problem with these crafty hitchhikers. Western is considered a "suitcase" college, meaning that a lot of students leave on the weekends and return before class on Monday. This movement increases the risk of bed bugs being transferred from an infested location to the campus.

Wake Forest had an outbreak of bed bugs earlier this semester and had to shut down the infected residence hall to treat the infestation with a thermal, environmentally friendly treatment. When blasted with 120 degree temperatures over a time span of at least five hours, bed bugs begin to die.

Senior Adam Parker works for residential living and is concerned about the possibility of bed bugs on campus. He is constantly moving between residence halls to improve the dorms and said, "I know how easy it is for bed bugs to attach themselves to our work materials and then relocate in the dorms. I always check myself and materials for live bugs or the stains they leave behind to prevent them from using me as a free ride in."

Stephen Eller, a member of WCU's band, does not live on campus but that has not stopped him and his friends from worrying about the possibility of bed bugs in their home. He said his friends got new anti-allergen blankets for their rooms because of the rise of bed bugs. Eller said, "I hope that the increase in bed bugs doesn't get bad here at Western. Hopefully, the faculty is taken precautions to prevent it."

Danielle Greene works for Residential Living and lives on campus in her sorority's Phi Mu house in the village. She is taken an objective look at the bed bug situation from both ends. Greene said, "I am not keen on it [increased risk of bed bugs]."

As an employee of residential living, Greene understands the importance of being aware of the situation and taking the necessary preventative methods to avoid the situation. She has not heard the topic discussed in Residential Living, but is aware of the possibility of a problem arising.

As a student in campus housing, Greene said, "My sisters are careful of what they bring into the house and we all work together to keep things clean to make sure that the bed bugs don't bite!"

The best way to avoid bringing bed bugs into your living area is to check all items you bring into your room from another location. Pay careful attention to the small areas and creases, such as seams and zippers.

Bed bugs are most noticeable at night time. While you are sleeping you become an easy target and it is easier for them to feed off of your blood. If you wake up with unexplained bug bites on your body, this may be a sign that you are experiencing a bed bug problem. Also watch for live bugs. To be safe, notify residential living right away to prevent an infestation from getting out of control.

Source By:Brittney Burns
By: Bradley Skierkowi

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bed bugs found in USAID offices in Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON - Juvenile bed bugs have invaded a federal government building. The pests were discovered in a single office in the US Agency for International Development office tower at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

A spokesperson for the USAID wasn't able to say immediately how the bed bugs got into the building, but says there is no evidence they are present in other locations.

The news is troubling to many, including people heading to a restaurant at the Reagan Building.

"I don't want go in," said Debbie Hogue-Downing, who is visiting D.C. from Oklahoma. "It makes me a little leery about doing that."

"I think it confirms my fear that this is getting to be an epidemic, and that it's a problem that could happen anywhere,¿ said Linda Hampton.

USAID employees were notified of the problem in an e-mail, and given educational materials to help prevent the spread of bed bugs.

Officials say a professional pest control service, including a specialized K-9 team, has been called in to inspect USAID offices and nearby areas, and to identify a possible infestation. Any problems will be treated over the weekend with follow-up treatments as needed.

Bo Beodecker wonders if anything can stop the pests.

"I'm from New York. It's all over hotels. It's everywhere. It just seems to be everywhere right now," said Beodecker.

A bedbug's life is centered around blood, but some can live up to a year without feeding. USAID officials say that is why they plan to be proactive to prevent any future bed bug activity.

Sourced By: MAUREEN UMEH/myfoxdc

By: Bradley Skierkowski

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bed Bugs in Hotels

Associated Content: In today's world of international travel, bed bugs in hotels are a common...

In today's world of international travel, bed bugs in hotels are a common occurrence. Every day a hotel is at risk of a guest bringing them into the hotel in their luggage.

Therefore, it's important for you, as a guest, to inspect your hotel room for bed bugs upon checking in. If the room has visible signs of the creepy crawlies, such as cast skins and black fecal droppings, this means that the infestation is severe and you should not be sleeping in that room. On the other hand, just because you don't see any visible signs, specifically on the mattress, doesn't preclude their presence. Common places for them to hide are in the seams of the mattress, in the cracks of the bed's headboard, in the baseboards, and in the folds of upholstered furniture.

An early infestation of them in a hotel can be very difficult to detect with the naked eye. And it only takes one of the little critters to hitch a ride in your luggage and go home with you where it will start multiplying. Therefore, it is very important that you keep your suitcases off the floor and if possible, use encasement bags to further prevent a hitchhiker entry.

Bed bugs feed at night (on you), then climb off the bed to find a dark place to lay their eggs and sleep. They have been known to travel 30 feet in a single night, which means no spot in your hotel room is 100 percent safe.

It is a very naive person who thinks that just because they have not experienced any bites or seen any signs of bed bugs in their hotel room that they are safe. These bugs are clever and resilient and are just waiting for an opportunity to go home with you. It is important that you be as proactive as possible at keeping them out of your belongings while travelling. Don't leave clothes on the carpet or upholstered chairs and use a metal suitcase rack if available.

Sourced By: Stephen Mermin
By: Bradley Skierkowski

NY mayor Michael Bloomberg talks to Letterman about job, money, bed bugs

NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed during his first sit-down interview on David Letterman's "Late Show" that he thinks being governor is a "terrible job" and said he's not embarrassed to be ranked the 10th richest person in the nation.

The billionaire mayor said he prefers being mayor because mayors can interact more with their constituents and "the state is so spread out."

Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent, last week endorsed Democrat Andrew Cuomo in New York's gubernatorial race.

During the 15-minute "Late Show" appearance, Letterman also teased Bloomberg about how his city has recently closed parts of Broadway in midtown Manhattan to create pedestrian plazas. Letterman called them "petting zoos."

Before Bloomberg went onstage at the start of the segment, a tree was partially blocking the camera and people were sipping coffee at small tables on the set, mocking the patio furniture that the Bloomberg administration installed in the Broadway pedestrian plazas in Times Square and Herald Square.

From behind the camera, Letterman was informed that "during the commercial break, Mayor Bloomberg installed a pedestrian plaza."

During Bloomberg's nearly nine years in office, he has appeared several times on Letterman's CBS show to read the Top 10 list or to participate in jokes, like when he gave Letterman's beard a key to the city.

On Wednesday, Letterman asked him about a wide range of topics, including World Trade Center rebuilding, the mosque planned in lower Manhattan near ground zero, the tea party movement and even rats and bedbugs, which have been discovered in theaters, clothing stores, office buildings, housing projects and posh apartments throughout the city.

"The bedbugs are probably tougher," Bloomberg said.

Letterman mentioned where Bloomberg, who founded the financial information company Bloomberg LP, was ranked on a list of richest Americans. Forbes magazine estimates his fortune at $18 billion.

"I saw a thing today where, and it's probably embarrassing, you're like the 10th wealthiest person in the world or something?" Letterman asked.

"That's not embarrassing," Bloomberg said. "Try it sometime. You'll like it."

By: Bradley Skierkowski
Sourced By: Morris County Daily Record: NEW YORK
Sourced By: SARA KUGLER FRAZIER,Associated Press Writer

Experts List Top 3 Places For Bed Bugs

Experts List Top 3 Places For Bed Bugs:

Bed bugs have become a nationwide problem.

Pest experts give three places where people should watch out for the pests.

Pinnacle Pest Control officials said hotels, garage sales and even movie theaters are the top three places to come in contact with bed bugs.

Experts said in order to get rid of the problem, intense heat must be used on the bed bugs to kill the insects and their eggs.

Link to Bed Bug Video

Sourced By: SACRAMENTO, Calif. — KCRA.com
By: Bradley Skierkowski

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Web Site Gives Travelers Early Warning For Bed Bugs

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Travelers who want to stay clear of nasty bed bugs can feel better about their hotel choice, with the help of those who've gone before them.

We're talking about an Internet resource that can tip you off in advance to potential trouble.

Star Trek made famous the phrase, "We boldly go where no man has gone before".

But oftentimes travelers would trade adventure for knowledge of what to expect on the road.

That's especially true, now that bed bugs are becoming a real nuisance in resorts and hotels nationwide.

The web site, "bedbugregistry.com" can give you more confidence about where you're staying.

We typed in “Super 8” for Seattle, Washington, hit the “Check Hotel” tab, and the first of a dozen listings revealed five reports of bed bugs.

A note from management challenged one of the hotel guest reports, saying the room was immediately taken out of service and no bed bugs were found.

On the same page, it lists 43 more reports of bed bugs at locations nearby.

There's also a place on the site for guests to file their own reports, in case they've had an unfortunate run-in with the biting bugs.

Officials with the Fort Wayne agency called “Travel Leaders” say the site is not foolproof, but may be helpful.

Linda Jenkins/Travel Leaders, Vacation Travel: " I guess we didn't actually know it was going to be such a big problem, but it's increasing and the awareness of it is increasing, thanks to the press, so I suppose if it gives travelers peace of mind to have a place to go to check, that's a good thing."

A note of caution is in order for people who use the site.

It is spelled out clearly that the site does not check the veracity of bed bug reports.

You can click on the link to view the site for yourself.

By: Bradley Skierkowski

Sourced By: By Jeff Neumeyer

Bed Bugs Bad for Dating

It almost goes without saying - bed bugs are bad, especially for dating. It kills the mood. AreYouInterested.com, a dating app on Facebook, conducted a study of more than 100 of its Facebook Page members on how the recent bed bug explosion is affecting their love lives.

56% of responders would leave their date if they noticed bed bug bites on his/her skin. 47% would ask if their date had bed bugs before going back to his/her place. 45% would cancel a date if someone admitted to a bed bug infestation. 35% have changed their usual dating spots because of a fear of bed bugs.

But one of the most interesting results is that "bed bugs" is the new "I have to wash my hair" excuse. 45% would use bed bugs as an excuse to get out of a bad date.

By: Bradley Skierkowski

Sourced By: By Mekahlo Medina
NBCLosAngeles.com NBCLosAngeles.com

Get Rid of Bed Bugs: Bed bug oven in a trailer: the Insect Inferno

Get Rid of Bed Bugs: Bed bug oven in a trailer: the Insect Inferno

Bed bug oven in a trailer: the Insect Inferno

Last Tuesday, a number of news reports from the Bed Bug Summit mentioned this product, the Insect Inferno:

It’s basically a heat treatment facility in the form of a trailer, which allows you to load your mattresses, furniture and other household items inside, so they can be baked to kill bed bugs.
People typically get trucks (or pods) fumigated with Vikane, but few pest control firms seem to be offering heat treatment of furniture and belongings. This set-up is promising for people who want to move out of an infested dwelling without taking bed bugs with them, and for decontaminating furniture and belongings during treatment.
I wrote to Corey and Sue Westrum (via the contact page on their website) to ask about the cost of this device and to ask about how many are currently owned by pest control firms and others.

Sourced By:nobugsonm

Posted By: Bradley Skierkowski

Monday, September 27, 2010

Move Over Bed Bugs; Stink Bugs Are the New Bug in Town

Meet Stink. He's got glands that release a foul, musty odor when he's mishandled or feels threatened. He's just in from Asia and he's disguised as a small brown shield. But don't let that fool you. He's not the one who'll need to be intercepting attacks this Fall.
Rather, while the people of the Northeast have been distracted over the past several months -- with their eyes fixed on their beds -- Stink and his friends have been letting themselves in through the back door -- your vents.
And once the stink bugs are in your home, it's unfortunately very difficult to get them out.
Most Americans turn to manmade pesticides, when faced with a bug infestation of this kind; but no luck there this time. No, these super critters appear to be resistant to the stock of pesticides in this country. And, as such, the little shield-shaped bug has nullified one of man's defenses.
So, what about Mother Nature's defenses? There are natural checks and balances -- predators and prey, warm and cool weather -- in place for just this reason, right?
Wrong. The critters are native to China, Japan and Korea. And, while there is talk of an Asian wasp that controls their population growth over there, there is currently no natural predator for them in America.
Bad news bugs.
And to make matters worse, the stink bugs appear to have no problem whatsoever migrating to find more favorable weather conditions for themselves. In their native Asia, that meant a move to rocky outcroppings; a cold-weather home, which apart from the occasional climber or caver, seemed to bother no one. Here in America, though, they've settled for the closest equivalent: Urban office buildings, hotels and suburban homes.
And that's why homeowners across the mid-Atlantic region have been discovering mushrooming populations of these stink bugs in their homes of late. Parke Brewer lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and he is one of those unlucky homeowners.
"They're everywhere," Brewer says, surveying the rafters and screen windows of his covered porch. "If you look around this whole porch, which we like to enjoy if it's a nice day out, for dinner, for lunch, for relaxing; but when the stink bugs are around, they'll fly and hit you in the face or in the head. And it's not very pleasant to be out here. So, I've tried to attack them as best as I can, but I'm losing the battle."
Brewer is not alone. Since 2001, when the stink bugs were first spotted in Allentown, Pa., their population has burgeoned and they have spread to 29 states in mid-Atlantic America.

"It's kind of a perfect storm of conditions that are allowing these guys to explode," says Mike Raupp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland. "One, we used to use heavy pesticides. Now, these bugs are increasing in numbers. Two, we're becoming an importing nation. Bugs are coming in. Three, people are going to countries we've never gone to before; lots of second and third world countries, where bugs like bed bugs are common.
"So, there are lots of opportunities for bugs to come in. Also, this year the weather was perfect for bugs to explode."

So, this year's weather, which has proven such a foe to farmers across the country by withering crops with its extreme heat and droughts; appears to have enabled yet another farm foe in the stink bug. And that's exactly where stink bugs have been hiding all this time; in gardens, orchards and fields, sucking the sap out of the plants there.
But with the coming of Fall, they've transformed their menace from a business to a personal one.
"It's never ending," says Brewer, clutching a plastic bag full of the stink bugs, which he's captured and now suffocating. "You'll trap or you'll capture or smack them with a fly swatter, 20 to 30 times in one day. Then, there'll be that many more even within an hour. I take it personally and I try to catch as many as I can, but it hardly seems to put a dent in them."

As a result, Brewer's porch is largely out of commission, due to the unpleasant aroma which he insists the bugs emit, even if he does not squash them. So what is there to do?
Well, some people don't find the smell that bad.

"Stinky is as stinky does. Stinky is a relative thing," Raupp says. "I don't find them unpleasant, but a lot do. Some people say they smell like cilantro. Then, I say, put some salt on them."
In fact, in some countries like Laos, the bugs are eaten and even considered a delicacy because of their pungent smell. But, if that's not exactly your taste, there is this bright side to look at

The stink bugs are not harmful to you, your children or your possessions. They have not been known to carry diseases. They're merely going to seek shelter in your home and, occasionally, make the place smell really bad.
"You're never going to beat Mother Nature," Raupp says. "Bet on the bugs. The bugs have the answer. They've been at this thing for 6 million years. People don't have to freak out. It's not a plague, even though they're showing up in biblical number.

By: Bradley Skierkowski


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bed bugs mean big business for Canadian distributor

No bigger than an apple seed, the tiny bed bug is wreaking havoc across the world, with Nike the latest retailer to fall prey to an infestation that forced it to shutter its flagship Manhattan store.
But for one Canadian company, bed-bug paranoia is proving big business. Markham, Ont.-based Caber Sure Fit, which distributes mattress protection products, has seen its sales jump by 35% over the past six months.
The company has the Canadian rights to Protect-a-Bed, a line of covers that effectively encase a mattress and box spring, preventing bugs getting in and stopping them from getting out and biting if they're already there.
The company expects its protection business to double this year and now it's setting its sights on international expansion.
"Bed bugs are big business," Caber Sure Fit president Bernard Weinstein said in an interview. The company "started out as a hobby and then became a monster."
The U.S. National Pest Management Association has warned the world may be on the verge of a bed-bug pandemic. In a recent survey of members to determine the extent of the problem, 95% of companies said they had encountered an infestation in the past year.
According to Insight Pharmaceuticals, Toronto is the third-worst afflicted city in North America, behind Columbus, Ohio, and New York, while Vancouver takes the eighth spot.
Weinstein said the bulk of his business is being driven by the hotel industry, where reports of a bed-bug infestation can have a devastating impact on both revenue and reputation.
While hotels are reluctant to advertise they are using the products, they are increasingly contacting the company to protect their beds, he said.
A hotel with a problem in one room may need to shut down nine surrounding rooms to ensure the bugs don't migrate. And at the luxury end of the market, where hotels may have invested $1,000 a bed, that soon begins to add up.
"It has a major economic impact," Weinstein said. "In the good old days they would throw these things out if they had an infestation, but now it's costing them money."
Caber Sure Fit emerged in its current form after Caber Distributors bought Sure Fit Home Furnishings in February. It's now planning further expansion through acquisitions, with a target hit annual turnover of $50 million in the next two years.
Weinstein said he's currently one-third of the way there.
"Things are going well and we want to go global," he said.
"We'll go to where the bed bugs come from ... Africa, South Africa. We'll take it slowly. We have a strong balance sheet and we're well funded. The business has grown through nursing and nurturing."

Nine years ago, Weinstein, a South African native, was working in the information technology business when an old friend from South Africa contacted him and asked if he'd be interested in distributing his mattress protection product in Canada.

"I said leave me alone, but the product arrived the next day."
He said he began putting out feelers and soon realized that bed bugs would become a major problem and one that isn't going away any time soon.

The Protect-a-Bed won't stop bed bugs from infesting your home, but they will prevent an expensive mattress from becoming contaminated and needing to be thrown out.

By: Bradley Skierkowski
Sourced By: By Sharon Singleton, QMI Agency

Inspectors wary of bringing bedbugs home

EDMONTON - If the thought of bedbugs infiltrating your home makes your skin crawl, look on the bright side: at least you're not a health inspector.
They're the people who have to look under mattresses, rifle through drawers and peek behind headboards when someone complains of an infestation.
Then they have to go home to their families.
"I don't think you'll find an inspector who works here who doesn't have a method of shedding their clothes before they go home," says Sandra Hamilton with Alberta Health Services.
"If I go and look at somebody's bed and find bedbugs in there, there's a pretty good likelihood that one has dropped into the hem of my pants. So when I walk inside my front door, I take off my pants and anything else I happen to be wearing and it all goes straight into the wash."
She never sits down while doing an inspection. In the winter, Hamilton stores her heavy coat in her unheated garage in order to freeze any stowaways.
"It's cold getting dressed in the morning," she says with a laugh, "but it's better than having bedbugs in my house."
As the city's bedbug infestation continues to grow, so too does the inspectors' workload. Hamilton says it's only going to get bigger.
Problem is, nobody can say how big the explosion will be.
That's why Edmonton has a bedbug committee, made up of provincial and city officials.
It's getting ready to survey landlords and condo boards to try to get a handle on how bad things really are.
We know that it's a huge issue across North America, especially along the Eastern Seaboard. We also know the creatures are creeping west.
"Based on the news we're hearing in the eastern U.S. and Canada, I'd say it is exploding and it's going to explode here too," Hamilton says.
The committee will also put together simple brochures telling people how to prevent an infestation, and what to do if they get one.
Hamilton says there's lots of information available on the Internet, but it's often complicated and contradictory.
"It can be really hard for the average person to sift through it and sort out what's fact and what's fiction," she said. The new material will be aimed at third-grade level readers and have lots of illustrations, so even people with minimal English can figure it out.
No one is immune from bedbugs. Everything from five-star hotels to flophouses have reported infestations.
In fact, Hamilton says, they've even been called to University hospital, where staff were worried when patients showed up with bugs in their clothes.
But, she added, hospitals are easy to fix because they're kept meticulously clean and don't have carpets.
Meanwhile, a 300-unit seniors home on the south side was treated for an infestation when a few suites got infested.
"When this happens, we eradicate them quickly," said Susan McCarthy, spokeswoman for the Greater Edmonton Foundation, which operates the Montgomery Legion Place at 9420 92 St.
The foundation uses sniffer dogs to track down bedbugs, and when they find them, they fumigate the infested apartments, along with any adjoining suites.
"If the bedbugs are fumigated, they can move to the next apartment," she said.
"It's something that we're always going to have to be aware of from now on in Edmonton. It's permeated the entire world."

By: Bradley Skierkowski

Sourced By: Andrew Hanon, QMI Agency

Bed bugs invade Hampton Roads

Bed bugs are invading businesses, local hotels, and homes in Hampton Roads at an alarming rate.
The Health Department reported the number of infestations this year as nearly 10 times what it was three years ago. Bed bugs usually live in beds, come out when people are asleep, and feed on blood.

Bed bugs ran a Virginia Beach family out of their bedroom. "When you don't sleep, you become psychotic after two days. You don't know if you're up or down. You're just crying and undealable," said Linda Phillips, who believes the bugs followed her home from a motel in Bedford, Virginia.

It cost Phillips $5,000 to treat her family's large two story home of the bugs.
An exterminator took WAVY.com into a bedroom to show where the beds hide. Adults are about the size of apple seeds and babies look like moving grains of sand. New ones hatch every day, and exterminator Corey Newell said it doesn't take long for the bugs to take over.
Bed bugs hide out in dark crevices like picture frames, night stands, and light sockets.
Health officials said if you see them - act fast and be prepared.

Environmental Health Manager Erin Sutton said they inspect hotels once a year. After that, they only check out complaints.
"We do the left side room and the right side room, and the up room, and the down room because they do travel well through walls and baseboards," said Sutton.
To reopen a room, the hotel must submit written notice from an exterminator that it's bug free, but that is not always a guarantee.

"If a company is offering a guarantee, that's something you should probably watch out for. They're probably not being honest with you," said Sutton.
Bed bugs are just hard to kill, so Sutton recommends inspecting mattress and headboards before you sleep in a hotel. Sutton also recommended to never put suitcases or purses on the bed.
"Heat is one of the best things for bed bugs, so set your suitcase out in the sun for a day," said Sutton, "The people with the little white vests come and take you away."
There are many ways to treat bed bugs, and the Health Department said a combination of chemicals and heat above 120 degrees seems to work best.
Professional examinations can cost up to $5,000, so experts said if you do it yourself, be prepared to throw out things like furniture and carpeting.

By: Bradley Skierkowski

Sourced by: WAVY TV

Bloomington campus prevents Bed Bugs

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University says swift action by its staff may have prevented an infestation of bed bugs on the Bloomington campus.

IU environmental health and safety director Mike Jenson says an employee at the IU Wells Library found one bed bug on a library wall Monday. After that discovery, public health staff inspected the area and set out traps that caught a second bed bug.

Jenson says the area has now been treated with an insecticide and the insect traps remain in place. As of Wednesday, no additional bed bugs have been found.
He says the staff's awareness and quick actions may have prevented an infestation of the irritating small reddish-brown wingless insects.
The "bites" of bed bugs can cause red, itchy welts that can become irritated if scratched.

By: Bradley Skierkowski
Sourced By: Associated Press

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Creepy critters in your couch, carpets and mattress

Even if you sleep alone, you’re still sharing your bed. Mattresses harbor a variety of tiny critters. Dust mites are microscope bugs that thrive on dead skin cells from humans and pets.

A typical mattress may have anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million mites inside. A single dust mite produces about 20 waste droppings each day. The proteins in the combination of feces and shed skin are what cause people to have allerigic reactions, which can range from itchy eyes to asthma attacks. Ten percent of the weight of a two year old pillow can be from dead mites and their droppings. Mites are in your carpets and couches, but they prefer warm, moist surroundings such as the inside of a mattress when someone is on it.

The most effective way to control dust mites is to enclose the mattress top and sides with an airtight plastic or polyurethane cover, and wash your sheets, pillows and blankets in very hot water

Bed bugs are another critter that can hide in your mattress. These are small insects that feed on blood from humans and other mammals and are active at night when people are sleeping. Adult bed bugs have flat, rusty red oval bodies, are about the size of an apple seed, and often hide in cracks in furniture, floors or walls.

A homeowner needs to hire a licensed pest control company that to treat bed bugs. It is important to combine insecticide treatments with laundering bed linens, vacuuming rooms and cleaning mattresses.

Sourced: Atlanta Home & Living ExaminerKelly George

Bed bugs bite Bakersfield man at local motel

Bed bugs bite Bakersfield man at local motel
John Medeiros contacted 17 News claiming that enormous welts on his back and arms came from a local motel room that was infested with bed bugs. The Kern County Environmental Health Department is taking this complaint very seriously, because once the bed bugs bite, the likelihood they will travel other places is very high. Medeiros says the large welts appeared all over his arms and back after he stayed at a local motel last week. He says a doctor told him he was bitten by bed bugs and Medeiros says there is no doubt in his mind it came from the motel bed. I thought it was like a flea or fly or something like that, Medeiros said. I swatted it and a couple minutes later the same thing, and this time I pressed on it and it was a reddish-brownish bug. The room Medeiros stayed in last week was occupied so 17 News couldn't inspect it for bed bugs. However, just three doors down, we inspected the seams of a different motel mattress and looked under the bed for any signs of bed bugs. Bed bugs also like to hide behind the headboard which in this case didn't move because it was screwed into the wall. None of the tiny bugs were found in that room, but Environmental Health Director Matt Constantine says that doesn't mean the motel is in the clear. It's sometimes difficult to find them and depending on where they're hiding or living, that could present a challenge to identifying if they are present, Constantine said. There were reports of bed bugs at this motel in 2008, but because of the possible adverse effect it would have on his business, 17 News is not naming the motel until Constantine confirms that there were in fact bed bugs in that room. The environmental health team will inspect the motel tomorrow and search Mediero's room for any signs of the critters. Mediero says he has hired an attorney and is seeking reimbursement for medical expenses and all of his personal belongings which he said he was forced to throw away because they were infested with bed bugs. We will let you know what the health department's inspection reveals.

Sourced: KGET-TV

Monday, May 24, 2010

Presence of 'bed bugs' inside buses troubles passengers

Presence of 'bed bugs' inside buses troubles passengers

Aizawl, May 23 2010: In what could be termed as 'troublesome' for the passengers boarding night and day bus services, numbers of bed bug on the seats of these buses have created uneasiness and troubled to the passengers.
This is probably due to lack of proper maintenance by the concerned persons.

The passengers who complaint about the presence of bed bug inside the buses were from Capital Travels and Network Travels, two biggest travel operators in Mizoram.

More complaint was received from the passengers who boarded deluxe buses plying to Guwahati and Shillong.

According to sources, even bus service in the state are also infested with the same problems.

One passenger said, "Due to convenience and a sort of relax, I boarded Deluxe Bus over Sumo services, but its complete restless as I have been disturbed all the way by bed bug" .

Meantime, tour operators are not to be blamed all.

Employee at the Capital Travels informed Newmai News Network that complaint of the presence of bug inside the buses was received since 2008 .

Though till now there is written complaint, but the tours operators have received numbers of verbal complaint regarding the menace.

"We are also at a loss.

We tried our level best to kill these bugs but we could somehow not succeed till now.

We also used various types of insecticides." According to Capital Travels, bugs were disappeared for sometime after spraying insecticides but they gradually comes up again after a week or so.

The same reason also goes to Network Travels who operates bus service to Guwahati and Shillong.

"We washed the seats clothes and cover with boiling water, sprayed insecticides and also cleaned inside everytime.

But after few days, they (bed bugs) spranged up again.

We are really confused." As has been stated, government and private buses in Mizoram are not aloof from this menace.

Though there is not much complaint on the presence of bugs, but their (bugs) presence are felt by the passengers.

In the meantime, it is learned that there are few prankster who played pranks by putting bugs at the cleaned buses as a matter of fun.

One driver said, "There is a limit, enough is enough.

Its not so funny to disturb passengers.

Its very sad that there are person who engaged in this type of fun".

It is learned that these pranksters are their co-drivers.

Meanwhile, State Transport Service (STA), who looks after motor service in Mizoram have said that they do not necessarily check and look the condition of buses servicing outside the state.

But they regularly check their permit, said sources.

Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network

Nashville woman files suit with Rent-a-Center over bedbugs

Nashville woman files suit with Rent-a-Center over bedbugs

This seems to be the week for bed bug lawsuits.

The Tennesseean reports that Evangela Cowan of Nashville is suing Rent-a-Center, claiming the furniture she rented (including a mattress) gave her bed bugs.

She is suing for $575,000. The Tennesseean also reports on the company’s response:

Xavier Dominicis, a Rent-A-Center spokesman, said he could not comment about Cowan’s suit, but did agree to speak about the company’s sanitation practices regarding returned merchandise.

“We use a number of agents to sanitize the equipment,” Dominicis said. “The company follows state guidelines. We inspect everything before it goes out and when it comes back.”

The spokesman said bedbugs are a rarity.

“Occasionally, we’ll get a bedbug here and there and we’ll aid the customer when needed,” Dominicis said.

But Cowan says Rent-A-Center has never attempted to help.

“I explained the situation to them,” she said. “And, they just looked at me. They were completely unconcerned. I actually left in tears.”

I would very much like to know more about the protocols used to sanitize furniture returned to Rent-a-Center. First, visual inspections are very difficult — even for those trained to find bed bugs and patient enough to do lengthy searches. Second, the statement “we use a number of agents to sanitize the equipment” suggests to my mind the use of sprays.

My understanding of bed bug treatment is that no spray can render an item bed bug-free with 100% reliability — far from it, in fact. I am also not aware of Tennessee’s guidelines on this matter, but unless they require all previously rented items to be treated using thermal methods or sulfuryl fluoride (Vikane) gas, or frozen for several days at low temperatures, the treatment is unlikely to guarantee bed bugs are not present.

It is not true that bed bugs are a rarity in our society, and it stands to reason they’re becoming more common among renters of furniture, just as they are in the population at large. Furniture rental companies need to develop foolproof methods of ensuring all rented items are bed bug-free.

Sourced: by nobugsonme on July 24, 2009

Bed bugs from furniture rentals? Fox 41 in Louisville investigates

Bed bugs from furniture rentals? Fox 41 in Louisville investigates

Fox 41 News in Louisville, Kentucky spoke with a man claiming to be a Rent-A-Center employee, who says that the company’s bed bug policy is not followed.

“The bug problem in Louisville is pretty bad,” said “Jeff” who claims to be a Rent-A-Center employee.

“It was maybe one place a year, but now we’re getting this one a week. There’s no bleach spray, there’s absolutely nothing done for bed bugs I took over a location and my first two days on the job was fighting bed bugs,” said Jeff.

His job is not in pest control, “Jeff” says he is a manager of Rent-A-Centers in Louisville.

“Personally I wouldn’t rent furniture,” said “Jeff”.

Jeff also tells Fox 41 that when mattresses are brought in or moved, new and old are placed site by side.

If I were going to rent or purchase used items (or new items from a store that sells used items), I would want to be certain that they were thermally treated (in order to completely eliminate bed bugs). I would want to be sure that items so treated were not stored or shipped alongside infested items, and that trucks were also thermally treated after used items were hauled.

While it’s always possible that “Jeff’” doesn’t really work for Rent-A-Center, Fox also got input from the company itself:

As part of the Fox 41 investigation, Jennifer Baileys contacted Rent-A-Center’s corporate office in Texas. Company Spokesperson Xavier Dominicis said no one at any of the stores in Louisville would be available to talk on camera and that Fox 41 would not be permitted inside any of the stores.

Dominicis did offer information about Rent-A-Centers bed bug policy. He said all stores use a product called Steri-Fab to fight bed bugs.

“This Steri-Fab do you feel that this really does work and knock out any potential problems,” asked Baileys. “It’s the best product on the market right now,” said Dominicis.

OPC Pest Control in Louisville backs up that claim. Manager Kevin Mills said Steri-Fab will kill bed bugs when sprayed directly on the bug, but like all products on the market it will not fix the problem.

As I understand it, Steri-Fab is a contact kill spray with some residual effect.

It would be very difficult — if not impossible — to kill all bed bugs in a sofa, mattress and box spring, or other items by spraying them directly, because of the difficulty of reaching bed bugs inside items, where they hide easily.
Also, the Fox reporter’s advice that used furniture shoppers inspect a sofa on the outside and in the creases with a good flashlight is not bad, but is hardly sufficient to ensure people don’t purchase furniture with bed bugs harboring inside.

It is theoretically possible to treat items and trucks in order to remove bed bugs. Thermal methods, done properly, work well. They would be a possibility for many of the items rental firms carry.

In order to protect their business interests, it’s important that furniture rental (and sales) firms take methods to properly prevent bed bugs from being transmitted from the firm to customers, or from one customer to the next.

Sourced: by nobugsonme on May 24, 2010 · 1 comment

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