OrlandoSentinel.com: Bug Bites Cause Health Scare Aboard Plane at Midway

OrlandoSentinel.com: Bug Bites Cause Health Scare Aboard Plane at Midway

A Minnesota woman who caused a health scare aboard a Delta Airlines flight from Detroit — causing the plane to be kept on the tarmac at Midway International Airport Thursday for three hours — says it was all a misunderstanding over bug bites.

Lise Sievers of Red Wing was one of 43 passengers aboard Delta flight 3163 to Midway when it touched down and the captain announced the plane would be briefly quarantined. Men with surgical masks over their faces boarded the plane, and rumors flew as passengers tried to figure out what sort of contagion might be spreading through the cabin.

Sievers said she had been in Uganda, where she is adopting two special needs children and “stayed at a hotel the other night and I think it left friends on my body. My son, who’s four and a half, had pustules on him.”

Before she left Detroit, she told her mother that she had a rash, apparently from bed bugs, and that the boy had pustules. But her mother misunderstood and “conflicting information” was passed on to health officials, who feared Sievers might have monkeypox.

Sievers, 50, who was on the tail end of a 20-plus hour trip that began in Uganda, where she had spent more than three months trying to finalize the adoption of two special needs children, wondered as well, said her son, Roger Sievers.

During a layover in Detroit, she had called her mother in LaPorte, Ind., and mentioned one of the children she was trying to adopt had broken out in pustules-small, pimple-like sores– during her visit, and that the boy had to be taken to the hospital in Uganda. Sievers also mentioned to her mother that she had suffered an unrelated case of itchy bites she believed had been inflicted by bedbugs.

While Sievers’ flight was en route to Midway, her mother confused Sievers’ bug bites and the boy’s pustules, and called her local hospital to ask what she should do to prepare to treat her daughter’s symptoms.

“Any time you mention you’ve been in a tropical country like Uganda and you’ve developed what sounds like an infectious disease, well, they call the CDC (Center for Disease Control) right away,” said Roger Sievers.

Indeed, according to a press release from the CDC issued Thursday, authorities suspected she may have come down with monkey pox, a contagious disease that occurs mostly in western Africa that causes victims to break out in small, crusty bumps. Sievers, however, was as surprised as anyone when her plane was surrounded by ambulances and fire vehicles when it landed at Midway, her son said.

Aboard the plane, health crews took pictures of her rash. Experts determined they were bug bites and let Sievers and her fellow passengers off the plane. Sievers went to a hospital for additional tests-which turned up nothing, her son said-and was resting at a relative’s house in Indiana Thursday night.

Sievers will head back to Uganda in a month to finalize the adoption of the two children who will be the latest of more than 10 children she has adopted over more than 20 years, her son said. The adoption process had dragged on so long, the extra few hours on the tarmac at Midway didn’t seem to faze her, Roger Sievers said. Her fellow passengers were polite, even the ones seated close to her, he said.

 

Hulett’s Healthy Home Bed Bug Program ~ Florida

2011 PCT Bed Bug Survey Results

PMPs report seeing large increases in the number of bed bug encounters in college dorms, hotels, nursing homes, office buildings, schools and daycare centers, hospitals, public transportation and movie theaters compared to last year. More specifically, many places experienced double-digit growth from a year ago, including:

  • College dorms (54 percent, up from 35 percent a year ago)
  • Hotels/motels (80 percent, up from 67 percent a year ago)
  • Nursing homes (46 percent, up from 25 percent a year ago)
  • Office buildings (38 percent, up from 17 percent a year ago)
  • Schools and day care centers (36 percent, up from 10 percent a year ago)
  • Transportation (train/bus/taxi) (18 percent up from nine percent a year ago)
  • Hospitals (31 percent, up from 12 percent a year ago)
  • Movie theaters (17 percent, up from four percent a year ago)

Additionally, in this year’s survey, 21 percent of PMPs reported treating bed bugs in retailstores.

Via PCT

Bed Bug Control Experts

Hulett’s Healthy Home Bed Bug Program

Managing bed bug infestations quickly will help us to help you. At the first sign of a bed bug infestation, we will inspect your entire home free of charge. Once properly identified, treatment can begin as soon as that same day. You will be educated by our trained experts on the biology and behavior of bed bugs, as well as the important role you will play during our treatment procedure, which includes:

  • Treating entire beds and bedframes, headboards, nightstands, and dressers
  • Directly treating mattresses and box springs with the newest products available
  • Treating behind pictures or mirrors on walls
  • Treating carpeting, baseboards, electrical outlets, and any other voids where bed bugs may hide
  • Stopping the spread of bed bugs to unaffected areas of your home

Should I treat for them right now?

Bed Bug Propagation ScheduleBed bugs cause a great deal of physical and emotional distress to almost any resident. They cause red, itchy welts from their nighttime feeding and are a general nuisance. If left untreated, bed bug populations will grow exponentially as each day passes, making them more difficult to manage. Hulett uses an integrated approach that includes the newest products that are proven to manage bed bugs, as well as steam treatments, which kill all bed bug life stages, in areas where our products cannot be applied. Just call HULETT for your free, in-depth bed bug inspection today.

It’s Bed Bug Awareness Week – Brush Up On Information Before Vacation

It’s Bed Bug Awareness Week – Brush Up On Information Before Vacation

The National Pest Management Association reminds the public to be vigilant about bed bugs

As part of National Pest Management Month, which has been celebrated in April for more than 30 years, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is marking the week of April 22 – 28 as Bed Bug Awareness Week. As people begin to move about more frequently in the warmer months and embark on summer vacations, the NPMA is spreading awareness, promoting public vigilance and providing essential prevention advice about bed bugs.

Bed bugs are still a problem in America. A survey of pest professionals conducted by the NPMA and the University of Kentucky in 2011, found that bed bug encounters have become more common in public places than in previous years; in some cases, the numbers of professionals who reported treating certain types of businesses and commercial facilities saw double digit growth from the prior year,” said Missy Henriksen, NPMA’s vice president of public affairs.

“With summer travel around the corner, NPMA reminds travelers to arm themselves with bed bug knowledge and prevention tips. A watchful eye can go a long way in preventing an infestation upon returning home,” advised Henriksen.

The NPMA recommends the following bed bug prevention tips when traveling:

  • At hotels, pull back sheets and inspect mattress seams, for telltale bed bug stains. Inspect the entire room before unpacking, including sofas and chairs and behind the headboard. Notify management of anything suspect and change rooms or establishments immediately.
  • If you need to change rooms, don’t move to a room adjacent or directly above or below the suspected infestation.
  • Keep suitcases in plastic trash bags or protective covers during your stay to prevent bed bugs from nesting there.
  • When home, inspect suitcases before bringing them into the house and vacuum them before storing.
  • Wash all clothes – even those not worn – in hot water to eliminate any bed bugs and their eggs.

For more information, photos and videos of bed bugs, please visit allthingsbedbugs.org

The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health, food and property

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Hulett Introduces New Social Media Widget

Hulett Introduces New Social Media Widget

Hulett’s widget allows bugs.com users to view the latest postings to all of Hulett’s social media venues in one convenient viewer window.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — You may have thought widgets were limited to those imaginary production items bought and sold in your later years of high school economics class.  Not anymore. Hulett has brought the widget to life, to social media life, on bugs.com, their company website.  Hulett’s widget allows bugs.com users to view the latest postings to all of Hulett’s social media venues in one convenient viewer window.  Simply click on a story and it will take you to that social media site.  Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google + or their corporate blog, the widget allows viewers to see the latest social media posts scrolling on bugs.com in real time.

Randy Hulett, marketing manager for Hulett said, “This kind of cutting edge web technology helps the company stay at the forefront of customer relations activity well into the future. Social media has become how the consumer discusses products and services with each other prior to purchasing. We want to make sure that we are front and center for those conversations; Our social media widget will help us do just that.”

 

Bugs: 1. Starbucks: 0.

USAToday.com: Starbucks De-Bugs Its Menu Offerings

VIAL http://i.usatoday.net/money/_photos/2012/04/19/Starbucks-de-bugs-its-menu-offerings-A91B8CEL-x.jpg

Bugs: 1. Starbucks: 0.

That’s the latest score, as Starbucks has made an unusually rapid reversal in how it colors its Strawberry Frappuccinos — and some of its other foods and drinks.

Just weeks after the world’s largest coffee chain took serious PR heat from vegan groups and public relations gurus for switching to commonly-used cochineal beetles to color its Strawberry Frappuccinos, the company’s U.S. president, Cliff Burrows, now says that bugs are coming out and tomato-based extract is coming in.

“We fell short of your expectations,” he said, in a statement on Thursday on the company’s “My Starbucks Idea” consumer site. “We are reformulating the affected products to assure the highest quality possible.”

By the end of June, he says, the company will transition to using lycopene, a natural, tomato-based extract, in its Strawberry & Creme Frappuccino blended beverage and Strawberry Banana Smoothie. It also will drop the use of cochineal extract in its Raspberry Swirl Cake, Birthday Cake Pop, Mini Donut with pink icing and Red Velvet Whoopie Pie.

Starbucks  (SBUX) made the original switch away from artificial coloring in January, when it aggressively moved away from the use of any artificial ingredients in its food and drinks. Starbucks has worked diligently to improve the quality of its menu. But the backlash came just a few months later, when a vegan Starbucks barista alerted a vegan blogger of the change.

At least one consultant thinks Starbucks acted quickly and decisively. “That’s pretty quick when it come to companies making major changes in ingredients,” says management strategist Barbara Brooks. “They were aggressive and didn’t set up a commission with recommendations eight months later.”

The vegan world is ecstatic.

“Starbucks clearly learned from its error after switching to a dye from insects,” says David Byer, senior corporate liaison at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. “Since no one, vegetarian or not, wants beetle juice in their Frap, everyone will soon be able to celebrate the fact that it’s gone for good.”

The vegan blogger who first complained about the coloring says she is happy, too. “Through this move, Starbucks has shown that it cares about the opinions of its consumers,” says Daelyn Fortney, managing editor of ThisDishisVeg.com.

But she’s holding off on celebrating with a Strawberry Frap until the change is final.

“Maybe after June,” she says.

5 Ways to Keep Pests Out This Spring

Forbes.com: 5 Ways to Keep Pests Out This Spring

Spring is time for blooming gardens, warmer temperatures and unfortunately, the return of indoor and outdoor pests.

Some insects present only a minor concern and then there are those that can cause serious problems and nearly always require a professional exterminator’s attention.

“There are pests that are on the property, and then there are another set of pests that invade the house,” said board-certified entomologist Lynn Frank of Suburban Exterminating in Long Island, New York. “And then there is the wood-destroying insect that everyone worries about.”

Found in every state but Alaska, termites cost  homeowners an estimated $5 billion annually for repair and control measures, Frank says.

“Most people wait until they see a termite swarm before they call,” said Frank. “And by then it’s an expensive proposition.”

While there’s no guarantee against pests – especially something like wood-destroying insects -there are some preventative measures that homeowners can take:

  • Make sure any wood on the exterior of your home is finished, painted or treated – making it less attractive to wood-destroying pests and bees looking to nest.
  • Get rid of any compacted earth or piled wood near your home that could attract pests, especially termites.
  • Seal all cracks and holes that would give insects access to the inside of your house. Check crawlspaces, along the foundation and any exterior vents.
  • Check the exterior of your home often for wasps. They like to build nests under eaves, underneath tables or even in barbecue grills.
  • Keep food in sealed containers and keep your kitchen clean. Rotting fruit, dropped crumbs or even pet food can attract ants, flies and rodents.

But if you do happen to have some unwelcome pest visitors – and you may at this time of the year – it’s best to call in the pros sooner rather than later.

 

USDA Urges Americans to Prevent Invasive Pests, Protect American Agriculture

USDA Urges Americans to Prevent Invasive Pests, Protect American Agriculture

WASHINGTON, The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today announced that it is dedicating the month of April to sharing information about the threat that invasive plant pests, diseases and harmful weeds pose to America’s fruits, vegetables, trees, and other plants—and how the public can help prevent their spread. APHIS works each day to promote U.S. agricultural health and safeguard the nation’s agriculture, fishing and forestry industries.

“Invasive pests hit close to home and threaten the things we value,” said Rebecca A. Blue, Deputy Under Secretary for USDA’s Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “We need the public’s help because these hungry pests can have a huge impact on the items we use in everyday life, from the fabric in our clothing, the food on our table, the lumber used to build our home and the flowers in our garden. During one of the most successful periods in history for U.S. agriculture, it is important that we step-up our efforts to educate Americans about USDA’s good work to protect our nation’s food, fiber, feed and fuel from invasive pests.”

Invasive pests are non-native species that feed on America’s agricultural crops, trees and other plants. These “hungry pests” have cost the United States billions of dollars and wreak havoc on the environment. USDA and U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection-working closely with state agriculture departments and industry-are dedicated to preventing the introduction and spread of invasive pests. The goal is to safeguard agriculture and natural resources from the entry, establishment and spread of animal and plant pests and noxious weeds.

But federal and state agencies can’t do it alone. It requires everyone’s help to stop the unintended introduction and spread of invasive pests. The number-one action someone can take is to leave hungry pests behind. USDA urges the public to visit www.HungryPests.com to learn more about invasive pests and what they can do to protect American agricultural resources by preventing the spread of these threats. Here are a few actions that people can take today:

  • Buy Local, Burn Local. Invasive pests and larvae can hide and ride long distances in firewood. Don’t give them a free ride to start a new infestation-buy firewood where you burn it.
  • Plant Carefully. Buy your plants from a reputable source and avoid using invasive plant species at all costs.
  • Do Not Bring or Mail fresh fruits, vegetables, or plants into your state or another state unless agricultural inspectors have cleared them beforehand.
  • Cooperate with any agricultural quarantine restrictions and allow authorized agricultural workers access to your property for pest or disease surveys.
  • Keep It Clean. Wash outdoor gear and tires between fishing, hunting or camping trips. Clean lawn furniture and other outdoor items when moving from one home to another.
  • Learn To Identify. If you see signs of an invasive pest or disease, write down or take a picture of what you see, and then report it at www.HungryPests.com.
  • Speak Up. Declare all agricultural items to customs officials when returning from international travel. Call USDA to find out what’s allowed:
    (301) 851-2046 for questions about plants
    (301) 851-3300 for questions about animals

At www.HungryPests.com, a website available in both English and Spanish, visitors can access the interactive Pest Tracker to see what pests are threatening in a selected state, and to learn how to report suspected invasive pests. The public can also engage on the invasive pests issue via Facebook and Twitter. HungryPests.com is optimized for mobile devices. Public service announcements in both English and Spanish will air on television and radio throughout April and at peak times for domestic travel this summer. APHIS has also been actively collaborating with a number of state partners who will conduct targeted stakeholder engagement on invasive pest issues with state-specific outreach materials.

Added Blue: “The USDA and its partners are fighting invasive pests on three fronts: abroad, at the border, and across the homeland. We’re also developing new tools, improving our systems, and working hard to educate the public on how they can join the fight and help stop the spread of invasive pests.”

There has been success in the fight against invasive pests. The Asian longhorned beetle, detected in Illinois in 1998, was declared eradicated from Illinois in 2008 with the help of local, state and federal partners and Illinois residents. The beetle was also declared eradicated from Hudson County, NJ; and Islip, NY. Extensive efforts by USDA and its partners in California reduced European grapevine moth populations in 2011 by 99.9 percent. That pest was first detected in California in 2009.

With Agriculture Secretary Vilsack’s leadership, APHIS works tirelessly to create and sustain opportunities for America’s farmers, ranchers and producers. Each day, APHIS promotes U.S. agricultural health, regulates genetically engineered organisms, administers the Animal Welfare Act, and carries out wildlife damage management activities, all to safeguard the nation’s agriculture, fishing and forestry industries. In the event that a pest or disease of concern is detected, APHIS implements emergency protocols and partners with affected states and other countries to quickly manage or eradicate the outbreak. To promote the health of U.S. agriculture in the international trade arena, APHIS develops and advances science-based standards with trading partners to ensure America’s agricultural exports, valued at more than $137 billion annually, are protected from unjustified restrictions.