Tag Archives: bed bug control

Don’t Let Bed Bugs Ruin Your Vacation

To prevent an unwanted encounter with bed bugs, Hulett Environmental Services shares the following prevention tips for travelers:imagegen.ashx1

  • At hotels, thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in furniture. Pull back the bed sheets and check the mattress seams and box springs for pepper-like stains that may be evidence of bed bug activity.
  • If you suspect an infestation or problem, notify management and change rooms immediately. Be sure the new room is not adjacent to or directly below or above the possibly infested room.
  • Keep suitcases in plastic trash bags or protective covers during a hotel stay to prevent bed bugs from nesting there. Do not put them on the beds.
  • Upon returning home from a trip, inspect all suitcases and other belongings before bringing them into the house.
  • Wash all clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water and dry them using an extra-hot dryer setting

 

Hulett Environmental Services encourages people to revisit some bed bug basics

Hulett Environmental Services encourages people to revisit some bed bug basics

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Today marks the start of Bed Bug Awareness Week (April 20 through 26), an observance by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events, to promote public awareness about bed bugs. Hulett Environmental Services is proud to join in this important industry effort and encourages people to brush up on some bed bug prevention tips to curb infestations, especially ahead of the summer travel season.

Bed bugs are as much, if not more of a problem than they were just a few years ago. A 2013 survey conducted by the NPMA and the University of Kentucky, found that nearly 100 percent of pest professionals had encountered bed bugs in the past year.

Bed bugs are often associated with sanitation issues, but the truth is that these pests are found in many different environments. They are excellent hitchhikers and possess uncanny characteristics that make them extremely difficult to control. Vigilance is the key to avoiding an infestation.

The NPMA and Hulett Environmental Services recommends practicing these prevention tactics while out and about this spring and summer:

  • Never bring second-hand furniture, especially mattresses and box springs, into a home or college dorm without thoroughly examining it for signs of a bed bug infestation.
  • At hotels, thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in furniture. Pull back the bed sheets and check the mattress seams for pepper-like stains that may be evidence of bed bug activity.
  • If you suspect an infestation or problem, notify management and change rooms immediately. Be sure the new room is not adjacent to or directly below or above the possibly infested room.
  • Keep suitcases in plastic trash bags or protective covers during a hotel stay to prevent bed bugs from nesting there. Do not put them on the beds.
  • Upon returning home from a trip, inspect all suitcases and other belongings before bringing them into the house.
  • Wash all clothes – even those that have not been worn – in hot water and dry them using an extra-hot dryer setting.
  • Avoid putting bags and purses on the floor of dressing rooms, public transit, movie theaters, etc.

For more information on bed bugs, please visit http://site1.das-group.com/pest_control_services/bed-bug-control.asp?type=pest

Stay Bed Bug Free At School

Tips to keep you bed bug free during school

 

  • Fully inspect your suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially if you have traveled during the summer. Be sure that any clothes that may have been previously packed in the suitcase have been washed and dried in hot temperatures .
  • Before putting your sheets on your dormitory bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs.
  • If you are considering bringing “secondhand” furniture to campus, properly inspect it to insure that a pest problem, such as bed bugs, is not the reason for its “secondhand” status. If you see anything suspect, do not bring it to campus.

Visit http://site1.das-group.com/commercial_pest_control/bed-bug-control.asp?type=commercial to learn more about bed bug control

What do I need to know about Bed Bugs?

What do I need to know about Bed Bugs?

They are brown, about a quarter of an inch in diameter, and look like an apple seed or a lentil. There HAS been an increase in bedbug infestations.  Pest control companies who

Florida Bed Bug Control Experts

received 1 or 2 bedbug calls a year are now reporting 1 to 2 each week.  According to 2010 research conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky, 95% of pest control companies report encountering a bed bug infestation in the past year. Prior to 2000, only 25% of pest control companies surveyed had encountered a bed bug infestation.

In addition, another survey by NPMA found that one in five Americans has had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel.

These pests are not limited to any one specific type of environment.  Pest control companies have been reporting infestations in both single and multi-family housing, apartments, hotels, hospitals, college dormitories, public transportation, laundry facilities and even movie theaters.

Bedbugs should NOT be equated with filth or sanitation problems — in hotels or in homes, for that matter. Bedbugs are VERY elusive, transient and nocturnal pests. They are often found in other areas besides the bed, and they are hardy.  They can live for a year or more without eating and can withstand a wide range of temperatures from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bedbugs CAN be controlled with vigilance, constant inspection and treatment by professional pest control companies.

To prevent bedbug infestations, consumers need to be vigilant in assessing their surroundings. When returning from a trip, check your luggage and clothing.  If you think you may have a bedbug infestation, contact a pest control professional.  This is not a pest that can be controlled with do-it-yourself measures.

Hulett Environmental Services has committed to following the Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Bed Bugs, which were released by NPMA

Last year saw an unprecedented spike in the resurgence of bed bugs, with one in five Americans reporting they have had an infestation or know someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel, according to a survey by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).

Due to this dramatic increase, Hulett Environmental Services has committed to following the Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Bed Bugs, which were released by NPMA.

Developed cohesively by industry professionals, regulators, academics and entomologists, these guidelines provide step-by-step practices for professionals treating bed bugs, as well as consumers securing a professional to handle an infestation.  For treatment to be effective and lasting, it is imperative that professionals and homeowners act as a team.  For example, the BMPs provide specific preparations homeowners can make to facilitate a successful professional inspection, such as reducing clutter, laundering clothes and making minor repairs.  By following these guidelines, Hulett Environmental Services will ensure its clients are receiving optimum service- from detection, to the training of technicians to treatment tactics to post treatment evaluation, while clients will know what questions to ask, what they can do to ensure the success of treatment, and what to expect from their professional partner.

“Our number one goal is always to provide excellent and effective service to our customers, and the Best Management Practices will help us do just that,” said Tim Hulett, owner of Hulett Environmental Services.  “Not only will the BMPs provide us with the best possible tools to eradicate this stubborn pest, they will empower our clients to know what part they can play in helping us successfully solve their problem.  By working together under the guidance of these practices, we can make great strides in the fight against bed bugs.”

The Best Management Practices for Bed Bugs feature guidelines for professionals, as well as suggestions for consumers hiring a professional to treat their infestation, in areas such as:

–   Bed Bug Detection
–   Canine Detection
–   Home Preparation for inspection/treatment
–   Disposal of personal items/furniture
–   Client Cooperation and Treatment Preparations
–   Methods of Control
–   Post-Treatment Evaluation
–   Health and Safety of Customers

The BMPs for Bed Bugs can be found in English and Spanish at http://www.PestWorld.org/bed-bug-bmps

Visit http://site1.das-group.com/pest_control_services/bed-bug-control.asp?type=pest to learn more.

Learn About Hulett’s Healthy Home Bed Bug Program

Protect yourself from stinging insects over the next few months

Here are a few facts to help homeowners protect themselves from stinging insects over the next few months:

  • Stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room every year. They can swarm and sting en masse, which can be life threatening especially for anyone who has an allergic reaction.
  • Unlike some stinging insect species, wasps are known for their unprovoked aggression. A single colony of wasps can contain more than 15,000 members, so an infestation should not be taken lightly.
  • Common nesting sites include under eaves, on ceiling beams in attics, garages and sheds and under porches. Some stinging insects can build their nests in the ground, including yellowjackets and velvet ants (which are actually a species of wasps). Over-seeding the yard provides more coverage and discourages these pests from nesting around the property.
  • Painting or staining untreated wood in fences, decks, swing sets and soffits will help keep stinging insects such as carpenter bees out. Carpenter bees create nests by drilling tunnels into soft wood, which can severely compromise the stability of a structure over time.
  • Only female carpenter bees have stingers. Female carpenter bees will only sting if threatened, but reactions to these stings can range from mild irritation to life-threatening respiratory distress.

How to Prevent Bringing Bed Bugs Home From Travels

How to Prevent Bringing Bed Bugs Home From Travels

Know Before You Go: Bed Bug Travel Tips

Before we know it, summer will be here and millions of people around the country will begin packing their bags to have some fun in the sun. Before embarking on vacations, many of these travelers will create a travel checklist to help them prepare for hitting the road. While packing sunscreen, turning off lights, cleaning out the fridge and locking doors are all likely to make the list, it’s also important for travelers to bring along another type of list to use before and after unpacking from their trips — the bed bug prevention checklist.

Even the most seasoned travelers are at a higher risk of encountering bed bugs when traveling because these blood-sucking pests are excellent hitchhikers and are easily transported from one place to another in human belongings like suitcases. As a result, bed bugs continue to remain a problem in lodging facilities. In fact, 75 percent of pest professionals have treated bed bugs in hotels and motels, according to the 2013 Bugs Without Borders Survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky.

All travelers will benefit from a little bed bug know-how to help ensure they don’t bring them home as an unwanted souvenir. If you and your family are planning on getting away this summer, here is your bed bug prevention checklist:

When You Arrive At The Hotel

  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard, under lights, and inside dressers, drawers, sofas and chairs.
  • Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams and box springs, particularly at the corners, for pepper-like stains, spots or shed bed bug skins.
  • Place suitcase in a plastic trash bag during the duration of your trip to ensure that bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure.
  • Do not place luggage on upholstered surfaces. The safest place is in the bathroom in the middle of a tile floor or on a luggage rack after it has been thoroughly inspected. Do not use a luggage rack if it has hollow legs, where bed bugs may hide unseen.

If You Suspect Bed Bugs Are In Your Hotel Room

  • Notify management and request to change rooms immediately.
  • Do not move to a room adjacent and/or directly above/below the suspected infestation. Bed bugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets. If an infestation is spreading, it typically does so in the rooms closest to the origin.

When You Arrive Home

  • Inspect your suitcases outdoors before bringing them into the house.
  • Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing it. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which can kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have traveled home with you.
  • Wash and dry all of your clothes – even those that have not been worn – on hot cycles.
  • Keep clothes that go to the dry cleaner in a sealed plastic bag until they can be transported.

If you get settled back in at home following a trip and suspect that you may have brought some hitchhiking bed bugs back with you, contact a licensed pest professional in a timely manner. Bed bugs are not a DIY pest and should be left to a professional.

Looking for more information on bed bugs? Check out this Pest ID card or visit AllThingsBedBugs.org for a plethora of bed bug resources.

Bed Bugs Unfazed By Ultrasonic Devices, Researchers Report

Bed Bugs Unfazed By Ultrasonic Devices, Researchers Report

Northern Arizona researchers Kasey Yturralde and Richard W. Hofstetter tested four different products, none of which successfully drove away bed bugs.

With bed bugs bunking just about everywhere these days, people battling the bloodsucking insects may be tempted to try their hand at driving them away. But ultrasonic bug zappers, which retail for less than $25, aren’t the solution, say entomologists who tested some of the devices.

Northern Arizona researchers Kasey Yturralde and Richard W. Hofstetter tried out four different ultrasonic devices available on Amazon: one designed specifically for bedbugs and three that claimed to repel insects and small furry mammalian pests.

Their simple experimental design consisted of two 5-gallon buckets lined with sound-muffling insulation that were connected by a tube. An ultrasonic device was placed in one bucket, and eight to 10 bed bugs were placed in the tube.

More care was given to how the bedbugs were housed in the lab. The researchers kept them in large jars, like those used for canning, which were placed in bins full of soapy water. And every lip or edge over which a rogue bed bug would have to crawl was covered in a slippery substance a little like liquid Teflon, Yturralde says, to keep them from escaping.

In test after test, the bed bugs showed no preference for either bucket. None of the four devices drove the bed bugs away.

Click here to read the entire article.

Source: NPR.org

Will we ever… get rid of bed bugs?

Will we ever… get rid of bed bugs?

By Brooke Borel
Will we ever… get rid of bed bugs?(Copyright: Science Photo Library)

Many countries have seen a surge in infestations of the bloodsucking pest over the past decade. Brooke Borel examines what’s needed to tackle the re-emerging threat.

 

 

Why do we need to sleep?

 

 

Nothing makes the skin crawl more than the idea that tiny bloodsucking bugs could be living in our bedrooms. Around the size of a lentil, the common bed bug*, Cimex lectularius, can drink up to seven times its own weight in blood in one feeding, leave nasty, itchy bumps on their human hosts, and hide unseen for months on end.

Since the late 1990s, the bed bug has become an increasingly common urban nuisance in homes and hotels worldwide. A 2010 survey from the University of Kentucky and the National Pest Management Association found that 95% of US pest control companies had treated a bed bug infestation in the previous year, up from 25% a decade before, and 11% before that. Only last month, New York’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, a resource for other people with bed bug infestations, had to fumigate one of its floors.

According to the survey, the majority of pest control operators from Europe, Africa, Australia and North America said bed bugs were the most difficult insect pest to control, more so than ants, termites and even the formidable cockroach. Another study showed that in London alone, bed bug treatments grew by a quarter each year between 2000 and 2006.

The worst aspect about this is that we thought we had tackled the bed bug problem before. Clive Boase, a pest management consultant in Suffolk and author of the London survey, says that UK bedbug numbers began decreasing in the 1930s, thanks to changes in social housing and public health policies, which led to the demolition of old publicly-funded housing and teams of inspectors checking homes for vermin, respectively. New pesticides introduced in the 1940s, including DDT, also helped to bring numbers down, and by the 1950s infestations were rare. The US saw a similar drop in infestations from the late 1940s onwards, thanks to the advent and widespread use of DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticides.

So, where is the chemical cure this time around? Or, is there any relief to be found in the myriad bed bug products and services on the market, from growth regulators to heat treatments?

Fighting resistance

The pesticides currently available, says Dini Miller, an entomologist and bed bug expert from Virginia Tech, are “not practical to use in a widespread way because of the cost.” New, cheaper pesticides are too expensive and time consuming to develop, she adds. Because bed bugs live primarily in the bedroom, chemical companies must provide extensive toxicity data to prove it is safe for indoor use, as it might come into contact with people or pets.

But, proving that a pesticide works and is safe could cost a company up to $256 million over eight to ten years for each active ingredient, according to a 2010 industry study conducted for Crop Life America and the European Crop Protection Association. The investment may not be worth it. The US accounts for over a fifth of the world’s pesticide use, the vast majority of which is used in agriculture, followed by herbicides and then insecticides. Compared to the vast expanse of farmland and orchards, the real estate of all of the apartments and houses in the world combined is small and brings in less money, says Miller. This is especially a problem considering patent protection on a novel ingredient runs out after around 20 years, after which the tech is open to generic competitors.

Even if making a new bed bug insecticide were lucrative, there are other challenges. There is the problem of figuring out how a chemical has to function in order to best kill bed bugs cheaply, efficiently and safely. This requires intimate knowledge of the bed bug’s basic biology. But, because bed bugs were at such low levels for decades, interest in studying them waned. Starting in the early 2000s, once it was clear the resurgence was real and that bed bugs weren’t going anywhere, scientists had to relearn bed bug basics from scratch, starting with fundamental aspects as how to raise them in a lab.

Then there is the problem of paying for the research. While dozens of labs now work on the basic science of bed bugs worldwide, funding remains low in part because bed bugs are not known to spread disease.

Finally, there is the problem of insecticide resistance. Even DDT, the supposed miracle cure, wasn’t immune to this. Five years after the pesticide was in widespread use in the US, DDT-resistant bed bugs popped up in Hawaii; in the 1950s and 1960s, resistant strains were found elsewhere in the US and in Japan, Korea, Iran, Israel and French Guiana, to name a few.

No chemical insecticide is immune to resistance, particularly if it is overused. Today, roughly 90% of bed bugs have a genetic mutation that makes them resistant to pyrethroids, a class of insecticides commonly used for bed bugs that work in a similar way to DDT.

Stopping spread

So, chemicals are not the sole answer. Neither, it seems, are any other options when used alone. “There is no silver bullet,” says Michael Potter, an entomologist from the University of Kentucky. Still, chemicals and other tactics can be used in an integrated pest management strategy, where they are sometimes used sparingly along with heat treatments (bed bugs die at 45C), desiccants such as silica gel and diatomaceous earth that fatally dry the bugs out, or vacuuming and getting rid of clutter.

Biological tactics are emerging as another possible option. Insect growth regulators, or IGRs, are chemicals that prevent bed bugs from completing their lifecycle, stunting their growth so they can’t reproduce. But, IGRs are slow-acting, and the bugs will still bite even if they can’t breed. On the horizon, perhaps, are genetically modified versions of symbiotic bacteria that live in the insect’s gut, including Wolbachia, which may be exploited for pest management. Or, the bugs’ pheromones, which tell them where to go and who to mate with, may also be reengineered and used against them.

In the meantime, public awareness measures can keep bed bugs from spreading. Good practices include: checking hotel room beds before unpacking, being mindful of belongings like a coat draped carelessly on an unknown couch, washing clothing in hot water and vacuuming suitcases after travelling, and avoiding discarded furniture on the street. Some experts also recommend sealing mattresses and box springs in encasements specifically intended to keep away bed bugs, which may make the bed easier to treat and could save it from permanent damage.

These combined efforts have knocked down infestations in some areas, says Boase, particularly among high-end hotels and the rich. Both can afford to throw money at the problem. Right now, he adds, the most severe infestations in the UK are in low-income housing – not because poor people are more apt to get them, but because they are less likely to be able to afford the treatments. The US has a similar problem. Better control will depend on cheaper, more efficient options entering the market.

“I feel that it is possible to bring infestation levels down in that residual housing area, but we don’t have the tools of infrastructure to support it,” says Boase. Then again, he says, “we’ve never had [total] eradication before.” But, with cheaper tools, we may be able to knock bed bug levels back down everywhere. Or at least, he adds, “we love to think we can.”

* Many people write “bedbugs”, but entomologists use two words when describing Cimex lectularius, because it is a “true bug” (Hemiptera). Entomologists always use two words for insects that are true to the common name they have – so for example, house fly is two words because those are actually flies, but butterfly is one word because they aren’t flies.

 

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