Tag Archives: bed bug control

UF Study Reveals Bed Bug Feeding Patterns

UF Study Reveals Bed Bug Feeding Patterns

Researchers at the University of Florida examined the feeding patterns of bed bugs — and the impact they can have on humans’ blood after several months. Their research was published in the journal Medical and Veterinary Entomology. Via: PCT

Researchers at the University of Florida examined the feeding patterns of bed bugs — and the impact they can have on humans’ blood after several months. Their research was published in the journal Medical and Veterinary Entomology.

The study shows that bed bugs will have a bigger or a smaller bloodmeal depending on when they last fed. For example, if bed bugs are fed every day, they have 1.5 times fewer instances of eating than those only fed occasionally, researchers found.

Researchers also found that production of bed bug eggs is linked with how much blood the bed bugs were able to consume the week prior.

“Longer and more frequent feedings increased egg production, which would allow a faster growth of bed bug populations,” they wrote in the study. “The increase in bed bug populations obtained with more frequent and longer feedings can be the difference between a population that barely survives at a location and a thriving population.”

Researchers conducted their study by letting bed bugs feed on chickens (both chickens and humans are known to be great “feeding hosts” for bed bugs).

Download the article at
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2915.2012.01057.x/abstract.

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

 

Monkeypox Scare is an Important Bed Bug Reminder for Travelers

EMaxHealth.com: Monkeypox Scare is an Important Bed Bug Reminder for Travelers

Last Thursday, health officials tipped off by an overly-concerned mother that her daughter flying-in from Africa may have picked up a contagious disease, placed a 2-hour quarantine on a Delta plane in Chicago. What was presumed to be a possible case of monkey pox evidenced by a rash on the passenger’s skin turned out to be nothing more than probable bed bug bites.

Monkeypox infection appears as a rash that consists of raised, blister-like bumps, and is usually accompanied by fever, headache and lymph node swelling. Bed bug bites, however, can cause a swollen and reddened area that may or may not be itchy, and without the other symptoms of monkeypox.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, monkeypox is a rare and sometimes fatal disease similar to smallpox that occurs primarily in central and western Africa. Monkeypox is contracted through direct contact with infected animals or their bodily fluids, and can spread among humans through fluids and contaminated clothes or bedding.

In this case, potential bed bug-contaminated clothes in the traveler’s luggage may be the endnote for her quarantine ordeal and one that many other travelers will face this summer.

To help prevent bringing bed bugs as unwanted souvenirs from your next trip, the following biology lesson and tips on bed bug removal from your luggage will keep you and your family bed bug free.

Bed Bug Basic Biology

Bed bugs are oval, flattened, brown, and wingless insects approximately 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch long. Young bed bugs are much smaller at approximately 1/16 of an inch when they first hatch and are colorless until they begin feeding. After an adult bed bug has taken a blood meal from an unsuspecting traveler, its color will change from brown to a dark purple-red and will grow in size morphing into a more elongated cigar-like shape. The presence of bed bugs in a hotel room may be noted by fecal spotting consisting of digested blood and skin castings the bugs shed while growing.

Bed bugs are active reproducers and according to one expert if 40 bed bugs are released into a room, their population will reach over 5,000 bugs in 6 months.

Bed Bug Hiding Places

Bed bugs will seek out beds, clothing and other areas where they sense a potential blood meal may be present. However, visually checking a bed before lying down is no guarantee that your bed or room is bug-free as bed bugs have a penchant for hiding in dark, recessed areas such as cracks and crevices in floors, closets, mattresses and…your luggage were clothing is stored. However, while many are tempted to throw out or burn their luggage in cases of suspected bed bug infestation rather than risk bringing it into their home, experts say that such measures are unnecessary as long as precautions are taken.

Bed Bug Precaution Tips

Tip #1: Bag it

Packing your clothes in zip lock bags before embarking on a trip is a good way to keep bed bugs out of your clothing during travel. Furthermore, placing color-sorted soiled clothing back into the zip lock bags before returning home limits the chances that you will deposit bed bugs in your home. Upon returning home, leave your suitcase outside and carry the pre-sorted clothing directly to the clothes washer before opening.

Tip #2: Wash and dry on high

Heat is your friend when it comes to bedbugs. When washing, set the washer and dryer cycles for the hottest settings that the fabric can withstand. If some articles of clothing cannot take high temperatures, consider going to the dry cleaner and let them know about your bed bug concerns with your clothing.

Tip #3: Skip insecticides for elbow grease

Suitcases pose a special problem as they typically do not fit in washers very well and provide lots of crevices for bed bugs to hide in. Spraying with insecticides can be effective, but may also cause staining and leave behind chemical odors that you will not want on your clothing during your next trip. Experts advise hand-washing suitcases outside the house using soap and the hottest water possible. A target temperature of 100°F to 120°F should be sufficient to kill all bed bug life forms from eggs to adults. Use a scrub brush along the seams and folds to ensure that you are getting to hidden bugs.

Tip #4: Heat or freeze

For luggage or other items that cannot be washed, you may want to consider heating or freezing the bed bugs to death. If the item’s materials can handle it and are not easily combustible, some experts recommend placing the items in an oven heated to a temperature of 120-150 degrees Fahrenheit. Some studies have shown that a 2-hour core exposure at 120°F should be considered as a minimum target temperature for heat treatments-the hotter the temperature, the shorter the “baking” time.

Freezing is another option for items that cannot be washed. However, using the home freezer takes longer than baking it in the oven as a minimum of 23°F must be maintained for at least 5 days.

The thing to remember (aside from safety) is that with heating or freezing, the entire item must reach the temperatures and exposure times recommended to ensure all stages of bed bugs and their eggs are being adequately exposed to result in complete extermination.

While following the tips with every trip may seem to be more hassle than the perceived risk of picking up bed bugs at your hotel or resort this summer, consider the cost and inconvenience if your house or apartment were to become home to these unwanted guests.

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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Avoid Bed Bugs While Traveling

Here are a few tips to help you stay away from the dreaded bed bug while traveling!

  • At hotels, pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. If you see anything suspect, notify management and change rooms/establishments immediately.
  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs.  If any pests are spotted, change rooms/establishments immediately.
  • If you do need to change rooms, be sure that you 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.
  • Consider placing your suitcase in a plastic trash bag or protective cover during the duration of your trip to ensure that bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure.
  • After traveling, inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house. Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing away. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which will kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride home.

Bed Bug Control

NATIONAL PEST MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION REPORTS RESURGENCE IN BEDBUG INFESTATIONS

Bedbugs Infesting Residential and Multifamily Homes, Apartment Complexes, Residence Halls, Hospitals and Hotels

According to the National Pest Management Association, pest control companies are reporting a significant increase in the number of calls regarding bedbug infestations. Renowned hitchhikers, bedbugs catch rides in luggage, shoes, pant hems and any other mobile material.  Although there is no way to determine the actual cause of the resurgence, experts are attributing the increase to several things, which include global travel and the mobility of the pest.

These infestations can be difficult to detect due to the elusive, nocturnal and transient nature of the pest. Although their name suggests otherwise, bedbugs can be found in carpets, peeling wallpaper, light fixtures, and any crack small enough for a thin insect to hide. Bedbug infestations are not a sign of unsanitary or unclean living areas.

Adult bedbugs are about the size and shape of a lentil.  Their color depends on how recently they have eaten.  They turn red after consuming a blood meal and then begin to gradually turn a brownish color. Capable of living up to ten months without a meal, a single bedbug can lay up to 500 eggs in its lifetime.

As bedbugs bite human skin, they inject an anesthetic-like liquid that numbs the skin and allows the pest to bite undisturbed.  In fact, humans don’t usually wake up when they are being bitten; however, they do find themselves scratching circular, red, itchy welts in the morning.

Bedbug infestations should only be treated by trained, licensed professional pest management companies. This is not an infestation that can be treated by do-it-yourself measures.  Professionals know where to look and can offer the most up to date methods of bedbug control.

For more information on other ant species and preventative tips visit

www.pestworld.org and www.bugs.com

Don’t forget to declare your…Insects?

A man crossing into the United States from Mexico forgot to declare his bugs as food at the port of entry. The unidentified driver told agents he forgot to declare the bags as food items. He was given a $175 fine and the insects were seized. Agents sent the bugs to the U.S.  Department of Agriculture where they were identified as a type of stink bug. Pests must be reported when brought into the country because they feed on plants, CBP officials said in a release.

Moral of the story is don’t forget to report pests when crossing the border since they feed on plants!

Checkout the full story

How Hungry Mosquitoes Cool Themselves

NYTimes.com: How Hungry Mosquitoes Cool Themselves

Most blood-sucking insects urinate while they feed so they can avoid filling up on fluid and get more nutrients out of their meal.

But some species of mosquito also do what is called preurination – they excrete drops of freshly ingested blood without extracting any of the nourishing blood cells.

The behavior has always confused scientists because “blood is a very precious resource,” said Claudio R. Lazzari, an entomologist at François Rabelais University in Tours, France. “The risk of taking it is very high.”

New research, conducted by Dr. Lazzari and colleagues and published in the journal Current Biology, shows that the preurine may serve to keep the cold-blooded mosquitoes from overheating while they take their blood meal, which can be as warm as 104 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the host animal.

Roughly one to two minutes after she starts feeding, an Anopheles stephensi mosquito will excrete urine and preurine through the anus, at the end of the abdomen. Sometimes a drop of the fluid will form and cling to the body before falling off; when this happens, some fluid evaporates like sweat and cools the mosquito’s abdomen by almost four degrees.

Mosquitoes also feed on nectar, but they tend not to preurinate when they eat lower-temperature, sugar-based meals.

The mosquito is not the only insect that uses ingested food to regulate its temperature. Aphids excrete honeydew to prevent their abdomens from getting too hot, and some bee species regurgitate a bit of nectar to keep their heads cool while they fly.

Forbes.com: Bed Bugs On Airplanes? Yikes! How To Fly Bed Bug-Free

Forbes.com: Bed Bugs On Airplanes? Yikes! How To Fly Bed Bug-Free

Melanie Haiken, Contributor

Just because you haven’t heard much about bed bug-infested airplanes doesn’t mean that economy or business class seat is free of the icky pests. While the topic hasn’t hit the headlines the way bed bugs in hotels has, the stories are getting out.

Passengers Go Viral with Bed Bug Complaints

According to the Daily Mail, British Airways was forced to  fumigate two planes after discovering a bed bug infestation on a Los Angeles-London flight. However, BA did not act quickly; the business class passenger, Zane Selkirk, became so disgruntled by the airline’s lack of response to her complaints that she set up awebsite and posted photos of her bite-covered arms, legs and feet online and they went viral and it wasn’t until then that BA conducted an investigation and found the bugs. Another passenger wrote an  op-ed letter to the New York Times last year after flying United Airlines to Washington D.C. from L.A. – again in business class – and arriving covered in bites his doctor diagnosed as bed bug bites.

Yet search for official reports or statistics about bed bugs on airplanes and you won’t find much. “There are numerous cases of bed bugs being spread on airplanes,” according to Bed-Bugs.com, a referral site for extermination services. “Bed bugs can spread through close proximity with fellow travelers as well as their belongings. They also thrive where there is frequent turnover of people. On airplanes, people are in close proximity, are not able to move other than on the plane, and their belongings are required to stay untouched for long periods of time. This is an excellent recipe for bed bug transmittal.”

Of course, it’s easy to imagine that the last thing the airlines want to talk about is passengers bringing home a bed bug infestation as a result of an overpriced, under-served flight. And they’re not likely to add fumigation to their standard cleaning procedures. So what can you do to protect yourself?

How to Stay Bed Bug-Free While Flying

Several companies are coming to the rescue with products designed to protect against bed bugs in transit.

  1. Cover Your Seats Invented by a New York entrepreneur fed up with worrying about bed bugs at the movies, Bug Off seat covers are light stretchable plastic covers that are easy to slip over airplane or movie theater seats. They’re light and packable and provide a bug-proof layer between the upholstery and you. You could accomplish the same thing by bringing a box of saran wrap and encasing your seat in plastic, but these seat covers are much easier to use and the fabric is also comfortable to sit on. Several other companies, BedGuard and Seat Defender have also jumped into this market, but I’ve tried Bug Off covers myself and can attest that they’re big enough to go over any airline seat and the strong fabric doesn’t rip even on a long flight. At $2.99 they’re also not a big investment.
  2. Bring your own pillow and blanket. In Zane Selkirk’s horrific experience, it was the blanket “crawling with bed bugs” that caught her eye. It doesn’t have to get that extreme, though, to suggest it’s best to beware airline blankets. After all, during last year’s H1N1 flu epidemic, many airlines pulled the blankets fearing they could transmit the virus. Pack a travel pillow (inflatable if you’re tight for space) and a blanket or pashmina shawl. Or just dress in warm layers instead.
  3. Plastic Bag Your Carry On Since it’s way to easy for bed bugs to slip into your carry on while it’s stored under your seat. The best way to prevent this happening is to encase it in a plastic bag, such as a shopping bag or kitchen-sized garbage bag.
  4. Stop Bed Bugs Before They Get In Your House The real problem with bed bugs isn’t when they bite you en route (the bites heal quickly and don’t cause any lasting damage), it’s when they come home with you and set up housekeeping in your home. The way to keep this from happening is with stringent preventive measures. Don’t bring luggage or carry-ons inside your home, but empty them outside and wash clothes and anything else that’s washable. A hot dryer will also kill bedbugs, so dry anything you don’t want to wash. Put the suitcase and bag itself in a plastic bag and store for two weeks.

Bed bugs aren’t the only health problem on planes, of course; ever since the H1N1 epidemic last year there’s been increasing attention on the problem of flu and cold transmission on airlines. Luckily, there’s lots you can do to  stay flu-free while traveling