Archive for February, 2012
Posted on February 29, 2012 with No Comments
National Pest Management Association encourages travelers to travel smart and safe.
FAIRFAX, Va. — Every spring, millions of Americans plan vacations during their annual Spring Breaks. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds those travelers that the best way to prevent pests like mosquitoes and bed bugs from ruining their trips is through preparation and awareness.
“Everyone looks forward to escaping to warmer climates during Spring Break,” noted Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “However, many travelers forget that whether visiting the tropics or cities in the US, they must be vigilant to avoid bringing pest-related illnesses and issues home with them.”
While bites may seem inevitable, mosquitoes can leave behind more than just an itchy welt. Travelers in tropical areas are susceptible to contracting mosquito-borne diseases, like West Nile virus and Dengue Fever, both reportedly on the rise in the US as well as South America, Mexico and the Caribbean islands.
Travelers must also take steps to prevent bed bugs from hitching rides home with them in luggage and clothing. The 2011 Bugs Without Borders survey found a significant increase in the prevalence of bed bugs in public places, including hotels/motels and college dorms.
To remain pest-free both during and after Spring Break, NPMA offers the following tips:
- Use insect repellant containing EPA-registered active ingredients like DEET or Picaridin.
- Limit time outdoors or wear long sleeves and pants during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- If bitten by a mosquito, clean the area thoroughly, avoid scratching, and apply anti-itch cream.
- To inspect a hotel room for bed bugs, pull back bed sheets, inspect mattress seams, box springs, headboards, sofas and chairs for telltale brownish or reddish spots, shed skins or bugs.
- Avoid putting luggage on beds or upholstered furniture and store it in a plastic bag.
- Once home, inspect and vacuum suitcases before bringing them inside. Wash and dry all clothes on hot.
- Consumers suspecting an infestation should contact a licensed pest professional.
For more information, visit www.pestworld.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.
Posted on February 28, 2012 with No Comments
In order to reduce the potential for runoff and drift that can result from pyrethroid applications, professional pest control operators are now required to make changes in how they apply pyrethroid pesticides. The EPA has revised the “Environmental Hazard Statements” and general “Directions for Use” sections for all pyrethroid non-agricultural outdoor products. These changes have been mandated by EPA in part by PR Notice 2008-1 and by letters that were sent to registrants on June 4, 2009.
The main source for potential runoff is when products are applied to hardscapes such as driveways, sidewalks or near storm drains. The concern for surface water contamination was part of a research study conducted in California which identified sources of contamination being associated with residential insecticide applications.
Posted on February 27, 2012 with 1 Comment
Nearly 300 pest management professionals and more than 25 industry exhibitors attended “A Meeting of the Minds V” late last year in Tinley Park, Ill. The one-day conference, sponsored by the Greater Chicago Pest Management Alliance (GCPMA), was held at the Tinley Park Holiday Inn and Convention Center, and continued with GCPMA’s acknowledged tradition of education and sharing of best practices in pest management.
Dini Miller, an assistant professor of entomology at Virginia Tech, provided an update on bed bug biology and control. Miller noted that 35,000 years ago bed bugs lived in caves and were ectoparasites of bats. When humans moved into caves, bed bugs began feeding on them and since then humans have transported bed bugs throughout the world. “Dogs and cats have fleas. We have bed bugs. This is the way it was intended to be. Strangely, this does not seem to comfort anyone when I tell them this,” Miller said.
Why are they back? Miller said that bed bug populations have become increasingly resistant to treatment protocols, and international travel can bring them home from distant lands. In addition, misidentification was an issue early in the epidemic.
Miller provided a few basics of how bed bugs live and feed:
- They aggregate in cracks and crevices all day.
- They get hungry between midnight at 5 a.m., but this is quite variable.
- Bed bugs are stimulated by sensing CO2 in the room.
- They will probe the skin to find capillary space that allows the blood to flow rapidly, and they may probe the skin several times before feeding.
- Bed bugs will feed for five to 10 minutes, and will feed every three to seven days.
- A single mated female can cause an infestation.
- After taking a blood meal, a female can produce 5-20 eggs throughout 10 days.
- An average female will produce 131 eggs in her lifetime and about 97 percent of eggs will hatch successfully. Under optimal conditions, a bed bug population can double in 16 days.
Miller continued by describing bed bug bites, the social issues surrounding the epidemic, various methods of treatment, and why we don’t yet have the answer for dealing with them. “Most products will kill some bed bugs if you apply it to them directly. But consumers do not realize that killing bed bugs that we see is not the problem. Our problem is stopping the infestation,” she said.
Posted on February 27, 2012 with No Comments
ASPCRO, The Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials, is a professional association comprised of the structural pest control regulatory officials in fifty states. ASPCRO shows that there is an uptick in nationwide pest problems in schools related to ants, cockroaches, rodents, dust mites and most recently, bed bugs. Pest infestations from cockroaches and rodents degrade the quality of our living environments, resulting in sanitation problems and poor air quality. Cockroach dander (exoskeleton particles), is known to trigger asthma and allergies in susceptible populations.
Each day approximately 49 million children and 7 million teachers and staff spend a minimum of six hours in our nation’s schools in environments that may harbor these and other pests. Although approximately 70%-90% of schools contract pest control services to licensed pest management professionals (PMP’s), data suggest that pest management in our nation’s schools needs improvement. ASPCRO believes that pest problems existing in our nation’s schools are due to factors that limit the effectiveness of PMP’s and those responsible for pest management — not a lack of effort.
Pest Management Professionals already play an important role in protecting the public’s health from unwanted pests that often invade our homes, work places, and our nation’s schools. Working together with state regulators and extension experts, PMPs can become effective change agents by helping inform, train and develop school personnel to become “participating consumers” in an effort to achieve the goal of implementing IPM in our nation’s schools.
Posted on February 24, 2012 with 1 Comment
If you reside in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut it is likely that you will be seeing pest activity earlier than normal this year. In case you missed it, on the front page of today’s New York Post is an article from the Associate Press about insects coming out early due to the warmer climate this winter.
“One of the USA’s warmest winters in years could lead to a bug bonanza over the next few weeks, with insects like beetles, ants, termites and wasps all coming out much earlier than average. In some places, the onslaught has already begun: “We’re seeing insects out there that we don’t usually see this time of year,” says Missy Henriksen of the National Pest Management Association, who listed such annoyances as stink bugs and box elder bugs.
“Several states have even reported tick sightings, which is especially worrisome as people head outdoors to enjoy the weather and are unprepared for tick encounters,” she says.
The widespread warmth could have an impact on insects across much of the country, Hamilton says.
Several cities, including New York, Chicago and Washington, are on track to have one of their top 10 warmest winters on record, according to The Weather Channel.
The biggest impact isn’t on the number of insects, Hamilton says, but on when we’ll see the insects appearing. “Many insects hibernate during the cold winter months, but as this winter has been anything but typical, they may be emerging from their hiding places much earlier than we expect,” Henriksen says. Bugs survive the cold with strategies such as slowing down their metabolism and respiration. With the warmer temperatures, many are forced out of their hibernation-like states early in search of food. One key for the insects is that if they come out early, the flowers and plants they feed on must also bloom equally early. “They have to be synchronized with what they’re feeding upon,” reports entomologist David Denlinger of Ohio State University. Insects such as honeybees could die, he says, if the flowers aren’t also out.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Contact JP McHale Pest Management Inc., a proud member and sponsor of the National Pest Management Association for more information.
Posted on February 23, 2012 with 1 Comment
Connecticut lawmakers are proposing a number of bills aimed at controlling the spread of bed bugs in Connecticut.
According to NBC Connecticut,
- One bill up for consideration would require that rental furniture be inspected and certified that it is free of bed bugs.
- Another bill would require people who re-manufacture mattresses to include proof that the mattress have been inspected to ensure they too are bed bug free.
- The other bill focuses on landlords and would require them to inform tenants if bed bugs have been present in a rented unit within a year and to make ‘reasonable efforts’ to eliminate bed bugs once the landlords are aware of their presence and for tenants to cooperate in efforts to eliminate bed bugs.
The proposed bed bug bills are:
Proposed Bill No. 5874; AN ACT CONCERNING BED BUGS AND RENTAL FURNITURE. To ensure that rental furniture is inspected for bed bugs and certified as being bed bug free prior to rental.
Proposed Bill No. 5858 - AN ACT CONCERNING BED BUGS AND RE-MANUFACTURED MATTRESSES. To require individuals who re-manufacture mattresses to provide proof that such mattress have been inspected to ensure they are bed bug free.
Proposed Bill No. 540 – AN ACT CONCERNING BED BUGS. To protect the public by developing strategies to combat the spread of bed bugs.
This bill proposes a variety of possible measures including:
(1) Requiring landlords to inform tenants bed bugs have been present in a rented unit within the last year, (2) requiring landlords to make reasonable efforts to eliminate bed bugs once the landlords are aware of their presence, (3) requiring tenants to cooperate in efforts to eliminate bed bugs, (4) requiring the Department of Public Health to develop standards for the disposal of mattresses or furniture exposed to bed bugs, and (5) requiring the Department of Public Health to develop an educational campaign to inform people of the steps that can be taken to avoid and remedy bed bug infestations.
The status of proposed bill 540, proposed by Sen. Len Fasano, is that it was referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health on 1/21.
Both of the other bills, proposed by Rep. Andres Ayala (5748 and 5858), were scheduled to be considered in a public hearing today (2/22/2011). You can find out more about the hearing here (scroll down to General Law Committee, Tuesday, February 22, 2011).
Posted on February 21, 2012 with No Comments
The problems with bedbugs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is only getting worse, and officials said Monday seven more dorms were confirmed with bed bugs, bringing the total to 124 rooms. Treatment for each dorm costs about $1,000, and the university said it is only a third of the way through inspections.
The University is posting daily updates on their main website, called University Bed Bug Update, including details about what is being done and when the bed bug dog inspections are being conducted. Monday’s update stated:
“On Monday, we continued our inspection of Harper Hall, floors 8 through 10 as well as floors 2 and 3. Four rooms were identified positive on the 10th floor, one room on the 3rd floor, and five rooms on the 2nd floor. The dogs also indicated positive in a facilities staff storage closet on the 8th floor. We also inspected floors two through five at Smith Hall and found one room on the 5th floor, one room on the 4th floor, one room on the 3rd floor and four rooms on the 2nd floor. The dogs also indicated positive on two vacuum cleaners stationed on the 2nd floor. All together, a total of 17 rooms and two other areas were identified as possible bedbug issues.
Our plan for the rest of the week is to go through Neihardt Halls (Piper, Raymond, Heppner and Love), then finish Smith Hall, followed by Pound Hall and Cather Hall. Next, we will go through the Village, then Kaufmann, then Courtyards and Knoll. Finally, we will go through Burr, Fedde, Love Memorial and Husker Halls. Our goal is to finish going through all of our rooms by March 9, but we may need to adjust the schedule depending on how quickly we are able to proceed through the halls. We will continue to meet with students a few days in advance of beginning inspection of their respective hall. At those meetings we provide information on how to prepare the room for the inspection process, as well as what to expect if the dog indicates bedbugs are present. Sue Gildersleeve, Director, University Housing.”
Read more: http://www.ketv.com/health/30502945/detail.html#ixzz1n2M8Suqy
Posted on February 20, 2012 with 2 Comments
Insect foggers provide very little control of bed bugs and may even cause the bed bug population to disperse, making remediation even more difficult. Insect foggers do not effectively control bed bugs. Insect foggers are dangerous in that they can leave unwanted residue throughout the treated area. Most insect foggers contain a flammable propellant and some have been associated with a number of fires. According to the EPA, foggers and bug bombs should not be used as the only method to attempt to control bed bugs.
If you are using insect foggers, the EPA has a list of fogger and bug bomb safety precautions that should be followed.
Posted on February 20, 2012 with No Comments
Certified bed bug encasements will help prevent a mattress or box spring from becoming infested and once installed will make it easier to identify signs of a bed bug infestation. When used alone bed bugs can still find their way onto a bed. Bed bugs cannot live in a mattress or box springs once they are encased, but they will find other nearby harborage locations.
It is important to make sure that the encasement that you purchase is certified bed bug bite proof, that the zipper has a locking mechanism and that the encasement fits securely.
The best approach in bed bug treatment is an integrated pest management approach, including installing mattress and box spring encasements, bed isolation and both pesticide and non-pesticide applications.
Encasements are a good tool, but are not sufficient to prevent or treat an infestation.
If you reside in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut and would like more information regarding mattress and box spring encasements or bed bug pest control, contact JP McHale Pest Management.
Posted on February 20, 2012 with 1 Comment
Bed bugs only bite in the dark.
False. Although bed bugs tend to be more active at night, they can bite at any time.
Only dirty, cluttered homes get bed bugs.
False. Anyone can get bed bugs. Bed bugs have been found in the homes of the wealthy and poor. Unsanitary conditions will not cause bed bugs but getting rid of clutter will help to reduce the number of places bed bugs can live and hide.
Bed bugs cannot be seen with the naked eye.
False. Bed bugs are small but can be seen with the naked eye. A magnifying glass will help. Young bed bugs are about the size of a poppy seed and mature ones are about the size of an apple seed.
If I see bite marks I have bed bugs.
False. Other insect bites may resemble that of bed bugs. Presence of live bed bugs or their eggs will confirm their infestation in an area.
If you have bed bugs you need to get rid of infested clothing and furniture.
False. Clothing can be laundered to get rid of bed bugs. In most cases furniture can be treated and should only be discarded if there are no acceptable treatments that can rid them of bed bugs.
Bed bugs are not known to cause or spread diseases.
True. Bed bugs have not been shown to cause or spread diseases. Some people will react to bed bugs bites and excessive scratching can lead to secondary infections.
Bed bugs cannot fly and will not jump from the floor to the bed.
True. Bed bugs have no wings and cannot fly, jump or hop.
Bed bugs are only found on the bed.
False. Although they are called bed bugs they are not only confined to the bed. Bed bugs are commonly found in beds, on sofas, in chairs and areas near where people sleep or lounge.
Some people are not affected by bed bugs.
True. Some people do not have a reaction to bed bug bites and may be unaware that bed bugs are in their home until they actually see them.
Bed bugs can live for many months without feeding.
True. Bed bugs can live for many months without feeding.
If you suspect you have bed bugs, contact your local New York Pest Control Company.