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BBFS Blog: 2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,700 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Bed Bug FREE Holidays

Every year, we open our homes to spend the holidays with close friends and family. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, millions of people travel by plane, train or automobile to spend time with their loved ones. But in addition to clean sheets and towels, holiday hosts should also prepare their homes for an unexpected visitor known to hitchhike with travelers: bed bugs.

With the 2011 Holiday Season officially upon us, BBFS thought we’d take a minute to share some Travel Tips to avoid the vampire hitchhikers and enjoy a Bed Bug FREE Holiday. With a little education, awareness and diligence you can be sure that aren’t bringing any unwanted guests home for the holidays.

Bed bugs cling to baggage, backpacks and clothing, and have been found on airplanes, in hotels and on buses. Travelers are easily susceptible to the pests without even knowing it. And once they are brought into a home, it can be extremely difficult and costly to get rid of them.

Traveling ( or Planes,Trains & Automobiles )

Unfortunately, with the increases in reported bed bug cases in major forms of transportation comes the realization that many of the business “road warriors” that frequent our more infested cities have assisted in the spread of the bed bugs this year. That means that if you are flying, renting a car or taking the train, you should take a few steps to protect yourself AND your luggage this holiday season.

  1. Take a Look: When getting to your assigned seat, your rental car or your train car, take the time to visually inspect any areas where you will be sitting, standing or laying down for an extended periods of time. Use a flashlight if possible to check creases, cracks and crevices for evidence of bed bugs such as stains, nymphs and/or shed cask skins.
  2. Watch your backside: Protect yourself by investing in some temporary seat covers which provide additional protection, can be cleaned and reused and which offer some peace of mind for the truly paranoid
  3. Bag It and Tag It: Protect your luggage by investing in some encasements for your bags or at least bring some plastic or ziploc bags to temporarily hold your bags while they are placed on the floors of planes, trains, buses or rental cars.
  4. Stop ‘Em at the Door: Bed Bugs biting you en route isn’t the problem, its bringing them home to setup shop at your place, your parents place or at a friends. The way to keep this from happening is with stringent preventive measures. Establish a “bed bug checkpoint” for all of your travel items. 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. Keeping your luggage wrapped in plastic and in the trunk of a car in the sun will give some added protection and peace of mind.

Staying Abroad: ( Hotel Hell )

Prior to checking in, visit BedBugRegistry.com, to research past reports about your location. Understand that The Bed Bug Registry is a 100% user-generated site with little or no reporting management. As with anything on the web, it should be taken with a grain of salt (or in the case of Bed Bugs, a spoonful of DE). Contact hotel management before checking in, to find out their policies and procedures for handling bed bugs. Having a proactive prevention and maintenance plan in place is key to successful elimination.

Be aware and observant of your surroundings. Investigate all areas you plan on lying down, sitting or standing still in, for any extended period of time. This is important, since bed bugs are attracted to the heat and carbon dioxide your body produces.

Inspect rooms you are visiting:

  • Use a flashlight to look for bugs or blood spots in corners, cracks and crevices
  • Behind the headboard (lift off brackets on the wall)
  • Along the seams, crevices and piping around the mattress
  • Under the mattress pad and under the sheets
  • Along the edges and underneath the box spring
  • Around joints in bedside tables (including drawers) and pictures above the bed

Steps you can take:

  • Never set luggage on the bed or floor
  • When entering a foreign room, place luggage in the bathtub and do an inspection, then store luggage on racks set away from the wall or hang items up
  • Bring your own hangers for items that will be pressed or hung up
  • Visually inspect the ironing board PRIOR to using it, there have been reports of bed bugs on these items since they are often removed/cleaned with the hotel linens causing exposures.
When you get home:
  • Put any suspect items in sealed plastic bags until you can heat treat them or have them professionally treated with Sulfuryl Flouride.
  • Put everything you can into the dryer on HIGH (122 degrees minimum for 60 minutes)

Staying Home (ugh! The “in-law” are coming Home for the Holidays )

If you’re having guests at your house for the holidays, follow the tips below to help minimize the chance of bed bugs hitchhiking in on them.

  • Before guests arrive, reduce clutter and vacuum floors, rugs and curtains.
  • Also, encase every mattress, box spring and pillow with protectors that feature bed bug proof fabric and reinforced seams and zippers.
  • Don’t allow anyone to wear shoes inside the home. Leave shoes outside, place them in sealed plastic bins or bags and/or heat treat them in the dryer.
  • Keep a designated place where guests can keep their coats, purses, etc. and do not place belongings on couches, beds, etc.
  • Have your home pre-treated by a referred pest control operator before the holidays for added protection.

We here at BBFS hope this information helps you have the best possible 2011 Holiday Season if your staying home and having guests, if your traveling for family/friends, or if you are simply getting away for some gourmet turkey fixings or winter wonderland fun. Help spread the word and share this blog and information with your closest friends & family. Happy Holidays from BBFS!

CDC Study: One Death, 100+ Illnesses linked to Bed Bug Targeting Insecticides

Thinking about tackling that bed bug problem in your building by yourself? You might want to think again or at least get a second opinion before you pull the pin on that “bug bomb” in your hand. According to a recent report by the CDC and EPA, from 2003-2010 nearly 111 cases of illness and one fatality were attributed to insecticides used in targeting Bed Bugs (Cimex Lectularius). Here is a brief summary of the findings:

Bed bug populations and infestations are increasing in the United States and internationally (3,5). Bed bug infestations often are treated with insecticides, but insecticide resistance is a problem, and excessive use of insecticides or use of insecticides contrary to label directions can raise the potential for human toxicity. To assess the frequency of illness from insecticides used to control bed bugs, relevant cases from 2003–2010 were sought from the Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks (SENSOR)-Pesticides program and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH). Cases were identified in seven states: California, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Texas, and Washington. A total of 111 illnesses associated with bed bug–related insecticide use were identified; although 90 (81%) were low severity, one fatality occurred. Pyrethroids, pyrethrins, or both were implicated in 99 (89%) of the cases, including the fatality. The most common factors contributing to illness were excessive insecticide application, failure to wash or change pesticide-treated bedding, and inadequate notification of pesticide application. Although few cases of illnesses associated with insecticides used to control bed bugs have been reported, recommendations to prevent this problem from escalating include educating the public about effective bed bug management.

Although the number of acute illnesses from insecticides used to control bed bugs does not suggest a large public health burden, increases in bed bug populations that are resistant to commonly available insecticides might result in increased misuse of pesticides. Public health recommendations to prevent illnesses associated with insecticides used to control bed bugs include media campaigns to educate the public about bed bug–related issues, including nonchemical methods to control bed bugs, methods to prevent bed bug infestation (e.g., avoiding the purchase of used mattresses and box springs), and prudent use of effective insecticides (3). Persons who have a bed bug infestation should be encouraged to seek the services of a certified applicator who uses an IPM approach to avoid pesticide misuse. Persons applying insecticides should follow product instructions for safe and appropriate use. Insecticide labels that are easy to read and understand also can help prevent illnesses associated with bed bug control.

Many of the reported cases were do-it-yourselfers who misused the chemicals or used the wrong product.  Most of the cases were in New York City, the apparent epicenter of the recent U.S. bed bug comeback. For more information on safely treating your bed bug problem, contact BBFS at 1-877-966-4824 (No-ITCH) or visit our EDUCATION section on the BBFS website!

NPMA: 2011 Bugs Without Borders Survey – Executive Summary

NPMA, Bed Bug Fumigation Specialists, 2011 Bugs Without Borders Survey

National Pest Management Association

Recently, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) released an Executive Summary of the 2011 Bugs Without Borders Survey. Completed this summer, the NPMA and the University of Kentucky surveyed a nationwide sample of pest management professionals. We are pleased to share an executive summary, featuring the latest findings about the growing bed bug resurgence and referencing data from the 2010 Bugs Without Borders survey for year-over-year comparisons. This report highlights the key findings obtained from more than 400 pest management professionals who participated in this survey. A full report of the findings of the survey will be presented at PestWorld 2011 and shared in the November/December issue of PestWorld.

Some notes from the Executive Summary that BBFS found especially interesting:

Here are several key highlights from the 2011 Bugs Without Borders Survey:

1. Nearly all professional pest management companies have received bed bug calls in the past year. Respondents attribute the growth in bed bug infestations to increasing travel and movement of people, continued need for awareness, changing pest control products and methods, and bed bug resistance to available pest control products.
2. While nine out of ten respondents have treated bed bugs in apartments, condominiums and single-family homes in 2011 and 2010, in the past year reports of bed bug encounters have become more common in a many other places. For example, the numbers of professionals who treated college dorms, hotels, nursing homes, office buildings, schools and daycare centers, hospitals, public transportation and movie theaters for bed bugs have all increased compared to last year. More specifically:
• College dorms (54 percent, up from 35 percent a year ago)
• Hotels/motels (80 percent, up from 67 percent)
• Nursing homes (46 percent, up from 25 percent)
• Office buildings (38 percent, up from 18 percent)
• Schools and day care centers (36 percent, up from 10 percent)
• Hospitals (31 percent, up from 12 percent)
• Transportation (train/bus/taxi) (18 percent up from nine percent)
• Movie theaters (17 percent, up from five percent)
NOTE: Percentages denote professionals reporting treating bed bugs in specific locations and percentage increases from 2010.
Survey respondents also report finding bed bugs in retail stores, laundromats, libraries, restaurants and airplanes.
3. Bed bugs continue to be THE most difficult pest to treat, according to 73 percent of survey respondents. By comparison, 17 percent pointed to ants, nine percent said cockroaches and one percent said termites were the most difficult pests to control.
4. Six out of 10 respondents consider bed bug infestations a year-round phenomenon, while approximately 25 percent say that summer is the time of year when they receive more bed bug calls. As people tend to travel more during the summer months it may be likely they’ll have a higher risk of taking hitchhiking bed bugs with them from hotels and transportation sources to homes more so than at other times of the year.
5. When it comes to evaluation and treatment, visual inspection remains the most common method pest professionals use to determine if a bed bug infestation exists. However, the use of canines has grown from 16 percent to 43 percent in the past year.
6. Despite the many warnings that bed bugs are not a DIY pest, 25 percent of customers attempt to treat bed bug infestations by themselves before calling a professional. This number has decreased from the 38 percent who elected to treat bed bugs by themselves in 2010. Those who attempt to treat bed bug infestations by themselves often engage in dangerous and risky DIY practices putting themselves and their property at risk and are often ineffective at controlling the infestation.

Bed bugs are the size and color of a flat apple seed, like to travel and will hide in suitcases, boxes and shoes to be near a food supply (humans). In addition to the mattress and headboard, bed bugs can be found behind baseboards, electrical switch plates, picture frames, wallpaper, upholstery and in furniture crevices.

More information can be found at AllThingsBedBugs.org, NPMA’s resource on everything bed bug related, from prevention tips to current news.

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. For more information, visit PestWorld.org.

Download a copy of the NPMA 2011Bugs Without Borders Survey – Exec Summary

Contacts

National Pest Management Association
Missy Henriksen, 703-352-6762
mhenriksen@pestworld.org
or
Vault Communications, Inc.
Ela Voluck, 610-455-2752
evoluck@vaultcommunications.com

In other news, Vikane (Sulfuryl Flouride) Fumigation is 100% effective against all life stages of the pesky bed bug, including the hard to control egg stage. One single fumigation treatment to a structure and/or its belongings can eradicate the source population, prevent any pesticide resistant generations from continuing to unnaturally evolve, and make future preventative measures (such as a defined Integrated Pest Management program). DOW Vikane Fumigation is the only 100% effective eradication method for all stages of bug infestation that leaves no detectable residue.

Bed Bug Fumigation Specialists (BBFS) is the industry leading Vikane Fumigation Treatment Service specializing in bed bugs, termites, clothes moths, powder post beetles and other pest infestations. With over 40 years of collective fumigation experience, BBFS is the company with the record you can count on. Our professionals have safely completed more than 50,000 fumigations in our history, including over 2500 successful bed bug eradications in NYC alone. BBFS is also a recipient of DOW AgroSciences Commitment to Excellence (CTE) award for safely administering Vikane for thousands of customers.

UNNATURAL Selection: Bed Bugs now HARDER to kill!

Lab researchers have shown that today’s generation of bed bugs can survive 1000x higher the lethal dose of chemicals of only a decade ago. Recently, the Ohio State University released the first genetic study of bed bugs, which showed that bed bugs are developing a variety ways to resist the chemicals being used to control them. That means that the pesticides being used in the growing bed bug war are actually making our opponents STRONGER! Check out this video from Wall Street Journal Science Writer, Robert Lee Hought.

“While bedbugs are poised to become one of the major household pests across the United States in the coming years, we know very little about their genetic makeup and their mechanisms of resistance to insecticides,” said Omprakash Mittapalli, corresponding author of  the study and an assistant professor of entomology with the university’sOhio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster. OARDC is the research arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Repeated applications of the same killing agent (pesticide) spurs a form of evolution, called Unnatural Selection. Any subsequent generations of the same bed bug population (ie: 1 single BB egg survives or one egg laying adult survives) then the next generations have the encoded information on how to increase their resiliency to that same agent. Evidence of this can be seen in the regional practices and techniques within the Pest Control industry. In New York City, the bed bugs found there are 250x more resilient to the most common pesticides versus their cousins from the south in Florida. 250x more resilient!!! Experts say that this is one of the key reasons that bed bugs are making a resurgence worldwide.

Bed Bug Fumigation Specialists, Vikane, Fume Cube

In other news, Vikane (Sulfuryl Flouride) Fumigation is 100% effective against all life stages of the pesky bed bug, including the hard to control egg stage. One single fumigation treatment to a structure and/or its belongings can eradicate the source population, prevent any pesticide resistant generations from continuing to unnaturally evolve, and make future preventative measures (such as a defined Integrated Pest Management program). DOW Vikane Fumigation is the only 100% effective eradication method for all stages of bug infestation that leaves no detectable residue.

Bed Bug Fumigation Specialists (BBFS) is the industry leading Vikane Fumigation Treatment Service specializing in bed bugs, termites, clothes moths, powder post beetles and other pest infestations. With over 40 years of collective fumigation experience, BBFS is the company with the record you can count on. Our professionals have safely completed more than 50,000 fumigations in our history, including over 2500 successful bed bug eradications in NYC alone. BBFS is also a recipient of DOW AgroSciences Commitment to Excellence (CTE) award for safely administering Vikane for thousands of customers.