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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!

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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!

Top 10 Bed Bug Infestation Spots

bed bugs, bed bug fumigation, bed bugs top 10, BBFS

Bed Bugs are no longer restricted to people's homes and apartments. Watching out for potential bed bug infestation points during your day can greatly reduce your risk of infestation.

Sure, we’ve all heard the nursery rhyme, and we’ve all seen the pictures of rooms cluttered with bed bugs, their nasty skins and droppings, and read the news stories about bed bug infestations, their resistance to pesticides and how they are increasing to pandemic levels throughout the United States. But you are still thinking that you only have to worry about Bed Bugs at home and at Hotels right? RIGHT? Wrong. Here is a Travel Channel list of the Top 10 Bed Bug Infestation Spots (where you are most likely to be exposed and/or bring these little vampire hitchhikers home).

  1. Public Libraries
  2. Retail Stores
  3. Movie Theaters
  4. Planes, Trains and Buses
  5. Daycares, Schools and Colleges
  6. Places of Worship
  7. Business Offices
  8. Laundry Facilities
  9. Hospitals and Nursing Homes
  10. Consignment, Thrift and Rental Stores

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, a container or a moving/rental truck 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) more successful. 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.

Bed Bug Checkpoint

Recently, Habitat Magazine published an interesting article, written by Tom Soter, detailing how Pride Property Management is implementing a new move-in/move-out policy in their buildings to ensure that their for-sale units are free of bed bugs.

These days, Alex Kuffel treats the warning he first heard as a child very seriously: “We used to say, ‘Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.’ Bed bugs are a critical problem.”

 We’ve all heard that before. We’ve also heard that boards and management must be proactive, and that they must wage an ongoing education campaign to be certain the residents know about bed bugs and how to cope with them. But Kuffel, president of Pride Property Management, is trying something that he thinks is fairly unusual: a move-in/move-out policy that meets the bed bug issue head on.

 “A non-refundable $300 fee must… be given to the superintendent to have the apartment inspected by a certified bed bug inspector, for the presence of bed bugs within the apartment,” the April 2010 policy for the 120-unit Manhattan building says. “The apartment will be inspected prior to the move-in and then again after the residents’ contents have been moved into the apartment. In the event bed bugs are found after the resident moves into the apartment, the resident is solely responsible for all costs incurred with abating the bed bugs….” Read More Here

We at BBFS find this very interesting and encouraging, as we have been advocating Source Elimination as part of a larger Integrated Bed Bug Management Plan (IBBMP) since our inception in 2005. In order to successfully create and maintain a bed bug FREE environment in residences and corporate offices, property owners and managers must create a systematic process for 1.)removing existing infestations, 2.) establishing residual pest control treatment techniques and, 3.) practice preventative treatments for all incoming property (including: bedding, furniture, desks, clothing, electronics, etc.).

One way to create a Source Elimination step inside an IBBMP is to integrate fumigation using Vikane fumigant into your property’s delivery schedule. This can be accomplished by either requiring in-transit fumigation of vehicles/trucks  OR use a Fume Cube on-site. For more information on creating a successful IBBMP program for yourself, contact BBFS at 877-9NO-ITCH or visit our 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.

NPMA: How to Avoid Bedbugs While Traveling

Frommers.com

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NPMA, Bed Bug Fumigation Specialists, Bed Bug Travel tips

National Pest Management Association

They’re back and they’re bigger than ever: After a decades-long hiatus, bedbugs have made a creepy-crawly comeback in hotels, office buildings, department stores — you name it — all across the U.S. In fact, according to a recent poll conducted by the National Pest Management Association(www.pestworld.org), 95% of the pest control companies surveyed reported a bedbug infestation within the last year — up an astounding 70% from more than a decade ago.

The pesky critters can induce itchy, red welts and enough anxiety to make travelers wonder if they should stay home. Luckily, there are plenty of precautionary measures to reduce the risks of an encounter while on the road. Sleep better at night by following these expert tips from the NPMA, the American Hotel & Lodging Association(www.ahla.com), and the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (www.nysimp.cornell.edu).

With proper identification, a thorough room inspection, and careful packing and unpacking, you can stop worrying about sleeping tight — and letting the bedbugs bite.

What Do Bedbugs Look Like?

Wingless bedbugs range in size from 1 to 7 millimeters, are reddish brown, and flat and oval in shape. Fecal droppings (brown or black stains that look like pepper flakes), shed skins, and the tinier translucent eggs and nymphs (juveniles) are evidence of the live pest.

Pre-Trip Packing Tips

A hard-shelled suitcase has fewer folds and seams where bedbugs can hide. Pack your belongings — clothes, toiletries, shoes — in sealable plastic bags, and open only when accessing the items. Alternatively, consider wrapping your entire pack in a trash bag to stave off potential infestations during your travels.

Before Unpacking Your Luggage

Many travelers throw a suitcase on the bed or keep the bag zipped up on the floor in hopes of keeping out any wandering scourges. Instead, place your baggage — including any purses, backpacks, or camera bags — on a luggage rack or in the bathroom, where there are fewer nooks and crannies.

How to Inspect Your Hotel Room

Bedbugs like to lodge themselves into cracks, crevices, folds, and ruffles in areas frequently trafficked by humans. When you arrive, pull back the covers of the bed and inspect under the linens and pillows. Use a flashlight if necessary. Look in the seams and sides of the mattress, box spring, and frame, and then check behind the headboard. The majority of the pests away from the bed will be within close proximity: under and around nightstands and lamps, and in the pleats of upholstered furniture (a favored hideaway) and drapes. The bloodsuckers can also reside behind wall hangings, such as mirrors and paintings.

If You Suspect an Outbreak

Don’t take things into your own hands. If you squash one pest, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t others lurking in the crevices. Work with hotel management to find the best solution. When switching rooms, don’t accept one directly adjacent, above, or below the infested room, as bedbugs can easily hitch a ride to neighboring spaces via housekeeping carts, wall sockets, and luggage. Each property and brand has a different protocol regarding pest control. Many hotels will distribute bedbug fact sheets, assure proper treatment of affected areas, offer alternative accommodations, and launder your clothes for free. Unfortunately, sleep sacks can’t protect you from getting bitten; bedbugs can feed through the fabric or crawl through the opening of the sack as you snooze.

When You Get Home

Even just a few of these critters can start a full-blown infestation, should you inadvertently carry them back to your abode. Conduct a thorough inspection of your suitcase outdoors or in the garage, away from furniture and sleeping areas. If you live in an apartment, use your balcony, bathtub, or shower (bedbugs have a harder time crawling up smooth surfaces and are easier to spot against light colors). In the worst-case scenario, keep the suitcase out in the hallway. Pay special attention to pockets, linings, and seams. Then thoroughly vacuum or steam clean the bag before stowing it away. Wash all of your clothes — even those unworn — on a high-heat setting, and dry for at least 30 minutes. This will kill any previously undetected bugs.

Bed Bug Fumigation Specialists are proud members of the National Pest Management Association.

Oldest Pest Control Firm in New York Launches Its First Ad Campaign to Educate Consumers

New York’s largest and oldest pest control firm, Assured Environments, is launching its first official marketing campaign in 76 years. An internet campaign focusing on a variety of the company’s products and services will support the television initiative.

As New York’s largest and oldest pest control firm, Assured Environments has built its business on superior service and word of mouth advertising. Now the 76-year-old firm is launching its first official marketing campaign, replete with an engaging television commercial that began to air this week, July 25, on cable networks in New York and New Jersey. An internet campaign focusing on a variety of the company’s products and services will support the television initiative.

Assured Environments is proud of its ability to become New York’s leading pest management firm without aggressively marketing itself. The company could have easily continued to operate this way, but the need for consumer education has prompted the company to advertise. As its Director of Marketing, Evan Rosenblum explains: “The summer season is when bugs are the most abundant and in some cases are more than just a nuisance and can become a grievance to people. And unfortunately their gripes are extended when they hire exterminators that sell them a bill of goods and nothing else. Our campaigns are focused on one thing: education. The first line for defense against any pest is information and we want people to find experienced pest control experts to perform the job correctly, such as Assured Environments who have been providing such services in New York since 1934.”

The TV commercial is a depiction of bugs having a video-conference and ultimately discovering that Assured Environments, their only real threat in New York and Jersey, has infiltrated their ‘secure’ location and now they are really in trouble. “It provides us with a way of conveying our expertise and professionalism while also adding a little humor into the mix to perhaps alleviate the nerves of people who may be dealing with what could be a very stressful bed bug or other pest issue,” says Rosenblum.

There have been many cases where the experts at Assured Environments have been called upon to solve pest-related problems that less-experienced competitors have failed to resolve. This is a troubling situation because consumers are left paying the price for other companies’ lack of expertise, Rosenblum says. Assured Environments specializes in providing pest management services to help residential and commercial clients get rid of bed bugs, roaches, flies, spiders, ants/termites, mice, birds and bats. Over the years, it has demonstrated that it has the experience and expertise to adequately address clients’ pest problems, particularly bed bugs.

Bed bug infestation is a growing problem all across the United States, prompting Congress to introduce the Bed Bug Management, Prevention and Research Act of 2011 earlier this year. Recently, Assured Environments introduced two new solutions to help consumers combat their bed bug problems: the do-it-yourself Bed Bug Annihilator product and professional bed bug preparation service. The Bed Bud Annihilator—which is currently available for back order—is an affordable, portable heat treatment chamber that anyone can use to eradicate bed bugs. The chamber heats up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit in up to 30 minutes and kills bed bugs in as little as 60 seconds. The Bed Bud Annihilator, which can hold up to 25 items at one time, is safe to use on clothes, electronics, small appliances, equipment and even books. Assured Environments’ effective bed bug preparation service includes inspecting the client’s premises, removing and cleaning items to get rid of bed bugs, and storing the items off site while the structure is treated for bed bugs. The service, which is conducted by certified technicians, is designed to save customers a significant amount of time, money and hassle. Assured Environments’ Bed Bud Annihilator and bed bug prep service, along with its new advertising campaign, are making it easier for consumers to eliminate bed bugs from their environment.

Assured Environments is a full-service pest management company that has differentiated itself in the marketplace not only by its service, but also by its expertise. The company’s staff includes entomologists, certified technicians, and a bed bug canine detection team. It is also distinguished by its environmentally-friendly approach to pest control. Assured Environments offers Green Shield Certified services, which incorporates eco-conscious practices that are the least disruptive to human health and the environment. This allows the company to provide more effective pest control without the use of unnecessary pesticides. Consequently, Assured Environments is regularly hired to provide pest management for LEED-certified buildings.

To learn more about Assured Environments’ affordable and effective pest management solutions, visithttp://www.AssuredEnvironments.com or contact Evan Rosenblum at 646-783-5138.

About Assured Environments
Assured Environments is a family-owned business that has been serving individuals and businesses since 1934. The company offers a variety of services to help customers get rid of all types of insect, rodent and bird infestations. Assured Environments is a recognized leader in the pest control industry, presenting at prominent seminars in the United States and China; training top pest management companies in China and Japan; and providing consulting services for a German film crew. Based in Manhattan, Assured Environments provides services to clients throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Contact:
Evan Rosenblum
Director of Marketing
646-783-5138
pr(at)assuredenvironments(dot)com
http://www.AssuredEnvironments.com

###

Gotham Schools: Bed bug invasion continues unabated for 2010/2011 season

Bed Bugs, Fumigation, Containerized Fumigation, Vikane Fumigation

Bedbugs, the parasitic insects whose infestation levels have reached near epidemic proportions in New York City, were discovered in schools at an unprecedented rate this year, according to totals released by the city Department of Education.

There were 3,590 confirmed cases of bedbugs found in schools this year, a rate that more than tripled the 2009-2010 totals. The DOE did not release which schools were treated for bedbugs.

The city is battling back without the help of specialized exterminators. A troubled no-bid private contract with a bedbug pest control company was terminated in November, leaving just over a dozen employees in the DOE pest control unit to fight the growing case load.

The increase is significant, but not a complete surprise. The upsurge actually began during the 2009-2010 school year [2]. In February, I reported that through just five months of the 2010-2011 school year, there were already 1,700 confirmed cases [3], far surpassing the previous year’s total of 1,019.

A DOE spokeswoman said most of the confirmed cases weren’t large infestations, but isolated incidents where one or two bedbugs were found on a student who brought it to school from an infested home.

“Every time we find a single bedbug, we are required to report it,” said the spokeswoman, Marge Feinberg.

School buildings aren’t ideal for large infestations because bedbugs prefer to burrow in heavy fabrics – mattresses, box springs and couches –  and feed in the nighttime. But as infestations have turned up in other public spaces where people gather – theaters, retail clothing stores and office buildings – the school system has become another transfer point for their spread.

The big spike doesn’t necessarily reflect the actual rate at which bedbugs are coming into schools. It could also represent heightened awareness by teachers and staff about what to look for.

In response to the rise of bedbugs last year, the DOE issued new bedbug guides to instruct school staff on how to handle them when they are found on a student. In March, the DOE made it easier to report bedbugs [4].

But the Bloomberg administration, which has increasingly relied on contractors for pest control needs, has lagged on finding ways to effectively eradicate the problem.

The DOE currently pays three private extermination companies – Bluesway Pest Control, Verrazano Exterminating and USA Exterminating – to treat non-bedbug pests, such as cockroaches, termites and bees.

But no bedbug contract is in place right now, Feinberg said. The last contract, which was awarded for $99,999 (any city contract worth less than $100,000 does not require competitive bidding) to a company called Joe’s Pest Control, was terminated after exterminators used illegal pesticides in an infested school [5].

Feinberg said the DOE released a request for pest control services for bedbugs and hoped to have contracts soon.


Article printed from GothamSchools: http://gothamschools.org

URL to article: http://gothamschools.org/2011/07/19/bedbug-invasions-continue-unabated-in-2010-2011-school-year-than-ever-before/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://gothamschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Bed-Bug-Hi-Res_-NPMA.jpg

[2] began during the 2009-2010 school year: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/25/nyregion/25bedbugs.html

[3] there were already 1,700 confirmed cases: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Report-Highest-Rate-of-Bedbug-Cases-Ever.html

[4] made it easier to report bedbugs: http://gothamschools.org/2011/03/31/politician-claims-victory-in-citys-school-bedbug-policy-change/

[5] exterminators used illegal pesticides in an infested school: http://brooklyn.ny1.com/content/top_stories/128468/brooklyn-school-tormented-by-bed-bugs-seeks-to-replenish-lost-supplies

A step towards bed bug free moving trucks

Original Post (By Teri Rogers and Margot Slade): Read it HERE

moving truck, bed bugs in moving truck, moving truck fumigation, rental truck fumigation

Moishe's Moving is one of the first New York Moving companes to announce a bed bug prevention plan

If you are moving, you may be understandably concerned about picking up bed bugs in transit.

Yet whether out of cost worries, denial or ignorance, New York City moving and storage companies have been slow to adopt procedures that cut down the risk of in-truck transmission.  So we were intrigued to hear that Moishe’s, the 30-year-old local moving company, recently announced a prevention program.

Among other things, the company has stopped wrapping furniture in blankets, which are an easy and obvious means of conveyance for bed bugs. Instead, furniture, mattresses and objects are wrapped in moving-quality, tear-resistant plastic bags sealed with heavy-duty tape.  That diminishes the risk of picking up bugs from the truck and also the chance that bugs will wander into the truck from infested furniture.   (No special precautions are taken with moving boxes, however.)

Moishe’s is also doing monthly canine inspections of each truck, and then fumigating trucks that come up positive.

So is this enough?

We asked entomologist and pest management expert Gil Bloom of Standard Pest Management in Queens. After calling up Moishe’s with a few questions of his own, he seemed reasonably satisfied.

“Unlike any other company that I know of, they apparently do have an organized, systemic way of addressing the issue,” said Bloom,  recently named #1 bed bug warrior by NY Magazine and deeply involved in the city’s efforts to battle bed bugs.

If you’re really concerned, Bloom notes, Moishe will perform a canine inspection of your truck the day before for an extra fee.

For ultimate peace of mind–and for anyone moving away from a bed bug issue–get the truck fumigated with all of your belongings inside.

“That way you pretty much know you are safe from transporting anything,” says Bloom.