Sep112013

"The State of Bed Bugs Today"

Bedbugs

Bedbugs can easily infest peoples’ homes as well as commercial locations such as hotels, nursing homes, and hospitals. The ease at which they can be passed from location to location is what drives that fear that many people feel. Infestations can also be extremely difficult to get rid of, especially when it occupies a location where hundreds of guests pass through day after day. In fact, it appears that bedbugs are popping up everywhere! And, while no one has been able to pin-point exactly why, surveys have indicated that there is a strong correlation between increased world-wide travel and increased bedbug activity.

PermaTreat’s own regional manager, Nick Castaldo, was quoted in an article by NBC 12 last year stating “we’ve seen over each year, probably about a 25-percent increase in production as far as bedbug activity.” The article focused on the Richmond/Petersburg area having made it to number 10 on Orkin’s “Top 50 Bedbug Cities List”, which was up from number 16, in 2011. On July 9th of this year, USA Today announced the top 15 cities with the most bedbug complaints, as well as the top 15 cities with the largest increase in bedbug infestations, as compiled by Terminix. Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Detroit made the most bed bug related calls to Terminix this year, while Sacramento, Milwaukee, and Las Vegas had the greatest increase in infestations. The full list can be found in the link at the bottom of the page.

Bedbugrd, including the websites Market Watch and Free Republic, stated that “More than a third of pest-management companies treated bedbug infestations in hospitals in 2012, 6% more than the year before and more than twice as many as in 2010”, which was determined according to a survey released by the NPA (National Pest Management Association). Even though bedbugs do not transmit infections to humans, their bites can cause secondary infections in hospital patients who have lowered immune systems due to other illnesses, and therefore can create a serious problem. Dr. Dick Zoutman, a professor and specialist of infectious diseases, has “helped develop a new hospital sterilization system that can kill highly drug-resistant bacteria as well as bedbugs”. It is currently beginning distribution in Canada, and is seeking approval for use in the United States. This system, marketed as “AspeticSure”, uses a gas to effectively eradicate 100% of bacteria in less than an hour, kill bedbugs in up to 24 hours, and kill their eggs in up to 36 hours. Until approved, “exterminators are their only realistic option for addressing a pest invasion”.

Bedbug-bites-300x224Early detection and treatment are critical for successful control of bedbugs. To combat this, PermaTreat offers free bedbug inspections for both residential and commercial locations. Based on what the inspector finds, a treatment plan will be generated that is tailored specifically for the problem in that location.

The Virginia Department of Health has an informative publication on the control of bedbugs in hotel rooms (link below), and, while the focus is on hotels, it provides excellent information on bedbugs in general. This includes where to inspect for evidence of bedbugs, and what to do in preparation for professional treatment. It must be noted that caution should always be used against self-treatment, as special equipment is necessary!

Bedbugs2-300x227th about a New York woman who set off over 20 foggers in her apartment but forgot to turn off the pilot light on her oven, resulting in an explosion that caused a partial collapse of the building and left 12 people injured. The article stated that every year there are about 500 fires or explosions linked to the use of foggers for self-pest control. Mr. Timothy Wong, technical director of M&M Pest Control
was quoted as saying “Bedbugs hide in cracks and crevices and their bodies are very thin… Foggers cannot penetrate into these crevices and often it will just drive them to burrow deeper or into other units.” Since pest control companies have access to the best products and have the know-how to use these products safely and effectively in treating pest control problems such as bedbugs, this is definitely a case in which pest control is best left up to a professional!

Article Links:

NBC 12 – Richmond, Petersburg High on Bedbug Cities List:
http://www.nbc12.com/story/18908697/richmond-petersburg-high-on-bedbug-cities-list

USA Today – Where the Bedbugs Are:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/dispatches/2013/07/09/bed-bugs-in-hotels/2492871/

Market Watch – Bedbugs Invade Hospitals:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bedbugs-rack-up-hospital-bills-2013-04-22

Virginia Department of Health – Control of Bedbugs in Hotel Rooms:
http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/documents/2009/pdfs/Bed%20Bug%20Brochure.pdf

CBS News – N.J. Man Burns Down House:
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57589151/n.j-man-burns-down-house-trying-to-kill-bed-bugs/

New York Times – Explosion in Apartment:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/13/nyregion/a-risky-weapon-in-the-fight-against-insects.html?ref=bedbugs