Educational Information About Bed Bugs

Posted by Michael Ferkiss on

This Educational Information blog post is an ongoing repository for 'best-in-class' information that I find or is sent to me by our customers.

Thanks to all for sending me your suggestions.

This is the most entertaining, yet thorough (23 minutes long so buckle in) bed bug video I have found, made by a very popular Youtuber, Mark Rober. He has around 30 million subscribers watching so I was relieved to see that he agreed heat was the "nuclear option" for killing bed bugs. Enjoy!

Misuse and Overuse of Pesticides should not be taken lightly. 

"Pesticides included in this study were found to be highly persistent in a dark indoor environment with surface concentrations virtually unchanged after 140 days."

See article on remediating pesticides  here.

This is the best overview video I have found on bed bugs. It was professionally produced by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) with support from the Connecticut Coalition Against Bed Bugs (CCABB). Enjoy!

 

Bed Bugs Inflict Devastating Damage To Their Victims That Goes Way Beyond Just the Physical. Read About The Social and Mental Consequences Including PTSD HERE

People can suffer from mental health impacts during and after a bed bug infestation as well. Humans build shelters to protect against many outside threats, including other arthropods such as flies, ticks, mosquitoes and fleas. And while these critters do make their way into buildings meant for our protection sometimes, bed bugs (unlike many other pests) depend on humans for their survival. They stay in our homes, live in our beds and drink our blood without our consent. This reality can leave a person feeling violated by this pest.

Has a customer ever expressed feeling queasy or itchy when discussing bed bugs? That physical feeling when thinking about bed bugs illustrates something powerful: Simply thinking about bed bugs can cause an emotional stress reaction. That emotional reaction is just one very small mental health impact that bed bugs have on people. Unfortunately, persons encountering bed bug infestations can develop several, very severe mental health consequences. Researchers have documented people experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, worsening of pre-existing conditions, thoughts or attempts of suicide and suicide related to bed bugs (Ashcroft, R., et al. 2015).

 

American Academy of Dermatology Association's Bed Bug Page shows that clustered welts are most likely bed bug bites.

4 Bed Bug Myths from the Georgia Department of Health Bed Bug Handbook

Download Handbook HERE

Bed bugs are only a problem in low-income neighborhoods.

False! Anyone can have a bed bug infestation. It is a common misconception that only dirty or low-income homes carry bed bugs. The truth is that bed bugs prefer human blood, and they will feed on anyone, regardless of their cleanliness or socioeconomic status.

Bed bugs carry disease.

False! Bed bugs do not transmit disease; however, secondary infections can occur from scratching bed bug bites.

 

Any insecticide will kill bed bugs.

False! Pesticides and other treatments are effective against pests, but are not necessarily effective against bed bugs. For example, boric acid kills cockroaches, because they ingest the poison. Bed bugs only feed on blood so boric acid is virtually ineffective. Some pesticides will kill bed bugs that are out in the open and if they are sprayed directly. However, the majority of bed bugs in an infested building are hiding and it is unlikely they will be killed by these contact pesticides.

 

Household bug bombs that are meant for flying insects will kill bed bugs.

False! Bug bombs will not kill the majority of bed bugs in an infested room. These insecticides typically cause bed bugs to scatter so that they can avoid the irritating effect of the spray. The scattering effect from bug bombs makes the bed bug infestation much worse!

 

Independent Rental Owners (IRO) and Bed Bugs

The National Apartment Association defines an IRO as anyone that is active in both ownership and management of their properties.

They offer an abundance of information about bed bugs and how to manage them on their website.

There is a lot to unpack here. Some  of the information I agree with and some I do not so please be judicious and feel free to call me with questions.

Specifically, there is a description of a DIY propane procedure which works for the IRO describing it but leaves out some critical details. 

In addition the National Apartment Association Education Institute offers this page, also with lots of information on how to deal with bed bugs intended for both small IRO's and the largest apartment owner/managers. 

We can finally go on a cruise again! (as can your bed bug buddies).

Download this article published JUNE 2022 to learn the facts and risks of on-board bed bug infestations at sea.

Highlights:

  • Twenty seven per cent of the physicians reported that a patient shared to them a bed bug infestation on board. In that case, all declared that the infestation impacted the patient’s life on board. 
  • Eighteen per cent answered that a shipowner already sought their support in face of a bed bug infestation. 
  • 27% considered that bed bug infestation was an increasing problem. 
  • The resurgence of bed bugs is a public health problem reaching the maritime world. Our survey confirms that bed bugs infestation has a major impact on ship. Implementation of relevant preventive measures to limit the risks of dissemination and education of seafarers on good practices are needed. 

Great Article published JAN 2023 on the resurgence of bed bug infestations in hotels from Outside Magazine. Chicago, New York and Philly are top offenders.

The author recounts language in her lease outlining repercussions if she brought in bed bugs. 

"After my trip to Morocco, I planned to move into a new apartment. The lease mentioned repercussions for any tenant found responsible for bringing in bedbugs, and at the time I remember thinking, Gross! What dirty person carries bedbugs?"

Infested bedroom video below:

 

Go Deep On Understanding The Legal and Insurance Profession's Perspective on Bed Bug Liability - READ THIS from the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel.

Pay special attention to p. 36 Section B Methods to Kill Bed Bugs

The Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC) is an invitation-only organization of lawyers who focus their practice on the defense of civil claims and representation of insurers and corporations.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in University and Student Housing

The short video below was produced by the Facilities Management Department at the University of Colorado in Boulder CO.

In it Ed von Bleichert, Program Manager for Sustainability and Resiliency describes why heat treatment has been the best solution for controlling bed bugs in on-campus housing. 

Additional Bed Bug Information from the University of Colorado below:

https://www.colorado.edu/fm/bedbug-resources

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Bed Bug Heaters In Affordable Housing

Below is one of my favorite informational web sites because it was developed and updated by science educators so it is free of the commercial bias one finds on for-profit company sites.

The manager of this informational web site is  Susannah Reese, MS, a dedicated scientist from Cornell University in Ithaca NY.

http://www.stoppests.org/pest-solutions/bed-bugs/

We are a group of science educators, seeking to improve pest control in affordable housing by teaching everyone who works, lives, and plays in housing how to use integrated pest management (IPM). We are the Northeastern IPM Center at Cornell University. Since 2007, we’ve been bringing IPM to affordable housing across the country with funding from a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) interagency agreement.

Cockroaches, rodents, and bed bugs can all impact the health and safety of multifamily residents and staff, not to mention they are expensive to eliminate! StopPests in Housing is funded by HUD to provide free integrated pest management (IPM) training and technical assistance to HUD-assisted properties. Based in NY at Cornell University’s Northeastern IPM Center StopPests offers effective and safe IPM solutions to housing sites across the country. Housing sites eligible for free training and technical assistance include public housing, section 8, 202, and 811 properties, and tribal housing. Visit stoppests.org for more information or to request training and technical assistance or email stoppests@cornell.edu.

Download Bed Bug Guide for Property Managers HERE

Download Bed Bug Population Growth Chart HERE

Download Bed Bug Poster for Tenants - English - HERE

Download Bed Bug Poster for Tenants - Spanish - HERE

Download Avoid Used Furniture PosterHERE

Below is a professionally produced educational video in both English and dubbed in Spanish intended for landlords to show their tenants before signing a lease and move-in.

It was sponsored by both HUD and the USDA's National Institute of Food & Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) in collaboration with the USDA Regional IPM Centers .

Actors play the roles of a tenant who just moved-in and is visited by a member of the building's Resident Services Staff. The staff member does a walk-through with the tenant and points out areas where things could be improved to decrease the risk of mice, rats, cockroaches and bed bug infestations.

The video was filmed in actual properties of both the Boston and Seattle Housing Authorities. It leaves the viewer feeling empowered and informed and emphasizes how important they are as an integral part of the IPM team for  preventing pest infestations where they live.

In my opinion The Tenant's Role in IPM is a 'must watch' for any housing authority or landlord wanting to prevent pest infestations before they happen.

The Tenants Role in IPM (English)

The Tenants Role in IPM (Spanish)

 

Avoiding Bed Bugs While Traveling 

Professor Dini Miller of Virginia Tech University is considered one of the top academic authorities on all things related to bed bugs.

Out of the dozens of videos I have reviewed over the years this is my all-time favorite How To Inspect for Bed Bugs in Hotels. The only thing I do differently when traveling is I use a brighter flashlight than just my phone. You will be glad you had it in the event of a power outage.

 

 

Here also is a fairly recent FB post from Dr. Miller indicating that she is working on legal issues with pest control professionals and property owners. The punchline is the courts are now concluding that just applying pesticides is not the same as actual pest control and that larger property managers need to stay abreast of the shifting sands regarding landlord liability when it comes to bed bug pest infestations. Most states now have an Implied Warranty of Habitability Law in effect which, if you, the landlord, are found to be in breach of, could end up being very expensive.

Dini Miller post stating that the courts no longer consider simple bed bug pesticide application equal to pest control

Bed Bug Consultants & Training for Building Managers and Staff

Another giant in the world of IPM with subject matter expertise in bed bugs is Dr. Richard Cooper PhD. (www.rcooperconsulting.net)

The video below was produced by Dr. Cooper in collaboration with Dr. Changlu Wang and sponsored by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Rutgers University.

It is 48 minutes in length and contains incredibly helpful information for residents, building managers and staff.

 

For additional information and details on bed bug heating equipment visit this post:  The Ultimate Guide To Bed Bug Heaters

 

Updated Pricing to Remediate Bed Bugs

05APRIL 2022 This article shows most recent pricing to treat bed bugs is up to $2,500 for an average multiple room apartment and $5,200 for the average single family home. This is higher than the price of our single 10,000 Watt bed bug heater which you will be able to use whenever you need to in addition to loaning to friends and family. Many of our customers rent their bed bug heater(s) out to others for around $400 per day.

PREPARATION BEFORE HEAT TREATMENT VIDEOS

Eagle Pest Services in Warrenton VA is a customer using our bed bug heaters in their most exclusive, downtown historic hotel customers in Washington DC.

They prepared this exceptional video to instruct their residential customers how best to prepare their home for thermal remediation. (NOTE:The equipment in this video is does not feature our bed bug heating equipment but articulates well the concepts needed for a successful heat treatment.)

09MAY 2022

Disney pays guest $100,000 to settle bed bug case.

Ivy Eldridge's lawsuit using Encino attorney, Brian Virag, claims she suffered emotional damage after being bitten multiple times by bed bugs after staying at the Disneyland Hotel during a stay with family members in April 2018.

The settlement award was paid out this past week to avoid further damage to Disney's reputation.  See LA Times article here.

A small up-front investment in a whole room bed bug heater could have prevented this law suit from ever being filed in the first place.

Preventing damage and risk to a company's brand and reputation is much less costly than trying to repair it after the fact. Headlines and online ratings and comments last forever.

UPDATE 26MAY2022

ABC News 20/20 Hidden Camera Report: Bed Bug Sniffing Dogs Fail 37% of The Time

I was recently alerted to this hidden camera ABC NEWS 20/20 report by my good customer and PestPro's official trainer covering the midwest US, Greg Osborne, owner of Bug Bakers of Columbus who learned the hard way that relying on bedbug sniffing dogs to determine if bed bugs are present can be somewhat of a crap shoot. He has successfully been using electronic bed bug traps to both prove that bed bugs are there to justify a heat treatment and also prove his heat treatments have succeeded. 

For many years now I have been under the false impression that all dogs and trainers could and would detect bed bugs close to 100% of the time. 

It turns out that is nowhere near the case and without proper training and handling many dogs will falsely indicate bed bugs are present when in fact they are not. My apologies to all my legit customers who offer bed bug sniffing dog services but I am just the messenger here. Caveat Emptor - Buyer Beware.

 

UPDATE 05JUNE 2022

Jerome Goddard is an entomologist and expert on bed bugs. Here in this article published in The Conversation (a website committed to publishing only scientific publications)  he talks about the resurgence of bed bug infestations worldwide due to the banning of DDT and the terrible psychological toll it can have on the victims of bed bug infestations including PTSD and suicide. 

Thankfully there is included a light hearted interview with comedian Stephen Colbert (formerly of Comedy Central). 

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