Bed Bugs In Gastonia Men’s Shelter


Posted by Bedbug Deadbug | Posted in Infestations | Posted on 13-09-2012

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This article was in the Charlotte Observer today, right here in North Carolina!

GASTONIA — Bedbugs are again causing problems for officials at the men’s shelter in Gastonia and the people who stay there.

The parasitic insects began causing problems about six weeks ago, but the infestation moved back into the headlines this week when two people sent photos and videos of the bugs to WSOC-TV.

A representative at the shelter, operated by the Salvation Army, confirmed Thursday that staff is trying to deal with the bugs.

Shelter staff members have replaced mattresses and used insecticides against the bugs, which tend to be active at night, biting people and drawing blood. One shelter resident sent a photo to WSOC, showing a number of bites on the arm.

Bedbugs have been a problem across the country, especially in places where there are visitors or temporary residents. People carry the bugs on their clothing or bedding. Catawba University in Salisbury closed some dormitories for several days last year, to deal with a bedbug infestation.

County health departments are permitted to shut down hotels and dormitories to deal with bedbugs, but the law does not cover the homeless shelter, because it is run by a nonprofit organization and does not charge a fee from those who stay there.

Similar complaints were made by Gastonia shelter residents in July 2010 and 2011. In 2011, Salvation Army Captain Donald Dohmann said the shelter had been struggling with bedbug problems for three or four years. Typically, the problem disappears after cold weather arrives.

Read more here:


Some Bed Bug Remedies In Question


Posted by Bedbug Deadbug | Posted in Killing Bed Bugs | Posted on 11-09-2012

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WASHINGTON — Don’t fall for the hype on quick remedies for killing and preventing bed bugs.

Federal regulators say they lodged deceptive advertising charges against two companies marketing anti-bed bug products.

There’s no evidence that the ingredients in “Rest Easy” and “Best Yet!,” – including cinnamon, lemongrass and cedar oil – can eliminate or prevent bed bugs, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday.

“Best Yet!,” sold by Cedarcide Industries Inc., also claims to treat head lice. Also deceptive, the FTC says.

The agency sued Cedarcide and RMB Group LLC, marketer of “Rest Easy,” in federal court. RMB and its owners agreed in a settlement to make no claims that their product or any pesticide kills or repels bed bugs or creates a barrier against them.

The FTC’s case against Cedarcide continues.

Federal Funding For Bed Bug Treatments In Chicago


Posted by Bedbug Deadbug | Posted in Habitat, Killing Bed Bugs | Posted on 12-09-2011

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EAST CHICAGO | The bedbugs’ days are numbered at the John B. Nicosia  Senior Citizens Building, 4720 Railroad Ave.

Crews from Allied Services of Posen, Ill., began ridding the nine-story,  206-unit apartment building of the blood-sucking insects Aug. 30 and will  continue through Sept. 19, according to Javier Chavez, director of operations of  the East Chicago Housing Authority.

Two weeks after the previous treatment, Allied will re-check for the  reddish-brown, oval bedbugs. If none are found, another inspection will take  place two weeks after that.

“We need to have a month with no evidence of bedbugs to be pronounced free of  them,” Chavez said.

When the monthlong period is completed without bedbugs, the housing authority  will begin preventive maintenance on a quarterly basis to ensure no more  infestations, Chavez said.

Inspections will begin soon at another senior citizens complex in the Indiana  Harbor section of East Chicago. Allied Services will bring dogs specially  trained in detecting bedbugs to the 109-unit James Hunter Senior Citizens  Building, 3625 Pulaksi St., he said.

Getting rid of bedbugs is a multistep process. The canine inspection Aug. 29  indicated which apartments were infested. All apartments above, below and next  to the active units were treated first to prevent the bedbugs from  scurrying.

DET is the active ingredient in treatments used, said Jason Sayre, sales  manager for Allied Services.

Heat of at least 140 degrees is used to kill bedbugs on clothing, bedding and  other linens. Residents put these items, including any laundry to be washed,  into black plastic garbage bags. The bags, marked clearly with each apartment  number, were transported to a special truck with industrial dryers and a large drying space to treat hanging clothes, couches and other upholstered  furniture.

Allied’s James Amoto, of Blue Island, Ill., unloaded the garbage bags into  the dryers and placed hanging clothes inside the drying space. He removed the  items after they had about a hour of heat treatment and placed them in blue bags  for transport back to the appropriate apartment.

Infested furniture that residents no longer wanted still was treated with  heat and wrapped up for disposal. Used furniture and mattresses are among the  most common attractions for bedbugs, Sayre said.

A small bowl filled with DET was placed under each furniture leg to kill  bedbugs as they crawl. Bedbugs don’t fly or jump; they crawl up walls or  furniture, Sayre said.

Federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is  paying for the inspections and treatment because the East Chicago Housing  Authority is part of HUD, Chavez said.

Read more:

5 Tips To Avoid Bringing Bed Bugs Home From School


Posted by Bedbug Deadbug | Posted in Infestations, Signs & Symptoms | Posted on 09-09-2011

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Fairfeild, N.J., (PRWEB) September 08, 2011

Pens? Check. Notebooks? Check. Lunch? Check. Bed Bugs? – Wait a Minute!

While they’re not on any school’s list of items to bring to class, it is  inevitable that some students, teachers, and staff will unwittingly carry bed  bugs into schools. Others will unfortunately take these hitchhiking insects home  in their backpacks. Some bed bugs will even decide to make classrooms their new  homes. As the bed bug epidemic worsens, these insects have spread to elementary,  middle and high schools in towns nationwide.  In New York City, bed bug  incidents in public schools rose to 3,590 last year, more than triple the  2009-2010 school year.

As parents prepare their kids for the new school year, giving students the  knowledge of how to prevent bed bugs coming home from school is just as  important as getting them the right supplies.

“Vigilance is the best, ongoing defense against bed bugs in schools and at  home,” said Glenn Waldorf, of Bell Environmental Services, a leading pest  control company and bed bug specialist. “Bed bugs are great hitchhikers that  crawl into backpacks, bags, and jackets to get to and from school.  Once  present, a pair of bed bugs can multiply into a large infestation in a short  period of time.”

The entomologists at Bell Environmental Services offer these five tips to  help students and teachers avoid bringing bed bugs home:

  •    At school, place backpacks and jackets inside large, resealable plastic  bags, and don’t let them sit on the floor in a closet or in pile with other  coats and bags.
  •     Upon returning home from school, empty backpacks completely outside the  home, if possible, and inspect bags and items inside for bed bugs.
  •    At home, keep backpacks in plastic bags or closed storage bins. At  minimum, do not leave backpacks in or near bedrooms.
  •    If bed bugs have been found at their school, have children disrobe  immediately upon coming home, and place clothing in sealed plastic bags. Place  clothing in a dryer (medium-high heat for 20 minutes) and throw out the plastic  bags.  Bed bugs can’t survive high heat.
  •    Engage the school administration. Ask them what precautionary and  proactive measures they are taking to prevent the introduction and spread of bed  bugs. Encourage them to educate students how to identify bed bug signs and use  teaching tools such as “Roscoe and the Big Bed Bug Hunt,” a free coloring and  activity book on bed bugs authored by Bell Environmental.


Bed Bugs Causing Problems In A Marriage


Posted by Bedbug Deadbug | Posted in Infestations, Signs & Symptoms | Posted on 27-08-2011

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This was a Dear Annie article I found about bed bugs in a Chicago newspaper:

Dear Annie: My husband’s mother lives three hours away, not far from his sister and her family. The problem is, my sister-in-law has had a bed bug infestation for more than a year. She has sprayed the mattresses and covered them with plastic, but won’t hire a professional. Six months ago, she got new mattresses and living room furniture, but her husband thinks there is still a problem in one bedroom.

 My sister-in-law’s home is cluttered and not well-maintained. Over the years, they have had several flea infestations. Their daughter has a drug problem, and she and her kids move frequently between local area shelters and her mother’s home. She also sometimes stays with my mother-in-law. Our exterminator advised me to steer clear of my sister-in-law’s house and not even bring their Christmas gifts into our home. We have avoided visits for more than a year.

 This is causing problems in my marriage. My husband thinks I am overreacting and believes it is unlikely we can get bed bugs if we visit or invite his mother to visit.

 Mom is losing patience and desperately wants to see us and our new grandchild. I miss my in-laws, but don’t want to risk our exposure or that of my son and his family. How do I resolve this?

 -Can’t Handle Bed bugs

 Dear Can’t Handle Bed bugs:  We understand your reluctance to expose yourself to bedbugs, but there also is a price to pay for avoiding your in-laws.  You need to explain your concerns to Mom, and then enlist your husband’s help in finding a solution.  Perhaps you could stay in a hotel or with other family members or friends whose homes you trust and meet with Mom in a neutral setting.  Or have Mom visit you, watching carefully for signs of infestation.  Your grandson can then see Mom in brief spurts.  She may, in fact, be bed bug-free, and frankly, as unpleasant as it could get, it’s worth the cost of an exterminator if it saves your marriage.


Do You Have Bed Bugs?


Posted by Bedbug Deadbug | Posted in Habitat, Infestations, Killing Bed Bugs, Life Cycle, Signs & Symptoms | Posted on 26-08-2011

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This article was written by Dr. Monique Suzanne Cohn:

Bed bug (cimex lenticularis) infestations have become increasingly common.

These reddish-brown wingless insects have 3 pairs of legs are about 3-5 mm in size and big enough to see with the naked eye.

Bed bugs come out of hiding at night to feed on the blood of those resting nearby. They inject a local anesthesia that numbs the skin so that its bit is painless. This means that its victim can sleep through the night and is usually unaware of having been bitten until later.

People react differently to bed bug bites. The reaction depends on the individual’s immune reaction to the bed bug’s saliva.

Many people experience itching bumps, often in a row, similar to severe mosquito bites. These may appear immediately the next morning, or several days later. The swelling and itching tends to last for several days. Rarely, severe allergic reactions can occur that result in hives (urticaria) and asthma.

Some do not react at all, explaining why they have no symptoms despite having slept in the same bed as others who are covered in bed bug bites.

Bed Bug Bite Treatment

Wash the bites thoroughly with soap and water to help prevent a skin infection (cellulitis).

To relieve the itching, try applying ice or a cold damp cloth to the bites. An antihistamine may also be used.

Seek immediate medical attention if:
•the itch becomes unbearable
•the skin appears to become infected with redness and tenderness around the bite and a discharge from the wound.
•you experience a severe reaction with large blisters, a fever, and generalized fatigue.

Fortunately, bed bugs do not transmit any infectious diseases, so there is no risk of developing Lyme disease or other insect-borne illnesses.

Bed Bug Prevention

Bedbugs are well adapted to traveling. They can hide in packed clothing, suitcases, or furniture and can survive for many months without a meal.

Because it can be very difficult to rid a home or apartment of a bed bug infestation, it is very helpful to take measure to try to avoid bring them into your home.

Bed Bugs Life Cycle

Measures to take when checking into a hotel.
•Place your luggage on the luggage rack (not the floor).  Bedbugs can hide in the carpet and crawl into your suitcase.

•Examine the mattress and box spring. Lift up all the blankets and sheets.  How big is a bed bug?  The bugs themselves are wingless, oval-shaped insects that are about one-quarter inch in size. If they have not had a meal for a while, they are flat and brownish in color. After feeding on blood, they become red and swollen.

 There may also pinprick-size drops of blood or tiny blackish dropping. Be sure to check underneath the mattress buttons, seams, crevices, and the area between the box spring and the headboard, or the box spring and any wood or metal.

Bed bugs may appear in the finest hotels luxury suites so don’t be comforted merely by the price you paid. 

Should you find evidence of bedbugs, don’t be shy about requesting another room on another floor.

Bed bugs are not just in beds.

Bed bugs can be in chair cushions, sofas, behind electrical outlets, cracks and crevices around baseboards, or even behind picture frames. In other words, they can be live pretty much anywhere

Heat Kills Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are very sensitive to heat. Clothing, sheets or other items that can be machine-washed in hot water (at least 120° F) water or placed in the dryer for 15-20 minutes can be cleared of any possible bed bugs. If luggage cannot be washed, it should be thoroughly vacuumed before it is stored. Use a crevice tool to clean all seams and crannies. And, then empty the vacuum cleaner. Do not discard the contents from the vacuum cleaner inside.

Call a professional

Bed bugs can be extremely difficult to eradicate once they settle in. If you think you may have a bed bug infestation, contact a pest control professional. Bed bugs cannot be easily controlled with do-it-yourself measures.

Bed Bugs In Fancy Hotels


Posted by Bedbug Deadbug | Posted in Infestations | Posted on 25-08-2011

SEATTLE — Check into a four or five star hotel and the last thing you expect to encounter is a bed bug.

But in Seattle and across the country, the reports of bed bugs in nicer hotels are on the rise.

Generally speaking, where you find large populations of people, you’ll find bedbugs.

“The intensity of bedbug calls started occurring roughly about 10 years ago and it’s only increased ever since,” said Ron Wikstrom, with Eden Advanced Pest Technologies.

Wikstrom said even one bedbug is a problem. And these tiny, torturous creatures hitch-hike all over the world, sometimes taking up residence in hotels.

Philip Vaughn, with Kirkland-based, a hotel review website, said the number of individual hotels reported to have bedbugs in Seattle is skyrocketing.

“This summer, Seattle’s been hammered over last year,” Vaughn said. “We have liked a 500 percent increase year over year in terms of the number of reports of bedbugs.”

Vaughn said they’ve received 16 reported cases of bedbugs in Seattle hotels so far this year, compared with six for all of last year.

You might be shocked to learn that several of those hotels are 4-star properties.

“There is no hotel that’s immune,” he said.

Experts stress that may not be because hotels are doing anything wrong. it’s just that bedbugs don’t discriminate.

So what can you do to protect yourself when you travel?

“We’ve lost the habit of turning up the covers and looking at the corners of the bed and maybe even looking behind the bed board for certain signs of bedbugs,” Vaughn said.

See any signs? Ask for another room. And even if you don’t see any bedbugs, take extra steps to protect yourself.

“If you’re traveling, you would take your suitcase, you might want to put it in the bathtub, versus putting it next to a wall or something of that nature,” Wikstrom said.

Bedbugs hide in wall sockets and other crevices and cracks. They can go undetected until they’re hungry again and you’re their meal ticket.

So which cities have the biggest increase in hotel bed bug reports – according to

Myrtle Beach, S.C., Las Vegas, Chicago, San Francisco, New York City

Check out the bed bug reports for yourself, and for more information about the problem, head to

Toronto Hires Bed Bug Nurses


Posted by Bedbug Deadbug | Posted in Infestations | Posted on 24-08-2011

TORONTO - They won’t scratch out these nurses.

Bed bugs crawl around in a container on display during the 2nd National Bed Bug Conference in Washington, DC, earlier this year. On Tuesday, Toronto's budget committee recommended the city accept a provincial offer of three health care nurses to help deal with the infestation problem.

Councillors on the city’s budget committee unanimously approved accepting provincial cash to fight bed bugs, including $255,000 to hire three public health nurses.

Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee still has to approve accepting the cash. If they do, it will be a reversal from earlier this year when Ford led the committee in turning down cash from the province to fully fund the hiring of two public health nurses to work in poor neighbourhoods.

Councillor Doug Ford did get the committee to approve an amendment emphasizing the city wouldn’t be on the hook for any costs if they take the provincial money and that if the funding stops the positions would be scrapped.

The outspoken councillor refused to speak with reporters after the meeting.

Board of Health chairman Councillor John Filion said the budget committee “made the right decision” and vowed to try to reopen the decision not to hire the other two nurses given the fact the two cases are exactly the same.

Filion said he offered a similar compromise during the fight over the two nurses and questioned why councillors were supporting it in this case now that Ford brought it forward.

“The lack of independent thought is a little bit disconcerting,” he said.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Ford grilled Dr. David McKeown, the city’s chief medical officer of health, about the positions.

“Doctor, how do nurses fight bed bugs?” Ford asked.

McKeown said the health unit has found people with the most severe bed bug infestations often have underlying mental health problems, disabilities and substance abuse problems.

Budget chief Mike Del Grande said he would have preferred to have more funding to pay for exterminators to actually exterminate bed bugs.

“(Nurses) are one part of the equation but will a public health nurse actually stomp on a bed bug? Maybe when they go visit but in terms of getting rid of them, no,” Del Grande said.

Del Grande said the compromise ensures the city is not left “hung to dry” like when the province stopped funding childcare spaces.

He acknowledged the thousands of e-mails councillors were sent after the executive committee voted not to hire the last two public health nurses made an impact.

“We listen, even though people claim that we don’t, but certainly from my vantage point I listen to anything and everything, I get the drift,” he said.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said he’s glad Toronto has taken up the provincial government on its “no-strings-attached offer” of funding for public health nurses.

— with files from Antonella Artuso

Beware of Pest Control Scams


Posted by Bedbug Deadbug | Posted in Infestations, Killing Bed Bugs | Posted on 23-08-2011

Self-proclaimed bed bug experts looking to cash in

  • Reporting by Susan Hogan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Bed bug infestation has hit homes once again! These pesky little critters are not only latching onto your beds, but to your wallets as well. We’ve learned some self-proclaimed bed bug specialists are coming into homes with the intention of taking your money without getting rid of the pesky critters.

“Complaints just this year alone on pest control companies are growing.” said Paula Fleming of the Better Business Bureau.

The complaints claim those so called bug experts are no where to be found when the critters come back.

“You want to make sure your doing business with a legitimate business” warned Fleming

Once bed bugs take over your home, you’re at risk of hiring a pest control company that may be more concerned about getting paid then getting rid of the bugs. So make sure they have a pest control license. Also, make sure products they’re using are registered for use on bed bugs and okay to use indoors. And, be sure to check references or the national pest management association

Experts say you should take extra steps to try to keep bed bugs from entering your home in the first place. Inspect for insects. If you purchased furniture from a second hand store, Make sure it is bug free before bringing it into your home. Also, bed bugs like to hide so make sure you periodically check for rips or openings in your furniture and patch them securely. And, when staying in a hotel, check the mattress and headboard. When you come home, wash your clothes right away to keep the critters from infesting your home.

“Make sure that you’re taking the necessary steps to protect yourself you don’t want them to get into your home and infest your home that’s when it gets ugly.” said Fleming

Often times people confuse bed bug bites for mosquito bites. Adult bed begs look like ticks and while they are less harmful, they can leave you itching in your sleep.


Kalamazoo College Treats With Heat


Posted by Bedbug Deadbug | Posted in Infestations, Killing Bed Bugs | Posted on 22-08-2011

KALAMAZOO — Thanks to 140-de­gree thermal room treatments and a bug-sniffing dog, when Kalamazoo College students return to their resi­dence halls Sept. 7, they can be assured their rooms will be bedbug-free.

This is one college that’s decided to get aggressive and nip in the bud a problem plaguing residence halls everywhere.

Dana Jansma, associate dean of students, said that when a few stu­dents showed up in the health center with bug bites last year, the college sprang to action. “This has been a hot topic among colleges and uni­versities,” she said. “We’ve been for­tunate that it’s been this long” before Kalamazoo College joined the ranks of the infested.

“We had prepared for the inevitable,” Jansma said.

The college called in Rose Pest Solutions, which did heat treatments on the handful of affected student rooms.

“They bring in trucks and ma­chines, and they heat the room up to over 100 degrees,” she said. “The students must take out anything that would melt.”

Students were asked to open closet doors and desk drawers so the heat would penetrate. “The point is to have all of their belongings in there,” she said, to catch any of the bugs that may have hidden in clothing, books or other items.

Shawano Cleary | Special to the Kalamazoo GazetteKia Lee, left, watches as , Kalamazoo College sophomores Erick Helfmann and Dimeko Price help Lee’s daughter, freshman, Lor Vang, of St. Paul MN, right, as Vang moves into the Hoben residence hall on the campus of Kalamazoo College in 2010.

Once the lethal temperature level is reached — 120 to 140 degrees — it’s held for six to seven hours. “It takes care of all the bugs in the entire room,” she said. “You don’t have to use chemicals, and it gets everything they get into.”

Jansma said the surrounding rooms were treated as well to prevent the insects from fleeing when the heat went up.

It did the trick.

But just to be sure, this summer while students were gone, the company brought in Chili, a beagle mix  trained to sniff out bedbug infestations the way other animals go for drugs.”When live bed bugs or live bed bug eggs are detected, the dog will “alert” to the location by sitting and put a paw up to the spot,” said Jim Nelson, district manager at Rose.

All six residence halls and eight free-standing houses got the all-clear, Jansma said.

Of course, how long the rooms stay pest-free is anyone’s guess.

Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association, said 54 percent of pest-treatment professionals have treated bed bugs in college dorms this year, compared to 35 percent in 2010.

That’s just one statistic included in the association’s recent “2011 Bugs Without Borders Survey,” done in collaboration with the University of Kentucky.

Other survey highlights:

• 99 percent of pest professionals have encountered bed bug infestations in the past year (up from 95 percent in 2010).

• 73 percent of pest professionals believe bed bugs are the most difficult pest to treat.

• 80 percent of pest professionals have treated bed bugs in hotels and motels, compared to 67 percent in 2010.

• 38 percent have treated bed bugs in office buildings, compared to 18 percent in 2010.

• 36 percent have treated bed bugs in schools and day care centers, compared to 10 percent in 2010.

• 31 percent have treated bed bugs in hospitals, compared to 12 percent in 2010.

“One of the most significant findings is that bed bug encounters have become much more common in public places than the previous year, in some instances increasing by 10, 20 or nearly 30 percent,” Henriksen said.

Jansma said she would not be surprised if the insects found their way back to Kalamazoo College. She said she’s learned more than she ever really wanted to about the pest, including that “(bedbugs) are very good hitchhikers.”

“If you get one on your desk and someone walks into the room and sits on the desk chair,” she said, “it can hop on that person’s back” and be down the hall within minutes. If the bugs return, students should be prepared.

“When we had the first case, we sent out a mass notification to tell them what to look for and what to do,” Jansma said.

And if trouble re-emerges this year, the college will call the exterminators back, even though the treatment ran “into the thousands” of dollars, she said.

“It’s worth every penny, and it’s something we are obligated to do to keep our students healthy and safe,” Jansma said. “If we had let it go, it could be a disaster.”