All posts by Nancy McCord

Summer Camps Can Be A Hot Bed of Bed Bug Activity

Many parents pay big bucks to send their children off to an over-night summer camp in hopes of creating fun memories. Summer camps are a great way for children to enjoy the great outdoors, learn new skills, ride horses, swim, canoe, rock climb, do arts and crafts, meet people from near and far, learn crazy songs, and make smores.

Click On Detroit reported on August 5, 2001, that a 10 year old girl got a bit more than fun memories from her week-long summer camp adventure last week. They report that bloodsucking bed bugs relentlessly attacked the little girl and kept her awake each night. According to the reports, the little girl said “When I was laying down to go to bed, I felt like little people pinching me. I couldn’t fall asleep.” Without a cell phone in hand, she was not able to alert her mother to her plight. The little girl continued to be attacked until she was moved to a new bed the last night of her stay at the camp.

Once delivered home, upon seeing the extensive bite marks on her arms, legs, stomach, and thighs, the young girl was taken to the emergency room where doctors confirmed that the massive bite wounds were caused by bed bug bites! You may read the article here.

NJ Pest control experts say that bed bug infestations have been reported extensively throughout all areas of the United States this summer season. Upon arriving home from camp, as an extra precaution, you should always leave camp gear outdoors until you can launder all items. Always launder all bedding, pillows, and clothing in hot water and dry on the hottest dryer setting immediately upon returning home. Vacuum all luggage, backpacks, purses, etc., paying particular attention to the seamed and zippered areas to make certain that no bed bugs or their eggs have hitched a ride home with your child. Pest control experts recommend using the Packtite Portable Bed Bug Killing Heat Chamber, which will kill all stages of bed bugs and their eggs within a few hours. It will also kill other bothersome critters like fleas, ticks, and lice too! Nothing stands a chance against the Packtite!

Bed Bug Detectors Find Low Levels of Bed Bugs

When bed bugs first come into your home, they arrive ready to breed. It doesn’t take long for bed bugs to start biting you in your bed once they have followed you home. Bed bugs are attracted to their food source – you –  by your carbon dioxide. Once they find you, they will stay within an eight foot or so radius keeping your close as their source of food.

If you have brought bed bugs home recently you may not even know that they are present for several months. In fact some people don’t even have a reaction to bites and so their first sign of a bed bug presence is small fecal spots or red spots on their sheets. If you can see the bed bugs on your bed, you are at an infestation level.

It is easier and less expensive to treat a bed bug problem that is in the early stages. However, detection at this early stage can be problematic. Sometimes a visual identification of these pests is not possible at such a low level. If you have bite marks, this may be proof enough, that you have bed bugs and prompt you to pay for a bed bug treatment right away. For others, a confirmation of the presence of bed bugs is warranted. This is where bed bug detection devices are practical to use.

There are many new inexpensive bed bug detectors on the market. The one’s we particularly like are glue dotted strips. Just stick them on your mattress and headboard and in one to two weeks pull the strips apart to see if you have trapped any bed bugs. For low levels of bed bugs or a situation where you are simply not sure if you have bed bugs or fleas from a pet, using a detector can be a time and money saver; helping you to treat only when you have real evidence of a bed bug problem.

Interesting Bed Bug Facts

Bed bugs have enjoyed a long and sorted past throughout history. Studies have shown that bed bugs first began feasting on bats and then humans in the caves in the Mediterranean region. Fossilized bed bugs have been found that date back more than 3,500 years.

In ancient times, bed bugs were believed to have some medicinal qualities and were used for a variety of strange remedies. Egyptians had a bed bug cocktail for snakebites, and the Romans and Greeks burned them to make leeches release their hold on the skin. Some people also believed that when ingested with beans, eggs, or wine, bed bugs would cure many other diseases.

Because of their ability to multiply quickly, propensity to hide, and voracious appetite for blood, bed bugs have been the most hated pest among men, women, and children. Throughout time, women likely hated them the most as it was their responsibility to rid the family home of the unwanted blood suckers.

Bed bugs first hitched a ride over to the Americas with the European colonists… something I am sure the Native American’s were not too pleased to encounter.

Bed bugs do have some natural enemies that they should be wary of: cockroaches, spiders, mites, centipedes, the masked hunter, Pharaoh ants, and fire ants all think that bed bugs are a tasty treat. The problem is that cockroaches are gross and can spread nasty diseases, spiders can bite and are a bit scary in their own way, mites cause itching and ugly welts, and centipedes pack a powerful sting. The masked hunter has a painful bite when provoked, the Pharaoh ant is a suspected carrier of pathogenic bacteria, and the fire ant can zap you with a horribly painful sting or many, as is usually the case.

The simple fact is that despite the resurgence of bed bugs in recent years, options are available for treating bed bug infestations. Having a good pest control professional that can provide expert NJ bed bug eradication services whenever blood sucking bed bugs invade homes or businesses is the key to getting rid of bed bugs!

NPMA is Working Hard to Create Industry Standards and Treatment Guidelines for Bed Bug Services

NPMA Blue Ribbon Panel and convention attendees.
NPMA Blue Ribbon Panel and convention attendees listen to the discussions.

NPMA is Working Hard to Create Industry Standards and Treatment Guidelines for Bed Bug Services
Just this last month in Hawaii at the National Pest Management Association convention a special Blue Ribbon panel gathered to start discussion on the creation of industry standards or best practice guidelines for bed bug pest control professionals. Topics that were discussed included:

• The need for company and technician training programs and certifications for bed bug treatment.

• Identification of the types of standards or best practices needed for bed bug inspections, treatment, and monitoring.

• Policy initiatives for bed bug extermination and consumer education that should be pursued at the national and legislative level.

• Discussion of the type, amount and funding of bed bug research still to be done.

• Efficacy of products and services (what works and what doesn’t)

With many NPMA convention attendees sitting in on this special Blue Ribbon panel session, the gathering became a rapid fire yet thought provoking conversation. Many pest control professionals expressed their desire to have the NPMA create bed bug certification programs, technician training modules, and fund or identify additional research on bed bug extermination protocols.

Of interest was the discussion on of the creation of industry standards on bed bug extermination or the creation of industry best practices. Several convention attendees expressed to the panel that consumers are the ones who would really benefit from industry certifications and that these programs including best practices/guidelines should be fast tracked.

Numerous pest control firm owners called for the creation of a certification standards for bed bug dogs; allowing for industry standardization in regards to dog training and the measuring of the success rate of bed bug identification.
With bed bugs becoming a national epidemic, the National Pest Management Association is leading the way in creating and shaping the message that will help consumers and pest professionals alike identify solutions and protocols for the effective and efficient treatment of bed bugs. The task seems huge but is necessary.

It is time for pest professionals to take action on this important issue. We commend the National Pest Management Association for spearheading this important initiative that is sure to benefit all impacted by bed bugs.
The next Blue Ribbon panel will be meeting on January 5th 2011 in Denver, Colorado at the National Bed Bug Forum. All convention attendees are invited to sit in on the panel’s second meeting.