Bed Bugs…The Extremes

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is the busiest traveling holiday of the year.  Over this past week, folks made their way to relative’s homes both near and far, went on trips to interesting destinations, slept in hotels and motels, took adventurous cruises, and flew on airplanes.  Despite the widespread media coverage about the ease of picking up bed bug while traveling, many people either did not heed the warning or were not well-versed in bed bug protocol while they traveled.

For some companies, finding bed bugs or the thought of bed bugs at their establishment can bring about…interesting results. reported on November 29, 2011 that the Internal Revenue Service in Seattle, Washington has discovered bed bugs in their office.  For many people who have endured an audit by the IRS, the thought of the IRS employees having their blood sucked by little creatures might seem funny and certainly the jokes about the situation are sure to fly.  According to the report, an employee found a bed bug, and then pest control was called in who also found a bed bug. Pest control brought a bed bug sniffing dog, which did not find any additional bed bugs so no treatment was done to the building.  An unnamed employee did admit that another bed bug has since been found, yet still no treatment has occurred in the building.  Bed bugs are either coming in with an employee or are in the house.  Regardless, they can expect them to spread!  You may read the article here.
In another interesting story, a Des Moines, Iowa elementary school teacher noticed “insect bites” on a student this week.  Thinking that the bites might be from bed bugs, three classrooms of about 75 children were sent home from school.  Perhaps the child went on vacation to someplace tropical over the Thanksgiving break and was bitten.  Maybe he/she rolled around in piles of leaves and has chiggers.  Maybe the kiddo’s house has fleas.  Maybe he/she is having an allergic reaction to laundry soap or food.  Maybe the child just has “winter itch”.    An inspection of the school yielded no bed bugs found.  Clearly sending 75 children home from school was overkill! You may read the article here.

Hiring a licensed pest control expert with experience in bed bug eradication services is wise when you think you have bed bugs.

Peek-A-Boo…Bed Bugs We See You!

As the bed bug battles rage on from coast to coast, there could be new technology on the horizon that will pack a powerful punch in the war against bed bug infestations.  According to the Seattle Times (via the Associated Press) on November 28, 2011, airline scanning technology just may be the key to helping pest control experts gain the upper hand against bed bugs in homes and businesses in the United States.

According to reports, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, which is part of the Department of Energy, has developed technology whereas they are able to scan airline passengers using radio waves to detect metal, liquid, plastic or ceramic objects hidden beneath their clothing.  This body scan is completely harmless and is currently being used in 78 different airports in the United States.  An agreement has been signed with VisiRay in Corvallis, Oregon to “manufacture devices to detect pests in buildings.  The initial target will be bed bugs, sometimes called wall louse, because they may live inside walls as well as in beds and couches.”  This much anticipated product would allow “inspectors to see through drywall particle board and view clear images of pests inside walls.” That would be amazing!

You may read the article here.

If pest control experts had technology available to them that would enable them to see inside of walls or perhaps mattresses and box springs, finding bed bug infestations would be easier than it currently is.  In addition, being able to see exactly where bed bugs are hiding would enable a pest control professional to be able to target the insecticide treatment to the exact location of the bed bug infestation stopping bed bugs in their tracks.  There is no word yet as to when this innovative product would become available, but hopefully we will see it soon.

NYC Bed Bugs Rank #1…Again!

New York City is known for being the “city that never sleeps”.  Its bright lights, exciting sites, Broadway shows, amazing restaurants, and shopping mecca rank it as one of the number one tourist destinations in the entire world.  Unfortunately, New York City pest control professionals say that holding the top spot as a tourist destination is great, but you cannot help but wonder how much that contributes to the fact that New York City is still holding the title as the most bed bug infested city in the United States!

According to’s reporting on November 22, 2011, Terminix, which is a leading nationwide pest control company in the United States, has once again created a list of the Top 15 most bed bug infested cities in America.  According to their findings, New York City once again tops the leader board for the most bed bug infestations.  The list was compiled based upon call volume reporting bed bugs and confirmed bed bug cases that are reported by sales professionals in the 350 Terminix service centers across the United States.

Previous to current standings these were the top 15 cities listed by Terminix:

1. New York City
2. Philadelphia
3. Detroit
4. Cincinnati
5. Chicago
6. Denver
7. Columbus
8. Dayton
9. Ninth
10. Los Angeles
11. Boston
12. Indianapolis
13. Louisville
14. Cleveland
15. Minneapolis

This is the new list of the most bed bug infested cities in America that has just been released by Terminix as of December 2011.  You will see that there have been some changes to the standings since the last list was generated.  There are some newcomers to the list and some cities that have dropped out of the Top 15.

1. New York City
2. Cincinnati
3. Detroit
4. Chicago
5. Philadelphia
6. Denver
7. Washington
8. Los Angeles
9. Boston
10. San Francisco
11. Columbus
12. Dayton
13. Baltimore
14. Louisville
15. Dallas

Bed bugs are cowardly creatures of habit.  They lurk in the dark, hiding in cracks and crevices.  Once you are peacefully sound asleep, they hunt you down, attack you by stabbing you with their mouthparts, and then suck your blood.  Once their feeding is complete, like any good coward…they scurry off to hide once again!  Bed bugs are an extremely difficult pest to eradicate.  NYC residents can help get rid of their NYC bed bugs by arranging to have a NYC pest control expert provide professional bed bug services.  For expert bed bug removal services in NYC, NY, and New Jersey , contact Stern Environmental Group.

Beware Of Bed Bugs In The Sky

It’s Thanksgiving week…the busiest traveling week of the entire year.  People have already begun to hit the roadways, trains, and airways to visit friends, family, or just take a much needed holiday.  It is estimated that over 23 million people will travel by air alone from November 18th through November 29th.

Everyone certainly has heard by now that bed bugs are a problem in hotels and motels from coast to coast.  In most instances, when bed bug infestations are found, travelers are blamed for causing the infestation within the room.  Because bed bugs are able to hide in the tiniest of crack or crevice and abstain from having a blood meal for over a year, it is very difficult to pin-point exactly when a hotel or motel room became infested.  Because of the little vampires sneaky behavior and their typical nighttime feeding antics, hotels often times only know of a problem once a guest either…

• Awakes and finds the bugs in the bed, sometimes biting them

• Awakes to red, swollen skin that itches intensely 

• Finds evidence of bed bugs in the room (fecal matter, shed skins, live or dead bed bugs)

New Jersey pest control professionals report that most people don’t realize that airplanes and even airports are susceptible to bed bug infestations as well.  Airplanes and airports serve has hospitable environments for bed bugs because bed bugs are spread easily when humans are in close proximity to each other.  The frequent turnover of people that pass through the airport facility and travel on airplanes each day make traveling via airplanes somewhat of a concern.

The best way to protect yourself while you are traveling is to follow these instructions…

• Don’t place carry-on luggage on the floor of the airplane unless you bring a plastic bag to seal it inside of first.

• Sweep your hand inside of the airplane seat cushion to see if any bed bugs will be dislodged.  Check entire seat, including the headrest where bed bugs often are found hiding.

• Inspect for bed bugs on the inside and outside of your luggage before you bring it home at the end of your trip.

• During travel, keep luggage sealed when not in use.

• Immediately upon your arrival back home, launder all clothing in hot water and dry on the hottest dryer setting.

If you find that you have encountered bed bugs while traveling, contact Stern Environmental Services for expert bed bug eradication services in New York or New Jersey.

NYC Has Gone To The Dogs…Watch Out NYC Bed Bugs!

Dogs have powerful olfactory abilities.  For years, the noses of dogs have been used to help humans in a wide variety of tasks.  Dogs are being used to sniff out missing persons, drugs, bombs, weapons, arson, mold, termites, and most recently as bed bug detectors.  They boast amazing accuracy, from 96 to 98 percent in finding bed bug infestations.  Like other types of detection dogs, bed bug sniffing dogs undergo rigorous training prior to being placed in the line of duty.  Once they begin work, they require daily training to keep their skills honed.

They are cute and cuddly and have names like Disney characters, and they are a new force to be reckoned with in New York City.  Two new beagles, with a powerful nose, and a will to please, have joined the fray of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development last week.  These well-trained pups are the new additions that will help Code Enforcement uncover New York City bed bug infestations throughout the city.

According to Reuters on November 18, 2011, the cost to acquire the bed bug sniffing dogs were $69,000 which covers “six months of training and pay for their continued schooling, veterinary care and insurance, and food and housing for their first year of service.”  Reports are the each dog and their handler will perform up to twelve inspections per day.  On their first day on the job, three violations to landlords were handed out.

You may read the article here.

Bed bug sniffing dog inspections are fast and accurate.  While human inspections for bed bugs are good, it can be several hours to complete an inspection thoroughly.  Bed bug dogs are able to breeze through any inspection in a short period of time.  If the dog finds bed bugs, their eggs, fecal matter, or bed bug skins, these amazing dogs will alert their handler to the location of the critters so that you will know exactly where treatment is needed.

Stern Environmental Group is proud to offer bed bug sniffing dog services to our customers as well.  We provide highly trained bed bug canine services to New York City, New York, and New Jersey.