Bed Bugs In NYC School Spark Questions About Infestations Part 1 Of 2 reported on February 13, 2013 that bed bugs have been found in 15 classrooms since September of 2013 at P.S. 69 in Jackson Heights according to the Department of Education (DOE).   The DOE further claims that in the 2010-11 school year that there were 3,590 bed bug sightings across New York City schools.  Of those sightings, the DOE is claiming that only 7 bed bugs were incidents were considered to be “infested”.

The DOE’s spokesperson claims that there is no infestation at P.S. 69.  According to, Feinberg said in an email…”Every time we find a single bed bug, we are required to report it.  Schools are not hospitable environments for bed bugs and are brought in from the outside, usually in a bag or on clothing.”

Here are a couple of points to take into consideration when it comes to the DOE’s position on bed bugs within the NYC school system.

• Schools ARE hospitable environments for bed bugs because schools have ample hiding places where bed bugs can easily digest their food and reproduce.

• There are plenty of opportunities for bed bugs to feed throughout the day.  Children, teachers, administration, etc. can all be found sitting still for extended periods of time throughout a school day.  It only takes a bed bug 5 to 10 minutes to feed upon its victim.

• Bed bugs are not only brought into a school environment, they are also taken out of a school environment!  If one bed bug is brought into a school by a student, teacher, administrator, maintenance, or visitor, that bed bug can easily crawl off and lay eggs in a hidden location causing an infestation in the school.

It seems of if the DOE might have a distorted view of what an infested school actually is.  As of July of 2011, the Bed Bug Information Kit for Schools states…”According to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, an infestation is identified by bed bug reproduction in a given area. During the inspection, the DOE Pest Management Professional will look for bed bugs in various life stages (egg, nymph, adult).  A school is infested only if there are signs of bedbug reproduction. A confirmed bed bug does not mean that the school is infested.”

Could it really be possible that of the 3,590 bed bugs that were found in New York City schools in the 2010-11 school year, only 7 bed bugs were capable of reproducing?  That sounds a bit fishy!

Please check back on Friday for the conclusion.

Will Bed Bug Laws Finally Be Established In Connecticut?

Three new proposed Bills meant to take a bite out of bed bugs in Connecticut are currently being considered by lawmakers.  The reported on February 16, 2013 that the General assembly is considering establishing guidelines that will spell out the different responsibilities of both landlords and tenants when bed bugs are present in a rental property or other multi-unit facility. Other Bills that legislators are considering is how bed bug infestations will be handled when they are found in public housing facilities and non-public housing facilities.

The passing of proposed Senate Bill 334, House Bill 5621 and House Bill 5619 is important for all residents in the state of Connecticut.  Perhaps lawmakers can create similar legislation to that which exists in New York.  For the past several years, New York City has experienced a steady decline in the amount of reports of infestations in homes, businesses, stores, hotels, office buildings, and multi-unit housing facilities.

This is not the first time that bed bugs have hit the political arena in Connecticut.  Last year, lawmakers went round and round arguing over who was responsible for paying for bed bug infested rental properties in the state.  Legislators discussed creating a bed bug task force to study ways to control the pests, but it never came to pass.  After much debate a proposed bed bug Bill was passed by the Senate but subsequently died on the House floor.  Everyone is hoping that these new negotiations will yield a healthy balance of good results for both tenants and landlords so that there is a better understanding of who is responsible for what costs, and how things must be handled when it comes to bed bugs in the state.

Bed bugs are a difficult pest to eradicate.  It is always best to call a licensed pest control professional with extensive experience in bed bug removal when the bloodsuckers are present.

Iowa Supreme Court Hears About Bed Bugs!

The Supreme Court Justices in Iowa may be feeling a bit itchy this week as they have begun to hear a high profile skin crawling case about bed bugs!  The case is of such high interest to Iowans that special sessions have been set for the hearings so that more residents will be able to watch the evening proceedings about the bloodsucking pests.

According to the on February 19, 2013, the landmark bedbug case was filed in 2010 between 250 tenants of Elsie Mason Manor and Ligutti Tower in Des Moines against the First Baptist Housing Foundation, which serves as the management company for the low income apartment complexes.  In 2011, a lower court granted the plaintiffs wish that the case be converted to a class action case.  The tenants claim that the management company refused to treat the bed bug infested property properly and did not warn tenants about the pests.  Their attorney further argued that the residents lived in “unconscionable and substandard living conditions for years”.

The defendant’s legal eagle has been arguing to reverse the decision of the lower court and have the class action suit halted.  He contends that each of the 250 bed bug cases filed by the tenants should be heard individually instead of together as a class action lawsuit.

It stands to reason that adding 250 individual bed bug cases onto any court’s docket would be exhausting for the judges and staff who work within the court system.  It makes you wonder…if the class action suit is reversed, would the first cases that are heard receive the same time and attention as the last cases that are heard?  It also makes you wonder if hiring a good pest control professional with extensive bed bug eradication experience at the onset of the bed bug infestation problem could have solved the bed bug problem so that the entire lawsuit could have been avoided in the first place.

Protective Bed Bug Suits Spark Concerns For Virginia Students reported on February 4, 2013 that two schools in Portsmouth, Virginia were treated for bed bugs.  Reports are that a student at the I.C. Norcom High School, complaining of itching, was found to have a bed bug on his/her person.  School officials also confirmed that a similar incident also occurred at the Lakeview Elementary School the day prior.

Parents were then notified that both schools were treated for bed bugs over the weekend as a precautionary measure but no actual bed bugs were found creeping around the school.  In addition, the school district immediately treated the three school buses that the affected students traveled upon and announced plans to treat the remaining 139 buses in the fleet over the following week.

Each of these steps that were taken appears to follow the typical protocol that many school districts are following throughout the United States when bed bugs are found in a school.

Fast forward 10 days…

Perhaps bed bugs might just be lurking in the I.C. Norcom High School after all. reported on February 14, 2013 that students report seeing boxes labeled “Bed bug kit” in their classrooms and teachers suited up in protective suits after two more students were found to have bed bugs on their person.  No students were given protective gear to wear, but they were given plastic bags in which they were told to carry around all of their belongings in throughout the school day to avoid picking up or transmitting potential bed bugs.  Reports are that the school was not treated for bed bugs this time as a precautionary measure because no bed bugs were found upon inspection over the weekend.  It’s not surprising to learn that the students are a bit freaked out by the teachers wearing protective bed bug suits and the bed bug situation within their school.

There’s no word if a bed bug sniffing dog was used for either inspection by the pest management company that was hired by the school district.  Bed bugs are tiny, elusive, and experts at hiding in any type of location.  A high school is a large territory to cover with many hiding places.  A good bed bug sniffing dog would be able to root the bloodsuckers out in no time at all.

Is There A Difference Between Bees And Wasps? Part 3 Of 3

Continuing from Friday…

Food Sources:

Honey bee:  Honey bees collect nectar and pollen for food.  Nectar is made into honey which is then used as a food source throughout the winter months.

Carpenter Bee:  Carpenter bees feed upon pollen and nectar.

Bumble Bee:  Like honey bees, bumble bees are responsible for pollination.  The fine hairs that cover their body help to collect pollen which is then returned to the nest for feeding.

Yellow Jacket:  Yellow jackets are not pollinators.  Instead  these insects are carnivorous predators.  They feed upon other insects by paralyzing them with their stinger and taking them back to their nest. They consume dead animals and various fruits.  They are also frequent visitors to backyard barbeques, amusement parks, and other areas where people gather outdoors with food.

Wasp/Hornet – Wasps eat different things depending on the species and their life stage. Some wasps are solitary creature while others are social.  Some consume dead insects while others hunt live insects, sting them and bring them back to the nesting site.  Some wasps consume nectar, fallen fruit, or will steal the honey produced by bees.  They also enjoy nibbling on human sweets such as cakes, soda, and ice cream.


Honey bee:  In New Jersey, honey bees are a protected species as they are critical to pollination of fruit and vegetable plants.  It is illegal to kill honey bees in New Jersey.

Carpenter Bee:  Carpenter bee nests are used year after year and expanded year after year.  NJ pest control companies are able to locate and eradicate carpenter bee nests so that structural damage does not occur.

Bumble Bee:  Bumble bee nests that are located in the yard do not always need to be eliminated as these insects are good pollinators.  The nests in or around the home will not cause structural damage, but for those who are allergic to their stings, serious consequences can occur.

Yellow Jacket – Because yellow jackets are so aggressive and because their nests can be deep down into the ground, up high, inside walls, or inside concrete voids, it is critical to contact a NJ pest control professional to eliminate these pests at the first sign of their existence.

Wasp/Hornet – Wasps/Hornets are difficult to control and can be dangerous or even deadly to anyone that has an allergy to bee/wasp venom.  Wasps/hornets are considered to be pests which should be eliminated by a NJ pest control professional.

Yellow jacket nests will die off once the next winter arrives, but businesses with yellow jacket nests must consider the safety of their customers and staff when yellow jackets or wasps are present.  Contact Stern Environment Group for fast NYC and NJ pest management services.