Tag Archives: bed bug

FTC Bed Bug Lawsuit Targets Natural Remedies Part 2 Of 2

Continuing from Friday…

Complaints about these bed bug products with natural properties are likely what have landed these two companies in particular in serious trouble with the Federal Trade Commission.  These two lawsuits have sent a powerful message to all companies that are making false claims about their bed bug products, yet many companies continue to exist, and are continuing to make similar claims without real scientific data to back up their claims of success.

Current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations do not regulate companies that use products that are considered “Minimum Risk Pesticides” as the EPA has deemed them to be “demonstrably safe” for use in the pest control industry.  These products are categorized under section 25(b) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.  Because of the false claims and the lack of effective rates, many industry experts are asking that these products be regulated by the same EPA standards that exist for conventional pesticides.

For these lawsuits, one company, whose bed bug products contain peppermint, lemongrass, cinnamon, and clove oils (sounds delicious), has agreed to settle their lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for $250,000 according to reports by PCT on December 28, 2012.  The other company in question, Cedarcide Industries, which manufactures products under the name BEST Yet! is fighting the allegations set forth by the FTC.

The old saying applies to these bed bug remedies…”If it sounds too good to be true…then it probably is!”  Those who have used “natural” bed bug products know that they do not work at killing bed bugs, except perhaps when used directly on contact with the pests. The only way to fully eradicate bed bugs is to hire a licensed pest control professional with proper experience in bed bug elimination procedures.

FTC Bed Bug Lawsuit Targets Natural Remedies Part 1 Of 2

Most everyone knows by now that bed bugs are a massive problem at homes, hotels, and in many different types of businesses throughout the United States.  Due to the fact that bed bugs are hitchhikers, the bloodthirsty pests can be transported via human hosts from most any place that people frequent.

It is not surprising to learn that since the bed bug resurgence about 10 years ago, many companies have popped out of the woodwork with different types of bed bug products, all claiming to magically get rid of the pests with the littlest of ease.

Manhattan pest control professionals, with extensive expertise at fighting bed bugs, will tell you however that bed bugs are one of the most difficult pests to eradicate in all types of buildings.  Consumers often trust the claims of companies with grand promises of killing bed bugs, many times with results that are completely lackluster.

In an effort to send a message to all companies who make false claims about the effective rates of their bed bug products, the Federal Trade Commission filed deceptive advertising charges against two companies in September of 2012.  According to a report from PCT on December 28, 2012, the two companies made claims that their products contained natural ingredients that killed bed bugs.

Pest control experts throughout the United States, and consumers who have used these products, now know that claims of these natural products working at killing bed bugs are completely false.  Consumers are lured into buying these products because they are pesticide free and because they are marketed as being less expensive than using a pest control professional.  The problem is that not only do the products not work, the lack of proper treatment has caused infestations to rise and spread into other areas of a home, or into other units in multi-family structures.

Please check back on Monday for the conclusion.

California Bed Bug Laws Help Renters

As many people have experienced first-hand, bed bug infestations can be a tremendous burden to deal with for homeowners and renters alike.  Because of the variances in laws in different states, it is wise for renters and landlords to know what their responsibilities are when it comes to dealing with bed bugs or other insects that renters may encounter during their tenancy.

The State of California has developed a new website that spells out the rights of California renters.  One of the issues that continue to plague renters is bed bug infestations.  In California, renters have the right to live in a home that is “fit to live in.”  This means that it “meets the state and local building and health codes” and that a home or unit “be safe so as to not affect your health or safety.”

It is not uncommon for landlords and tenants to disagree on who is responsible for pest problems that occur within a rental property.  Battles that have ensued have resulted in new regulations being created in many different states.  Problems with bed bugs, cockroaches, vermin, ants, and spiders are specifically addressed as being unacceptable for renters to live with in California.

Renters in California have responsibilities when it comes to avoiding these types of home invaders.  They must keep their homes clean so that it remains unattractive to pests.  In addition, if a problem exists, they are required to notify their landlord and request that an exterminator rid the rental unit of the problem creatures.

Landlords have 30 days to respond to the tenants request for help in eliminating pests.  If the landlord is unresponsive or if the pest infestation is severe, California renters may use up to two months’ rent in a 12 month span of time to seek out their own licensed pest control professional to eradicate the home invaders.

Bed Bug Sniffer Dogs Work Great Under The Correct Circumstances

Golden RetrieverSouth Coast Today reported on December 28, 2012 that tenants in Bedford, MA were in dispute with the city over a suspected bed bug infestation in their apartment unit.  Reports are that the husband used massive amounts of store bought pesticides to gain control over the bloodsuckers.

A free inspection by a K-9 team did not detect the presence of bed bugs in the apartment, but the handler did note the extensive pesticide smell in the apartment unit.  It is not surprising that the bed bug sniffing dog would not detect the presence of bed bugs when the apartment was fresh with the scent of pesticides.

Bed bug sniffing dogs are believed to be about 98 percent accurate at detecting bed bug infestations. Sniffer dogs are able to quickly and efficiently sniff out bed bugs due to their heightened olfactory abilities.  A home environment must however be properly prepared for the arrival of a bed bug detection dog in order for the best possible results.  It is recommended that other pets, their bedding, and food sources be removed from the area where the dog will be working.  Additionally, a dog’s scent detection will be disrupted if pesticides have recently been used within a facility.  This will often result in a dog not hitting on bed bugs that could be hiding in furniture, in walls, behind baseboards, or in bedding material.

Reports are that as a result of the all clear from the pooch, the tenant paid the landlord the rent money that he was withholding because of the bed bug infestation.  My guess is that it is only a matter of time before the bed bugs return and the bite fest begins once again.

Only a licensed pest control professional is able to correctly eliminate bed bugs permanently, and sometimes with repeated visits depending on the severity of the infestation.

Bed Bug Stink

Manhattan pest control professionals can attest to the fact that a home that is badly infested with bed bugs has a particular scent to it.  To the human nose, a severe bed bug infestation is likened to the smell of rotting raspberries, cilantro, or coriander.  This sickening smell and be extremely intense depending on how severe the infestation is.

PLoS One reported on December 5, 2012 that scientists have been studying the real time measurement of volatile chemicals that are released by bed bugs during their mating activities.  This is the first study that has collected data in real time instead of information about the bugs over a period of time.

Scientists already knew that bed bugs were indiscriminate about which bed bug they mated with.  That is, males tried to mate with males and females alike.  Males mounting females irrespective of their previous mating history reduces the lifespan of the female.  As a result, scientists have found that female bed bugs release a pheromone to discourage such mounting.  Because male to male mounting does occur as well, the males also release the same pheromone to keep the unwanted suitor away.

According to reports, “The most distinct peaks in the proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry recordings were always observed close to the termination of mating attempts, corresponding to the defensive emissions that bed bugs have been suspected to exploit for prevention of unwanted copulations.”

Perhaps this distinct pheromone smell is one of the reasons that bed bug sniffing dogs are able to accurately find the exact locations of bed bugs that are hiding within a home or business.

For expert help with bed bugs call Stern Environmental Services.  We provide professional services in New York City, New Jersey, New York, and CT.