Bed Bug Blog: Share your thoughts and find bedbug news, tips and advice
Man Was Bitten by Bed Bugs in Wal-Mart Store
Don’t let the bed bugs bite — is not a saying that should ever apply to a grocery store, but one Phoenix-area man said he was bitten by bugs several times at a Valley Walmart.
By Jason Volentine, ABC15 Arizona
Jose Avalos de Leon and his wife, Lupita Cruz, said they went to a Walmart at 35th Avenue and Bethany Home Road this past weekend. Avalos had an injured leg so he decided to use one of the store's motorized shopping scooters.
"Just riding down Walmart for a little bit, my back started getting itchy," said Avalos. Read More
How to Know if You Have Bed Bugs
How do you know if you have bedbugs? Got an itch? Seen a bug you don't recognize and what are bed bugs anyway? Bed bug expert Lou Sorkin from the American Museum of Natural History and two very busy pest control operators join Howdini's Kimberly Austin with everything you need to know to how to tell if you have bed bugs....
Bed Bugs are on the Rise in District of Columbia
Citing an increase in hoarding and bedbugs among older residents, advocates are pushing the District to allocate more money to combat both. The two often go together and can create a Catch-22.
"We can't get home and health services to go into a bedbug-infested apartment, but in order to get anyone to come in and clean on a regular basis, you've got to get the place clean first," said Fiona Druy, a gerontological nurse practitioner with Iona Senior Services, one of eight nonprofit lead agencies that work with the city’s Office on Aging in providing services for seniors. "It's a costly and challenging problem."
By Tara Bahrampour, The Washington Post
"While landlords of multi-unit buildings are generally responsible for treating infested units, it is often up to the tenants to remove and clean their belongings. Preparing a one-bedroom apartment in advance of extermination averages $600 — a daunting amount for those on a fixed income." Read More
Can you Fight Bed Bugs Yourself?
Apparently you can. According to Natasha Edwards of Health Digest who suggests that you may try dealing with "those blood-sucking pests through some DIY solutions if you want to save some cash." However, do you remember that saying the greedy pay twice? Well, in case of bed bugs the greedy pays four times: 1) when buying those Do-It-Yourself chemicals; 2) when spending their time unsuccessfully trying them out; 3) suffering from the bed bugs bites all the way down that path; and 4) when they eventually hire professionals to fix all that mess.
By Natasha Edwards, Health Digest
"They feed on your blood and that is why you often find yourself with bite marks upon arising. Nope, they’re not vampires, but bed bugs! Those creepy crawlers should be taken seriously because they can invade your entire home in no time. Usually, signing up professional exterminators is the smartest way to zap those bed bugs once and for all." Read More
Insects Can Carry Nasty Diseases
Bugs bite. That is what they do. And they can make you miserable - itchy, bumpy and very sick. With outdoor activity season in full swing, here is what you need to know.
By Kim Painter, USA TODAY
"Most people who get a few mosquito or tick bites will not get sick. But some mosquitoes and ticks can carry bacteria and viruses that cause serious human illnesses – and some of those illnesses have recently become more common in the United States. Take West Nile Virus..."
There are some strategies that can help. What works and what does not? Read More
Bed Bugs Survival Tip
Did you know that bed bugs are teetotalers? In fact, they don't just hate alcohol, they are scared of it and therefore are repelled by it? Vodka will do it too as it contains 40% of alcohol. You don't have to drink it to repel those awful creatures. Just spray it all over your body as shown in this short one-minute video. Of course, this way you will not eradicate the bed bugs, but at least you will survive otherwise bloody and scratchy night in an infested hotel room...
Bedbugs Rack up Hospital Bills
Adapting to health-care reform and facing reduced federal funding under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals and nursing homes are increasingly plagued by an unexpected problem: bedbugs.
By Jen Wieczner, Marketwatch
"More than a third of pest-management companies treated bedbug infestations in hospitals in 2012, 6% more than the year before and more than twice as many as in 2010, according to a survey released today by the National Pest Management Association. The percentage of exterminators dealing with bedbugs in nursing homes has also almost doubled since 2010, to 46%. Bedbug experts also report seeing them in ambulances."
Although hospitals are putting a growing emphasis on strict cleanliness and sterilization protocols, bedbugs still arrive via the many patients and visitors going in and out of their emergency rooms and waiting areas. Read More
Panic over Bed Bugs is the Biggest Danger
"As bedbugs have made a comeback, aided by resistance to pesticides and spread by worldwide travel, scientists have found that panic over the blood-sucking pests may be more dangerous than their bite."
By Anemona Hartocollis and William Neuman, The New York Times
"People lose their minds and, yeah, they'll do a lot of things trying to get rid of them," said Dini M. Miller, associate professor of urban pest management at Virginia Tech. "Certainly the overapplication of pesticides is one of them."
At least 111 people in seven states - 64 of them in New York City - have been sickened by the overuse or misuse of common pesticides against bedbugs over the last eight years. People are misusing poisonous chemicals in a desperate bid to eradicate the pests. Read More
Lesser of Two Evils: Bed Bugs vs. Pesticides
"Bedbugs don't make people sick. But the poisons used to kill them can."
By Mike Stobbe, Insurance Journal
A new government study has found that dozens of Americans have fallen ill from the insecticides, and a North Carolina woman died after using 18 cans of chemical fogger to attack the tiny blood suckers.
Because many of the cases, including the lone death, were do-it-yourselfers who misused the chemicals or applied the wrong product, federal health officials are warning consumers to be careful and urging them to call professionals. Read More
Scare the Bed Bugs with your... Face
One of the latests novelties by Hammacher Schlemmer & Company designed for travelers as a cheap-n-easy protection from those really nasty insects - the bed bugs.
From this product description: This portable sleeping cocoon is made specially from woven fabric that is impervious to bed bugs. The sleeping cocoon's tightly wound polyester prevents 100% of bed bugs from penetrating the fabric. The durable polyester threads are impervious to bed bugs' teeth yet the fabric remains soft, pliable, and breathable for optimal sleeping comfort in a hotel bed. The sleeping cocoon creates an enclosed sleeping environment from the shoulders to the feet, the hooded top protects your head and neck yet allows you to breathe naturally.
However, we are a bit sceptical if it can protect you at all. Would you rather want the bed bugs biting your face? Besides, the bed bugs are intelligent enough to crawl to the juiciest parts of your body from the breathing opening. Why not close it with a mesh, at least? Read More
Controlling Bed Bugs Takes Time and Patience
"Never use a pesticide indoors that is intended for outdoor use. It is very dangerous and won't solve your bed bug problem" - advises Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
There are a variety of non-chemical treatments that have been shown to be effective. In addition, pesticides are available to aid in the control process. However, you should never attempt using pesticides yourself. EPA is very unambiguous about that. In case of emergency, call local Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222
Getting a pest management professional involved as soon as possible rather than taking time to try to treat the problem yourself can be very effective at preventing further infestations. Each pest management company should have instructions for residents on how to prepare their dwelling unit for a treatment, which will include laundering and cleaning. Read More
Taking a Pill to Kill a Bed Bug?
I don't think it is prudent to take a poisonous pill in order to kill a bed bug that dares to suck your poisoned blood. But it seems not to stop a group of researchers suggesting just that. It's good though they tested it on themselves...
By Jason Gale, Boomberg News
As anyone who has ever had bed bugs can attest, the tiny, blood-sucking parasites are a big pain to get rid of. But a new study suggests there might soon be a new weapon in the fight against the household pests.
Stromectol, a Merck brand of the drug ivermectin, which is already used to fight worm parasite diseases, such as river blindness and elephantitis, killed three out of five bed bugs in a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Bloomberg News reports.
The pill, along with conventional measures such as pesticides, may improve chances of eliminating the pest, said John Sheele, an emergency physician at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, who led the study. Sheele's research suggests its pesticidal properties may also fight bed-beg incursions, experienced by more than 400,000 New York City residents.
Bed bugs died after feeding on people treated with Merck & Co.'s (MRK) Stromectol, a treatment typically used against parasitic worms, in the first study to investigate the drug's potential to control the blood-suckers. Read More
Insecticide Bombs Ineffective Against Bedbugs
A new study, published in the Journal of Economic Entomology (JEE), is the first to recommend against using foggers for bedbug infestations based on scientific evidence.
By Susan C. Jones, Journal of Economic Entomology
In "Ineffectiveness of Over-the-Counter Total-Release Foggers Against the Bed Bug (Heteroptera: Cimicidae)", an article appearing in the June issue of JEE, authors Susan C. Jones and Joshua L. Bryant provide the first scientific evidence that these products should not be recommended for control of this increasingly worrisome urban pest.
"These foggers don't penetrate in cracks and crevices where most bed bugs are hiding, so most of them will survive," Jones said. "If you use these products, you will not get the infestation under control, you will waste your money, and you will delay effective treatment of your infestation. Bed bugs are among the most difficult and expensive urban pests to control. It typically takes a professional to do it right. Also, the ineffective use of these products can lead to further resistance in insects." Read More
Bedbugs Can... Make You Money
Multimillion-dollar lawsuits over bedbugs have become increasingly common as infestations have spread across the country and victims seek to hold landlords, hotels and retailers responsible for their exterminator bills and mental anguish.
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun
In July 2010, Adarien Jackson's 6-year-old son, Kaden, began complaining of itchy bumps on his ankles. They soon turned into a rash and spread to his back, behind his ear, and on his eyelid.
The child's pediatrician and dermatologists tried allergy drugs, diet changes, oils and oatmeal baths. But it wasn't until months later that Jackson discovered the cause of the problem. Kaden's twin brother, Kyler, began waking in the middle of the night, crying out, "Bugs are crawling on me!"
Jackson realized her sons' beds — which she had recently purchased from a furniture store in Elkridge — were teeming with bedbugs, according to a lawsuit she filed in Anne Arundel County in December 2010. Read More
Bed Bugs Prefer Alcohol-Free Blood
"I'm not going to suggest someone should consume alcohol to control bed bugs" explained Ralph Narain, a Ph.D. candidate who conducted the study as part of his dissertation.
By Brooke Borel
The common bed bug mainly survives on human blood, but what happens when that human has upped his or her blood alcohol content with a few glasses of a nice red wine? New research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln suggests bed bugs are not as fond of alcohol as their boozy hosts, which may lead to fewer bug bites. Read More
Bed Bug Bites are Confused with Monkeypox
By Katie Moisse
The rash that prompted a two-hour quarantine of a Delta plane in Chicago Thursday may have been the work of bed bugs, not the monkeypox virus health officials feared. According to the CDC, monkeypox is a rare and sometimes fatal disease similar to smallpox that occurs mostly in central and western Africa. It's contracted through contact with infected animals or their bodily fluids, and can spread among humans through fluids and contaminated clothes or bedding... Read More
The High Price of Bed Bugs
"Exposure to high temperatures is the only sure way to kill bed bugs" says Ms. Gangloff-Kaufmann who advises finding an established company that routinely battles bed bugs.
By Walecia Konrad
AFTER virtually disappearing for decades, bed bugs have made a comeback throughout the nation, with particularly bad infestations in densely populated apartment buildings. This column is about what consumers can do to avoid being bitten twice — first by the vermin and then by a venal exterminator. Read More
Bugging out: Bedbugs Stir Extreme Anxiety
By Kimberly Hayes Taylor
"You can kill the bugs in people's beds, but you can't kill the bugs in people's heads," says bedbug victim and buster Sandy Rubenstein.
Having a case of bedbugs can cause people to feel so desperate they make irrational decisions that can cost them more than just money.
Sandy Rubenstein, a bedbug buster in Yarmouth Port, Mass., says she's seen a woman washing herself with an ointment intended for horses, people sleeping in mosquito nets, and wrapping their beds in plastic and double-sided tape. She watched as folks threw out everything they owned and tried using hamsters as deterrents, hoping the bugs would bite the rodents instead of them... Read More
Bedbugs can Burn Down Your Home
If you have bed bug infestation, please do not try to fight it yourself. Seek professional help. To prove my point, here is what can happen as reported by NBC News:
Family was getting rid of bed bugs when fire broke out
A fire that forced a Cary family from their home Sunday has been ruled accidental.
Authorities say the home on 1420 Holt Road went up in flames around 5:30 p.m., forcing the family of six to evacuate.
According to Carrie Roman, public information officer for the Town of Cary, the homeowners say they were trying to get rid of bed bugs by using a jet heater and a blanket when the fire broke out.
The home has been deemed uninhabitable and the Red Cross is helping the family.
According to Roman, three people were treated on scene for smoke inhalation and two birds died in the fire.