Pest control is a bigger problem than ever, with infestations becoming more difficult to control as pests are increasingly resistant to almost all traditional pesticides, including D.D.T. A greater risk of infestation also leads to a greater risk of deadly diseases such as MRSA, Chagas, Zika, and over 40 other pathogens, bacteria, and viruses. Today’s most common pesticide solutions, unfortunately, have active ingredients that are linked to all types of cancers, infertility, autism, and widespread risks to humans and environmental health. Not to mention, they are incredibly costly: two-thirds of Americans cannot afford the $500-$5000 for a pest control emergency.
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The bed bug has been around since humans began setting up houses and sleeping in the same location repeatedly. In the past they were considered just a nuisance pest, but with modern science we’ve figured out their ability to transmit diseases and on what level its possible.
You’ve probably heard the saying “don’t let the bed bugs bite”. That became popular for a reason. We’ve always known that a bed bugs bite is dangerous. But we recently discovered that the fecal material they leave behind also spreads disease. In fact, this is how they mainly transmit dangerous diseases to humans they sleep with and feed on.
Even after the bed bugs are exterminated from a home, the cleanup isn’t complete until all their waste has also been removed.
Disease transmitted by bed bugs
Until recently most specialists didn’t think bed bugs transmitted diseases, but that has been proven false after studies showing the detrimental histamines in their feces. They leave behind fecal material which is the way they spread disease among humans.
Today the most common disease these pests infect humans with is Trypanosoma cruzi. It’s not introduced by the bite, but rather when the bite comes in contact with the bed bug fecal matter. This can cause Chagas disease, sometimes called American trypanosomiasis. Chagas is a disease that causes heart damage as well as damage to the central nervous system and can be very serious.
When bitten, you’re left with two things, a hole where the bite occurred and an itchy red bump. It Diseases caused by bed bugs and the sores developed from the scratching of the bites enter through these openings.
In homes infested with bed bugs, the levels of histamine can be 20 times higher than a clean household. The location of the greatest concentration of histamine is in household dust.
Bed bugs were nearly extinct
By 1972 bed bugs were almost entirely gone but the chemical DDT was banned resulting in a resurgence of the pest. DDT was the primary means of killing this insect and it was extremely effective. However, once it was discovered to be dangerous for wildlife and the environment. Since then the bed bug population has exploded with our calls for bed bug extermination increasing year-over-year for at least the last decade and maybe longer.
Where bed bugs like to hide
The bed bug is listed as a nocturnal insect. This means they move around and eat at night. Because of their dislike for light they find small creases and folds to hide in during the day. This is how they go unnoticed a majority of the time and why they can be so hard to get rid of.
Like all living things, they like to be close to their food source, human blood. Because of that they prefer to live in mattresses or on beds in the corners. They’ll also hide in sockets on the walls, closets, clothing, and furniture to name a few places.
Treating bed bugs yourself
The biggest problem with killing bed bugs is their resistance to most pesticides. Because of that, many do it yourself bed bug killers use extreme temperatures like cold or heat. While it is true that acid solutions like vinegar can work, freezing or heating the pests is considered the most effective. The temperature range to kill bed bugs is from 117 F to 122 F and 0 F or colder to freeze them.
The biggest problem with attempting to exterminate bed bugs at home is that if just one pregnant bed bug survives your treatment, you still have an infestation that will spring back up in no time.
If attempting to treat them yourself, we strongly recommend against using any heating elements, heaters, flammables, etc. because each year people burn their home down with DIY this method.
Professional treatment options
Most professional pest control agencies use a multi-treatment approach to eradicate bed bugs. They use a specialized room heater to raise the temperate in the entire space to above 117 F. This heat treatment has to be maintained for more than 90 minutes once the temperature level is consistent throughout the space. This is very expensive, but effective.
A bad side effect of the heat treatment is that the wood in the room will dry out and plastic items will be come soft, disfigured and could possibly melt.
Once the room is cooled down an effective pesticide is then applied. This is a nerve agent that is deadly to both bed bugs and humans alike.
Another treatment, and the one that we prefer, is Cryonite. This is a freezing “gun” that’s used everywhere that bed bugs are living. Its safe to use on mattresses, kids toys, even in light sockets. It kills the bed bugs on contact and doesn’t leave behind any harmful pesticides or nerve agents.
How do you get bed bugs
Bed bugs are indiscriminate. They prefer human blood for some unknown reasons. They’re generally transported by humans either on their person or on their belongings. The bed bugs are attracted to the warmth of your body and because they’re so small, most people do see or even know they have them until its a problem. It’s not a sign of living in a bad neighborhood, being dirty, or any of the other stereotypes that may be associated with bed bugs. They exist and create problems in every town from Camden to Beverly Hills.
They can be picked up in hotel and motel rooms, theaters, taxis, airplanes, boats, trains, buses, on your kids backpack, and anywhere else humans congregate.
Where do bed bugs come from
Bed bugs are native to the Americas, but due to the availability of global travel, they are now on every continent. When they are in an area that is being disturbed, they look for a new food source and hitchhike on anyone or something that has the human scent on it in hopes of finding a meal.
How to check for bed bugs
The process of checking your home for bed bugs infestation is a big challenge unless you know where and what to look for. They are extremely small and about 20 adult bed bugs can fit on top of a penny. To locate them you have any look in the creases and cracks on your beds. A small stick or pencil can be used to dig into these crevices to see if any emerge.
Another telltale sign is the finding of their molted shells. Before a bed bug becomes an adult it will molt up to 5 times. These small but non-moving shells are a positive sign you’ve been invaded.
You can also have your dust examined by a lab to see if you home has elevated levels of histamine. If the levels are above normal, you may have a bed bug problem.
Their excrement leaves behind a brown and black spots once it is dried. If this is found in the creases of your mattress or anywhere else, more than likely you have bed bugs.
If you discover you have them on your mattress, you should call an exterminator and have them check throughout your home for other areas which may be infested.
How big are bed bugs?
A bed bug is a very small insect. The adults are the shape of an apple seed and only about 1/5” long 1/8” wide and as flat as the seed. And smaller bed bugs are thinner than the thickness of a quarter.
What do bed bug bites look like?
The typical bite from a bed bug looks like any other insect bite. One telltale sign is having more than one bite near each other. They like to be near each other when they feed which can leave clusters of tiny red bumps on areas of your body. Unlike flea bites which are normally concentrated on the ankles, a bed bugs bites can be anywhere on your body that was exposed while you were sleeping.
How long do bed bugs live?
Newly hatched bed bugs can live for at least a few weeks without feeding. However, adult bed bugs can survive as long as five months without a meal in warm conditions. They feed every 3 to 7 days and then retreat to their hiding place for digestion. Even though they don’t feed each night, bed bugs reproduce often which leads to new bed bugs and inevitably new bites each night.
Being vigilant on inspecting each and every item you bring into your home is the best way to prevent an infestation. This has to include nearly everything you buy especially from garage sales and thrift stores.
Know what you are looking for like brown and black stains in the creases and crevasses of items. If you purchase clothes, bedding, drapes or other cloth items, place them in the dryer for a minimum of 30 minutes with a dryer sheet before using them.
Look at the people you are making a purchase from. If they got small insect bites on them, just assume their items are infected so either do not buy or treat the items as infected and purge the bed bugs out before the item enters you home.
Nearly 50 years ago it was thought that bed bugs had been or nearly eradicated. These small but persistent blood suckers are making a strong comeback. Knowing they are back in force is the first step to prevention.
Bed bugs can transmit very harmful diseases to humans. Their bites are itchy which results in scratching and opening wounds that can then get exposed to the bed bugs fecal matter and make you ill. Further, their feces is proven to raise histamine levels in the home up to 20x higher than normal which is a big problem for those with allergies and can also lead to diseases.
If you’re dealing with bed bugs or you’re not sure, you can give us a call and we’ll send a trained specialist for an inspection. You can also perform an inspection yourself taking time to check every crevice of your mattress, box spring, and frame. If you see signs of the bugs, the best thing to do is have them professionally removed and have your home professionally cleaned once they’ve been eradicated.
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A woman who recently bonded out of the Oklahoma County Detention Center is covered in large bed bug bites and claims she was denied water while she was in the jail.
“This is me being out since Monday and applying alcohol three times a day to my face, to everything on my body with the topical cream and the steroids that they gave me at the hospital,” Ashley Fox told KFOR while showing a News 4 crew large bed bug bites on her arms.
Her chest and her face are also covered in bites that she said she received while she was in the Oklahoma County Jail earlier this week.
“Our cell did not have working water in the sink. Every time I asked for something to drink, I did not have a cup, every time I asked, I got denied. They told me I should not have came to jail. Got the door slammed in my face,” she said.
Fox said she spoke with Greg Williams, Jail Administrator, after she left the jail. He told her there were no bed bugs in her cell. She also claims when she told him she was going to speak with News 4, he told her not to.
“He said there’s already been enough media news, [and that] he’s trying to get everything taken care of. He’s newer, I guess, only been here for about a year or something. He’s trying to get the issues resolved, he’s doing an investigation, but I just don’t feel like he is,” Fox said.
In a statement sent to News 4 on Wednesday, Williams said the following:
“The Jail Trust and our entire staff are committed to improving the conditions inside the jail, and we welcome any reports of issues to address.
We’ve increased our investment in pest treatment to $10,000 a month for the facility, including bedbugs. Starting work in August 2021, by the end of December, we will have sprayed the entire facility at least twice. The person who recently reported bedbugs to the media was housed on the 6th floor, which was treated on Oct. 30, four days before she was booked into the jail.
Immediately upon receiving the complaint, staff inspected the cell she stayed in and surrounding cells. We did not find any evidence of bedbugs. The entire 6th floor was sprayed again Nov. 10, as scheduled. We will continue to be diligent in our response to this pressing issue, including using a heat shed to clean infected mattresses.
Additionally, we provide all people in custody with basic needs such as water. Two witnesses to the conversation have refuted the allegation a former detainee was told not to speak to the media. We respect people in detention’s right to free speech.
The health and safety of people in custody and staff remain our highest priorities.
The heat shed is just one of many other improvements the Jail Trust has been making. The shed heats the mattresses to 130 degrees. The heat kills bedbugs, larva and eggs. We are very satisfied with the results of the shed. The entire process takes 90 minutes. Mattresses are cleaned before given to new inmates (if not a new one). Along with cleaning them we also have a standing order for 100-200 mattresses a month. We’ve purchased more than 3,000 since we took over in July 2020.”
GREG WILLIAMS, OKLAHOMA COUNTY DETENTION CENTER ADMINISTRATOR
“We still have rights to water. We still have rights to showers and medical treatment, and every time I called on the medical line, even they were rude. Just basically told me there was nothing she could do,” Fox said.
Back in September, a county judge granted Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater’s request for a grand jury investigation into how the jail is being operated by the jail trust, which took over operations of the jail in July of 2020.
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FORBES – by Alex Ledsom, Senior Contributor – August 1, 2020
A new study concluded this week that bed bugs were such a problem in France that they now pose a national health hazard.
The creatures have been on the rise globally but in the past decade, bed bugs have proliferated–they are now found in every U.S. state and countries across Europe have seen huge infestations, notably Paris (which is the number one visited capital in the world).
At the beginning of 2020, the French Union for Pest Control stated that, “France’s bed bug problem has seen the number of cases go from 180,000 to 400,000 in just two years”.
The French government website states that they arrived in France in the 1950s with the advent of international travel and have proliferated because of their increasing resistance to insecticide. It says that bedrooms and living rooms are predominantly more affected.
A New York Times article suggested that 1 in 5 Americans have been plagued by bed bugs or know someone who has. Washington DC, Baltimore, Chicago and Los Angeles were the most plagued.
The Hudson library says it is temporarily closed due to a bed bug infestation. The library located at 8012 Library Road is expected to be closed for 1-2 weeks for fumigation treatment.
According to the library, staff discovered the bugs in an isolated area of the building two weeks ago. The county used a pest control contractor to begin isolated treatments, but the treatments were not successful, so it decided to close the building a do a full fumigation.
Health officials say bed bugs are not dangerous, but their bites can cause discomfort or an allergic reaction in some people.
Health officials advise anyone who visited the Hudson branch library in the past two weeks to monitor their home for the presence of bed bugs, and as a precaution, wash their bedding and clothing in hot water and dry them on the hottest dryer setting.
A Manhattan woman who flew on an American Airlines flight from Miami to LaGuardia says she was shocked that the flight was packed full — and about half the passengers did not wear masks despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Angie Wong, 42, told The Post that Flight 2669 was between 80 percent and 90 percent full Wednesday when she boarded the plane for her 10:19 a.m. flight to the Big Apple while wearing a surgical mask, face shield, gloves and a hoodie.
“I could tell passengers were very nervous that masks were not mandated,” said Wong, a stay-at-home mom from Soho who has been staying with her husband and two kids, ages 5 and 7, in Miami since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced city schools would be closed.
Wong said social distancing rules were strictly enforced at Miami’s airport, but that passengers were crammed together on her flight — about half without masks, though a couple of people wore full hazmat suits.
She shared several photos she snapped of the cramped cabin, showing some passengers with masks and gloves while others dispensed with the protective measures.
“I asked how this was allowed during distancing requirements, and got ‘nothing we can do about it’ shrugs and offered an 800 number to change my reservation,” she said.
“Even the pilot came on mid-flight to apologize for the cramped conditions. Unlike in Canada, masks were not mandated to fly. No temperature checks,” she continued.
“Though I did ask to be sat in an emptier part of the plane — and was told the airline could not accommodate — I did not realize how packed the flight was until I boarded,” she said.
At the gate, she said, an airline rep said that “if American Airlines sells 150 seats, they will board 150 seats — it’s a business.”
“We are all learning to adapt to the new social norms, but businesses are still operating in the old paradigm and need to pivot for public safety. I feel airlines should consider temporary policies to match the current federal mandates of social distancing and mask wearing,” Wong said.
In a statement, American Airlines said that “to encourage social distancing, gate agents will reassign seats to create more space between customers. Once on board — provided there aren’t any aircraft weight or balance restrictions — customers can move to another seat within their ticketed cabin subject to availability.”
The airline said it now also blocks “50 percent of standard middle seats” on all its flights.
“Our team also monitors flights closely to maintain social distancing,” a rep told The Post in an email, adding that “we encourage our customers to follow CDC guidelines.”
The CDC, however, does not require passengers to wear masks.
The coronavirus hasn’t stopped people in Florida from enjoying the outdoors.
A video recorded by a resident in Titusville, about 55 miles east of Orlando, shows dozens of cars parked side-by-side at Parrish Park on Easter, despite state orders for people to social distance in public.
“Over the past couple weekends, it’s been crazy,” Dan Rojas, who captured the footage, told WKMG this week. “When you’re in here, there’s two, three hundred people here in this small space.”
“I think that the park should be closed,” he added.
Some Titusville residents who were at Parrish Park on the Indian River Easter Sunday express concerns about the large crowds. In response to #coronavirus, @BrevardCo_FL closed public parks at beaches last month. Parks on the lagon remain open. More on @news6wkmg at 4:30.
Florida, like many other states across the U.S., has advised residents to stay at home and venture outside only for trips to essential businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies.
Yet it has been up to the counties to decide whether the Sunshine State’s popular beaches and parks will remain open for visitors.
Beaches in Brevard County – where Titusville is located — have been kept open, but with restrictions such as no sunbathing or gatherings of more than 10 people.
Every day and in every community, the coronavirus pandemic is bringing out the best in Americans. Take a look at some inspiring images of Americans pulling together in a time of crisis.
Despite all playgrounds being closed, “parks and trails remain open”, according to the county.
In response to Rojas’ video, Brevard County’s communications director, Don Walker, said the county is hesitant to further restrict recreational spaces.
“We want people to be able to go and hang outdoors and not be stuck in the house all day, but the problem is, we also are pushing the CDC recommendations of 6 feet social distancing, of avoiding mass gatherings,” he told WKMG.
As of Friday, the state of Florida has 23,340 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 668 deaths, statistics show. Johns Hopkins University says 192 of those cases and six of those deaths have been in Brevard County.
FOX NEWS | by Greg Norman |Video WKMG News 6 | April 17, 2020
How many times does the governor have to tell you, dude? Restaurants are closed for dine-in services.
A man in New Haven, Conn., was arrested earlier this week after breaking into a downtown restaurant during the coronavirus pandemic and helping himself to thousands of dollars’ worth of food and liquor over the course of four days.
The burglar, identified as Louis Angel Ortiz, was first reported to the authorities after a manager at the Soul de Cuba Café found Ortiz asleep inside the restaurant on Tuesday, according to a reporter for Fox 61. Officers responded to find Ortiz down the street, “in possession of a bottle of the restaurant’s rum,” the New Haven Police Department confirmed.
After reviewing security footage, police determined Ortiz had broken into the café on Saturday, and “helped himself over the course of four days to the restaurant’s food, liquor, and beer,” while also removing “beverages and property” from the restaurant. Ortiz is also accused of drinking or stealing around 70 bottles of liquor, the restaurant’s management estimated.
The manager of the restaurant, reported to be the Soul de Cuba Cafe in downtown New Haven, found the burglar asleep inside after what police say was a four-day binge. (Google)
Soul de Cuba Café is currently closed amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Ortiz has been charged with both burglary and larceny in the third degree, as well as criminal mischief. He also had a previous warrant for failure to appear in the second degree, police say.
As of Wednesday, Ortiz was awaiting an arraignment hearing in New Haven Superior Court. The Connecticut State Department of Correction currently lists him as being detained at the New Haven Correctional Center.
Heads up, consumers: When running the essential errand that is grocery shopping during the coronavirus epidemic in the U.S., there’s no need to wipe down the food packaging after you’ve returned home, according to a federal agency.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) attempted to quell Americans’ fears that their food packaging may be contaminated with the novel coronavirus, as recent studies have suggested it can live on certain surfaces between hours and days.
But in a statement posted to its website on Thursday, the FDA said: “We want to reassure consumers that there is currently no evidence of human or animal food or food packaging being associated with transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.”
“This particular coronavirus causes respiratory illness and is spread from person-to-person, unlike foodborne gastrointestinal or GI viruses, such as norovirus and hepatitis A that often make people ill through contaminated food,” it added, noting there are currently no nationwide shortages of food, though some stores may be out of certain products. (Speaking of, what drives people to panic buy?)
The FDA also provided tips on how to protect yourself, other shoppers and store employees when buying essential items. For instance, it advised to:
Prepare a grocery list in advance
Wear a face mask or covering while in the store (this is in line with recently updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] guidelines, and is now mandatory in hot spots like New York)
Practice social distancing while shopping, make sure to stay at least 6 feet away from others
Thoroughly wash your hands after returning home and again after putting the groceries away
“Again, there is no evidence of food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. However, if you wish, you can wipe down product packaging and allow it to air dry, as an extra precaution,” the FDA added.