As Boise grows, bed bug infestations are on the rise in the Treasure Valley

BOISE, Idaho — You may have heard of bed bugs being a problem in big cities like New York, but as Boise grows, it’s taking on those big-city problems as well.

In the past six months, Ada County Paramedics have noticed an increase in bed bug calls.

Because of more people traveling to and from Boise, Dina Hardaway, Infection Control Officer for Ada County Paramedics, said that more bed bugs are coming into our area as well.

“There is so much more international travel now; we’re getting more populated just within our city and within our county,” Hardaway said. “Just with those conditions alone, they are brought into our area.”

Due to the uptick in bed bug cases, Ada County Paramedics have spent the past few months learning new protocols, including tracking data on infestations and learning techniques on how to identify and exterminate them from equipment.

Hardaway says that while the bugs aren’t a public health crisis– because they don’t spread disease– they can still be a nuisance.

To prevent the spread of bed bugs, be sure to check the seams of mattresses and underneath base boards. Make sure to wash second hand clothing and clean up used furniture after buying it. If you’re traveling, wash all of your clothing and vacuum your suitcase.

If you do end up getting beg bugs, there’s no need to call 911– just be sure to call your local exterminator.

For more information on how to get rid of bed bugs, visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s website.

Experts Warn of Bed Bug Encounters Ahead of Busy Travel Season

travel.jpgFAIRFAX, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May 29, 2019

The National Pest Management Association shares tips to avoid contact with hitchhiking pests during Bed Bug Awareness week.

As the busy travel season commences and families finalize their vacation plans for summer, experts at the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) are warning vacationers to remain vigilant during Bed Bug Awareness Week, this June 2-8. An annual observance recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events, Bed Bug Awareness Week serves as an important reminder that bed bugs can wreak havoc if brought home after traveling, making prevention key to staving off an infestation.

Bed bugs are one of the most common pests, and according to NPMA’s 2018 Bugs Without Borders survey, 97 percent of U.S. pest control professionals surveyed reported they treated for bed bugs in 2018, with 68 percent saying they treated hotels specifically. A recent online research study conducted between January 2018 and May 2019 by Advanced Symbolics Inc. using a representative sample of 274,500 Americans revealed a 9 percent increase in people reporting bed bugs from just April to May, 2019, and a 21 percent increase in concerns regarding bed bugs as a potential health and home threat during that same time period.

“Bed bugs can be found anywhere, whether it be a 5-star hotel or a summer camp,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “These pests do not discriminate, and many people usually transport bed bugs with them back to their homes without even knowing they’re doing so. To prevent these freeloaders from hitchhiking back home with your family, it is important to take proper precautions when traveling this summer.”

To help vacationers avoid bringing home any hitchhiking pests this travel season, the NPMA is sharing the following prevention tips:

  • Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard, under lights, and inside dressers, drawers, sofas and chairs.
  • Pull back hotel sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. If you see anything suspect, change rooms/establishments immediately.
  • Carry a small flashlight to assist you with visual inspections.
  • Vacuum and properly inspect suitcases after returning from a vacation. Do not bring the suitcase into your home until it has been inspected.
  • If you think you may have brought bed bugs home with you, seek professional pest control assistance to address an infestation, as this is not a do-it-yourself pest.

For more information about how to prevent bed bugs visit PestWorld.org.

United Flight Hit with ‘Ant-mageddon’ as Bugs ‘Spill Out’ of Suitcase in Overhead Bin, Says Passenger

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June 17, 2019 – The plane will “be taken out of service for extermination,” according to a statement from United.

Forget snakes on a plane! A United flight experienced a creepy, crawly situation that left passengers bugging out.

A passenger on a United flight from Venice, Italy, to Newark, New Jersey, reported an experience that left her and several seat mates feeling “heeby-jeeby-goose-bumpy-get-me-a-gin gross.”

“On the plane from Venice to New York, when a large, fat ant walks over my pillow,” Charlotte Burns wrote in a Twitter thread that went on to document her ant-filled, 9-hour journey. “Minutes later, another fat little bug hurries over the television screen. Then another one—on my arm!”

After she spotted the first few insects and alerted the crew, she says, flight attendants asked if she could wait until after take off to have her seat inspected. When she reported more bugs had appeared once airborne, she writes that she was asked to wait until after the meal service, which was just beginning.

Burns notes that she didn’t want to “be difficult or cause a fuss,” but as the critters multiplied she felt couldn’t sit idly by.

At one point, a fellow passenger in the center row of seats on the transatlantic flight said he had seen a “parade” of ants in an overhead bin in the row in front of Burns.

She and the other passenger, who she dubbed “middle aisle guy” in her Twitter saga, stood up as a flight attendant came through to try and take care of the situation.

“Me and the middle aisle guy are standing up like we are the ant enforcers while the senior cabin crew guy rocks up, armed with… a flashlight and a wet cloth. Sure, ant-mageddon might be undone with a lemony rag, why not,” she writes.

“Me and middle aisle guy say please take the bags out and check beneath. He does. ANTS! Ants lie beneath,” she recounts.

The crew member woke the sleeping owner of the bag, inspected it, and found it was indeed full of live ants that, in Burns’s depiction “spill out.”

“The guy in front pulls down his case (which btw isn’t zipped shut, as middle aisle guy notes to me in an aside),” she writes, “and ants ants ants spill out, running in every which direction.”

The crew member, Burns says, then opened the case on the seat, which resulted in “ants running everywhere.” The owner of the bag, she writes, “is using his hands as little tweezers, picking them off one by one. Cabin guy is using sterile lemon wipes.”

Burns says she was offered “three kinds of white wine” for her troubles and other passengers were “unflappable” when it came to the bugs. In a statement to PEOPLE, a representative for United noted the ants were “contained to a limited area of the cabin.”

Burns also alleges that another flight attendant asked her if she was “going to do anything” seemingly in retaliation against the man whose bag contained the bugs. The crew member, Burns says, stated that the bugs “came from his bag. They weren’t on the plane.”

In a statement, United told PEOPLE, “We are concerned by the experience a customer reported on United flight 169 from Venice to Newark. We had been in contact with the crew during the flight, where they advised the ants were isolated from a customer’s bag in the overhead bin, and was contained to a limited area of the cabin.”

The message continues, “The airplane landed at Newark this afternoon and has be taken out of service for extermination. We followed proper protocol by notifying customs, immigration, as well as agriculture of the issue.”

United has had its fair share of passenger grievances aired on social media. In January, a medical emergency onboard a Hong Kong-bound flight caused passengers to be stranded in freezing cold for 16 hours. That same month, a passenger announced that he was suing the airline over what he alleges was a coverup of an incident in which a pilot was almost “sucked out” of the plane.

Brit-itch Airways: Plane flies on despite bosses knowing it was infested with bloodsucking bed bugs

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Bug brother…BA jet was infested with BedBugs but airline bosses kept it flying and in service!  Passengers were bitten by infectious BED BUGS on BA flight.

February 25, 2016 | by Stephen Moyes | The Sun

A BRITISH Airways jet infested with bed bugs was allowed to keep flying as there was no time to disinfect it, staff claim.

Cabin crew logged the issue because passengers were bitten but bosses decided to keep the aircraft in service.

Staff hit out after the critters were spotted on a Boeing 747 from the US to Heathrow last week.

Coming to a seat near you ... close-up of a bed bug

Coming to a seat near you…aisle or window?

One passenger was nipped at 30,000ft and others saw the bugs and their eggs.

The problem was so serious that row 47 in the economy section was closed. But BA workers claim engineers did not have time to kill the creatures between flights.

The plane took off again and crew again had to deal with the bugs. Days later another “severe” infestation was reported as the jet flew from Cape Town to London.Last night it was claimed bugs were also seen on other flights by the 747 — now fully fumigated.

One passenger said: “This turns my stomach.”

A BA spokesman said: “Reports of bed bugs on board are extremely rare. Nevertheless, we continually monitor our aircraft.”

Blood suckers

BED bugs are small blood-sucking insects that live in cracks and crevices in and around beds or chairs.

Attracted by body heat and carbon dioxide, they bite exposed skin and feed on blood. Adult bed bugs look like lentils, oval, flat and up to 5mm long.

An infestation from one female can rise to 5,000 bed bugs in six months.

Mark Krafft last year took pics of bites he said he suffered on BA, below.

Vicious ... bed bug bites allegedly inflicted on BA passenger Mark Krafft last year
Vicious … bed bug bites allegedly inflicted on BA passenger Mark Krafft last year

A BA spokesman said: “Whenever any report of bed bugs is received, we launch a thorough investigation and, if appropriate, remove the aircraft from service and use specialist teams to treat it.

“The presence of bed bugs is an issue faced occasionally by hotels and airlines all over the world.

“British Airways operates more than 280,000 flights every year, and reports of bed bugs on board are extremely rare.

“Nevertheless, we are vigilant about the issue and continually monitor our aircraft.”

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

Bed Bugs Found on British Airways Flight – U.S. to Heathrow

Bed Bugs Found on British Airways Flight

February 26, 2016 | by Clover Hope | Jezebel

A British Airways plane was taken out of service last week after bed bugs were discovered when the crew tried to stuff extra large carry-ons into an overhead compartment.

Since the bugs (two of them) were found between flights, in row 47, the crew claims it wasn’t able to remove them in time.

“This isn’t a bed… It’s a plane!” one bug reportedly said to the other.

The Sun reports:

Cabin crew logged the issue because passengers were bitten but bosses decided to keep the aircraft in service.

Staff hid out after the critters were spotted on a Boeing 747 from the US to Heathrow last week.

One passenger was nipped at 30,000ft and others saw the bugs and their eggs.

A spokeswoman for British Airways told Mashable otherwise: “We wouldn’t let a plane continue to fly if we knew it had an issue.” Hmmm.

The plane was later fumigated, but it’s more likely the bugs decided to disembark on their own after realizing the plane wasn’t a bed.

The company rep adds, “Whenever any report of bed bugs is received, we launch a thorough investigation and, if appropriate, remove the aircraft from service and use specialist teams to treat it—this happened in this instance.”

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

Messing with BedBugs’ Genes Could Carry Other Risks?

Bed Bugs Will Outlive All Of Us Unless We Screw With Their Genes

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photo:  Bluejake/Sara Bibi/Gothamist

Bed bugs, like cockroaches and new seasons of The Bachelor, seem impossible to eradicate from the face of the Earth, no matter how many exterminators our landlords call to spray that one time and then never, ever again. But Science says there’s some small hope for the extinction of a moviegoer’s biggest fear—screwing with their genome.

Scientists have managed to map the genome of the common bed bug, revealing some fun things about the little suckers. For instance, bed bugs are actually able to break down toxins, like the ones an exterminator might use, to render them harmless, allowing them to survive even when you try to whack them with bug killer. They’ve also been MUTATING, producing genes that make them resistant to certain insecticides and making it all the more difficult to eradicate an infestation. Another fun fact is that bugs’ genes vary from location to location—a Brooklyn bed bug will have a different genetic sequence from a Queens bed bug, though both are equally disgusting.

Bed bugs also inbreed, and their sex is quite violent. This violent sex has been well-documented, and for those of you who have not yet seen Isabella Rossellini’s bed bug porno, you’re welcome, and sorry:

The takeaway here is that bed bugs have been able to hold us hostage for a long time, but scientists might be able to murder them, provided they make a few genetic tweaks. First, though, let’s kill all the mosquitoes.

[A. Steiner:  So…..Messing with Genes Could Carry Other Risks – YES!]

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

Bed Bugs have Developed Resistance to most widely used Insecticide, Neonicotinoids.

If neonicotinoids no longer work against the elusive and resilient creatures, bed bugs will continue to thrive despite exterminators’ efforts.

Bed bugs are most often found in human dwellings such as apartments, condominiums, single-family homes, hotels, motels, movie theaters, libraries, dormitories, trains, buses, planes, workplace, waiting rooms and the list goes on.

“different modes … need to be considered, along with the use of non-chemical methods.”

January 28, 2016 | by Mahita Gajanan | The Guardian

Bed bugs have developed a resistance to neonicotinoids, a group of the most widely used insecticides, according to a new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

Products developed over the past few years to control bed bugs combine neonicotinoids, or neonics, with pyrethroids, another class of insecticide.

The newly found resistance to neonics has real implications for people who need to control the pest, which are most often found in human dwellings such as apartments or condominiums, single-family homes and hotels or motels, according to the 2015 Bugs Without Borders Survey. Neonics are the most commonly used insecticide to fight the already elusive and resilient bed bugs, and if they no longer work, bed bugs will continue to thrive despite exterminators’ efforts.

Study authors Alvaro Romero, from New Mexico State University, and Troy Anderson, from Virginia Tech, discovered the resistance by collecting bed bugs from human dwellings in Cincinnati and Michigan and exposing them to four different neonics: acetamiprid, dinotefuran, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.

Romero and Anderson applied the same neonics to a bed bug colony kept by entomologist Harold Harlan for more than 30 years without exposure to insecticide, and to a pyrethroid-resistant population from Jersey City, New Jersey, that had not been exposed to neonics since 2008.

Harlan’s bed bugs died after exposure to small amounts of neonics. The Jersey City bed bugs died when exposed to imidacloprid and thiamethoxam but resisted the other two neonics.

According to Romero and Anderson, the neonic resistance in the Jersey City bed bugs could be credited to pre-existing resistance mechanisms. Bed bugs produce “detoxifying enzymes” to counter exposure to insecticides, and the researchers found that the Jersey City bed bugs had higher levels of the enzymes than did the Harlan bed bugs.

“Elevated levels of detoxifying enzymes induced by other classes of insecticides might affect the performance of newer insecticides,” Romero said.

The bed bugs collected from Cincinnati and Michigan proved to be tougher, with a much higher resistance to neonics than the Harlan and Jersey City bed bugs. Compared with Harlan’s bed bugs, the Michigan creatures were 462 times more resistant to imidacloprid, 198 times more resistant to dinotefuran, 546 times more resistant to thiamethoxam and 33,333 times more resistant to acetamiprid.

Similarly, the Cincinnati bed bugs were 163 times more resistant to imidacloprid, 358 times more resistant to dinotefuran, 226 times more resistant to thiamethoxam and 33,333 times more resistant to acetamiprid.

Romero said insecticide companies should be “vigilant for hints of declining performance of products that contain neonicotinoids”.

“For example, bed bugs persisting on previously treated surfaces might be an indication of resistance,” he said. “In these cases, laboratory confirmation of resistance is advised, and if resistance is detected, products with different modes of action need to be considered, along with the use of non-chemical methods.”

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

wKBN

How to avoid bedbugs while traveling

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Are you scared of bedbugs? Do they make you afraid to travel and spend the night in a hotel?

The latest infestations involve the Columbus area, which pest-control company Terminix lists as the seventh-most infested city in the nation. And in the Cleveland suburbs, bedbugs have been found in four Parma schools this year.

The bedbug problem is not just seen at hotels, but rather anywhere that people infested may travel or live.

“Hotels are not the big problems anymore,” said Brad Grace of Grace Exterminating. “It’s more in housing — multi-family housing and low-income housing.”

Hotels cleaned up their act, not wanting the stigma of having bed bugs, he said.

People who have been around the critters find out quickly how bad they bite.

“At first, it doesn’t even bother you. Then, you start itching, and then it can really drive people crazy, because it’s very irritating,” Youngstown Health Commissioner Erin Bishop said.

Brad Grace said, for a one bedroom apartment, it can cost approximately $900 to $2,000 to get rid of bedbugs. Grace has special equipment which burns the bugs by heating them up to more than 135 degrees.

“Heat is 100 percent effective in killing bedbugs, baby bedbugs, even eggs,” said Grace.

If bedbugs still make you afraid to stay in a hotel, here are some things you can do:

  • Put your luggage in the bathroom or on a hard surface, such as a desk or dresser.
  • Don’t leave your clothes out where bugs can crawl into them.
  • Check the bed by pulling off the linens and looking under the mattress and behind bedposts.

HAVE YOU SEEN THIS … WHILE IN THE AIR – PESTICIDES TAKE FLIGHT?

Do you think she’s spraying Febreze?

Pesticides on Planes: How Airlines Are Softly Killing Us

Truthout.org | 16 June 2015 | By Maryam Henein

Disinsection is a routine procedure in which insecticide is either sprayed in certain aircraft cabins - while passengers are on board - or applied to the internal surfaces of the aircraft before boarding.Disinsection is a routine procedure in which insecticide is either sprayed in certain aircraft cabins – while passengers are on board – or applied to the internal surfaces of the aircraft before boarding. (Photo: Travis Olbrich/Flickr)

How many of you have felt sick following a flight, only to chalk it up to a virus or sinus infection you caught from a fellow passenger? What if I told you, you may have been poisoned by pesticides on the plane without knowing it?

If you have a fear of flying, the terror just catapulted to a whole new level.

While booking my ticket to Rome, Italy, a few weeks ago, the agent quickly read a TSA disclaimer that had me do a double take. So much so, that I stopped her in her tracks and asked her to repeat herself. Basically, if I wanted to travel, I had to agree to the airline’s right to apply pesticides on the plane. In other words, I had to willingly agree to be exposed to poisons.

The routine procedure is called Disinsection. A seemingly made up word.

Disinsection is permitted under international law in order to supposedly protect public health, agriculture, and the environment,” states the Department of Transportation.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization, certain aircraft cabins are sprayed with a ‘quick-acting insecticide’ immediately before takeoff, while passengers are on board.

Alternatively, they sometimes treat the interior of the aircraft before passengers come on board, using a “residual-insecticide aerosol.”

Lastly, they also can apply “residual insecticide to all internal surfaces of the aircraft, except those in food preparation areas.” So breath deep and make the most of that recycled air!

Chemical Attacks Amid The Friendly Skies

I personally don’t think being subject to a pesticide spray while I am stuck in a pressurized cabin is protecting my health; it’s just the opposite—it’s an assault. What happens to people with asthma or someone like me who suffers from an auto immune condition and is uber sensitive to chemicals?

When I started sharing my findings, it didn’t take long to find a victim. “I’ve been feeling like crap ever since I arrived,” says Heather Greene, a farmer from Oregon, taking the critical food studies program at GustoLab Institute with me in Rome. “My ankles swelled up and I still feel like a have a sinus infection. When I did some research I found out that I was suffering similar symptoms to others who had come into contact with insecticides on planes.”

If you are a passenger concerned about exposure or feel unwell after being sprayed while on an aircraft for disinsection, the WHO really downplays concerns and symptoms, and denies any link between illness and airline spraying. Their website states that there’s “no evidence that the specified insecticide sprays are harmful to human health when used as recommended.”

Meanwhile, individual airlines then use the WHO to justify their actions, stating things like, “Well WHO says disinsection is safe.”

I say WHO cares?

Large amounts of a mild poison, in an enclosed space over long periods of time? Do we really need science’s input on this one?

The most widely used pesticides for aircraft cabins are synthetic pyrethroids, particularly the chemicals d-phenothrin or permethrin. These are synthetic variations of a chemical found in the chrysanthemum that kills by interfering with insect nervous systems.

And they do affect human health, and not in a positive way. Take the prison guard who developed strange symptoms after being exposed. Also, multiple studies have revealed a link between permethrin and Parkinson’s disease.

“With little ventilation and in such a closed space, spraying pesticides on airplanes while passengers are still on board is troubling, particularly for sensitive groups like children, pregnant mothers, the elderly, and those with chronic conditions,” says Drew Toher Public Education Associate at Beyond Pesticides.

“Even if people are not present during spraying, pesticides applied in such an environment present a risk of residual exposure.”  Passengers and employees sealed in a chamber that has been gassed for hours.

Spraying of pesticides on planes with chemicals like phenothrin, a neurotoxin, carries the risk of causing cancer and auto-immune diseases as lupus, Parkinson’s disease and memory loss among others.

Residual disinsection has been found to pose a hazard to flight attendants.

Accumulating Effects

Delta for instance, claims it doesn’t spray while passengers are on board, treating with residual applicants or spraying before passengers board instead. And then one in every eight weeks the entire plane is immersed in a “cloud of stuff” for extra precaution measures. Incidentally, the wait time before humans board is only 45 minutes following an application.

Check before you fly with your airline carrier on what they use for “disinsection” (pesticide procedure) in their planes, esp. if you are flying international.
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