NC – Recent bed bug infestation marks growing trend in Asheville’s housing developments

Asheville Citizen Times | by Brian Gordon and Joel Burgess | Aug. 29, 2019

An apartment complex for the city’s low-income and disabled seniors is struggling with a bedbug infestation.

About 50 of the 248 units at the Asheville Terrace public housing development have been infested with bedbugs in recent weeks, according to the Asheville Housing Authority. This infestation represents a growing prevalence of bedbugs infestations across public housing in Asheville.

“Bedbugs have become something we deal with on a regular basis, all around our properties,” said David Nash, executive director at the Asheville Housing Authority. “It’s a trend.”

Asheville Terrace, off Tunnel Road, is designed specifically for tenants age 55 and older. Pest control costs at Asheville Terrace, which includes bedbug exterminations, have risen from nearly $14,000 in 2016 to over $30,000 last year. So far in 2019, the housing authority has dedicated $27,815 to pest control at the development.

“We have a full-time staff member dedicated to it,” Nash said. The housing authority contracts with Orkin Pest and Termite Control to handle bedbug situations.

While bedbugs are gently inserted into night-time nursery rhymes, infestations are serious matters.

The tiny, round insects sustain themselves on the blood of humans and animals. They seek out crevices that provide easy access to their food source, and their bites leave red marks on exposed skin. According to WebMD, female bedbugs can lay hundreds of eggs over a lifespan.

Nash said bedbugs are often carried into units on used furniture. Tenants with impacted apartments must exit the room as spray is applied. Infested clothes must be washed, and any furniture exposed to bedbugs must be thrown away. Tenants are not financially compensated for any furniture lost to bedbugs, including any chairs or beds with special features for disabled tenants.

The housing authority provides tenants tips on how to avoid bringing bedbugs into apartments after each infestation, but not before.

Several tenants at Asheville Terrace expressed concern about voicing their complaints over bedbugs or other facility issues, saying they feared eviction. Asheville Terrace is categorized as a project-based property, meaning the public voucher that subsidizes rent stays with the apartment if a tenant were to leave. To relocate to another public housing development, tenants would have to reapply and be put on a waiting list. The main waiting list for the housing authority has 1,518 applicants.

Nash said tenants are not evicted for voicing concerns. “Speaking with the press is not a lease violation,” Nash stated in an email. “They just need to be sure they pay their rent and comply with the other terms of their lease.”

Thousands of bugs, “deplorable conditions” found in home with four children

CRESTVIEW, Fla. (WKRG) — August 2, 2019 by Cody Long — Deputies responded to a call of domestic battery Tuesday to find a home with thousands of cockroaches, spiders and other bugs and children sleeping on the floor, according to an arrest report.

James Reid, Latina Reid and Daniel Reid were arrested at their home on Fleming Drive, charged with child neglect and taken to the Okaloosa County Jail.

Four children were home when their grandmother Latina Reid battered her adult son Daniel Reid who’s the father of two of the children, according to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office.

The arrest report states the home was in “deplorable conditions” and there were thousands of bugs crawling around. There was no bed for the children because it was thrown out because of an infestation of bed bugs along with the living room furniture.

Children were seen sleeping on a pallet on the floor while bugs crawled on their face. There was mold on the walls and floors, household garbage was found throughout the house and there was rotting food in the bathroom and cockroaches crawling on children’s toothbrushes, according to deputies.

Deputies also reported seeing bug bites on the children.

The Department of Children and Families removed the children from the home.

Woman’s Attempt to Kill Bedbugs May Have Sparked Upper Darby Apartment Fire

The woman said the flames from her stove lit up rubbing alcohol that she had poured to try to kill the bedbugs

NBC10 Philadelphia | by Randy Gyllenhaal and Rudy Chinchilla | August 1, 2019

A fire that consumed an Upper Darby apartment and caused evacuations in the rest of the complex may have been sparked by a woman’s misguided attempt to get rid of bedbugs.

An elderly woman living on the fourth floor of the Elizabeth Manor Apartments complex told firefighters and NBC10 that it was she who accidentally caused the Thursday morning blaze after the flames from her stove set alight rubbing alcohol that she had poured as a way of getting rid of bedbugs.

Because the fire station is only a few blocks from the complex, firefighters were able to respond quickly, going door to door to tell people to evacuate as they extinguished the blaze, Upper Darby Township Fire Company Deputy Chief Peter Huf said.

“First-arriving companies were met with heavy fire showing out the top floor and window of the apartment and a report of people trapped,” he said.

Dozens of residents were temporarily displaced, but there were no reports of injuries. The fire was also contained mostly to just the woman’s unit, with some minor smoke damage to neighboring units, and residents were allowed back inside.

Fire investigators, however, were still working to determine whether or not the blaze really was caused by a bedbug extermination attempt gone wrong, Huf said.

 

Baltimore Number One City in Country for Bed Bug Infestation

Breit by Michael Patrick Lahey | July 29, 2019

Orkin declared Baltimore the number one bed bug infested city in the country in January.

It was the second year in a row that Baltimore topped the list of the Top 50 “Bed Bug Cities” in the United States.

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Flickr/AFPMB

“The number of bed bug infestations in the United States is still rising. They continue to invade our homes and businesses on a regular basis because they are not seasonal pests, and only need blood to survive,” Dr. Tim Husen, an entomologist who works for Orkin, one of the nation’s leading pest control companies, said in a statement released by the company that accompanied the announcement that Baltimore was once again the bed bug capital of the United States.

“The list is based on treatment data from the metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from December 1, 2016 – November 30, 2017,” the Orkin statement said.

The Top Ten cities for bed bug infestation for this one year period were:

  1. Baltimore
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Chicago
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Columbus, Ohio
  6. Cincinnati
  7. Detroit
  8. New York City
  9. San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland
  10. Dallas-Fort Worth

Baltimore was also in Orkin’s list of Top Ten “Rattiest Cities” announced in 2018, along with Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, and New York City.

All six of these pest “double-threat” Top Ten cities are currently run by Democrats, as Breitbart News reported earlier.

Two cities on Orkin’s Top Ten list of “Bed Bug Cities” ranked just below the Top Ten “Rattiest Cities.”

Columbus, Ohio, fifth on the “Bed Bug Cities” list, was the 25th “Rattiest City.”

Cincinnati, sixth on the “Bed Bug Cities” list, was the 20th “Rattiest City.”

One metropolitan area–Dallas-Fort Worth–was ranked tenth on the “Bed Bug Cities” list and 12th on the “Rattiest Cities” list.

The San Francisco-San Jose-Oakland metropolitan area was ninth on the “Bed Bug Cities” list, while the city of San Francisco, part of that metropolitan area, was the 5th “Rattiest City.”

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“Bed bugs cannot be completely prevented so early detection is critical,” Orkin advised in its statement.

Bed bugs are always in motion. They travel from place to place with ease, including luggage, clothing and other belongings. In addition to single family homes, bed bugs can be found in apartments, hotels, hospitals and public places like daycare centers, public transit, schools and offices.

According to a 2015 “Bugs without Borders Survey” by the National Pest Management Association, the top three places where pest professionals report finding bed bugs are apartments/condominiums (95 percent), single-family homes (93 percent) and hotels/motels (75 percent).

Orkin noted that “Bed bugs are capable of rapid population growth with an adult female laying two to five eggs per day (up to 500 in her lifetime), often making treatment challenging.”

Bedbugs infest Trenton Police lockup, city says issue being ‘monitored’

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Trenton police headquarters on North Clinton Avenue.  

TRENTON — By Isaac Avilucea — July 25, 2019

Prisoners at police lockup were given a cruel and unusual punishment.

They endured a bedbug infestation, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The city said it has made efforts to eliminate the creepy crawlers which had reportedly taken up residence in some of the cells at Trenton Police lockup, feasting on detainees and city workers.

Employees in lockup brought their concerns to the police administration and the union.

Mayor Reed Gusciora was unaware of the infestation until The Trentonian reached him for comment Thursday.

He reached out to police director Sheilah Coley and then called the newspaper back to assure that the bedbug problem was being handled and under control.

“It’s an unfortunate occurrence of city life,” he said.

The mayor’s spokesman, Connor Ilchert, released a statement later in the day saying, “TPD has been looked over by exterminators and inspectors, and has been sprayed twice to satisfy any complaints. The issue is continuing to be monitored to ensure that city employees are operating in a safe working environment.”

Ilchert said exterminators treated the lockup area July 5 and again July 11. Bedbug infestations can be difficult to eliminate and sometimes require several treatments.

More bedbugs found at Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton
Photo from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of a common bedbug.

Workers complained to brass and union officials fearing the creepy crawlers might tag along on their clothes, causing an infestation at their homes.

City police union president Michael Schiaretti declined to comment on the infestation saying the city appeared to be taking care of the problem. He planned to monitor the issue.

Bedbugs are just one of the issues that have recently hampered deteriorating Trenton infrastructure. Engine 8 firehouse on Stuyvesant Avenue was temporary shuttered due to safety concerns.

Firefighters were relocated to another firehouse for a few days until the city corrected the structural issues with the floor. The firehouse has since reopened.

As far as the critters, the city is hardly alone in dealing with them. They’ve been discovered at several buildings in the Trenton area over the years.

In 2016, the Mercer County Board of Social Services dealt with them in 2016. Officials there fell victim to an urban legend recommending employees use Bounce dryer sheets to wipe down clothing to eradicate the pests.

That prompted Proctor and Gamble, the maker of the Bounce dryer sheets, to release a statement to The Trentonian debunking the myth.

The blood-sucking parasites were also discovered that year in at least three state buildings, including at the Department of Health.

Ann Klein Forensic Center in Trenton also suffered a bedbug invasion in 2015.

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Mother fears Marion movie theater has bedbugs again

 

MARION, Ind. (WTHR)| by Emily Longnecker | July 26, 2019 – It was supposed to be a family outing to see a movie classic.

“We went to ‘The Lion King.’ We were in Theatre 9,” said mom Sheila Ruley of her trip to the AMC Classic Theatre in Marion last week with her kids.

The visit, said Ruley, was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

“Within about 10 minutes, I felt a bite,” Ruley recalled.

When Ruley used her phone’s flashlight, she saw something had bitten her.

“I had a bunch of bites all over my arms,” Ruley explained, adding that with each second that passed, the swelling on those bites just got worse.

When she lifted up the armrest of her seat, she said she saw bedbugs there.

“There was four of them just crawling right on the armrest,” said Ruley.

The mom said she knows what they look like, because a guest in her home three years ago brought them to her house.

“It’s a nightmare. We had to get all new furniture, all new mattresses. It was a nightmare, so I don’t want to deal with it again,” Ruley said.

When Ruley said she told the manager about the bedbugs, she said they suggested she had a mosquito bite instead.

“I said I know what bedbugs are,” Ruley recalled. “She goes, ‘I forgot to tell you someone had ticks in here the other day, so it might be ticks.'”

Ruley wasn’t buying it.

“I’m like, ‘Ticks don’t bite. They bite and then crawl under your skin’,” Ruley said she told the manager.

This isn’t the first time a visitor to the Marion theater has complained that bedbugs bit them. Last November, Eyewitness News spoke with a woman who told us she was bitten all over her legs and arms.

The Grant County Health Department came in and found there was a problem, finding evidence of bedbugs and their eggs.

The theater manager told Eyewitness News they couldn’t comment on the situation this time, that only a corporate spokesperson could. We tried to get through to someone at AMC’s corporate offices and couldn’t.

Ruley said she tried to call, too, a few times, and said she was put on hold.

“Been on there 45 minutes both times and the other time I emailed and got a message and have not gotten anything back,” said Ruley.

That’s why this mom did a Facebook post to warn others about what she says happened to her.

“It more disappointed me because I’m there to enjoy family time. I shouldn’t have to get up and take care of a situation,” said Ruley.

She said the manager gave her six free passes to make up for it, but until Ruley has some answers about what she believes is anther bedbug issue, she’ll pass on those passes.

Always inspect for bed bugs when traveling, getting used furniture

Tahlequah Daily Press |Oklahoma | July 19, 2019 | by Heather Winn

Bed bugs might be small, but they can cause big problems. After decades of barely registering on the pest control radar in the U.S., the insects have re-emerged as a concern in recent years.

Even though bed bugs aren’t known for carrying diseases, they can still make life difficult by causing discomfort, sleeplessness, anxiety, and even embarrassment. Being watchful can help avoid a problem or at least allow for early detection and professional intervention.

Small, reddish brown and flat, adult bed bugs measure about 3/16-inch long and can be mistaken for cockroaches or ticks. The pests, which are mainly active at night, like to feed on humans. Bed bugs do not fly, but they do bite. Although reactions to being bitten vary from person to person, generally people may experience itchy, red welts or localized swelling within a day or two.

Bed bugs can live in almost any crevice or protected area; however, the pests are commonly found in beds and sleeping areas, and particularly in the seams, tufts and crevices of mattresses, box springs and headboards. They also can make themselves at home in upholstered chairs and sofas, especially if the furniture is used for sleeping, as well as in the cracks, crevices and recesses of nightstands and dressers.

Other favorite hiding places for the bugs include along the edge and just underneath wall-to-wall carpet; cracks in crown molding; behind wall-mounted picture frames, mirrors, switch plates and outlets; and inside clocks, phones, televisions and smoke detectors.

Cleanliness usually has nothing to do with the potential for a bed bug infestation. Traveling is a common way people come in contact with the pests. They can be imported through luggage, clothing, and even a person’s shoes. Secondhand furniture, including beds and couches, can serve as entry points as well.

There are some steps homeowners and travelers can take to try to prevent an infestation. For instance, travelers are advised to quickly inspect their hotel rooms before settling in. Pull back all of the bedding at the head of the bed, check the underside of the mattress tag and the seams of the mattress and box springs. In addition to mature bed bugs, look for the light brown molted skin of nymphs (immature bed bugs) and dark spots of dried excrement. If you find any evidence of bed bugs, report it immediately to management and request a different room.

To minimize exposure in hotel rooms, pull the luggage stand away from the wall and place bags on it, keep clothing in the suitcase – rather than placing belongings in dresser drawers – and use a flashlight to inspect the closet before hanging clothes. Shoes should be placed in an open area. After returning home, consider unpacking your luggage immediately and in a location other than the bedroom such as the garage, mudroom, or entry way of your home. Wash your clothes promptly and carefully check the luggage for bed bugs.

At home, residents should carefully scrutinize any used and refurbished furniture items, and especially beds and couches, before bringing them inside. Homeowners also should avoid taking any furniture items from dumpsters or curbsides, no matter their apparent condition.

In cases of infestation, effective eradication of the pests often requires trained, experienced professionals. However, because insecticides cannot be used to treat infested and exposed bedding, garments and other items, those things should be bagged and laundered at a minimum temperature of 120 degrees, or placed in a dryer for 20 minutes on medium to high heat. Freezing items at below 32 degrees Fahrenheit for multiple days also may work.

For more information, or to schedule a program locally about financial management, nutrition, health and wellness, parenting education, or Oklahoma Home and Community Education, contact the OSU Cooperative Extension Service in Cherokee County by phone at 918-456-6163.

Heather Winn is a family and consumer sciences educator for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service in Cherokee County.

Bedbugs a growing problem in Vermont

WCAX3 | By Kiernan Brisson 

WINOOSKI, Vt. (WCAX) An invasive species may be more of a pest in our area than you think. We are talking about bedbugs and their presence in Vermont has grown since their sudden reappearance in 2005.

But as our Kiernan Brisson reports, many people are reluctant to talk about infestations because of the stigma attached to bedbugs.

A bedbug infestation was recently reported in an apartment building on Follett Street in Winooski.

“Currently the city is aware of an infestation in a unit. We had been alerted to the infestation through someone who didn’t want to be identified,” said John Audy, the city’s director of code enforcement.

The bugs were first detected in one apartment before spreading to three others.

But this isn’t an isolated incident. Since 2005, the state of Vermont has seen constant growth in the number of bedbug cases and exterminations.

“So bedbugs are hard to get rid of… And I also know because I’ve talked to friends who work in the housing industry in Burlington and they’ve also seen a huge increase in the number of bedbugs,” Vt. State Entomologist Judy Rosovsky said.

“So just from a percentage standpoint of how much bedbug work we’ve grown in a sense, I mean in the last five years about 105% increase in the bedbug work that we’re doing,” said Brandon Hier, the district manager of pest control company Ehrlich.

Bedbug cases in the state range from apartment complexes to hotels to family homes, but contrary to popular belief, the infestations have nothing to do with cleanliness.

“Really I wish that stigma would go away. It’s absolutely nothing to do with people’s lifestyle or standard of living. They’re not attracted to dirt, they want us; they want our blood,” Rosovsky explained.

“They are very intrusive and it doesn’t matter if you’re clean or not clean, they are hitchhikers,” Audy said.

The best way to stay bedbug free is to eliminate the possibility that they are tracked into your residence. Bedbugs are hitchhikers, often brought home by travelers.

“So you need to watch what’s coming through your front door, it’s the best thing you can do,” Hier advised. “Anything you can put in the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes is going to come out bedbug-free. If you have items like, I don’t know, a hard-shell suitcase, you could simply clean that, a good scrubbing with some soap, not taking in used furniture, that’s the biggest thing we’ve seen.”

The Burlington Housing Authority would not comment on the case in Winooski. They did say they are working with the tenant and the landlord to resolve the infestation issue.

Bed Bug Allegedly Found On Montreal STM Bus (Video)

A brief video submitted to MTL Blog by Instagram user @sssareenak shows what appears to be a bed bug crawling across the seat of an STM bus in Montreal. The video was taken on Friday July 5th on the 968 bus, which runs between the Côte-Vertu orange line metro station and the Gare Roxboro-Pierrefonds.

An exterminator tells MTL Blog that though the video is too low quality to determine with 100% certainty the identity of the bug, a quick assessment suggests it is, indeed, a bed bug.

We reached out to the STM to inquire specifically about bed bugs on this bus line and, more generally, bed bugs on any vehicle in the STM network.

In response, an agency spokesperson explained only that “we regularly evaluate the cleanliness of buses and trains. When such a situation is brought to our attention, we quickly remove the vehicle from service and take the necessary measures.”

They further explain that bus interiors are washed every 42 days.

The short video of the alleged bed bug is below:

If this is, in fact, a bed bug, this would not be the first time the insect was found on public property.

Last year, an infestation of bed bugs at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) forced officials to remove most upholstered furniture from the enormous complex in downtown Montreal.

Plastic chairs replaced couches until exterminators were able to eradicate the pests.

Bed bugs, according to a page on the government of Canada website, “are small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of people and animals while they sleep.”

“A bedbug bite can take as long as 14 days to appear, depending on the person. While bites can happen anywhere on the skin, they are often found on the face, neck, arms, legs, and chest.”

There is no indication that bed bugs have spread on the STM network. This appears to have been an isolated incident.

Bedbugs found in Hempstead Town building, officials say – Long Island Nassau County

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Bedbugs were found at town offices on North Franklin Street in Hempstead. Photo Credit: Town of Hempstead

Hempstead Tax Receiver Don Clavin on Thursday called on the town to close and fumigate a town office building that is infested with bedbugs.

Employees first spotted the bloodsucking pests yesterday, and since then workers have found dozens of them crawling on furniture and scaling the walls of the building  on North Franklin Street , where more than 200 town employees work and where some 55,000 members of the public pass through annually, Clavin said.

“Do what’s right,” he said at a news conference on Thursday, flanked by the town’s CSEA union president Theresa Kohutka. “Shut the building down, get it rectified, get it clean, and let these hardworking men and women come to this building in a clean safe environment.”

Clavin, a Republican, is challenging Democratic Supervisor Laura Gillen for her seat this fall.

Mike Fricchione, a spokesman for Gillen, said in a statement Thursday that exterminators treated the affected area of the building Wednesday night and would do so again Thursday night.

Fricchione accused Clavin of politicizing the infestation.

“This is not the first time departments, including the Tax Receiver’s Office, have been notified of an isolated report of bedbugs in an office space, so it’s curious why the Tax Receiver would this time request that the entire building be shut down,” Fricchione said. “This administration does not believe in scaring the public and will continue following all appropriate protocols and procedures relating to bedbugs.”

Bedbugs are brown, apple-seed sized critters that feed on sleeping humans and other animals, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They are hard to eradicate — capable of surviving in low temperatures and without food for long periods. A female bedbug can lay multiple eggs per day, according to the federal agency.

Clavin and Kohutka criticized the town administration for not clearly communicating with employees about the problem or what it is doing to solve it.

“That’s all we ask: just a little bit of communication and a little bit of action,” Kohutka said. “There’s absolutely none going on at the moment.”
Fricchione said town officials had discussed the situation and treatment plan with union leaders and department heads.

The infested building houses the town’s parks, public safety and economic development departments, as well as other Hempstead agencies.