Family claims Jacksonville day care has bedbugs, DCF investigating

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – June 4, 2019

A local father says a local day care kicked his son out of school after he and his wife complained that the center had bedbugs.

“It’s been several times that he came home with bug bites,” said Jacksonville father Ian Williams.

Williams tells Action News Jax Ryan Nelson his son came home with bites several times since January from the Saint Stephen Child Care and Learning Center.

But on May 30, he says his wife found one of the bedbugs crawling on their son at the facility.

Action News Jax obtained letters from the center to the Williams family, which show it did not believe there was an infestation.

However, it immediately removed kids from the classroom and used a bug fogger.

In another letter, the day care ended its relationship with the family citing respect issues, and violations of its rules.

The Williams family has a different interpretation of that letter.

“Pretty much their position was, ‘We’d rather sweep it under the rug and keep it quiet than to actually address the problem,’” said Williams.

Nelson went to the day care asking if there was anything they could like to say. A manager told Nelson it was under investigation, before asking him to leave.

We looked through DCF records, and found records of more than a dozen inspections in the past three years.

While there were other noncompliance issues found, none of them dealt with bugs or cleanliness issues.

“When a kid comes home and complain about getting bit by bugs, and we actually go pick him up, and there’s bugs actually crawling on him, you know, any parent is going to have a concern about that,” said Williams.

The family said it was under DCF investigation. DCF confirms it is looking into the matter.

Sandals’ management investigates ‘bed bugs’ claim

Observer-Newspaper1May 29, 2019

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Management at the Sandals Grande Antigua resort has confirmed receiving a report that two of its guests were allegedly bitten by bed bugs while staying at the hotel.

When contacted, a representative of the resort said an investigation into the matter is ongoing.

“Here at Sandals Grande Antigua we can confirm that we did receive a report from a couple, one of our guests, regarding insect bites and the matter is currently being investigated as we speak,” General Manager of Sandals Grande Antigua, Matthew Cornall said.

He continued: “As we know here in Antigua, it’s a tropical island and it’s known for its beautiful flora and fauna including a number of native insects which are pretty common throughout the region. Our top priority is the safety and comfort of our guests and we maintain a robust environment of health and safety programs geared at ensuring justice.”

The visiting couple told OBSERVER media that they were “devoured” by the bugs while on island for a friend’s wedding.

“After spending one night in room 612, we both noticed several bites on our bodies…we didn’t put things together, until the third day of suffering we looked closer at the bed. We were disgusted to find several large bugs in our bed. I guess they had grown from feasting us,” the husband said while recounting the entire ordeal.

He said that on the first night of their stay, they noticed bites about their bodies which they assumed at the time could have been due to sand flies or mosquitoes.

It was not until the following morning that couple said they noticed blood and a bug in their bed.

The couple alleged that the management of Sandals then imputed that the blood could have been as a result of the woman’s menstrual cycle and the bugs could have been brought in when they checked in.

That explanation, according the couple, was not only bizarre but offensive.

By the third day the visitors reportedly saw several large bugs in the bed and even though the management saw them, they refused to take responsibility.

“They both denied that they had bed bugs and that they didn’t exist in the Caribbean. After a quick google search we found several reports of bed bugs on the resort and in government buildings and the airport. So, it is not true that bed bugs can’t survive here,” the husband added.

According to them, they informed the management about the problem but it was not treated with any urgency. Further, they said the hotel’s management refused to refund them their monies, and asked that the entire experience be kept a secret.

The couple said they are perturbed by the occurrence and will be speaking to legal authorities on the matter.

Bed Bugs Are So Ancient, Dinosaurs Were Still Walking The Planet When They Evolved

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May 25, 2019  David Nield  Science Alert

Bed bugs first evolved into existence more than 100 million years ago, new science reveals, meaning the insects would have breathed the same air as Tyrannosaurus rex and other dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period.

That’s based on an extensive analysis of modern-day bed bug DNA, taken from 34 species across the world. By building a bed bug family tree – a molecular phylogeny – and analysing the rate of change of the insect’s genes, scientists determined that the creatures may have been around for up to 115 million years.

Ancient fossil records corroborate the DNA evidence and suggest these common parasites have been around for many millions of years more than we originally estimated.

“To think that the pests that live in our beds today evolved more than 100 million years ago and were walking the Earth side by side with dinosaurs was a revelation,” says one of the team, entomologist Mike Siva-Jothy from the University of Sheffield in the UK.

“It shows that the evolutionary history of bed bugs is far more complex than we previously thought.”

“[Evolutionarily] older bed bugs were already specialised on a single host type, even though we don’t know what the host was at the time when T. rex walked the earth,” says one of the researchers, Steffen Roth from the University Museum Bergen in Norway.

The research also revealed that the type of bed bugs that like to feed on humans – the common bedbug and the tropical bedbug – have been around much longer than we have. In other words, they were lying in wait in caves for a while before humans moved in.

That contrasts with previous thinking based on other types of parasite, like lice, where the evolutionary history can be closely linked to the evolution of their human hosts.

According to the researchers, dinosaurs were unlikely to have been bed bug hosts – bed bugs and insects like them tend to feed off animals that have a home base, like a bird’s nest or a bat’s roost (or a person’s bed).

Though the first bed bug host remains a mystery for now, the researchers hope that this new genetic analysis could reveal some biological weaknesses in the creatures – giving experts a way to control the spread of bed bugs, other similar insects, and the diseases that spread along with them.

“These findings will help us better understand how bed bugs evolved the traits that make them effective pests,” says Siva-Jothy. “That will also help us find new ways of controlling them.”

The research has been published in Current Biology.

Warning signs of a bed bug infestation

bedset_bedbugs.jpgLongview News-Journal May 11, 2019  kgentsch

When traveling overnight, travelers may have their minds on any number of things. Vacationers may be focused on fun in the sun, while the minds of business travelers may be preoccupied with important meetings. Few travelers may be thinking about bed bugs, even though hotels can be vulnerable to infestations of these unwelcome creatures.

Bed bugs might be considered a pesky nuisance, but such a reputation overlooks their potential to cause serious harm. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, bed bugs can cause allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. The Mayo Clinic notes that anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that causes the immune system to release a flood of chemicals, potentially resulting in shock. During such reactions, blood pressure can drop suddenly and the airways can narrow, compromising a person’s ability to breathe.

Bed bug infestations also can contribute to skin infections resulting from bites. Such infections may include impetigo, ecthyma and an infection of the lymph vessels known as lymphangitis. The presence of lymphangitis may indicate that a skin condition is worsening, potentially causing bacteria to spread into the blood and putting people’s lives in jeopardy.

Bed bugs can infest hotels and other public places, including movie theaters. But they also can occur at home. Learning to recognize when bed bugs are present can help people avoid the uncomfortable and potentially unhealthy consequences of infestations.

Red, itchy bites:  Flat, red welts in zigzag lines or small clusters are indicative of bed bugs on humans. Bites, which may be left in straight rows as well, are often irritating, prompting many people to scratch them, which can lead to infection. Arms and shoulders, which many people tend to leave exposed while they sleep, are common areas for bed bugs to appear.

Discomfort sleeping: Bed bugs can be found in places other than beds, but they’re most often found in bed. Some people first suspect bed bug infestations after some restless nights of sleep.

Odor: Bed bugs might be tiny, but that does not mean they don’t smell. Bed bugs release chemical substances known as pheromones. When released in large amounts, these pheromones can produce an odor reminiscent of a dirty locker room.

Stains on bedding: You might need a magnifying glass and/or flashlight to see the stains left by bed bugs, which tend to be rust-colored, reddish-brown or small and brown. These stains will appear after bugs have fed on humans and are typically seen near the corner or edges of the bed.

Bed bug infestations can be uncomfortable and alarming. Learning to recognize signs of such infestations can help people evict these unwanted visitors from their homes.

Woman claims bed bugs bit her at Bessemer theater

CBS

May 20, 2019   Emma Simmons

BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — Scary movies can take a back seat to this real-life horror story.

A woman took to social media Sunday night, claiming bed bugs were in her seat at the Premiere Cinema 14 Promenade in Bessemer.

movie_seat_bbsCrystal Crawford Youngblood posted pictures she says she took at the theater, one of which shows raised patches on her arm, which she claims are bed bug bites.

Premiere Cinemas denied Youngblood’s claims in a statement posted on Facebook. The theater says “no evidence of insect activity has been detected.”
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Also, the theater is in the process of upgrading to “all new leather reclining seats.

Bedbug bill leads to eviction, Savannah woman says

May 21, 2019  by Martin Staunton

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A Savannah woman says a problem with bedbugs and maintenance issues led to her eviction.

The single mother & new grandmother is now looking for a new place to live over a dispute she lost in court with her landlord, Timberland Apartments.

39-year old Juanita Porter says she’s lived in Savannah her entire life, but this is the first time she’s been evicted.

“I’m humiliated,” she said, choking back tears. “It’s really breaking me and if I break, my whole family breaks, because I am all my kids have. And the thing that makes it so bad is I got to put my personal business on the news just to be heard.”

On her final day as a resident, Porter received some of her final guests — a pair of code compliance to investigate her complaints of shoddy maintenance, windows, wall cracks, and bedbugs.

Porter says she should have called long ago when a bad situation grew worse.

“When I moved in Timberland two years ago in A-12, I’d been having problems with mold, plumbing,” she explained, adding that she dealt with flooding and mold. “I’ve lost half of my belongings in A-12. So I got an emergency move in September 2018.”

Once she was moved into the new apartment, Porter said she discovered bedbugs were present.

“Last week of March, first week of April I saw bedbug activity. I was bitten up,” she said, adding, “When I reported it to the landlord, they sent the exterminator out, who confirmed it was bedbugs.”

Porter says there was a $750 fee attached to her rent payment for the bedbug treatment.

“I signed the promise to pay before I found out about the infestation. I was trying to do the right thing,” she said. “Never had a problem with rent. There were times they had to credit me because they were overcharging me from Section 8 and I had to go to my caseworker for her to clarify it.”

News 3 went to the leasing office to speak with someone to get answers. The current property manager at Timberland Apartments identified herself as Miss Sunny.

She declined an on-camera interview saying “no comment.” Miss Sunny cited tenant privacy issues as to why she could not talk to News 3 about Porter’s eviction.

Porter says this situation is taking a toll on two fronts.

“They’re not only retaliating, hurting me financially, they’re hurting me and my children emotionally,” she said, adding, “I lost everything and people know I work hard to get everything I had on my own…on my own and now we’re put out.”

Porter is now out of time to find a new home, but while it may be her first eviction, it’s not her first fight for something she believes is right.

“I fought my way through college. Four long years, for that special day to be taken away from me,” she said. “That’s not right and every time I go and talk to them they and they’re always making it like it’s my fault because I don’t know the codes, I don’t know what’s supposed to be what.  I don’t know what they can get away with.”

Porter says she did sign a promissory note to cover the eviction cost and that’s how the landlord won the case against her. She says she’s stepping forward to remind renters to be very mindful of all the language in the lease, or you could find yourself covering an expense you may not believe you’re responsible for.

Once the code compliance inspection is complete, Timberland Apartments will be notified of any violations found and given time to fix them.

 

Call Your Doctor If Your Bug Bite Looks Like *This*

womens_health.jpg by Korin Miller, May 20, 2019

bite-to-the-neck-royalty-free-image-584572080-1558039675.jpg_crop=1.00xBug bites are an unfortunate little annoyance in life, and the odds are prettttttyyyy high that you’ve been bitten by some creepy-crawly (er, or a variety of creepy-crawlies) in your lifetime. And while you probably just want to scratch the darn spot and move on, it’s wise to try and figure out what actually bit you.

Why? Some bug bites are relatively harmless, but others have the potential to bring on more serious health issues if you don’t treat them appropriately, and fast. Here are several fairly common insect bites you may experience, and how to know whether or not a bite warrants a trip to your doctor’s office.

Bedbug bites

While the thought of bedbug bites may skeeve you out, they’re more annoying to deal with than an actual threat to your health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Bedbug bites are primarily just super itchy and can keep you up at night. The bigger issue with these pesky bugs is that they can spread really fast and lead to an infestation, and it can be an inconvenient and expensive process to get rid of one. (Also, the idea of little bugs feeding on your blood while you sleep isn’t exactly a comforting thought.)

People can have a range of reactions to bedbug bites, says Nancy Troyano, PhD, a board-certified entomologist with Ehrlich Pest Control. Some people have no reaction at all when bitten, but most people will notice an itchy, red, welt-like mark that looks similar to a mosquito bite, Troyano says. “Bites may appear in a linear fashion if there are multiple bugs feeding, and bites can occur anywhere, but they are often found in areas where skin is readily exposed,” she notes.

Contrary to popular belief, attracting bedbugs has nothing to do with bad hygiene or a dirty apartment. Bedbugs get around by hitchhiking onto your things, so prevention can be tough, says Angela Tucker, PhD, manager of technical services for Terminix. “Knowing this, the best prevention for bedbugs is being watchful during your travels and regular home cleaning,” she says.

You can also keep an eye out for the critters, which are about the size, shape, and color of an apple seed when fully grown. Another sign that bedbugs may be around your space is their byproduct, meaning you might see reddish-brown blood spots on sheets or mattresses, Tucker says.

If you do happen to get bedbug bites, spot-treat them with hydrocortisone cream to try to soothe itch, says David Cutler, MD, a family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. Then, get rid of the infestation-with the help of a professional. “It’s important to see where the bedbugs came from,” Dr. Cutler says. “Then, call in a professional exterminator so you don’t get any more bedbug bites.”

Bee and wasp stings

You’ll usually know it when you get stung by a bee or wasp, because it hurts like hell. “At first, you may not even see anything on the skin,” Troyano says. “However, within a few minutes of being stung, there may be localized swelling and redness around the sting site.” The area might also feel warm, and you might see a small white mark near the center of the swelling (that’s where the stinger went into your skin), she describes.

If you know you have an allergy to bee or wasp stings, follow instructions from your doctor and seek medical care immediately. But if you’re not allergic, you’ll still want to take action. Bees lose their stinger after stinging, Troyano says, and you should try to remove it if it’s still stuck in you. Then, apply ice to reduce swelling, says David Gatz, MD, an emergency medicine physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. You also may want to take an antihistamine like Benadryl, he says.

The only real way to totally avoid getting stung is to not interact with bees and wasps…obviously. (But that’s not a feasible lifestyle if you ever want to enjoy the outdoors!) So when you’re outside, don’t swat at bees and wasps-just let them be. “In general, if you leave bees and wasps alone, they will leave you alone,” says Tucker.

If you want to be especially cautious, she also recommends skipping flowery perfumes or fragrances and covering any food and drink around you.

Scabies

Scabies is a parasite infestation caused by microscopic mites, according to the CDC. When you have scabies, the female burrows into your epidermis to lay her eggs.

Scabies usually shows up as a rash with small, raised pustules or blisters, and is “intensely itchy,” Troyano says. If you’ve never had scabies before, you might not see the rash for several weeks after you’ve been exposed. But, if you’ve had scabies before, you might see a rash within one to four days of being exposed, she says.

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Scabies is transmitted through “prolonged direct skin contact” and is “highly contagious,” Tucker says. You need to see a doctor to get properly diagnosed and treated, but it’s generally treated with permethrin anti-parasitic cream, Dr. Gatz says.

Mosquito bites

Okay, yes, mosquito bites are usually NBD. They’re itchy and annoying, but nothing major to worry about. You probably already know what a mosquito bite looks like, but (just in case), they’re usually red, create a bump on your skin, and can itch, per Troyano. For some people, a bug bite may appear filled with fluid, with a small water blister in the center.

Photo credit: ChrisAt - Getty Images
Photo credit: ChrisAt – Getty Images
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Mosquitos can carry diseases like Zika virus and West Nile virus, which can cause fever-like symptoms, rash, joint pain, and red eyes, the CDC says. So if you’ve been bitten by a mosquito and start to feel off afterward and have symptoms like these, call your doctor ASAP.

In order to let mosquito bites heal, do your best not to scratch; that raises the risk that the bite will get infected, Dr. Cutler says. Hydrocortisone cream should help alleviate some of the itch, he says.

While you can only do so much to prevent mosquito bites, Tucker recommends removing standing water around your home or yard (mosquitoes can lay their eggs in these areas). And, if you’re planning to spend a lot of time outside, using a good mosquito repellent is key, she says.

Spider bites

Spider bites are actually pretty rare, Troyano says, but they happen. They can look like typical bug bites, so it can be hard to tell right away if you were bitten by a spider unless you see it scuttling away.

If you do notice a bite and spot the little guy, Dr. Cutler recommends washing the area with soap and water and leaving it alone. “Toxins from [certain spiders] can destroy the skin,” he says-so it never hurts to wash the spot with soap and water to cleanse the skin (even if you’re not 100 percent sure it’s a spider bite).

But if the wound area seems to be growing, is unusually red, is hot to the touch, is ulcerated, or you have a fever and/or joint pain, call your doctor ASAP, Troyano says.

Cleaning out cobwebs inside and outside of your house can lessen your chances of spider run-ins. Also, wear long sleeves, pants, gloves, and a hat to protect your skin when you’re working outside or in areas where things are stored and not used often, and try to keep your grass and bushes maintained, Tucker says.

Tick bites

It’s not always obvious when a tick bites you, because it won’t *always* leave a mark (more on that in a minute). But sometimes the tick will still be attached when you discover a bite, so the first thing you’ll want to do is remove it. Troyano recommends taking the following steps to do this:

  • Use tweezers and grab the tick close to the skin.
  • Steadily pull upward, but avoid twisting the insect.
  • Don’t crush the tick once removed.
  • Submerge the tick in rubbing alcohol and save it. Put it in a clear, sealable plastic bag in case you need to see a doctor or veterinarian. Or, take a clear photo, then flush it.

Once the tick is removed, wash the area with soap and water, Dr. Gatz says.

If you notice a bullseye-shaped rash appear on your body, a pink rash on your wrists, arms, and ankles, or an ulcerated area around a bite, call your doctor, Troyano says. These symptoms may be signs that a tick did bite you, and you’ve been infected with a tick-borne illness like Lyme disease. If you experience a fever, chills, aches, and muscle fatigue, those are also cues you need to make a visit to your doctor.

But remember, not every tick carries a tick-borne illness, so even if one bit you at some point, that doesn’t guarantee you contracted something more serious.

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How can you protect yourself from tick bites? Tucker recommends showering quickly when you come in from being outside (you might be able to wash off ticks before they have a chance to bite you). It’s also a smart idea to wear long pants and sleeves when you go into tick-infested areas, like the woods, and to wear bug repellent that contains DEET. Also ask a family member or friend to help you do a body scan for ticks after being out in the woods.