Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite. They have returned with a vengeance.

Credit Victoria Roberts

A. Scientists believe that bedbugs have developed resistance to some insecticides, and travel is helping to spread the resistant insects worldwide.

Another major contributor is the failure of many hotels and residential landlords to identify infestations promptly, and to dispose of or treat infested bedding and carpeting.

It has been known since the 1950s that bed bugs can develop resistance to commonly used insecticides, like pyrethrin. Resistance has emerged to more products over the years.

The biological mechanisms include a thickening of the bedbugs’ exterior cuticle, so that an insecticide does not penetrate properly, and metabolic resistance, in which the insects produce extra amounts of detoxification enzymes.

Resistance can also involve something as simple as a tendency to avoid insecticidal powders.

Researchers are pursuing new control methods, especially the use of natural pesticides. One is a fungus called Beauveria bassiana.

The fungus, which infects insects, already has been incorporated into a commercially available product called Aprehend.

Can You Pick a Bedbug Out of a Lineup?

In a survey, scientists found many travelers could not distinguish bedbugs from other pests, which could have implications for hotels and the travel industry.

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.

What to know about PESTICIDE POISONING in wake of Dominican Republic lawsuit

By Dr. Manny Alvarez | Fox News

Last year, Kaylynn Knull and Tom Schwander were enjoying a relaxing vacation in the Dominican Republic when the couple started experiencing alarming symptoms. Now the two have filed a $1 million lawsuit against the resort called The Grand Bahia Principe La Romana.

The couple is seeking restoration for their experiences in the wake of 3 more American deaths that occurred there that same week.

TOXICOLOGIST SAYS A COLORLESS, ODORLESS ‘INTOXICANT’ COULD BE CAUSE OF DOMINICAN REPUBLIC DEATHS

According to The Sun, Knull and Schwander woke up one morning after several days at the resort, suffering from dizziness, blurred vision, drooling and stomach cramps among other symptoms.

After flying home, doctors suspected pesticide poisoning, specifically from organophosphates. That diagnosis aligned with many of their symptoms.

Knull now wonders if chemicals sprayed on plants outside the resort’s rooms were to blame, reports The Sun in an interview with the couple. Knull and Schwander wanted the resort to state the name of the chemicals used in its gardening. The two filed a lawsuit after the resort refused.

Unfortunately, last year’s cases aren’t the only episodes of tourist illness in the Dominican Republic. Investigations are ongoing for 11 recent deaths. The FBI and CDC are also investigating.

The cause of these deaths are still unknown. But media and the tourists involved speculate they could be related to harmful pesticides, spiked alcohol or tainted food.

The Problem of Pesticide Poisoning

In the United States, pesticide poisoning often happens to residents and workers around farming regions. However, the World Health Organization recognizes that poisoning does occur more often in developing countries.

Studies in Central American countries like El Salvador and Nicaragua have shown poisonings to occur twice as much in the general population as in America’s agricultural population. That amounts to 35 cases per 100,000 versus the United States’ 18 cases in the farming community, states WHO.

However, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact number because of lack of surveillance, long-term side effects, and inconsistent study methods.

Since millions of U.S. tourists visit areas like the Dominican Republic every year, this situation could truly happen to anyone. According to The Sun, 2.7 million Americans visit the resort where Knull and Schwander stayed last June.

Signs of Pesticide Poisoning

The big takeaway is that Americans should understand pesticide poisoning and take precautions against it, especially when traveling out of the country.

Pesticides can fall into several different categories. Those include organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethrins or pryethroids, the last of which are considered natural pesticides.

Common symptoms you should watch for:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Blurred vision
  • Chest tightness
  • Diarrhea or incontinence
  • Dizziness
  • Drooling
  • Eye irritation or tearing
  • Fluid-filled lungs
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness or lack of coordination
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Slurred speech
  • Sweating
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Vomiting

If you experience any of the above symptoms after traveling to agricultural or international regions, you should seek medical help immediately.

What to Expect with Pesticide Poisoning Treatment

If you suspect pesticide poisoning, you should get medical help for even mild symptoms like headache or dizziness. Pesticide poisoning can have long-term effects that your doctor might help to improve.

For more serious cases, your doctor might prescribe medications to help with symptoms and an IV to hydrate and clear your body of toxins.

Because poisoning symptoms can escalate quickly, you should contact emergency help if you suspect a high level of exposure.

Bottom Line

Pesticide poisoning happens in the US and even more often in developing countries where pesticides are less regulated. In the midst of planning your exciting international vacation, watch for concerning news reports beforehand and stay on guard for poisoning symptoms while you’re abroad.

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

UA_Ants.jpg

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.

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.

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.

Starbucks accused of exposing New York City customers to toxic pesticide

NBC

One of two lawsuits filed against the coffee company states that Starbucks stores “have for many years been permeated with a toxic pesticide.”

starbucks

A sign hangs in the window of a Starbucks store on May 29, 2018 in Chicago.                                           Scott Olson / Getty Images

May 21, 2019, 3:32 PM EDT
By Minyvonne Burke
Two lawsuits filed against Starbucks claim that several New York City stores exposed customers to a poisonous — and potentially deadly — pesticide toxin, and then fired a store manager who complained about them.

In one class action suit, filed on Tuesday in state court in Manhattan, 10 Starbucks customers claim that they were “exposed to the toxic chemical” Dichlorvos, or DDVP, after making purchases in multiple city stores over the last three years.

DDVP is an ingredient that is emitted into the air by a pesticide called Hot Shot No-Pest Strips, which are produced by Spectrum Brand Holdings.

The lawsuit states that Starbucks uses the strips in its Manhattan stores to keep cockroaches and other pests away. The strips, which can be purchased in many home and garden stores as well as online, kill insects but are also harmful to human beings, according to the lawsuit.

Spectrum Brand Holdings did not immediately return NBC News’ request for comment.

Photos accompanying the lawsuit show the strips next to bagels and food preparation equipment and near air vents.

“Starbucks stores throughout Manhattan have for many years been permeated with a toxic pesticide called Dichlorvos, which is highly poisonous and completely unfit for use in proximity to food, beverages and people,” the suit says.

The lawsuit states that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says pesticides containing DDVP should only be used in enclosed spaces where people are either not present or are given a respirator or other breathing apparatus.

According to the Hot Shot website, the strips should not be used “in kitchens, restaurants or areas where food is prepared or served.”
Exposure to DDVP can result in symptoms which include loss of bladder control, muscle tremors and weakness, trouble breathing, nausea and paralysis, the lawsuit states. Severe exposure can result in coma and death.

“On numerous occasions over the last several years, Starbucks’ employees and third-party exterminators have informed regional and district management – both verbally and in writing – about the improper and dangerous use of No-Pest Strips throughout stores in Manhattan,” according to the lawsuit.

“Needless to say, Starbucks has closely held this information and has not disclosed to the public that DDVP has poisoned the environment in its stores.”

The suit alleges that the customers, who are from New York, South Carolina and California, experienced emotional distress and anxiety “that they would develop serious health issues.” They are seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

In the second suit, also filed Tuesday in Manhattan’s federal court, a former Starbucks employee claims he was abruptly fired in February 2018 after complaining about the misuse of the pesticide strips.

A pest control technician who worked at multiple Manhattan Starbucks locations, and his supervisor, also allege that from 2016 to 2018 they made several complaints about the strips. In June 2018, Starbucks terminated its contract with the pest control company to silence the technician’s “repeated reports and complaints about the foregoing risks to health and safety,” according to the suit.

The former employee, technician and supervisor are seeking unspecified damages.

A spokesperson for Starbucks said Tuesday that the pesticide strips were being used in violation of its policy and once it was made aware of the complaints, the company stopped using them. The spokesperson also said they hired an outside expert who determined that Starbucks’ customers and employees were not put at risk.

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Information and Perspectives on Bed Bug Prevention, Protection and Safety

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Information and Perspectives on Bed Bug Prevention, Protection and Safety

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Information and Perspectives on Bed Bug Prevention, Protection and Safety

Information and Perspectives on Bed Bug Prevention, Protection and Safety