Bed Bugs show resistance to pesticides: What to do now? Build a wall!

Why chemicals used to fight bed bugs aren’t working any longer was revealed in a new study that compared today’s bed bugs with those that have been isolated in a lab for 30 years.

February 1, 2016 | by Lonnie Shekhtman  | The Christian Science Monitor

The chemicals used to fight bed bug infestations are no longer working, say scientists from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and New Mexico State University. The tiny pests have developed a resistance to the most commonly used type of insecticides, called neonicotinoids, or neonics, which is part of the reason there has been a resurgence of them in the last couple of decades.

“While we all want a powerful tool to fight bed bug infestations, what we are using as a chemical intervention is not working as effectively it was designed and, in turn, people are spending a lot of money on products that aren’t working,” Troy Anderson, an assistant professor of entomology in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said in an announcement last week.

In an experiment, researchers compared bed bugs from homes in Cincinnati and Michigan that had been previously exposed to neonics with those that a researcher has kept isolated in a lab for 30 years, dating back to a time before the insecticides were used commercially.

In results published Thursday in the Journal of Medical Entomology, Dr. Anderson and Alvaro Romero, an assistant professor of entomology at New Mexico State University, reported that the bed bugs that had been isolated in a lab for 30 years died when treated with a small amount of neonics. Those collected from homes in Cincinnati and Michigan showed much higher resistance to the chemical treatment.

The team also tested bedbugs from New Jersey that were already resistant to pyrethroids, another class of widely used insecticides often mixed with neonics, but had been isolated from neonics since 2008. Those bugs were more susceptible to the insecticides than the ones from Cincinnati and Michigan, but not as much as the isolated bedbugs.

“Companies need to be vigilant for hints of declining performance of products that contain neonicotinoids,” Dr. Romero said in a study announcement.

“For example, bed bugs persisting on previously treated surfaces might be an indication of resistance. 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,” he said.

Bed bugs are particularly burdensome in apartment buildings, where they can spread to many units. They are also more problematic for low-income, elderly, and disabled people who can’t spot the tiny red bug and often don’t have the means to get rid of them, say researchers from Virginia Tech.

Bed bugs thrive in beds, couches, and around electrical outlets and cause hundreds of bites a night.

“When well-off people get bed bugs, it’s an inconvenience. But when low-income families get them, there aren’t many options,” said Molly Stedfast, who worked with bed bugs as a graduate entomology student at Virginia Tech in 2013.

“Those who can’t afford the treatments,” she says, often end up living with bed bugs for a long time.

Virginia Tech’s pest lab recommends a nontoxic, non-neonic treatment that can be applied to the inside perimeter of an apartment. The treatment is diatomaceous earth, a dust made from fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. Researchers said this dust has been used to control pests for more than a century. It clings to the bed bugs as they walk through it, absorbs moisture, and kills them via dehydration.

“We treat the perimeter of the apartment to isolate infestations in one unit and not allow them to spread. It is a lot less expensive to treat one apartment than every unit in the building,” said Dini Miller, a professor of entomology at Virginia Tech.

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

Announcement: Bedbug Genome Assembled

Bed_Bugs_CommentarayScientists have assembled the first complete genome of bedbugs, which existed in some form even before humans were around to invent beds.

February 2, 2016 | by Elizabeth Kolbert | The New Yorker

In the great contest that is life, the common bedbug, Cimex lectularius, qualifies as a winner. This is true not just in the Donald Trumpian sense of being extremely difficult to get rid of but in the long-term evolutionary sense of surviving multiple geological epochs. A creature that looked very much like a bedbug was scuttling around during the time of the dinosaurs; a sort of proto-bedbug has been found in amber that’s almost a hundred million years old. It’s not clear what that bug fed on, but it’s believed that long before modern humans—and therefore beds—existed, Cimex lectularius sucked on bats’ blood. When humans took to living in caves, bedbugs descended from the bats and began feeding on people. (There are still bedbugs that prefer bats, and scientists have proposed that the lineage that prefers humans is in the process of becoming a separate species.)

Today, researchers from the American Museum of Natural History and Weill Cornell Medicine announced that they had assembled the complete genome of Cimex lectularius. The same team is working on the cockroach genome; both projects are part of an effort to better understand so-called “living fossils.” A paper on the bedbug genome is appearing today in the journal Nature Communications.

“Bedbugs are one of New York City’s most iconic living fossils,” George Amato, one of the paper’s authors and the director of the museum’s Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics, noted. The bedbug genome turns out to consist of almost seven hundred million base pairs. This is significantly larger than the fruit-fly genome (a hundred and twenty million base pairs), but not nearly as large as the locust genome (six billion base pairs). In addition to sequencing the bedbug’s genome, the researchers also looked at gene expression over the bug’s life cycle, which spans five instar stages. From this, they concluded that the “first blood meal of the bedbug is the most dynamic period of the bedbug’s transcriptional activity.”

Bedbugs are so-called true bugs. Members of this group also include cicadas, aphids, and leafhoppers, and all share a common arrangement of mouthparts. As anyone who has suffered an infestation knows, bedbugs use their mouthparts, or proboscises, to seek out blood vessels. Then they inject anticoagulants into their victims, to prevent themselves from, in effect, choking. The researchers found that bedbugs possess several classes of genes that code for anticoagulant proteins, including for proteins usually associated with snake venom. This doesn’t mean that bedbugs are any more closely related to snakes than other insects, just that they’ve come up with some of the same strategies.

“What we’re really finding is a structural motif—something about the sequence of amino acids that is probably involved in preventing blood from clotting in the same way a snake venom protein is, but doesn’t share an evolutionary history,” Mark Siddall, another author of the paper and a curator at the Museum of Natural History, explained.

The ancient Greeks were already complaining about bedbugs in the fifth century B.C.; references to bedbugs appear in Aristophanes and then in Aristotle. The bugs seem to have travelled with humans along ancient trade routes; by the seventh century A.D., they were in China, and by the eleventh century in Germany. From Europe, bedbugs migrated to North America and Australia with the colonists.

Bedbugs suffered a population crash in the mid-twentieth century, with the introduction of pesticides like D.D.T. But they have since evolved resistance to many of the chemicals used against them, and their numbers have roared—or, if you prefer, snuck—back up. A recent study by researchers at Virginia Tech and New Mexico State University found that bedbugs have already evolved resistance to neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides that has been in use for only twenty years or so. (The study shows that it takes something like five hundred times the amount of neonicotinoids to kill bedbugs from populations that have been exposed to the chemicals as it takes to kill bugs from populations that have never been exposed.) The researchers who put together the bedbug genome identified several genes that may be involved in pesticide resistance; this information could potentially be used to create more effective bug killers.

“It turns a light on for people to begin in a logical way to explore these areas that we’ve identified,” Amato said.

By combining the information from the genome with information from DNA swabs taken from New York City subway stations, the researchers were also able to map relationships among the city’s bedbug populations. This effort suggests that even bedbugs have a hard time getting across Manhattan.

“We found more north-south connectivity for the bedbugs than we found east-west,” Siddall observed. “And that’s reflecting what we already know to be true.”

Trending today: #Bedbugs are developing a strong resistance to most common insecticides

February 2, 2016 | by Ryan Biek | Newsy

Bedbugs are reportedly building up a strong resistance to some of the most powerful insecticides due to overuse, which means we might need to turn to non-chemical solutions to get rid of them.

Researchers from Virginia Tech and New Mexico State University tested the most common class of insecticide called neonicotinoids, or neonics, which is often combined with pyrethroids in commercial treatments for bedbugs.

Bedbugs are developing a strong resistance to most common insecticides photo

They took a group of bedbugs that came from homes in Ohio and Michigan, which had previously been exposed to neonics, and compared those bedbugs to a population that has been kept in isolation for 30 years, before the insecticide was used.

A third group of bedbugs that was resistant to pyrethroids but never exposed to neonics was also included in the study.

Depending on the specific types of neonic tested, the Ohio and Michigan bedbugs were hundreds to tens of thousands of times more resistant than the isolated group.

The third group’s results were in the middle: more resistant than the isolated group but less resistant than the Ohio and Michigan bedbugs.

Because that third group had never been exposed to neonics, the researchers believe the bedbugs may have a pre-existing resistance mechanism.

The researchers said more non-chemical methods need to be used to combat bedbug infestations. However, they noted the most resistant bedbugs in the study only came from two areas, and not all of the U.S. may be facing this level of resistance.

Bed Bugs in the US have developed extreme tolerance to popular insecticides … Uh oh. So why use them?

VA_Tech_BedBugJanuary 29, 2016 | by Peter Dockrill | Science Alert

Scientists have discovered that popular chemicals used to eradicate the common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) may have become virtually ineffective, as the insects have developed extremely high levels of resistance to the poisons.

According to the researchers, their study is the first to demonstrate that overuse of certain insecticides has fuelled bed bugs’ resistance mechanisms, and it could mean that we need to develop new ways of controlling or eliminating the pests.

“While we all want a powerful tool to fight bed bug infestations, what we are using as a chemical intervention is not working as effectively it was designed and, in turn, people are spending a lot of money on products that aren’t working,” said entomologist Troy Anderson from Virginia Tech.

To examine whether a commonly used class of insecticides called neonicotinoids (aka neonics) were doing their job, the researchers compared bed bugs that had been exposed to the chemicals with a colony of isolated insects that hadn’t.

The team collected exposed bed bugs from houses in two US cities – Cincinnati and Michigan – and sourced the unexposed insects from a laboratory colony that had been kept in isolation from before the insecticide was used (some 30 years ago).

They found dramatically different levels of resistance to neonicotinoids depending on the history of exposure. It took just 0.3 nanograms of a neonicotinoid called acetamiprid to kill 50 percent of bed bugs from the isolated colony, but required more than 10,000 nanograms to kill 50 percent of the insects from Michigan and Cincinnati.

For another chemical called imidacloprid, 2.3 nanograms killed 50 percent of the isolated bed bugs, but it took 1,064 nanograms and 365 nanograms to kill half the Michigan and Cincinnati populations, respectively.

All up, the exposed bugs taken from homes demonstrated between 163 and 33,333 times the resistance to four types of neonicotinoids. A third population of bed bugs that hadn’t been exposed to neonicotinoids since 2008 showed moderate levels of resistance in the tests.

According to the researchers, when bed bugs are exposed to insecticides, they produce detoxifying enzymes to counter the poisons, which can clearly become quite powerful in negating the effects of neonicotinoids.

The findings, reported in the Journal of Medical Entymology, don’t mean that bugs all over the US or the rest of the world would have developed equal levels of resistance to those extracted from Michigan and Cincinnati, but they do suggest that insects with exposure to insecticides are getting better at resisting them – and in some cases, by a dramatic degree.

“We need to emphasise that we need to use different tools – we can’t depend totally on chemicals. We need to incorporate other alternatives,” Alvaro Romero, one of the researchers from New Mexico State University, told Matt McGrath at the BBC.

Romero says non-chemical solutions currently being looked at by the pest control industry include heat, vapour, and encasement methods of killing bed bugs, but he also acknowledges there’s no quick fix to the resistance phenomenon they’ve discovered.

[Heat, vapour and encasement methods of killing bed bugs DO NOT WORK.  Bed bugs scatter and hide and can stay undercover for 12 months without eating – only to return in full force.  ~A. Steiner~]

“It’s a very complex problem and we are going to have bed bugs for many years because of this problem with insecticides,” Romero told the BBC, “and then there is a social context that makes eradication and control very difficult.”

SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

Rise of the SUPER PESTS: Bed Bugs are resistant to common insecticides. Use of non-chemical methods need to be considered to eradicate Bed Bugs.

  • Scientists tested resistance of four populations to neonicotinoids 
  • They found bugs in Michigan and Cincinnati were resistant to certain types 
  • This means sprays used to kill the bugs aren’t very effective
  • Rise in infestations blamed on travelling, as bugs hitch a ride on clothes

January 28, 2016 | by Sarah Griffiths | MailOnline

They live in the cracks and crevices of beds and crawl out a night to suck blood by detecting our body heat and carbon dioxide.

Now the much loathed bed bug is threatening to become even more of a pest because it is resistant to a common insecticide, scientists warn.

Exotic holidays have been blamed for the recent resurgence of bed bugs in homes as they hitch a ride on clothing or in luggage.

The blood-sucking bed bug (pictured) that's attracted to our body heat and carbon dioxide is threatening to become even more of a pest because it is resistant to a common insecticide, scientists warn.

The blood-sucking bed bug (pictured) that’s attracted to our body heat and carbon dioxide is threatening to become even more of a pest because it is resistant to a common insecticide, scientists warn.

The research has found the parasites have developed a tolerance to neonicotinoids, or neonics, because of their widespread use.

“people are spending a lot of money on products that aren’t working”

It is the first study to show the overuse of certain insecticides has led to an increased resistance to the compounds, making them much less effective than advertised.

In the US alone, millions of dollars are spent on the most widely used commercial chemicals to kill bedbugs, but their overuse has led to an increased resistance to the compounds.

Assistant professor Troy Anderson, from Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences said: ‘While we all want a powerful tool to fight bed bug infestations, what we are using as a chemical intervention is not working as effectively it was designed and, in turn, people are spending a lot of money on products that aren’t working.

New research has found the parasites have developed a tolerance to neonicotinoids, or neonics, because of their widespread use. A stock image of  fumigation is pictured

New research has found the parasites have developed a tolerance to neonicotinoids, or neonics, because of their widespread use. A stock image of fumigation is pictured.

WHERE INFESTATIONS BEGIN

In 2014, genetic tests revealed that a single undetected pregnant bed bug is all it takes to start an entire infestation.

A DNA study at Sheffield University showed colonies of bed bugs come from a common ancestor or a few of the female bed bugs.

The pregnant bed bug could rapidly create a colony of thousands that feed on humans.

Researchers told the BBC that bed bugs’ ability to generate a new colony from such small numbers might be a ‘clue to their recent success’.

‘If you just miss one, they can grow very quickly,’ Professor Roger Butlin said, adding it takes only a few weeks for this to happen.

Bed bugs are capable of surviving without feeding for a month as they wait for a human.

In the late 1880s, an estimated 75 per cent of households were affected, but by the outbreak of World War II, that figure had dwindled to 25 per cent,

Their recent resurgence has been blamed by some experts on resistance to commonly used insecticides and international travel.

‘Unfortunately, the insecticides we were hoping would help solve some of our bed bug problems are no longer as effective as they used to be, so we need to re-evaluate some of our strategies for fighting them.’

Products developed to eradicate infestations in recent years combine both neonics with pyrethroids – another class of insecticide.

Assistant Professor Dr Alvaro Romero from New Mexico State University added: ‘If resistance is detected, products with different modes of action need to be considered, along with the use of non-chemical methods.

‘Companies need to 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.

‘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.’

The study, published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, is the first to confirm the resistance.

Researchers collected bed bugs from homes in Cincinnati and Michigan and exposed them to four different neonics: acetamiprid, dinotefuran, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.

In the US alone, millions of dollars are spent on the most widely used commercial chemicals to kill bedbugs (microscopic image shown) but their overuse has led to an increased resistance to the compounds.

They also used the chemicals on a bed bug colony kept free of insecticide exposure for more than 30 years and to a pyrethroid-resistant population from Jersey City that had not been exposed to neonics since they were collected in 2008.

Those that hadn’t been exposed to the neonics died after contact with very small amounts of the pesticide, while the Jersey City bed bugs showed moderate resistance to acetamiprid and dinotefuran, but not to imidacloprid or thiamethoxam.

The Jersey City colony’s resistance could be due to pre-existing resistance mechanisms.

When exposed to insecticides, bed bugs produce ‘detoxifying enzymes’ to counter them.

Researchers collected bed bugs from homes in Cincinnati and Michigan and exposed them to four different neonics - acetamiprid, dinotefuran, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. A stock image of fumegation is shown

Researchers collected bed bugs from homes in Cincinnati and Michigan and exposed them to four different neonics – acetamiprid, dinotefuran, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam. A stock image of fumegation is shown

THE CHEMICALS AND BED BUGS

The levels of detoxifying enzymes in the Jersey City bed bugs were higher than those of the susceptible Harlan population.

The Michigan and Cincinnati bed bugs, which were collected after combinations of pyrethroids and neonicotinoids were introduced, had even higher levels of resistance to neonics.

It only took 0.3 nanograms of acetamiprid to kill 50% of the non-resistant bed bugs from Dr Harlan’s lab, but it took more than 10,000 nanograms to kill 50% of the Michigan and Cincinnati bed bugs.

Just 2.3 nanograms of imidacloprid was enough to kill 50% t of the Harlan bed bugs, but it took 1,064 and 365 nanograms to kill the Michigan and Cincinnati bed bugs.

The numbers were similar for dinotefuran and thiamethoxam.

Compared to the Harlan control group, the Michigan bed bugs 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.

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

The levels of detoxifying enzymes in the Jersey City bed bugs were higher than those of the susceptible Harlan population.

Professor Romero explained: ‘Elevated levels of detoxifying enzymes induced by other classes of insecticides might affect the performance of newer insecticides.’

The Michigan and Cincinnati bed bugs, which were collected after combinations of pyrethroids and neonicotinoids were introduced, had even higher levels of resistance to neonics.

It only took 0.3 nanograms of acetamiprid to kill 50 per cent of the non-resistant bed bugs from Dr Harlan’s lab, but it took more than 10,000 nanograms to kill 50 per cent of the Michigan and Cincinnati bed bugs.

Just 2.3 nanograms of imidacloprid was enough to kill 50 per cent of the Harlan bed bugs, but it took 1,064 and 365 nanograms to kill the Michigan and Cincinnati bed bugs, respectively.

The numbers were similar for dinotefuran and thiamethoxam.

Compared to the Harlan control group, the Michigan bed bugs 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.

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

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!

Best Way to Search Hotel Room for BedBugs -Including that ‘Upscale Boutique’ Hotel Room. “They’re [BedBugs] Everywhere” According to University of Maine Video.

January 27, 2016 | By Greg Keraghosian, Associate Travel Editor | Yahoo

Bedbugs aren’t a big concern when you travel … unless you get them. Then they’re a flesh-biting nightmare, and they won’t just ruin your trip — they can ruin your life for months afterward if they hitch a ride home with you.

Don’t think you’ll find them only in a two-bit motel — there are well-documented cases of tourists having their upscale hotel getaways ruined by massive bedbug bites. And it’s no use traveling to a region that’s bedbug-free: The data says they can be found all over the U.S.

What’s the best way to weed out these tiny critters? We love this video demonstration from the University of Maine, in which Jim Dill, an expert with a sweet New England accent, shows us how to look for bedbugs upon first checking into a hotel.

We combine his tips along with some other expert advice into a step-by-step guide for avoiding a bedbug-infested holiday:

Put your bags in the tub, away from the luggage rack

Bedbugs can hide in luggage racks too. (Photo: Getty Images)

This should be the first thing you do after checking in, and it’s often not mentioned. While a luggage rack may be away from the bed and elevated, bedbugs could easily be hiding out within the fabric of the straps. To be extra safe, put your bags in the bathroom tub, which bedbugs are unlikely to climb into.

Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association, also says you could leave your bags at the door when you first check in: “Just don’t unpack anything until you’ve checked for bedbugs,” she told Yahoo Travel.

Start your inspection by checking the headboard

hotel_room.jpg

Bedbugs don’t stray far from the bed — as Dill says, their range is about 20 feet away from their host — but they’re sneaky and can play hide-and-seek better than any 5-year-old. They’re also small and flat (when they haven’t fed): The reddish-brown adults are about the size of an apple seed, and the white eggs are the size of a pinhead. So look closely.

Take a flashlight (if you have a smartphone, it probably has one) and get a good look at the headboard, which is a common hiding spot, and don’t forget to look in the creases.

“Many people overlook the headboard because it can be difficult to remove from the wall to examine it,” Louis N. Sorkin, BCE, a consulting entomologist with Entsult Associates, told Yahoo Travel.

And just to digress for a minute, Sorkin should know bedbugs well — he stores thousands of them at home for study and keeps them alive by letting them feed on him, since he doesn’t react adversely to bites. Chuck Norris has nothing on Louis N. Sorkin.

Check the piping of the mattress

mattress

The crevices of a mattress’s piping make for a great bedbug hideout, so take off the sheets and look closely at the top and bottom parts.

Check the mattress or mattress pad for blood spots or poop

bed_bug_mattress_pad.jpg

We know, this isn’t the most romantic way to begin a hotel stay, but other than seeing the bugs themselves, this is the best giveaway of whether any bedbugs have been feeding recently. The bloodstains will be red, and the bugs’ poop will look like tiny black specks.

Check the nearby drawers and nightstand

These make for another nice, dark hiding spot for bedbugs. Don’t just look on the corners of the inside — to be really thorough, take the drawers out from the nightstand and look under them too.

Check all other prime hiding spots

This could include the aforementioned luggage rack, bed frame, picture frames, and anything else within a few feet of the bed.

What if, gasp, you find bedbugs when you check in?

What a typical bedbug looks like.

I’ll share a semi-embarrassing story: Last year I stayed at a boutique hotel in British Columbia, and minutes after checking in I saw some apple-seed-size, orange-brown bugs on the window and the windowsill.

So I did what any sane person would do: I freaked out, zipped up the bags I had placed on the floor, and ran down to the front desk. To the hotel’s credit, the guy working there immediately came up to my room to check on the problem. Which, it turns out, was no problem — they were just a species of ladybug I’d never seen (Canadians!). But he examined the mattress and the room just to be sure.

Provided what you found are in fact bedbugs, notify the front desk immediately. It’s probably OK to ask for another room in the hotel, but make sure it’s not next door or right above or below (and check that room thoroughly too).

What if, double gasp, you wake up the next morning with bedbugs?

This is the scarier scenario, because you don’t know where the bugs might be in your stuff, and you must make sure they don’t leave with you. Since the hotel is going to owe you one, insist that it launder your clothes immediately. And washing them isn’t enough: Mannes of the NPMA advises putting all fabric in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes and steaming your luggage.

To be extra safe, before returning home place all your garments in a vacuum-sealed bag and dry them again.

Bonus question: Could bedbugs hide on your pets?

Both Mannes and Sorkin said this is an unlikely scenario, but Sorkin added that it’s not impossible.

“There are exceptions where infestations have been allowed to proliferate due to many reasons,” he said. “Hotel staff haven’t been given proper education. I’ve seen infestations in homes where people and pet dogs and cats both had been fed upon over many months or longer.”

So just to be safe, give Checkers a good look before you check out.

Bonus question No. 2: How can I research if a hotel has bedbugs?

There are some websites where anonymous guests can report bedbug infestations at certain hotels, such as BedBugs.net and the Bedbug Registry. But there’s no way to be sure if the reports are accurate, and ultimately no hotel is 100 percent safe from bedbugs because of how easily they stow away with guests. Your best bet is to examine the room yourself.

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

The Hidden Threat: The Kissing Bug

bugcut-2400

These seven tropical diseases are closer to home than you think. Lurking in your Dallas-area backyard is Chagas disease, caused by a parasite that infects more than 300,000 Americans. The disease can cause heart failure and death in humans and dogs and is often missed by doctors.

Or maybe you live near a typhus hot spot such as Houston? Spread by rat-biting fleas, typhus causes headaches, fever, chills and a rash.

Farther north, close to the Oklahoma border, Texans have been plagued by skin boils and sores caused by a disease called leishmaniasis — also known as the Baghdad boil. Many have suffered for years because doctors have misdiagnosed them with staph infections and given them the wrong treatment.

You’ve already heard of West Nile virus, another tropical disease that has strong-armed its way into Texas. West Nile virus has infected close to 5,000 Texans since 2002. But the real number of humans infected is probably 25,000, since about 80 percent of people who are infected don’t show symptoms.

Now get ready to meet two new tropical diseases on their way to you. Dengue and chikungunya are viruses spread by mosquitoes. Common in the Caribbean and South America, they’re being lured to the U.S. by a combination of rising temperatures and poverty.

Don’t expect your doctor to save you from these tropical diseases. Medical students spend a few days learning about this group of infections, and studies show that many health care providers in Texas and the U.S. are unaware that these infections are here or on their way.

Americans living with diseases such as Chagas can go undiagnosed for many years, by which time the infection can cause irreversible damage to the heart.

Dr. Seema Yasmin’s reporting on this project was undertaken while she was a National Health Journalism Fellow at the University of Southern California’s Center for Health Journalism. Yasmin, a physician and former CDC epidemiologist, is a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Not just tropical

Kissing Bug

Chagas disease

About: A parasite spread by the blood-sucking kissing bug — so-called because the bug likes to bite us on the face around the lips and eyes. Kissing bugs poop where they eat, and when we scratch the bite, we rub the poop and the parasite into our skin. About a third of people infected with the parasite, called Trypanosoma cruzi, develop heart disease. One in 10 suffer digestive or nerve issues.

 

Spread by: The dime-sized kissing bug, which lives in rats’ nests and wood piles and in the nooks of furniture and cracks in homes.

 

Symptoms: Swollen eyelids, breathing problems, chest pain, heart failure, death.

 

Testing: Blood test.

Treatment: Anti-parasitic drugs that can be 60 percent to 85 percent effective if given early.

 

Illustrations by Troy Oxford/The Dallas Morning News

Report: The bed bug has become insecticide resistant

Not picky: Head lice along with bedbugs are becoming tough to exterminate.

Not picky: Head lice along with bedbugs are becoming tough to exterminate.

Did you hear about the two bed bugs that met in the mattress? They were married in the spring.

It’s an Ellen DeGeneres joke but if you have ever been a victim of cimex lectularius and rows of terrible itching bites you’ll know it’s no laughing matter.

A new study to be published early in the new year conducted by the Department of Medical Entomology, Westmead Hospital and the University of Sydney reveals that the common bed bug in NSW has developed resistance to insecticides.

Report co-author Cameron Webb, medical entomologist with University of Sydney and NSW Health Pathology, says bed bugs don’t discriminate about where they set up residence and that includes some top Sydney hotels.

“It doesn’t matter to the bed bug whether it is a five star hotel or a backpacker’s hostel, they still arrive in people’s belongings and set up camp,” he said. “The financial implications are far greater for the five star hotel.

“We know there has been evidence of a resurgence in bed bugs over the last decade and this paper shows that the local Sydney strains are resistant to insecticides which explains that resurgence.”

The research compared the Sydney strain to a strain susceptible to insecticides. The study found that to exterminate the Sydney bed bug compared to the susceptible strain it required 250 times as much of the insecticide bendiocarb, 370,000 times as much deltamethrin and 1,235 million times as much permethrin.

It concluded: “The inability to control bed bugs with existing products and insecticides will necessitate a reconsideration of control methodologies and product registration processes employed against this resurgent pest. This research has significant operational implications for bed bug control and the registration process of new products in Australia.”

Mr Webb said a similar problem existed with head lice with reports that they are also gaining resistance to some of the commonly used insecticides but more research was needed.

“When you are using products that contain an insecticide it provides an opportunity for insecticide resistance to develop inside the headlice populations,” he said.

NSW Health advice is to put a conditioner on the hair and comb it with a headlice comb but he said it was easy to miss eggs and for the condition to spread in schools, especially in young girls.

The bed bug resurgence is also happening in the US and features in a book Unnatural Selection just published here by Emily Monosson an American environmental toxicologist.

She says antibiotics, pesticides and pollution are all exerting intense selection pressure on all manner of things including gonorrhea (new strains are more easily spread and resist treatment even with strong antibiotics) as well as bed bugs, different varieties of flu, and weeds in agriculture showing resistance to pesticides.

She writes of bed bugs “We almost had them beat only to face a pest that has managed to regroup and return with better defenses. Yet even those pests we wish to eradicate persist, too many others never slated for destruction – bees, damsel flies, frogs and songbirds –face extermination, if not extinction.”

“We live in dangerous times with infectious diseases rapidly evolving beyond our medical reach returning us to a pre-antibiotic age.”

“We beat life back with our drugs, pesticides and pollutants, but life responds. It evolves.”

In the US she says seven million pounds of antibiotics are tossed used. The appetite in Australia is similar. The National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey released in November found 30 per cent of prescriptions were deemed to be inappropriate mainly due to unnecessary use of antimicrobials and incorrect duration of treatment.

Data on the amount of pesticides used in Australia is not publicly available.

Sydney ~Tim Barlass~ December 28, 2014

“Child was coming to school covered in bedbug bites” said school Nurse to OSU Entomologist for HELP

Columbus_Dispatch

Battle with bedbugs in central Ohio a losing fight so far

By Rita Price  | October 14, 2015  
Haven’t heard much about bedbugs lately? No news isn’t good news.

Organizers of the 8th Annual Central Ohio Bed Bug Task Force Summit, which takes place on Friday, say the blood suckers are still on a roll here.

“You would think that after all of this time that we’d be making remarkable headway, but we’re not,” said Susan Jones, an Ohio State University entomologist and task-force member.

“We’re going into our second decade of bedbug problems, and it’s no better.”

While infestations might be less likely to draw media attention these days, Jones said, they’re just as devastating for the hundreds of families, businesses and public agencies struggling to get rid of the tenacious pests.

The summit aims to provide the latest information in the battle. There are sessions on bedbug detection, professional extermination, do-it-yourself treatment, landlord and tenant responsibilities, research and reporting, as well as a general question-and-answer segment.

The summit, which starts at 9 a.m. and runs until 4:15 p.m. at the Northland Performing Arts Center, 4411 Tamarack Blvd., is free and open to the public.

Eradication can be both labor-intensive and expensive, so the poor, elderly and people with disabilities are most likely to suffer from long-term infestations, experts say. Bedbugs also are notoriously difficult to remove from multiunit high-rises and housing complexes because they travel easily among homes.

“From our perspective, it continues to be a problem,” said Mitzi Kline, spokeswoman for Franklin County Public Health.

Kline said the agency tracks reported landlord-tenant disputes over bedbugs but doesn’t have a tally on overall infestations. The city of Columbus, meanwhile, receives some bedbug complaints through its code-enforcement division.

Scores of others go directly to exterminating companies. The city was No. 3 on the latest list from Orkin, which ranks U.S. metro areas by the number of bedbug treatments the company performs there.

“It does still seem to be a growing problem that, unfortunately, some people have gotten used to,” said Terri O’Connor, a supervisor with the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging.

She and Jones lamented the fact that low- and middle-income families can’t get assistance to pay for extermination, which can cost $1,000 or more. And social-service agencies are not equipped to perform the often-extensive prep work that needs to be done to ensure treatment success.

“We’re still in the same situation where there are no public monies,” Jones said. “People who have bedbugs are a voiceless population. They don’t know who to turn to, where to turn, and they don’t get consistent answers.”

She said a school nurse called her last week to say that a child was coming to school covered in bedbug bites. The nurse wanted Jones to direct her to public resources that could help the family.

“And I had to say, ‘There are none,’  ” Jones said. “There is no good news.”

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Information and Perspectives on Bed Bug Prevention, Protection and Safety