Messing with BedBugs’ Genes Could Carry Other Risks?

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

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photo:  Bluejake/Sara Bibi/Gothamist

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

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

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

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

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

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

Genome of BedBug shows close relationships to Kissing Bug, one of several vectors for deadly Chagas disease, and the body louse. Both have tight associations with humans.

February 2, 2016 | News from Weill Cornell Medical College

Researchers Sequence First Bedbug Genome.  Scientists have assembled the first complete genome of one of humanity’s oldest and least-loved companions: the bedbug. The new work, led by researchers at the American Museum of Natural History and Weill Cornell Medicine, and published Feb. 2 in Nature Communications, could help combat pesticide resistance in the unwelcome parasite. The data also provides a rich genetic resource for mapping bedbug activity in human hosts and in cities, including subways.

male and female bedbugs – both fed and unfed – comparison with apple seeds

“Bedbugs are one of New York City’s most iconic living fossils, along with cockroaches, meaning that their outward appearance has hardly changed throughout their long lineage,” said one of the paper’s corresponding authors Dr. George Amato, director of the museum’s Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics. “But despite their static look, we know that they continue to evolve, mostly in ways that make it harder for humans to dissociate with them. This work gives us the genetic basis to explore the bedbug’s basic biology and its adaptation to dense human environments.”

The common bedbug (Cimex lectularius) has been coupled with humans for thousands of years. This species is found in temperate regions and prefers to feed on human blood. In recent decades, the prevalence of heated homes and global air travel has accelerated infestations in urban areas, where bedbugs have constant access to blood meals and opportunities to migrate to new hosts. A resurgence in bedbug infestations since the late 1990s is largely associated with the evolution of the insects’ resistance to known pesticides, many of which are not suitable for indoor application.

“Bedbugs all but vanished from human lives in the 1940s because of the widespread use of DDT, but unfortunately, overuse contributed to resistance issues quite soon after that in bedbugs and other insect pests,” said Louis Sorkin, an author on the paper and a senior scientific assistant in the Museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology. “Today, a very high percentage of bedbugs have genetic mutations that make them resistant to the insecticides that were commonly used to battle these urban pests. This makes the control of bedbugs extremely labor intensive.”

The researchers extracted DNA and RNA from preserved and living collections, including samples from a population that was first collected in 1973 and has been maintained by museum staff members since then. RNA was sampled from males and females representing each of the bug’s six life stages, before and after blood meals, in order to paint a full picture of the bedbug genome.

When compared with 20 other arthropod genomes, the genome of the common bedbug shows close relationships to the kissing bug (Rhodnius prolixus), one of several vectors for Chagas disease, and the body louse (Pediculus humanus), which both have tight associations with humans.

Click here to read complete article.

 

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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.

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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.”

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.”

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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!

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.

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Deadly Chagas Disease-Spreading ‘Kissing Bug/Love Bug’ In U.S. Both Bugs are cousins to the Bed Bug.

“Kissing bugs” are now carrying Chagas in the U.S.

By Madison Burke | November 5, 2014

If you’re one of the people freaked out by Ebola, here’s another thing to potentially freak out about. “Kissing bugs” may be spreading a rare disease in the U.S.

Trypanosoma cruzi, or “kissing bugs” as they’re better known, crawl on people’s faces at night and suck their blood.

And there’s more. The bugs are spreading a disease called Chagas, which can lead to heart problems and intestinal complications.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  says Chagas occurs primarily in rural areas of Latin America and in recent years has been showing its face in the U.S.

While much of the outbreak in Latin America has to do with the kissing bugs, the CDC believes most U.S. cases occur from a patient visiting an affected country or from mother-to-baby, blood transfusions and organ transplants.

However, researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston found 36 percent of the 17 Texas blood donors who tested positive for Chagas appeared to have contracted it from the kissing bugs. The team also found several bugs in the area carrying the disease, although no direct correlation has been made.

Chagas researcher Nolan Garcia said, “Physicians should consider Chagas when patients have swelling and enlargement of the heart not caused by high blood pressure, diabetes or other causes, even if they do not have a history of travel.”

The World Health Organization says Chagas presents in two phases. In the acute phase, a large amount of parasites circulate in the blood. Some people show no symptoms at all, while others may have fever, headache and chest pains along with other symptoms.

In the chronic phase, the parasites are mainly in the heart and digestive muscle. Around 30% of patients suffer from a heart disorder and 10% suffer from a digestive disorder.

When discovered early, Chagas can be treated [but not cured] with medication. As with most illnesses, doctors say the earlier you catch it the better.

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Denver – Don’t let the bed bugs bite!

January 15, 2016 | by Nancy Melear | FOX 31

If you wake up in the middle of the night with the horrifying feeling of your skin (literally) crawling, you might want to break out the magnifying glass:  it was just announced that Denver is #11 on Terminix’s most bed bug-infested city list.  What’s even scarier though, is the fact that bed bugs aren’t just waiting for you in your bed: they’re in the dresser where you keep your clothes, the bag you take to work, the bus you ride downtown and the conference room of your first meeting.

It’s a complete myth that bed bugs only thrive in mattresses!

 #SayNOtoPesticides!

MARYLAND: WORKPLACE POISONED PESTICIDES SPRAYED 2X [CANCER] — AND FAILED TO ERADICATE BED BUGS!

BALTIMORE (AP) — About 150 state employees are getting a paid week off because of a bedbug infestation in the state office complex – Maryland Comptroller’s Office.    Entire fourth floor shut down for remainder of week while DEADLY PESTICIDE CHEMICALS are sprayed

Officials say workers from the comptroller’s office were sent home after officials discovered evidence Tuesday that two previous sprayings of bedbugs had failed to eradicate the insects.

Spokesman Andrew Friedson says the issue was first brought to the attention of the comptroller on Oct. 1.  Friedson says employees were sent home that day and returned the next after an overnight spraying.

After rediscovering bugs this week, workers were once again sent home on paid leave.

The General Services Department, which serves as the landlord for the building, says that the infestation appears to be confined to the comptroller’s office.

Employees could return to work as soon as Monday.

“We acted as quickly as possible,” said Andrew Friedson, a spokesman for Comptroller Peter Franchot (D). “We’re trying as best we can to provide a comfortable work environment for our employees.”

Friedson said the temporary closure of the office will affect 150 employees who work for the comptroller’s compliance and collections program. They were released from work on Wednesday and are expected to return to Monday, after the state Department of General Services, which operates the building, gets rid of the bugs.

Friedson said because of the confidential nature of the employees’ work they can not telecommute.  Instead, they will receive paid leave. The closure of the offices was first reported in The Daily Record.

“They are bringing in dogs that sniff out bed bugs,” Friedson said Wednesday. He said this is the second time the offices will be treated for bedbugs.

Workers reported seeing bedbugs on Oct. 1 and were sent home for the day, Friedson said.

“THIS WILL BE THE 3RD TIME BUILDING WAS TREATED FOR BED BUGS – If I worked in that building I would definitely NOT want to go back to work there on Monday esp. after ALL that has been reported of Terminix and Orkin using poisonous PESTICIDES to get rid of bed bugs [brain damage].”