Experts Concerned As ‘Bed Bug Epidemic’ Explodes Across The Country

By Tanya |

Flickr – British Pest Control Association

When it comes to creepy crawlies, there is almost nothing worse then bed bugs. As soon as you even hear the term “bed bugs” you get this itchy feeling all over your skin.

Unfortunately we aren’t about to make you feel much better, because bed bugs are actually on the rise.

I know, I’m not happy about it either, but this is where we are. Darryl Franke, owner of SOS Pest Control in Kansas City spoke with KMOV4 and revealed that the increase is staggering.

“In 2002 I think we did three jobs. In 2004 we did 20. We did 900 last year.”

The problem is that it’s not just that bed bugs are in beds, they are showing up all over the place including movie theaters, airports, and libraries.

It keeps getting worse too, not only are they infecting all kinds of places, they are extremely difficult to kill. Franke explained that “they’re very resistant to insecticides naturally,” which means that it takes a lot of effort to get rid of them.

The method that Franke claims works the best for bed bugs is actually heat, but obviously that’s not easy to do.

Researchers have actually been looking into the what they have referred to as the bed bug epidemic, claiming that the increase that apparently started in 2004. They wanted to discover the best ways to eradicate the pests, and what needed to be done to stop this so-called epidemic from spreading any further.

A few states have been seeing their infestation levels rise faster than others, however it’s reported that numbers are going up across the country. But according to the study and the Bed-Bug Organization, “infestations [have] reached epidemic levels in some states such as New York, Ohio, Florida, and California.”

It is suspected that this rise is influenced by the fact that bed bugs have become resistant to the current pest chemicals, and because they can be carried from place to place on clothing and other soft materials like furniture, they spread easily as people travel, both globally and locally.

Experts believe that in order to eradicate the pests, researchers are going to need to develop new pesticides that can take out the bed bugs once and for all.

If you have bed bugs in your home, you need to deal with it as soon as possible. Because not only will their numbers increase over time, but you will also be responsible for transporting the bugs with you everywhere you go, therefore spreading the infestation.

How can you tell if you have bed bugs?

  1. Rust-colored or red stains on soft surfaces like mattresses and couches. Look in the corners and dark areas to find these “feeding areas.” The red marks are usually either marks of squished bugs, or of live bugs “voiding remains” so they have room to eat more.
  2. Dark spots on soft surfaces, unlike the red stains, these are actually the bug’s feces. You’ll probably see both in the same areas.
  3. Eggs and shells they are small yellow shells, and it’s obviously scary because that means the numbers are growing.
  4. Live bugs may be hard to spot because they tend to be afraid of the light, but if you even see one bug, know that means there are hundreds you haven’t seen yet.
  5. Bug bites on your body will start showing up all over your arms, legs, neck, and even face. You’ll get annoying little scabs or bumps where they bite you and feed on your blood.

If you notice any of these things, then you should definitely call in an expert to get rid of them.

Source – KMOV4 / PHYS / OmicsOnline / ABC / EPA

Bedbug cases on the rise, pest control experts say

Emily Sinovic

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — Just the thought of bedbugs is enough to make most people’s skin crawl, but actually getting them in your house could be just as costly as it is uncomfortable; and cases are on the rise.

Darryl Franke, owner of SOS Pest Control in Kansas City, says bedbug business has become a huge part of his business, nearly doubling the volume of calls during the past few years.

“In 2002 I think we did three jobs. In 2004 we did 20. We did 900 last year,” Franke said.

bedbugs have been making headlines in Kansas City recently.

In 2018, bedbugs have been detected in movie theaters, the airport and, most recently, at the Shawnee branch of Johnson County Libraries. The library was shut down for 10 days to kill all the bugs and clear that branch of the pest.

It wasn’t cheap. The total price tag was $20,000.

Franke says bedbugs are one of the hardest bugs to kill.

He warns trying to take care of the problem yourself usually doesn’t work because the average hardware store pesticide doesn’t work.

“They’re very resistant to insecticides naturally,” Franke said.

One of the methods used to kill bugs is heat, essentially cooking and killing the bugs.

Franke says a two-bedroom home could run about $1,200.

Kansas City Health Department recently launched its new “Healthy Homes” initiative, to make sure renters don’t get stuck with the bill or feel like they’re stuck with the bugs.

One of the most important things you can do to stop the spread of bedbugs is look for the signs: tiny reddish black bugs and the itchy red bites they leave behind.


The Environmental Protection Agency provides a thorough checklist here.

You can find more information on the KCMO’s Healthy Homes program here.

Click here for more bedbug information from the Kansas Department of Health.

Major Foodmakers Sued After Studies Found Monsanto’s Poison In Food Products

Lawsuits are coming together against some of the biggest food makers in the United States after repeated studies have found unsafe levels of Monsanto’s glyphosate in their products. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, and it has been shown to cause cancer in studies. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this with Scott Hardy from Top Class Actions.

To learn more about the Quaker Oats class action lawsuit, visit topclassactions.com

Visit topclassactions.com to find out more about the General Mills class action lawsuit.

 

 

Transcript:

Farron Cousins: Recently studies came out showing that some of the most popular food items here in the United States and abroad are actually packed full of Monsanto’s glyphosate. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s blockbuster weed killer RoundUp, and now it’s found its way into the food chain. As new studies are showing just how prevalent this chemical is, and possibly that these corporations knew that it was in their food products, lawsuits are already beginning to emerge on behalf of consumers who are terrified of having this chemical in their body and what it could do to them.

Joining me now to talk about this is Scott Hardy from Top Class Action. Scott, thank you for being with us today.

Scott Hardy: Thank you Farron.

Farron Cousins: So this glyphosate, we’ve seen the big lawsuits about it from people who have used RoundUp, developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other kinds of diseases. One of those just hit a jury verdict for hundreds of millions. I believe it was reduced on appeal a little bit, or not appeal but on review. But now we’ve got the other angle here. Obviously if this stuff is being sprayed on the crops it’s going to get into the food. That’s where these new lawsuits are coming from right? People are actually finding this in common foods like Quaker Oats and Cheerios. Breakfast foods, foods we feed our kids are packed with this disgusting dangerous glyphosate chemical.

Scott Hardy: Yes that’s right. It was really shocking to see these class actions be filed. Looking at the history, I mean we were seeing more than 1,000 comments on the Cheerios class action. We’ve already gotten over 100 comments on the Quaker Oats class action of people that have been using Quaker Oats. It’s one of those things that people wake up, they make their oatmeal, they’re happy, but they’re finding that this glyphosate was actually being sprayed on the oats prior to actually being harvested. Then the General Mills and Quaker Oats aren’t washing the oats effectively enough to get all of the pesticide off, and so this is ending up in the food that we are feeding our children, we’re feeding our loved ones. That’s really scary when it’s recognized as a carcinogen. If I’m eating something that could cause me cancer, then dog gone it I want to know about it.

Farron Cousins: Absolutely. The biggest issue here too is that a lot of these foods are labeled as non-GMO. For those who aren’t familiar with it, one of the main reasons GMOs were even developed was that they could withstand being sprayed by glyphosate and some of these other harmful chemicals. When you see something that says non-GMO, your mind is immediately going to go to okay this is healthier, this is safer, it’s not packed with chemicals, they’re not spraying stuff all over it out in the fields. But even with for example the Quaker Oats here, it says non-GMO but if it was non-GMO you’re going to have a less likely chance of finding the glyphosate. Now there’s also a little bit of claims that this claim of being non-GMO is also false. They may also be popped with the mislabeling and false advertising here as well.

Scott Hardy: Right because we’re seeing when these manufacturers are using these claims saying this isn’t a genetically modified organism, these are healthy, give them to your kids. I don’t know a parent that hasn’t given their kids or Cheerios, or babies Honey Nut Cheerios. It’s just a right of passage. When you’re giving your kid a snack, they eat Cheerios. It’s really scary to think that your baby and your little child, your toddler, could be ingesting a pesticide due to the standards that General Mills and Quaker Oats are using when they’re processing these oats and they’re actually making these cereals.

Now I would like to know that my child’s eating a non-GMO product. I’m actually not that scared of having a GMO product though because science is good and it keeps us healthy, but when we’re seeing these claims that it’s non-GMO and we’re thinking that we’re getting something all natural and healthy, and then we’re tying that into a pesticide that could cause cancer. As you mentioned, we’ve been covering these RoundUp lawsuits for a long time now and seeing the people and the workers that are impacted. Well if these workers are getting cancers and they’re suffering from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, what’s going to happen to our kids long term if they’re actually ingesting this same pesticide that these workers are being exposed to.

Farron Cousins: One of the biggest issues here too that we’ve seen with it in the food products is that depending on how much they’ve put on these crops it may not even be possible to fully cleanse them. If it’s actually gotten into the plant and has become a part of it throughout the growth cycle, you can’t wash that off, you can’t cook it off, you can’t back it off. It’s a part of it. That’s one of the biggest issues that we have to deal with here, and that’s what people need to understand. There’s no amount of cooking you can do that’s going to get rid of all of the glyphosate in there. I know, we’ve had conflicting reports.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer said this is a probable human carcinogen. Meanwhile, our EPA here in the United States has literally just gone back and forth for almost three decades now saying yes it’s a carcinogen, no it’s not, yes it is, no it’s not. We’ve got a little bit of a conflict here, but that’s also because Monsanto and some of these other chemical giants out there, very powerful lobbying industries. But when you look at the independent studies, the ones that have not been influence in any way whatsoever by these corporations, they all tell us the same thing. That is that glyphosate will cause cancer and other debilitating diseases. I mean that’s what we’re looking at here. That’s what’s happening.

Scott Hardy: Right. Exactly. Then we do have the state of California, which has recognized glyphosate as a carcinogen. I think we’re going to see more recognition even though we’ve got Monsanto and other companies lobbying against calling it a carcinogen. The state of California has said yes, this is a carcinogen, yes this causes cancer. You can’t have these trials going through where you’ve got workers that are out in the fields getting cancer on these crops that are treated with it and not actually agree yes this definitely is causing cancer. The jury were to speak for themselves, let alone the independent studies that you mentioned.

Farron Cousins: Absolutely. I think it’s great you pointed that out. If the workers who are spraying this on your food or on the ingredients for your food are getting cancer, what do you think is going to happen if you continue ingesting it. It may not be as potent as what the workers are exposed to, but even in small doses over time the biopersistence of this could build up in the body and cause harm. The best thing people can do right now, go check out topclassactions.com. There is a link to both of these stories in the description of the video. Get more information on it. And for even more information on other issues that are important, subscribe to their newsletter. It is very important. This is news that consumers have to be aware of. Scott Hardy, topclassactions.com. Thanks for talking with us today.

Scott Hardy: Thank you Farron, appreciate your time.

More than a dozen sick from bed bug spray in NYC building

By Stephanie Pagones and Cedar Attanasio

 

More than a dozen people were sickened Thursday by fumes caused by an exterminator treating for bed bugs at a Lower Manhattan government building, authorities said.

The 17 stricken victims — some of whom were vomiting — had inhaled the noxious fumes shortly after 11 a.m. inside the David N. Dinkins Manhattan Municipal Building at 1 Centre Street, an FDNY spokesman said.

“We had people passing out and throwing up all over the place,” said a female employee of the Controller’s Office, Bureau of Accountancy, who asked that her name not be used.

She said the problem originated in her office, and that about half of her co-workers were made sick.

Of the 17 victims, 14 were treated at the scene. Three people were taken to NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital for further evaluation, the fire department spokesman said.

The exterminator was treating bed bugs that were discovered last week, police said.

“They’ve been exterminating but now they found more bugs Monday and Wednesday so they exterminated a lot,” the Bureau of Accountancy employee said.

It’s the second wave of pests to plague the office, according to employees.

The bed bugs were discovered in April, during an ongoing battle against mites that were discovered in September 2017.

“The mites and now the bed bugs,” said Gary, a city employee on same floor, who gave only his first name. “They exterminate and exterminate and it don’t do anything because they need to get rid of the rug.”

Bed bugs infest South Carolina courthouse for second time in three weeks

A bug bed-infested courthouse in South Carolina was evacuated after the critters were found there for the second time in just over two weeks.

The bedbugs were widespread throughout the building, York County Clerk of Court David Hamilton said, according to The Herald.

They were found on Oct. 16, after which exterminators treated the affected areas with heat. Tests showed no evidence of bed bugs after the treatment.

 

Specially-trained dogs however found evidence of bedbugs in both courtrooms of the criminal court building and in offices on both floors Thursday.

The building was closed so that a stronger chemical treatment can be applied in hopes of eradicating the pests

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Has Received Death Threats From Environmental Protesters

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks with media after the Labour Party Conference on November 4, 2018 in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks with media after the Labour Party Conference on November 4, 2018 in Dunedin, New Zealand.
Dianne Manson—Getty Images
November 7, 2018

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has received death threats from environmental activists outraged by the government’s use of a pesticide to combat invasive species.

Ardern told local TV news show Newshub on Tuesday that she had been the subject of numerous threats from so-called anti-1080 protesters, including at least one against her life.

The government says the chemical pesticide, known as 1080, is a safe substance for eliminating predators such as possums and weasels. But environmental activists contend the poison threatens native wildlife, as well as humans, and pollutes waterways.

Ardern said New Zealand welcomed peaceful protests, but “when we see that tip into violence or threats of violence against people working on the front line and doing their job, then that concerns me.”

Anti-1080 campaigns have escalated in recent months, with employees of the country’s Department of Conservation reportedly being targeted by threats and harassment, according to the Guardian. In September, activists left fake 1080 pellets and dead protected birds on the steps of parliament. Tests later revealed some of the birds had been “bludgeoned to death” rather than poisoned.

New Zealand’s Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage accused protestors of “spreading fake news about the impact of 1080.”

Conservation staff have also had vehicles vandalized, been trapped inside national parks by protestors blocking exits and received threats to shoot down department helicopters. In total, the Department recorded 93 incidents in October, according to Newshub.

On Wednesday, an anti-1080 activist was arrested and charged with four counts of blackmail over threatening letters sent to staff, according to the Guardian.

“My greater concern is with those on the front line who receive these threats a bit more directly and a bit more personally,” Ardern said.

Write to Eli Meixler at eli.meixler@time.com.

It’s Time to Stop Paying for Pesticides With Our Health: Organic for All Must Become the Norm

By Kendra Klein

A groundbreaking new study in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that you can cut your cancer risk by eating an organic diet. The findings are dramatic. In a study that followed nearly 70,000 people, those who ate the most organic food lowered their overall risk of developing cancer by 25 percent. The relationship was strongest for two types of cancer: participants who frequently ate organic had 76 percent fewer lymphomas and 34 percent fewer breast cancers that developed after menopause.

This research confirms what is intuitive and supports what the President’s Cancer Panel told us nearly a decade ago: reducing exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, including pesticides, reduces your risk of cancer.

Here’s why this is intuitive. First, we know that eating organic foods reduces our exposure to pesticides. Research has shown that the level of pesticides we can measure in people’s bodies drops significantly within days of switching from a non-organic to an organic diet.

And second, we know that many of the pesticides commonly used on U.S. farms and found as residues on our food are associated with cancers and a host of other health problems, from ADHD and autism to infertility and Alzheimer’s.

More than 90 percent of Americans have detectable pesticides in our bodies. The food we eat is the most significant way we’re exposed for those of us who don’t work with pesticides at our jobs. Farmers, farmworkers and groundskeepers are most at risk of exposure, like Dewayne Johnson, who just won a lawsuit against Monsanto linking his occupational glyphosate exposure to his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Some of us are more vulnerable than others. Infants are born pre-polluted with pesticides in the U.S., and nearly all children are exposed to pesticides through the foods they eat. Infants and children have unique susceptibilities to the harms of pesticides because their brains and bodies are developing so rapidly. Early life exposure can impact children for life. It can permanently decrease a child’s IQ, increase the risk of autism or lead to cancers later in life. Another new study calls for a ban on all organophosphate pesticides, like chlorpyrifos, because of their link to brain damage in children.

That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics says that “children’s exposure to pesticides should be limited as much as possible.”

Other studies have shown that decreasing the amount of pesticides we’re exposed to by eating organic can improve our health. Like this recent study, which found that women who ate more organic food had a higher likelihood of getting and staying pregnant. And the Million Women Study in the UK, which found that women who ate more organic food had a 21 percent lower risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

What these studies tell us is that small exposures matter—in other words, the amount of pesticides we consume as food residues matters. To understand why, consider the fact that scientists measure pesticides in our bodies at similar levels as drugs prescribed by doctors, like Ritalin. These small amounts of pesticides can act like drugs in our bodies, altering our brain development, hormones, immune systems and more.

And we’re not exposed to just one pesticide at a time. When we eat non-organic food, we’re exposed to a “cocktail” of different pesticides. Consider strawberries: the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly one-third of non-organic strawberries had residues from 10 or more different pesticides.

Government regulations are inadequate to protect our health. Legal limits for the amount of pesticide residues on food are set as if we’re exposed to just one pesticide at a time, but that is never the case. As this studyshows, approximately 40 percent of U.S. children are exposed to a cumulative amount of organophosphate pesticides from the food they eat and water they drink at levels that exceed benchmarks for neurological harm. What’s more, emerging data show that certain combinations of pesticides can have synergistic impacts greater than the effect of each individual chemical.

There are more pesticides on our food now than a decade ago. And we can’t just wash these residues off—even after being washed, many foods still have detectable pesticides.

We are paying for this overuse of toxic pesticides with our well-being and our lives. The estimated environmental and health care costs of pesticide use in the U.S.—at levels that are legal according to government regulations—is estimated to be upwards of $12 billion every year. Meanwhile, the pesticide industry reaps over $150 billion in profit each year from pesticides and other agricultural technologies and spends tens of millions lobbying legislators and misleading the public about pesticides. What this amounts to is a chronic poisoning of the population for the financial gain of a few.

Our taxpayer dollars are being used to prop up this devastating system. Congress subsidizes chemical-intensive industrial agriculture to the tune of billions of dollars a year, while organic programs and research are woefully underfunded. As one example, less than one percent of federal agricultural research dollars goes toward organic farming methods or other sustainable farming approaches.

It is high time we flip this system on its head and make organic food the standard for all people.

A recent United Nations report debunks the myth that pesticides are necessary to feed a growing world population and argues that each of us has the right to food that is free of toxic pesticides. And people living in farm communities should have the right to be free of exposure to toxic pesticides, starting with the children who live and go to school near farm fields where pesticides are sprayed and farmers and farmworkers who are exposed daily.

Those of us who can buy organic need to continue driving the growth of organic food in the marketplace. And, together, we need to fight for public policies that make organic a solution for all. This means overhauling the Farm Bill, which will be up for renegotiation in 2019. In the meantime, some food retailers are taking steps in the right direction by increasing organic offerings and decreasing use of toxic pesticides in their supply chains.

The experiment in chemical-intensive agriculture that has metastasized across the world in the past 80 years must become a thing of the past. An organic food future is not only possible—it is essential.