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Most drivers get their cars treated because they see bed bugs, get a complaint, or are just taking precautions after a ride an exterminator said.
DALLAS, Texas — A Dallas-based pest exterminator tells WFAA that he treats up to 10 rideshare vehicles per week for bed bugs, a mode of transportation that thousands turn to weekly to get around the metro.
Bed bugs have not been a great selling point for the DFW area.
Per Orkin in 2019, Dallas-Fort Worth ranked No. 10 on its list of “Top 50 Bed Bug Cities.”
In a Terminix ranking last year, Dallas-Fort Worth was ranked third.
For Don Brooks, owner of Doffdon Pest Control, bed bugs are his life. He travels daily around the metro to rid the nuisance insects (that multiply fast) from both homes and vehicles.
“Quite frankly, they’re not racist at all and they don’t care about how much money you have,” Brooks said. “They’re bloodsuckers.”
Brooks’ has a unique mobile business, one that focuses on burning out bed bugs with high heat.
He pulls around heating equipment on a trailer that can heat homes up to 150°F.
Hoses run into the home and Brooks controls the temperature from the trailer.
He also puts up a tent and heats it to the same temperature to treat cars that possibly have bed bugs, and that’s where Brooks has been seeing an interesting trend.
Brooks told WFAA that he’s seeing more and more rideshare drivers.
“I probably do five to 10 rideshare cars per week,” Brooks said.
“Drivers either see bed bugs, someone complained, or they were suspicious of a customer and just want to make sure.”
Yeah, rideshare vehicles and bed bugs.
That combo is probably one that some haven’t thought about when hailing for a ride on their phone.
But it isn’t an outlandish concept when you think about how many customers rideshare drivers pick up each day.
“It’s highly likely they can crawl off of someone,” Brooks said.
In fact, the insurance company Netquote put a small study last year that said rideshare vehicles were 35,000 times more germy than a toilet seat.
One Los Angeles law firm even represents people who may have been bitten by a bed bug in a rideshare vehicle or had an infestation in their home as a result of booking a rideshare trip.
They can have their car sprayed with a liquid pesticide for a cheaper price.
“I can spray a car in 15 minutes,” Brooks said. “I usually do the backseat, the crevices, and the carpet on the floor.”
WFAA reached out to three other pest control services in the metro, and two said they use high heat to get bed bugs out of cars.
However, neither business could recount knowing that a customer was a rideshare driver.
Brooks’ revelation isn’t meant to scare anyone, he even said it wouldn’t stop him from booking a ride.
But he did say to be wary of any cars that weren’t clean, something that rideshare drivers are supposed to be on top of.
“If you feel suspicious, just throw your clothes in the dryer for 50 minutes on high heat,” Brooks said. “Then it’s best to hop in the shower.”
Please, everyone sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite! We have all heard this as youngsters but we paid no attention. Maybe we should.
Here in Richmond, two of our elementary schools are having to close some classrooms to have them deep cleaned for … you guessed it, bedbugs. Parents are being told to put the child’s clothing in a pillow case and run it them in a clothes dryer at its hottest setting for one hour to kill the pests. Meanwhile, other schools are watching out for this new, but very old, problem.
Truthfully, I have not heard much about bedbugs over the past 50 years in the furniture industry until recently. If you read the hotel business publications, bedbugs are a HUGE problem, and there are a half dozen full-page ads for bedbug solutions or how to prevent them. There are occasional stories about entire floors of hotels being closed for cleaning and bedbug control.
I have read in travel publications to not leave your luggage open where bedbugs can climb in and catch a ride to a new home, yours. Be careful how you handle your clothes in hotels and just don’t throw them around, especially near the bed. This is not a problem at remote and backward third world countries; it is in major U.S. cities in a big way.
Unfortunately, bedbugs are quietly impacting the residential home furnishings business. The way I hear it, stores that help dispose of old beds when they deliver new ones, get their delivery trucks infested. Since most new beds are delivered wrapped, the bedbugs are getting into the upholstery on its way to be delivered. Customers are NOT happy with this free add-on and make demands on the stores. Recently, I read that the average cost of a resolving a bedbug problem is $1,700, which sounds low to me.
Upon hearing about this and also hearing about some of our larger furniture stores having many bedbug suits from consumers, maybe this is a problem our industry needs to address in a serious way before some crusading do-gooder starts suggesting laws and regulations we don’t want or need.
My wife and I own a 120-year-old wooden farmhouse on the Rappahannock River, just off the Chesapeake Bay. Over the past 20 years, we have had to call for help with a raccoon family in the attic, a large icky spider problem in one bedroom, tiny mice in a wall and a black snake that fell out of a closet near the pool table. But we have never found bedbugs!
W.W. “Jerry” Epperson, Jr. is a founder and managing director of Mann, Armistead & Epperson, Ltd., an investment banking and research firm. Jerry is the head of their research efforts and has in excess of thirty years of experience in the publication of hard/soft dollar research which focuses on demographics, consumer products, furnishings (residential and contract) and related issues. More specifically, Jerry’s research in the furnishings industry is recognized on a world-wide basis for its in-depth coverage of suppliers, manufacturers and retailers.
A woman claims she got bed bugs from a hotel. Judge Ross decides who gave who the bugs in this court case. Don’t miss the best court shows on Radman!
February 14, 2020 | by RAD MAN YouTube
“Imagine yourself on a cruise at sea with your stateroom infested with bed bugs. There was nowhere to go. We were trapped. We felt helpless. There were bed bugs coming out of the pillows and the mattress, we felt betrayed,” said Mrs. Flores.
Blood can be seen on the pillows while bed bugs crawl under the mattress, as shown by the video the couple recorded. The bed bugs feasted on Connie and her husband as they slept. The bites were so severe that it landed Mrs. Flores in the hospital. Her husband remains traumatized by the entire incident, said Brian Virag, Founder of MYBEDBUGLAWYERTM.
The emotional suffering, however, continues to be the bigger nightmare for our clients. They continue to relive waking up in the middle of the night imagining bed bugs sucking the blood from their body as they slept, added Virag.
“After this ordeal, I wanted to advocate and bring awareness to people who get exposed to bed bugs. No one should have to go through what we experienced,” said Mrs. Flores.
According to the lawsuit filed in Federal Court in Los Angeles (Case Number 2:19cv09961) by MYBEDBUGLAWYERTM and Law Offices of Aksana Coone (maritime cruise ship injury attorney), the cruise ship knew or should have known of the bed bug infestation and simply failed to protect its passengers from physical and emotional harm. The lawsuit also alleges that the cruise ship’s policies and procedures were inadequate in maintaining the safety of their guests. “They simply were negligent in providing safe premises,” said Virag.
According to Virag, about one in every five Americans has either experienced or knows someone who has experienced bed bugs.
MYBEDBUGLAWYERTM is the only law firm that specializes exclusively in bed bug litigation and has lawsuits pending against Disneyland, the Queen Mary and represents Brazilian Supermodel Sabrina Jales against Hilton Hotels. Virag and his firm have obtained the largest jury verdicts ever recorded in US History for victims of bed bug exposure.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Staten Islanders residing in developments operated by the New York City Housing Authority filed nearly 2,000 bedbug and roach complaints in the first nine months of last year.
NYCHA data obtained by the Legal Aid Society shows nearly 60,000 such complaints across the city in the same time period. On average, those complaints were closed within 10 days — something the Legal Aid Society’s Attorney-In-Charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit Judith Goldiner pointed to as good news.
To continue addressing the issue and others facing NYCHA tenants, Goldiner called for more funding for the authority, particularly on the state level.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-East Shore/South Brooklyn) has advocated for tenants with both city and federal officials. In March, she was accompanied by the regional director for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Lynn Patton, for a tour of the New Lane Area and South Beach NYCHA developments.
“In the 2018-2019 State Budget, we invested $250 million to improve conditions at NYCHA including mold, lead, bug infestation,” Malliotakis wrote in an email Monday. “The real question is what is NYCHA doing with the money because we can’t keep throwing more money into a blackhole.”
State Sen. Diane Savino (D-North Shore/Brooklyn) echoed Malliotakis’ concerns about NYCHA management. Neither elected official said whether they would heed the call for more state funding to the housing authority.
“My colleagues and I, year after year, led the charge for increased funding for NYCHA,” Savino said. “This is a continuous management problem — just like with mold and faulty pipes. NYCHA needs to take these quality of life and health issues more seriously.”
Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island) said he believes the insect infestations are “emblematic of decades-old challenges facing the housing complexes.”
“While I am encouraged that NYCHA has decreased the time it takes to address these infestations, I will continue to support increased funding and accountability for NYCHA in Albany,” he said.
Up until Sept. 4, Staten Islanders residing in NYCHA developments filed 1,839 complaints, and had average wait times of about eight days. Of those complaints, 143 were for bedbugs, according to the data.
Both the Cassidy-Lafayette and South Beach NYCHA developments had high levels of bedbug complaints. Of the 119 complaints at Cassidy-Lafayette, 40 were for bedbugs. Of the 188 complaints at South Beach, 35 were for bedbugs.
The remainder of the borough’s NYCHA developments had the following numbers:
- Berry — 169 complaints, 9 for bedbugs
- Mariners Harbor — 176 complaints, 11 for bedbugs
- New Lane Area — 102 complaints, 11 for bedbugs
- Richmond Terrace — 187 complaints, one for bedbugs
- Todt Hill — 189 complaints, 10 for bedbugs
- West Brighton I & II — 205 complaints, 11 for bedbugs
State Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) said he would consider increased state funding, but that NYCHA would first need to prove that management of its facilities is “on the right track.”
A NYCHA spokeswoman said their internal numbers show improvements to closed bedbug and roach work orders, and the time it takes to close bedbug orders, something she attributed to its new Integrated Pest Management system.
However, that system has also contributed to the increased wait time for roach complaints. Visits take longer, but result in fewer complaints due to increased prevention efforts, according to NYCHA.
Instead of simply spraying for roaches, exterminators are taking more care at developments by looking for holes, caulking and vacuuming. Bedbug wait times were not affected by these changes, because NYCHA treats them and rats as emergencies.
“NYCHA is working closely with the Federal Monitor on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques and a Pest Action Plan, as per the January 2019 agreement,” NYCHA spokeswoman Rochel Leah Goldblatt said.
In January 2019, the city reached a deal with HUD that allowed the department to install a monitor overseeing NYCHA’s management and required the city to make an additional investment of $2 billion over five years.
City estimates have put NYCHA’s capital need just over $30 billion.
Assemblyman Charles Fall (D-North Shore) said financial support is needed from all levels of government.
“No one wants their mother, brother, or child living in the horrendous conditions that are described by NYCHA residents; nor should we as elected officials want this for our constituents,” Fall said.
“Furthermore, we must ensure that NYCHA is held accountable; meaning all funds must be allocated sensibly and utilized to dramatically transform the shameful living conditions residents continue to describe.”
PATCH | January 13, 2020 | by Paul Scicchitano
The rankings were based on metro areas where Orkin performed the most bed bug treatments from Dec. 1, 2018, to Nov. 30, 2019. Both residential and commercial treatments were included.
For the last three years, Baltimore was the No. 1 city in the nation for bed bugs; but its nearby neighbor, Washington, D.C., took the top spot in 2020.
Here are the top 10 cities overall:
- Washington, D.C.
- Los Angeles
- Columbus, Ohio
- New York
“While bed bugs have not been found to transmit any diseases to humans, they can be an elusive threat to households,” said Chelle Hartzer, an Orkin entomologist who was referenced in a press release for the rankings. “They are excellent hitchhikers, and they reproduce quickly, which make it nearly impossible to prevent bed bugs.”
A description for the blood-sucking bugs on the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website sounds like something from a Stephen King novel: “parasitic insects that feed solely on the blood of people and animals while they sleep.”
The reddish-brown bugs are typically 4 to 5 millimeters in length, or the size of Abraham Lincoln’s head on a penny. The creatures are also known for multiplying incredibly quickly, as females can deposit one to five eggs a day in the right conditions.
Orkin provides a range of tips to prevent bed bugs from inhabiting your home.
- Inspect your home for signs of bed bugs regularly. Check the places where bed bugs hide during the day, including mattress tags and seams, and behind baseboards, headboards, electrical outlets and picture frames.
- Decrease clutter around your home to make it easier to spot bed bugs on your own or during professional inspections.
- Inspect your residence regularly — when you move in, after a trip, when a service worker visits or after guests stay overnight.
- Examine all secondhand furniture before bringing it inside your home. This is a common way for bed bugs to be introduced into homes.
- Wash and dry your bed linens often, using the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric.
Baltimore was ranked No. 1 for three straight years before falling to No. 2 on Orkin’s annual list this year, according to a Monday news release from the company. Washington was ranked No. 2 last year.
Chelle Hartzer, an Orkin staff entomologist, tells U.S. News that Washington and Baltimore were “probably pretty close last year.” Possible reasons for the two cities consistently being ranked so high are their size and the amount of domestic and international travel in and out of them, she said.
“The more people you have, the more prevalent these pests can be,” Hartzer adds.
A bed bugs-focused information page on Washington’s Department of Health website notes that the insects were extinct decades ago, but that an increase in global travel and the discontinued use of “caustic” insecticides due to healthy-living initiatives have allowed the pests to have a resurgence.
“Now, our nation is much more habitable for the bed bugs,” according to the webpage.
The office of Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser did not respond to a request for comment from U.S. News.
Orkin bases its list on data from the 50 metro areas where it performed the most best bug treatments from Dec. 1, 2018 to Nov. 30, 2019. Rounding out the top 10 were Chicago; Los Angeles; Columbus, Ohio; New York; Detroit; Cincinnati; Indianapolis and Atlanta.
“While bed bugs have not been found to transmit any diseases to humans, they can be an elusive threat to households,” Hartzer said in a written statement. “They are excellent hitchhikers, and they reproduce quickly which make it nearly impossible to prevent bed bugs. Sanitation has nothing to do with where you’ll find them.”
In its news release, Orkin warned that signs of bed bugs could include “small black spots indicating bed bug feces or nymph bed bugs in places such as mattress seams, bed frames and furniture.” The company recommended that people inspect their homes regularly, decrease clutter, examine secondhand furniture and frequently wash bed linens with hot water.
“The key to preventing a bed bug infestation is early detection,” Hartzer added in the release. “When one or more bed bugs enter a space, we call it an introduction. During an introduction, bed bugs probably haven’t started reproducing yet, but they could soon. Vigilance is key to stopping bed bugs before infestation levels.”
Copyright 2020 U.S. News & World Report
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS