Pesticide that killed two Utah girls used across from Highlands Ranch school, a “bedroom community” of Denver

April 25, 2016 | by Mark Boyle |Denver7 ABC

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. – A toxic chemical that killed two young Utah girls in 2010 is being used across the street from a school in Highlands Ranch.

Aluminum Phosphide, otherwise known as Fumitoxin, is a chemical that most parents have never heard of, but it’s commonly used around Colorado.

Denver7 has learned that in early March, Shea Homes hired Animal and Pest Control Specialist to poison prairie dogs in a field at Plaza Drive between Broadway and Lucent Boulevard across from STEM School and Academy and several other businesses, including BackCountry CrossFit and Waterworks Aquatics.

Parents of children at STEM School and Academy tell Denver7, they learned the field was poisoned nearly three weeks after it happened.

Denver7 found that none of the businesses in the area, nor school administration, were directly notified about the poisons use.

“I thought maybe I had missed a memo or something, I went into the school last week and I asked them ‘Did I miss a memo, how did we not know about this poison?’ and they said ‘Well, we don’t know about this poison,’ said Sarah Fischer, the mother of a child at the school.

According to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, a company using Fumitoxin only has to make notification with a sign on the property that only has to be left up for a few days after the poisoning is complete.

A photo of the sign sent to Denver7 shows the poisoning was from March 3 to March 7, 2016.

Businesses and school administration tell Denver7 that just because the law doesn’t force a company to make direct notification that the toxin is being used, it’s still the courteous thing to do with hundreds of school children across the street.

“I’m guessing they probably didn’t think through, it is a vacant land and they probably didn’t think about the 1300 students here, if they thought about it, they probably would have notified us,” said Penny Eucker, the principal of STEM School and Academy.  “Ideally, you wouldn’t want poison so close to a school. But we were contacted, but it is private property, they’re getting ready to develop it.”

Fumitoxin comes in small tablets.

According to the National Pesticide Information Center, Fumitoxin tablets are dropped into prairie dog holes and then covered up.  The toxin is activated by moisture, which then fills the prairie dog tunnels with toxic gas.

The Colorado Department of Agriculture said Fumitoxin gas is 20 percent heavier than air, causing the gas to sink into the holes and not rise up into the air and atmosphere.

“Once it dissipates, those residues are completely gone, also it doesn’t affect seed germination, so it’s a product that is certainly necessary to control stored product pests and then in burying rodent control, we see those applications as well,” said John Scott, Pesticides Program Section Chief for the Colorado Department of Agriculture.  “There’s virtually no potential of any exposure of it actually coming up from the surface and that potential for people being exposed for people walking by the area.”

According to the National Pesticide Information Center, the toxin can last up to 72 hours.

By law, Fumitoxin can’t be used within 100 feet of a building where humans reside.

Advanced training is also required for anyone using the chemical.

Fischer warns that many children in that area walk within a few feet from some of the prairie dog holes on their way to and from school.

“The rule is, it’s supposed to be 100 feet from the building, but that does not factor in the fact that kids are walking within the fence line,” said Fischer.

Denver7 spoke with the owner of BackCountry CrossFit who has athletes running on Plaza Drive every day.  He wasn’t concerned about his athletes being indirectly poisoned, but preferred they had been directly notified of the plan.

Reports show that too much gas too close to home was the cause of the death of the two Utah girls who were exposed to the gas.

Denver7 witnessed more prairie dogs alive in the field across from STEM School and Academy and parents of the school are now concerned about a second round of poisoning with the same lack of notice.

“I don’t understand why this poison has to be used and it doesn’t cost anything to give a call to the businesses and the schools,” said Fischer.

Denver7 made several attempts to contact Shea Homes and Animal and Pest Control Specialist, but those calls were not returned.

 #SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

How Protected Are You Against Bed Bugs?

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What if you had to walk into your home or property right now and throw away every mattress, couch, chair and all of your linen? What kind of loss would that be for you? Most likely it would be devastating! What if you could protect yourself from this kind of loss?

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#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

Bed Bugs that feed (on YOU) are more likely to survive pesticide exposure

bedbug_eating.jpgJanuary 26, 2016 | by Entomological Society of America | ScienceDaily

Bed bugs that take blood meals after being exposed to pesticides are more likely to survive, according to research. The researchers suggest that insecticide efficacy testing protocols should be changed so that they include using recently fed bed bugs, and that bugs that are fed one to three days after being exposed to pesticides.


Many studies have been done on how effective certain pesticides are when they are applied to bed bugs. However, most have not allowed the bed bugs to take a blood meal after being exposed to pesticides, which can change the mortality rates, according to an article in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

Researchers from Rutgers University found that bed bugs that were allowed to feed after being treated with insecticides either had greater rates of survival, or they took longer to die than bed bugs that were not allowed to feed after being treated.

“Our results indicated that post-treatment feeding significantly reduced or slowed down bed bug mortality,” the researchers wrote.

In one case, bed bugs that were unable to feed after being sprayed with an insecticide had a mortality rate of 94 percent. But bed bugs that did feed after being sprayed with the same insecticide had a mortality rate of just 4 percent after 11 days.

This difference is important because most experiments that test the efficacy of insecticides against bed bugs are performed in labs where the bed bugs can’t feed after being exposure. However, in the field, bed bugs can feed after being treated with an insecticide, and the reduced or slowed mortality could give them a chance to reproduce.

“Many of the insecticides labeled for bed bug control may not be as effective as claimed, because of the inadequate testing method,” said Dr. Narinderpal Singh, one of the co-authors. “People often use laboratory bioassay results to predict field performance of an insecticide. It is important the testing conditions are similar to what would occur in the field. Current established test protocols for bed bug insecticides do not provide bloodmeals to bed bugs during the test period. We suspect the mortality data typically observed might be different if the tested bed bugs were provided a bloodmeal during the observation period.”

The researchers suggest that feeding “stimulates detoxification enzymes responsible for insecticide resistance,” which is why more bed bugs survive after taking bloodmeals, so using insecticides in tandem with other control methods is the best option.

“Incorporating non-chemical methods into bed bug control is very important in order to achieve good results,” said Singh.

The researchers also suggest that insecticide efficacy testing protocols should be changed so that they include using recently fed bed bugs, and that bugs that are fed one to three days after being exposed to pesticides.


The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Entomological Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.  Journal Reference: Narinderpal Singh, Changlu Wang, Richard Cooper. Posttreatment Feeding Affects Mortality of Bed Bugs (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) Exposed to Insecticides. Journal of Economic Entomology, 2015; tov293 DOI: 10.1093/jee/tov293


[Examples of non-chemical methods include vacuuming visible bed bugs, laundering bed sheets and infested clothing using Live Free Dryer Strips, using Live Free Mattresses Covers and Live Free Box Spring Wraps and installing Live Free Leg Booties around the legs of beds and upholstered furniture.]

 #SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

‘Chagas Considered Emerging Global Disease’ – CSUF Researchers study spread of Plague to Parasites. Note, Kissing Bugs are cousins to Bed Bugs.

Study Suggests What We Already Feared: Bedbugs May Be Getting Stronger

Goodnight.jpg

April 15, 2016 | Steven Hoffer Senior Editor | The Huffington Post

In case your phobia of bedbugs wasn’t torturous enough, here comes a new study that suggests the pesky insects are getting stronger.

Researchers in Australia found the bedbugs with a thicker “skin” are more resistant to common pesticides. The pests are becoming more prevalent, and the scientists hypothesized that these thicker exoskeletons could be one reason why.

The study, published in the journal Plos One on Wednesday, found that the thicker the exoskeleton, or cuticle, of a bedbug, the more time it took to “knock down” the insect — which was defined as the bugs not being able to get back up when they were stunned or knocked out by pesticides.

“The new findings reveal that one way bed bugs beat insecticides is by developing a thicker ‘skin,’” David Lily, a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney and a co-author of the study, said in a statement.

Be it pesticides or insults, this BED BUG couldn’t care less!  Photo: AP

The scientists studied the bedbugs using a pyrethroid insecticide, a class of chemicals that bedbugs have become increasingly resistant to, Lilly told Newsweek.

The researchers found that the mean cuticle thickness of a bedbug positively correlated to the time it took to “knockdown,” with significant differences between bugs knocked down within two hours, four hours, and those that were still unaffected at 24 hours, according to the study.

And in case you’re thinking “Didn’t I already know this?” that’s because you did. In January, another study conducted in the U.S. found that the bugs are becoming resistant to other pesticides.

Deep breaths. Sleep tight and Be afraid…be very afraid.

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

Back in 2011 we had alarming find: Bedbugs with ‘superbug’ germs MRSA and VRE

BBB

May 14, 2011 | by Christian Nordqvist | MNT, Medical News Today

Not only are there more bed bugs about in North America in Europe, but more of them appear to be carrying two types of superbugs – methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) – bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and very hard to treat when there is an infection.

Staph infection caused by MRSA is extremely difficult to treat because it is resistant to most antibiotics, including oxacillin, peicillin, methicillin, amoxicillin, and even methicillin.

VRE bacteria are resistant to vancomycin, an antibiotic. They are strains of the genus Enterococcus.

Bed bugs, also known as Cimex lectularius (Cimicidae) are tiny wingless insects that feed exclusively on the blood of warm-blooded animals, including humans. During their evolution they have become common nest parasites, infesting bird nests and bat roosts. Some bed bugs have learnt how to thrive in our nests, meaning our homes, and especially our beds. A baby bed bug is called a nymph and is about the size of a poppy seed. Adults reach about ¼ of an inch in length. They have an oval, flattened shape. Both adults and young are visible to the naked eye.

Bed bugs feed on us when we are asleep. As they feed we feel nothing, the process is painless. They inject a small amount of saliva into human skin while they feed. If they keep feeding on the same human night after night, that person can eventually develop a mild to intense allergic response to their saliva.

The study’s Canadian researchers wrote:

“Further studies are needed to characterize the association between S. aureus and bedbugs. Bed bug carriage of MRSA, and the portal of entry provided through feeding, suggests a plausible potential mechanism for passive transmission of bacteria during a blood meal. Because of the insect’s ability to compromise the skin integrity of its host, and the propensity for S. aureus to invade damaged skin, bed bugs may serve to amplify MRSA infections in impoverished urban communities.”
This latest report informs that the MRSA phenotype found in bed bugs is the same as those identified in many Eastside (Vancouver) patients infected with MRSA.

The scientists believe that the bed bugs probably promote the spread of MRSA in impoverished and overcrowded communities. The study took place in a poor part of Vancouver.

The researchers examined five bed bugs that had been taken from three patients staying at St. Paul’s Hospital – they all lived in Downtown Eastside, a poor part of Vancouver. In that part of Vancouver, MRSA infection incidence and cases of bed bugs had been rising steadily over the last few years. The scientists wanted to determine whether the two were linked.

They examined the bed bugs and found that three samples carried MRSA, while another two had VRE.

We still do not know whether the humans infected the bed bugs or the other way round. Further research is needed to determine where exactly on/in the bed bug the bacteria were – inside them or on their backs.

If bed bugs are able to carry and spread MRSA like the anopheles mosquito spreads malaria, we could be looking at a completely new vector of human disease.

Study author, Marc Romney, said:

“Even though this is a small study, it suggests that bedbugs may be playing a role in the transmission of MRSA in inner-city populations where bedbug infestations are a problem.”

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

How to banish BedBugs 24/7-365?

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Spring is here and this month is all about BEDBUGS and Preparation!  WestPoint Home, WestPoint Hospitality and Bedbug Blog Report have endorsed and recommend Live Free Bedbug Pesticide Alternative Products.

The National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky are highlighting bedbug prevention and response in April.  WestPoint Home, WestPoint Hospitality and Bedbug Blog Report will be educating the public on Live Free powered by KiltronX Bedbug Pesticide Alternative Products.  This month KiltronX is posting discounts, BOGOS and free travel products to  all of its Friends and Followers on Facebook and Twitter.  Sign up on Bedbug Blog Report’s Twitter and KiltronX’ Facebook and Twitter to qualify.

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

This month is all about bed bugs! Yes, Bed Bug Awareness Week is a real thing and WestPoint Hospitality wants to make sure you are fully prepared to deal with the fastest growing pest problem in the hospitality industry.

The National Pest Management Association created this week to highlight bedbugs, prevention and response. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky released results of their “Bugs Without Borders” survey, which surveys U.S. pest professionals on the prevalence of bed bugs in Americans’ daily lives. The 2015 survey found that bed bug infestations in the United States continue at high rates, with 99.6 percent of respondents having treated for bed bugs in the past year. That number – which has been consistent for the past few years – is significantly higher than 15 years ago, when only 25 percent of pest professionals reported treating for bed bugs.

“Our survey has found that residential settings and hotels continue to be the top places where pest professionals are finding and treating for bed bugs,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “As summer travelers eagerly visit destinations, new and familiar, it’s important to remind them that the best way to stem the spread of bed bugs is to be vigilant during and after their trip.”

Henriksen added, “Being aware of surroundings while staying in hotel rooms and utilizing public transportation, as well as carefully inspecting luggage and clothes upon return from vacation, can go a long way in ensuring bed bugs don’t follow them home.”

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

If Yale can’t stop them nobody can! The Ivy League, Yale School of Medicine, has another BEDBUG infestation in dorm.

Sixth bedbug infestation hits grad dorm

April 5, 2016 | by David Yaffe-Belany and Victor Wang | Yale Daily News

A brewing controversy over the management of a series of bedbug infestations in a medical student dorm has forced the Yale School of Medicine to relocate dozens of visitors scheduled to arrive on campus this Thursday for an admitted-students event.

Around 30 admitted students were slated to spend the medical school’s Second Look Weekend, a three-day charm offensive designed to showcase the University’s appeal, in an on-campus housing facility that has suffered numerous bedbug infestations since October. The Medical Student Council met last week with administrators to ask that students be relocated to a nearby hotel after a new infestation was discovered Thursday on the eighth floor of Harkness Hall, a 172-bedroom complex located on Cedar Street directly across from Yale-New Haven Hospital. And in a Monday night email to the residents of Harkness Hall, MSC President Carrie Flynn MED ’23 confirmed that the students would stay at a local hotel at the expense of the medical school.

“Given the developing nature of this situation, we have decided that it is best to provide our accepted students with lodging in a hotel rather than Harkness,” Flynn wrote in the email.

She added in the email that the MSC plans to meet with Yale Housing and the Office of Facilities to iron out a more effective strategy for dealing with future bedbug infestations.

The infestation reported last week — the sixth since October — prompted the MSC to meet on Friday with the medical school’s Director of Admissions Richard Silverman and Admissions Administrative Assistant Barbara Watts to make the case for moving the visitors to a hotel. According to one MSC representative, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the topic, Silverman and Watts initially decided it would be safe to house the visiting students in Harkness, after receiving assurances from the building’s facilities superintendent, Robert Young, that the infestation was under control. Young declined to comment for this article.

But on Monday night, the admissions officers seemed to change their minds. The timing of the announcement coincided with the discovery of live bedbugs in the newly infested eighth-floor room during a follow-up inspection conducted on Monday.

“Although a careful examination of the room did not turn up any bugs, the exterminator decided to go a step further, and broke apart a plywood board that was under the mattress,” wrote Director of Graduate and Professional Student Housing George Longyear in a private email to a Harkness resident obtained by the News. “Inside the plywood board, bedbugs were found.”

In the same email, Longyear apologized for the stress the bedbug infestations have created for building residents and promised to do “everything possible to fix this situation.” Longyear did not respond to a phone call requesting comment on Monday.

The decision to relocate the visiting students to a hotel also came less than a day after News reporters contacted the medical school’s admissions department with questions about the admitted students slated to sleep in Harkness Hall.

“Admissions seemed to vacillate back and forth between taking Facilities’ word that everything was under control, versus our concerns that it isn’t,” said Kayla Isaacs MED ’19, a building resident who has closely followed the bedbug issue. “I don’t know if the impending Yale Daily News article was ultimately the reason they made this decision, but it certainly provided the situation with an extra tinge of urgency. It raised the stakes.”

Silverman and Watts did not return numerous emails and phone calls requesting comment.

Isaacs added that it would have been a public-relations “disaster” for the University to house admitted medical students in a building with a history of bedbug infestations.

“It makes no sense to take even a slight chance of having an admitted student bring bedbugs home from Yale’s Second Look,” Isaacs said. “Or to have admitted students discussing on [the online forum] Student Doctor Network the administration’s failure to protect them from unwittingly staying in a building with an ongoing bedbug problem that Admissions knew about.”

According to Harkness residents, the housing and facilities administrators’ inadequate response to previous bedbug infestations in the building raised significant doubts over whether the problem had been sufficiently contained. One resident, who said her room on the eighth floor became infested in October, complained that administrators have done a poor job communicating with residents about best practices for catching infestations.

The resident, who asked to remain anonymous because of the stigma attached to bedbugs, added that many students living in Harkness Hall feel the housing and facilities team has handled the problem with “mismanagement or even negligence.”

The resident described an incident in February in which administrators allowed a student whose room was infested to move to a different floor along with all her possessions, many of which were teeming with bedbugs. The decision to transport the belongings, which the resident described as “gross incompetence,” caused a new infestation on a different floor of the building. The student, who declined to comment on the broader bedbug issue, confirmed that her belongings carried the bedbugs to a previously uninfested floor.

“I believe Facilities is trying, but everything I’ve observed over the past few months suggests to me that they are in over their head,” the resident said. “We have been told multiple times that the problem has been resolved, only to have reports of a new room that has been affected. As far as I am concerned, if the problem is spreading, it is not under control.”

The first bedbug infestation in Harkness Hall was discovered on the eighth floor in early October. Two other rooms in the same hallway reported infestations a few days later, and a fourth was discovered in February. The fifth eighth-floor infestation was reported late last week in a different part of the same hallway that housed the first four infestations.

None of the visiting admitted students were slated to sleep on either the eighth or 10th floor of Harkness Hall. But the prospect of housing admitted students in any part of a building infested by bedbugs was apparently enough to convince the admissions office to move the visiting students.

It can be tremendously difficult to exterminate bedbugs, parasitic insects that feed on human blood and whose bites produce uncomfortable rashes. The insects, which reproduce quickly and can easily spread to adjacent rooms, thrive in bedspreads, clothing and the tiny nooks and crannies between floor and wall.

CT Pest, the pest-control company paid by the University to exterminate the bedbugs, used a heating treatment to combat the first round of infestations in October, in line with official University protocol. But the company switched to a different method to eliminate the later infestations, using the nontoxic silica dust pesticide to clear each room. Longyear confirmed in a March 2 email to a building resident that the Office of Facilities had revised its bedbug protocol after meeting with a prominent insect expert who recommended the silica dust approach.

Longyear told the same resident in an Oct. 15 email that bedbug outbreaks are generally “few and far between” at Yale.

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

Woman warns – her dog was given ‘kiss of death’ from Kissing Bug bite

April 3, 2016 | by Nestor Mato | CBS 4 News

Many triatomine bugs carry the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas disease.

San Benito woman warns about potentially deadly Chagas disease spread by ‘kissing bug’

For Lisa Leal’s dog, a bug bite became the kiss of death.

A triatomine bug — commonly called a kissing bug — bit her 8-month-old dog.”I feel bad because she’s been given, literally, a death sentence,” said Leal, who lives in San Benito.

Many triatomine bugs carry the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas disease.

“The bugs are found in houses made from materials such as mud, adobe, straw, and palm thatch. During the day, the bugs hide in crevices in the walls and roofs,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. “During the night, when the inhabitants are sleeping, the bugs emerge. Because they tend to feed on people’s faces, triatomine bugs are also known as ‘kissing bugs.'”

Chagas disease may later cause intestinal and cardiac complications, including sudden death.

Leal’s dog is already suffering heart problems.

Veterinarian Noel Ramirez said there’s no sure way to avoid Chagas disease.

“It happens within city limits. It happens out in the country,” Ramirez said. “There’s not a whole lot of prevention that we can do.”

In humans, Chagas disease can be diagnosed with a blood test. Treatment varies depending on the symptoms.

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

BedBugs…they’re back or never left? at this NY High School

March 31, 2016 | by Katarina Schmieder | WIVB News 4

LACKAWANNA, N.Y. (WIVB) — 18-year-old Ryan Blair is a senior at Lackawanna High School. He says he is fed up with the bed bug problem at his school.
Ryan described what happened to his friend who allegedly was bitten during school. Ryan said, “Her neck was swollen because it looked like a mosquito bite, and it hurt her. At first, she said it didn’t hurt, but then it started to. She had bumps all over her hand.”Ryan says the girl was sent home after visiting the nurse’s office after her supposed contact with bed bugs, and says that sometimes when he gets home from school, he has some of the same symptoms.

He wishes more would be done about this problem. “It’s slowly becoming more and more of a problem in the school that we are finding more and more bugs, and it seems like the school is not recognizing it.”

On Wednesday, parents were put on alert by the school after staff found what appeared to resemble a bed bug at the school. The letter says even though they found a potential bed bug, it does not mean the building is infested. The letter goes on to say that the school has an exterminator to treat certain rooms.

Back in December, News 4 reported that the school warned parents and students after finding the bug in a classroom. But now, Ryan wants to know, why is this happening again?

He says, “It’s disgusting, and the fact that we are seeing bugs crawling around our school, not only that, but what if a student brings one home, it’s just going to cause problems all over the place.”

News 4 tried reaching out to the district superintendent for a comment, but have yet to hear back.

Below is a copy of the letter that was sent home to parents:

bed bug letter

#SayNOtoPESTICIDES!

SleepingSimple

Information and Perspectives on Bed Bug Prevention, Protection and Safety

Bed Bug Blog Report

Information and Perspectives on Bed Bug Prevention, Protection and Safety

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Information and Perspectives on Bed Bug Prevention, Protection and Safety

Information and Perspectives on Bed Bug Prevention, Protection and Safety