Brevard Bedbug Control Services

Bedbugs inch toward Brevard

All this year’s hype boosted the bedbug’s bite as pest non grata, nationwide.

But the vermin infested only two establishments here this year, in Titusville and Melbourne, and both have long been in the clear.

What gives this story more legs (pun intended) is that bedbugs have infested several hotels in surrounding counties this month. More may soon hitch rides here via tourists’ luggage.

Nationwide, health and environmental officials warn of increasingly pesticide-resistant bedbugs and a “pandemic” creature comeback.

“In my opinion, we are at the point of crisis,” said Roberto Pereira, entomologist at the University of Florida. “We don’t have very adequate tools.”

DDT nearly wiped out bedbugs after World War II, when people soaked mattresses in the pesticide. The bugs first were reported to show resistance in the 1950s. Then the U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency ban- ned DDT in 1972 because of concerns about cancer and birth defects.

Over the next two decades, Malathion almost took care of the bedbugs that survived DDT. But the wily creatures grew resistant.

In more recent years, they’ve grown more resistant to commonly used pesticides. Since the 1990s, they’ve been coming back.

And those are migrating.

“What we see now is a consequence of what’s been happening for the past five to 10 years of increasing populations up north,” Pereira said.

PESTICIDE DENIED

Last month, EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a joint statement highlighting bedbugs as an emerging public health problem.

They’ve gotten so bad in the Midwest that the EPA also warned against using chemicals meant for outdoors to kill them. In June, the agency denied Ohio’s petition, backed by 25 other states, to approve the pesticide propoxur for indoor use because of its cancer risk.

Virginia Tech entomologists found in 2005 that many bed bug repellants don’t work, and two of the most commonly used products to control them killed only half the bugs after 10 days of exposure.

When poisons fail, others have tried novel approaches. Last year, researchers at University of Florida found that special heaters kill bedbugs inside furniture without harming belongings, if the temperature exceeds 113¤degrees Fahrenheit.

But that and many types of eradication don’t come cheap, said Pereira, who
just returned from the first-of-its-kind bed bug summit this week near Chicago.

He was among 400 attendees who surely scanned their bedding carefully at the Hyatt Rosemont during “BedBug University: North American Summit 2010.”

“Every time I go into a hotel room, I always check the mattress,” Pereira said.

INFILTRATIONS

Bed bugs stow away in the seams and folds of luggage, clothes, overnight bags, bedding, furniture, anywhere they can slide and hide their flat, brown bodies.

Last month in the Big Apple, that included an AMC movie theater, a Victoria’s Secret, Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, and offices for Elle magazine and the Brooklyn district attorney.

Closer to home, bed bugs closed two libraries in Lee County this month.

“We have seen a slight increase of complaints,” said Alexis Lambert, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The department inspects lodgings. Rooms can’t be rented for two weeks and until a follow-up inspection.

Repeat violators face $500 to $1,000 fines. Of this year’s 66 infestations, only two got fines: one in Fort Lauderdale; the other in Jennings.

In mid-April, inspectors issued a warning to a motel in Titusville, after finding bedbugs in one room. A month later, an inspector found bedbugs in five rooms at a hotel in Melbourne.

Both cases have since been resolved without fines.

COST HIGH

Bedbugs can cause severe allergic reactions. But their impact may be more psychological and economic.

They die hard, and expensively. Eradicating them can cost in excess of $1,000, Pereira said.

“It’s not a hygiene thing, because bedbugs get into fairly clean places,” he said.

They cause insomnia, anxiety and — well, give us the willies.

“Of course, the good thing is that they don’t carry any disease, but it’s disgusting,” said Sally Scalera, an agent with Brevard County Extension Service in Cocoa.

John Blamer of Brevard Bugmaster Pest Control Services, based in Cocoa, says he averages about one bedbug call a week. Most turn out to be fleas, biting ants or imagination.

“People remember stories from years and years ago about bedbugs,” Blamer said. “It just conjures up fears in their minds of something that’s not as horrible as they think it is.”

Contact Waymer at 242-3663 or jwaymer@floridatoday.com.

Florida bedbug control

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One Response to “Brevard Bedbug Control Services”

  1. Brevard Bedbug Control Services « Al Hoffer's South Florida Pest Blog faculty university Says:

    […] the rest here:  Brevard Bedbug Control Services « Al Hoffer's South Florida Pest Blog By admin | category: University of FLORIDA | tags: biting-off-more, exceeds-113, florida, […]

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