Archive for the ‘Brevard Bedbug Control Services’ Category

Bedbug Bite Possibly More Dangerous Than Thought

May 18, 2011

Bedbug Bite Possibly More Dangerous Than Thought

Bedbugs and your health

December 21, 2010

Are Bedbugs a Health Threat?

The old adage “sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite” is taking on new meaning this summer as bedbug infestations are on the rise, from Iowa to Seattle, Minnesota to New York City, CBS Early Morning News reports.

In fact, infestations are becoming so common that exterminators can barely keep up: Calls about bedbugs are up 71 percent, from one or two calls a year to 10 to 50 per week since 2001, says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association. Health officials in Manchester, N.H., even started a Bedbug Action Committee tasked with bringing the issue under control.

Infestations are on the rise, experts say, because bedbugs hitch a ride on our clothes and hang out in our beds. And they are not only found in homes; more and more bedbugs are showing up in hotels, dormitories and places where people frequently travel. Even retailers are not immune: Victoria’s Secret in New York City closed its doors for several hours to exterminate the nasty critters.

Bedbugs are many things, but one thing they are not, is a threat to your health. They are not disease vectors and are not considered a public health risk, according to entomologists at Purdue University’s Public Health and Medical Entomology department. But their bites do tend to leave itchy welts on human skin, and some people experience an allergic reaction. What’s more, bedbug sufferers say these persistent creatures wreak havoc on the psyche.

“Besides the ‘icky’ feeling of knowing bugs have crawled over you in your sleep, even after the infestation has been dealt with, people may still have a fear of falling asleep and feel anxiety about the whole experience,” says Henriksen. “In some cases, furniture [and] clothes have had to be thrown away, increasing the costly toll of the problem.”

Bedbugs are typically most active at night and tend to bite exposed skin while people are sleeping. The face, neck, hands and arms are the most common sites. Typically, the bites produce redness, swelling and itching, but if scratched, they can become infected, which is the most bodily damage they can cause. A particularity of bedbug bites is that they show up as multiples in a row.

Entomologists say the bugs’ presence has nothing to do with cleanliness, but the insects do produce small brown or red dots on sheets. And getting rid of them is not easy or cheap.

How do you spot a bedbug? Adult bedbugs are about 1/4-inch long, oval, reddish brown and wingless. Their bodies are very flat, and they possess long, slender legs and antennae, according to the Purdue scientists.

Bedbugs can travel easily — from beds to sofa cushions, from room to room and even home via suitcases from travel. Once an infestation develops, whether in a home, a hotel or even a movie theater, bedbugs are extremely difficult to remove and require the experience of a pest professional. Bedbugs can live for a year or more without eating and can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from nearly freezing to almost 113 degrees Fahrenheit, says Henriksen.

And since it is the height of travel season (the resurgence of bedbugs is tied largely to international travel), it is important for travelers to know what to look for in hotels. The NPMA offers these tips:

* Pull back the hotel bed sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly the corners, for telltale brownish or reddish spots.
* Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking. Do not put your luggage on the bed.
* If you change rooms but choose to stay in the same establishment, be sure your new room is not adjacent to the potentially infested room.
* Use a large plastic bag to store your luggage.

Florida Bed Bug Control

Brevard Bedbug Control Services

September 27, 2010

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