Bed bug snuff film from Paul Bello

by nobugsonme on May 27, 2015 · 3 comments

in bed bugs

People who are dealing with bed bugs sometimes find this stuff encouraging, and maybe you will too. This isn’t the first “bed bug snuff film” we’ve seen, but it is perhaps the most creative.

Bedbugger Forums participant and pest management professional Paul Bello (credited as P.J. Bello) and an accomplice (N.P. Bello) re-enact an ancient Roman-style Christian vs. Lion tournament with the lion played by a jumping spider (Salticidae) on Wikipedia, specifically Phidippus audax, and a bed bug playing the Christian.

As in the original battles, it’s not a fair fight and the bloodthirsty audience doesn’t care.

Phidippus audax, Jumping spider

Phidippus audax, Jumping spider

Phidippus audax is a rather interesting spider and you may, like me, have found these jumping spiders in your home. They have four pairs of eyes (!) and you can see two pairs of them in the image below, also showing their pretty faces and “iridescent chelicerae” (thanks to Wikipedia for the lingo). You can’t see the spider’s good looks very well in the video.

Face of an adult male Phidippus audax jumping spider

Face of an adult male Phidippus audax jumping spider

According to Wikipedia, they can jump 10-50 times their own body length. The species is also named for its personality: “audax” means bold/daring in Latin (“audac-” is the Latin root of the English “audacious”). I think if I could jump 50x my body length, I’d be pretty audacious too. Besides, those (muscular?) front legs look pretty impressive also.

Thanks for letting me wax a bit science geeky. I believe that this is the first time in my life I have ever referred to a spider as having a pretty face. I guess spending time virtually with entomologists is rubbing off? That said, it doesn’t make me any more keen to encounter a jumping spider in my daily existence.

Warning: as expected, this bed bug snuff film contains depictions of violence and an insect death, and as such is not for everyone. People who object to violence (or who are scared of spiders or don’t want to see bed bugs) may not wish to watch.

(if embedded video is not visible, you can click here to view it)

If you are curious whether spiders can be put to good use killing bed bugs, read this article about how Athenians did just that with a species called Thanatus flavidus Simon, back in 1929.

But don’t get too excited; predators are not likely to be the best way (or even a good way) to eliminate your bed bugs today.

First image credit: Phidippus audax, by Kaldari, used under a Creative Commons Public Domain license

Second image credit: Face of an adult male Phidippus audax jumping spider, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

3 comments

West Business Services in Wausau, Wisconsin has bed bugs, as Fox News Wausau reports.

As is often true, the news story raises as many questions as it answers.

For starters, the WFXS news segment first notes that corporate office told the county health department officials that a single bed bug was found a week and a half ago:

The Environmental Health and Safety Director at Marathon County Health Department, Dale Grosskurth, says the department received a complaint of a bed bug infestation about a week and a half ago. He says the department has received about three calls total.

“In our follow up with the corporate office, they said they’ve found a single bed bug on inspection, did a treatment and did follow up inspection,” said Grosskurth. [Emphasis added.]

But then later, the reporter notes that a West spokesperson shared an email sent to employees:

In the email, West leaders said the bed bugs were found on the third floor and pest control treated the area twice in April.

Officials asked employees to not bring any blankets, coats or bags in and out of the area.

They said, “We apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused. We appreciate your patience as we continue to monitor the situation.”

“It’s a challenge of dealing with something very small and adept at hiding in cracks and crevices,” said Grosskurth. “It will take multiple treatments to get rid of them.”

Health officials say bed bugs aren’t uncommon here in Marathon County.

They say infestations can happen in homes, hotels, anywhere people are. [Emphasis added.]

So, rather than a single bed bug, it sounds like multiple bed bugs were found, and two treatments have already been done.

(We can’t determine whether this confusion is coming from the company or the journalists, of course.)

Minimizing the “blankets” you take into your work area is a good idea; purses, briefcases, coats and any other items brought to an area with bed bugs may make it easier to take them home. Bags can be easily sealed in XL Ziploc type bags.

Employees working in the area where bed bugs are found are right to be concerned about spreading them and may want to take extra precautions, like putting clothing through a wash and hot dryer cycle (or just a hot dryer, if appropriate) when they get home.

As the report noted, “bed bugs are not uncommon in Marathon County,” and if they’re not uncommon in Wausau, Wisconsin, you can bet they’re not uncommon where you are reading this, net citizen.

In other bed bug news, Entomology Today reports on a new bed bug vacuum. Entomologists in France, who were looking to gently collect bed bug samples for research have developed a “new bed bug collecting device” — actually a tricked-out Dyson DC34 stick vacuum — which alleviates the need for a mouth-powered bed bug vacuum traditionally used to gently suck up bed bug samples.

Mouth-powered bed bug vacuum? Yeah, we heard about the “pooter” a while back. David Cain reported that they can result in a “highly unpleasant” situation where, while using the bed bug vacuum (i.e. glorified straw), one sucks in “the occassional mouthful of bed bugs”.

So — on the behalf of anyone who needs to collect bed bugs for research, thank you, French entomologists!

2 comments

Glasgow’s Evening Times reports that a woman was told by her doctor to flee her bed bug-infested rented flat in the city’s Govanhill neighborhood, and was as a result homeless due to bed bugs:

The woman, who asked not to be named, was bitten from head to foot by the parasites and sought medical attention.

Doctors told her to flee the flat which she rented from property firm GSL Lettings. [click to continue…]

4 comments

A new study by researchers at Simon Fraser University details the identification of all six components of bed bug aggregation pheromone. This is exciting news, as it may lead to the development of more effective active bed bug monitors.

The study, led by Regine Gries, Gerhard J. Gries, and Robert Britton, is forthcoming in the journal Angewandte Chemie and appeared online as an early preview Sunday. [click to continue…]

8 comments

Bed bug forums the focus of The Daily Dot

by nobugsonme on December 9, 2014 · 2 comments

in meta

The Daily Dot has a new story about our bed bug forums by Anna Drezen, herself a Bedbugger Forum user who made some of the typical mistakes one makes when one suspects bed bugs:

I really wish I’d found Bedbugger.com right away, because my instincts about how to address the situation were dead wrong. I decided the best thing to do was come home from work, keep all the lights off, take a flashlight and a knife, and slash open my mattress in the dark while sobbing. I found nothing. Just to be safe, I sprayed my entire bed with rubbing alcohol. A few days later, I marched into my dermatologist’s office holding aloft a Ziploc bag with a spider in it, traumatizing her for life.

This was not the way to win the war.

Oh dear. [click to continue…]

2 comments

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, as of 10/8/14, PAB Two has recalled about 1700 units of its Thermalstrike Expedition model bed bug treatment system due to a fire hazard:

PAB Two has received four reports of the flexible, electrical conducting strip breaking, including one report of a fire in a unit and three reports of units sparking. No injuries or significant property damage were reported.

[click to continue…]

5 comments

When bed bugs are found on Metropolitan Transportation Authority trains or buses, consumers should be notified, say New York City Councilman Mark Treyger (D-Brooklyn) and State Assemblyman Bill Colton (D), according to the Daily News. [click to continue…]

11 comments

Move over alligators in the sewers, we’re still talking about bed bugs in the subway!

Here’s a follow-up to last night’s post about bed bugs being found in three NYC N train subway cars this week: [click to continue…]

4 comments

Bed bugs found in three N subway trains in New York City

August 6, 2014

The New York Daily News reported Tuesday that bed bugs have been found in three separate N subway trains, which have since been “fumigated” (I am assuming this means — as in the common parlance — “treated with pesticides,” rather than fumigation per se).

13 comments Read the full article →

Killing bed bugs with a hairdryer, and other bad slow-news-day tips

July 1, 2014

It’s that time of year, folks, bed bug season! Sure, bed bugs happen year round, but they do tend to multiply and spread a bit more quickly in the warmer months, due to various factors. This means the pest management professionals are busy, and the consumers are too-often itchy (and hot, which makes itching worse). […]

16 comments Read the full article →

Don’t use kerosene to kill bed bugs; be cautious with alcohol

June 18, 2014

A tenant in Augusta, Georgia was horrified to find that after her building’s maintenance department treated her home for bed bugs, it smelled like kerosene. She was right to be concerned, since applying kerosene is a dangerous and inappropriate method for treating bed bugs. WRDW reports, “They came in to spray for bed bugs, to […]

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Bed bugs found at Whirlpool factory in Ohio

June 15, 2014

Bed bugs were found last week in the health center in the Greenville, Ohio Whirlpool plant, WDTN (2 NEWS) reports: 2 NEWS obtained a notice to employees that read in part, “We want to let you know that we had an isolated incident in the health center on Monday, June 9. There have been no […]

7 comments Read the full article →