Bed bug news round-up (New Jersey is notably silent)

by nobugsonme on May 25, 2007 · 5 comments

in australia, bed bug treatment, bed bugs, bed bugs and travel, bed bugs in colleges, dorms, information and help, mattresses, michigan, steam, tennessee, tools and weapons

Such an interesting assortment of bed bug news came through my inbox this evening.

First, WLNS of Lansing, Michigan warns that bed bugs are the pest of the 21st century, that they “wreak havoc on your skin and your life,” their incidence has increased 75% n five years (oh, I’d say much more than that), and fighting an infestation is costly, upwards of $300 per room. After scaring the living bejaysus out of the good (Lansonians? Lansineers?), what one, tiny pithy nugget of practical advice do they give?

When returning from a trip, experts say it’s a good idea to vacuum out your suitcase.

Well, it’s not bad advice, but is that the only thing you’ve got for us WLNS? Looks like your readers might need them a few Bedbugger FAQs.

WVLT in Tennessee also seems to have latched on to the phrase “bug of the 21st century.” (All right, which entomologist let that one out of the bag? Well, if it replaces that nursery-rhyme mumbo-jumbo, then we’re on to a good thing, I guess.)

More suggestions here, including suitcase-vacuuming (again, I’m sensing a pattern here), and the warning to those who are thinking it’s a bedsheet issue,

If you’re leaving for a trip, don’t think taking your own bedding will help. They live in the mattress.

Just make sure and check the bed before bringing your stuff to the room.

Well, sorta, but not quite: they also live in the baseboards, bed frame, electrical sockets, light fixtures, ceiling, floor, and sofa, among other places. The information is more plentiful for Tennessee than for Lansing, Michigan, but the quality is a bit hit-or-miss. They’re obsessed with bed bugs being “in the mattress,” but they also warn people not to toss vacuum bags in the trash, and so on. (Tennesee is also playing a bit fast and loose with the rules of punctuation, spelling, and grammar, so compulsive proofreaders and your high school English teacher should steer clear!)

OSU’s student paper The Lantern reports that an infested grad student dorm at Ohio State University is getting some serious “fumigation” in response to bed bugs. The collection of all students’ non-washable belongings—isolated, bagged, placed in red carts—sounds promising. It’s a bit mysterious what will happen to that stuff (in the red carts, they have to be red carts!), but hopefully it will be picked through with a fine-toothed comb by PCOs with bed bug knowledge, and returned.

credit Rachel Bolles

If this is so, and if OSU also follows up at 10-14 day intervals (follow-up was not mentioned at all in the article), this would not be unlike the Stanford bed bug protocol, which we believe to be the best reported in any response to college dorm bed bugs. (You can scroll down this list to see past coverage on Bedbugger of Stanford bed bug cases, and gawk at the love fest I’ve put on for Stanford upon hearing the descriptions of how San Francisco’s Crane PCO and the Stanford admin dealt with those cases. It’s beautiful, really.) I only note this because reports have also come from many other colleges of poor bed bug procedures.

Update 5/25:
100 rooms on 3 floors are being treated. Bed bugs were found on the 9th and 11th floors, and they’re treating the 10th as well. (What about the 8th?)

Finally, Australians appear to have been battling bed bugs a wee bit longer than those of us in the US. (Canada, too, a bit ahead in the Bed Bug Olympics.) So no surprise that they’re at the forefront of innovation: this dry steamer does the bed bug killing job, without getting your stuff all wet (that’s dry steam, i.e. no mold!) Their website says,

Duplex Cleaning Machines has a variety of industrial and commercial strength steam products to tackle bed bug epidemic including the Jet Steam, Tosca and JetVac range.

The JetVac Professional Plus is an ideal solution to the bed bug problem as it delivers 160°+ Dry Steam with a tool which applies the steam evenly without blowing the bugs away and then also vacuums away the dead bugs and their eggs.

Wait, they have a steamer named Tosca? Puccini must be tossing in his grave.

But the question on everyone’s mind: when will my PCO have one? I can just see it now, integrated pest management: first, they bring in the bed bug dog. Then the dry steaming and caulking. And finally, the chemical and mechanical onslaught begins. Well, the bug of the 21st century needs the PCO of the 21st century, no?

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1 May 25, 2007 at 9:53 am

I’m glad the coverage is moving beyond the “killer bees of the ’00s” stage.

2 willow-the-wisp May 25, 2007 at 9:50 pm

I like what one of the articles in Winston’s last bed bug elixir expo hinted at: Doing the hot spot (usually the bed) and then the outer perimeter i.e.–the perimeter. The rest then is working inward toward the hot spot–It was so hinted at that I’m practically putting words into the article that were not there–OK I am doing that to a large extent.
And so I ask? Yeah why not “do” the 8th floor? In fact why not do the top floor and the eight floor first, and then why not do the two middle floors working concurrently from both ends of the building inward toward the center?
To me … that’s very insightful IPM– 🙂

3 nobugsonme May 26, 2007 at 11:23 am

More from WCPO.com. Only 3 infested rooms were found on the 9th and 11th floors. I think treating floors 9/10/11 was very responsible (esp. since some students may not yet have noticed infestations in their rooms). I still think they should have done the 8th too. And I really hope they follow up at 10-14 days. But so far, this is looking good.

4 nightshirt May 29, 2007 at 4:33 pm

the link to the australis dry steamer says it speays the heat, does not dispurse the bugs and vacuums them up. they said to use it with chemicals will give the best results. which chemicals – the residuals onyl? i wish they were clearer. i will have to e-mail them when i get a chance.

wonder what shipping would be!

5 nobugsonme May 29, 2007 at 4:36 pm

Hi Anonymous,
The Australian dry steamer appears to be something marketed at the commercial sector. I don’t think they expect consumers to apply chemicals–I think this is something PCOs would use and they would do the application.

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