This set of notes from the recent Purdue Pest Management Conference is from our bed bug professional-incognito, “Winston O. Buggy.” Thanks, Winston!
Following are some important tidbits covered at the conference submitted for your information and action agendas.
More work is being done on field strains of bed bugs, as opposed to much early work which utilized sheltered strains, as they were the only ones available in quantity. This should result in better operational information and perhaps a greater understanding of distribution and patterns.
Pyrethrin barriers do not seem to be successfully repellent as an isolation tool. On the other hand it means that bed bugs are less likely to avoid some treated surfaces.
One bed bug may cause a multitude of welts or what seem to be bites.
Bed bug eggs and feces seem to fluoresce although they are often obscured by background material.
Work continues to be done in regard to effective detection. Dogs, although a good detection tool, are not beyond errors, false positives and dogs playing their handlers. Again a generalization of a work in progress which needs supervision, and accreditation.
Current studies indicate that bed bugs feed once a week.
Number one spot in hotels – headboard.
Number one spot in homes – box spring.
It is recommended that all bedrooms be treated as well as all sofas and sleeping areas even if bed bugs have not been noted in these areas.
Bed bugs will deposit eggs all over sleeping areas, oftentimes in areas adjacent to fecal focal points.
According to one study, bed bugs were found in adjacent apartments 28% of the time.
Unfortunately clutter will undermine any treatment, so total cooperation is essential.
One major danger area is in the discarding of infested items such as mattresses.
1. Because they are dispersed by disposal, bag it before you move it.
2. Items are often picked up by others sometimes even in the same building.
3. Encase before you replace to protect incoming mattresses and box springs.
And when using encasements, consider covering corners of metal frames with felt to avoid rips.
More funding, more research, and more product development are all needed. Unfortunately when compared to agricultural needs bed bugs are not a number
one priority. In addition, the over-regulation of entire classes of insecticides is not helping in stemming the tide of bed bug infestation.