Problem With Insects, Pests Or Bed Bugs?
You Need Sandy Pest Control
Everybody has pests insects or bugs in their home at one time or another in their lives. Some are easier to get rid of than others. Calling in a professional pest control company, generally means you are most likely to find a long lasting solution, rather than simply spraying a little insecticide yourself.
Bees And Wasps Control Services
Wasps nests can be handled easily if they are in the ground. It is simple enough to see where the wasps are entering into the soil. Then you just buy a puffer bottle of powder from the hardware shop, squirt it around the nest entrance and the wasps carry it in. What if the nest is up a tree, or under the roofing system of the house. Do you really wish to be up a ladder being stung by countless upset wasps?
Wasps are attracted to many types of food, they live on protein as well as sugars. Often people believe wasps eat just sweet food, such as fruit, sugary drinks, alcohol and sweets etc, although these foods are attractive to insect activity.
It is common to see them tucking into meat and pretty much anything they can get to. Therefore it is not just a case of removing the sweets from the picnic! The best thing to do if you are being overwhelmed in the garden is to watch them for a while and find where they are coming from, then call in a professional exterminator such as Local Pest Control Sandy who will safely and effectively remove the problem.
How To Prevent Ants?
Ants are a pain in many houses. Finding the nest and pouring boiling water onto it might be really satisfying, but it will not eliminate more than a few thousands of the countless ants in the nest.
If you’re worried that you might be at risk from an ant infestation you can put in place some simple ant repellant and ant deterrent measures. The checklist below will help you keep your home or business free from ants, or make sure your infestation doesn’t grow.
Most ants only come into your home to look for food. They are attracted to anything that’s sweet and sticky, which is why you find ants in kitchen cupboards or areas where food is kept.
With that in mind it’s important to not leave temptation in their path. To get rid of ants you must remember to:
- Clear up – food and liquid spillages immediately. Even the tiniest of crumbs is enough to attract an army of ants to your home! Ants are mostly attracted to sugary treats, sugar granules and crumbs from biscuits, cakes etc.
- Sweep up – any food crumbs from under your kitchen appliances and units. Ants are always scouting for food sources and it only takes a couple of crumbs for them to notify their friends to come and help!
- Store your food – keep food in airtight containers or bags and store them away safely in cupboards or refrigerators – not openly. Even refrigerator seals are no problem for ants! Fruit bowls with fermenting fruit should be emptied regularly.
- If you have a pet – clear up your pet’s left overs straight away. Pet foods are also a food source that will attracts ants to your home. Be sure to clean the bowls after use too.
- Block off – the entry points for ants by sealing all cracks and crevices around your doors and window frames by the means of silicone or acrylic where necessary. Check for leaks from time to time; ants will do anything to get to that crumb!
- In the garden – make sure all rubbish bins have tightly sealed lids; ants can easily detect the left overs in your rubbish bins and won’t hesitate to check it out!
Above all, cover any food in storage areas – you don’t know where ants have been walking before they march across your food.
If after going through our checklist you still continue to suffer from ant problems our bespoke ant extermination and control service is designed to combat your Ant infestation issues with the most appropriate and effective control methods.
So call today Local Pest Control Sandy to arrange an appointment.
Termite Inspection And Control Sandy
Finding termites can be hard, yet locating where they lie is absolutely necessary to choose the right termite eliminator program. The traditional method is to tap on the wood with the back of a screw driver, or to poke holes into the walls or even pull them apart.
Annual termite inspections are essential for early detection of termite activity on any property. It will prevent the potential for large scale damage and expensive repairs. Our termite inspections also assess the conditions that make a property more susceptible to timber pests and ways to minimise the risk of attack. A great majority of homes in Salt Lake City are at risk from termite attack.
We recommend a competent pest inspection at least on an annual basis and in some cases more frequent depending on your risk of termites.
A comprehensive annual termite inspection by Local Pest Control Sandy is the best protection against termites. It can detect termite activity and prevent long term damage to your property.
Most of our termite inspectors now have the use of up to the minute infrared termite detection system, which is fast, reliable and does not require any damage to your house.
Your local Pest control company is extremely discreet and can be contacted over the Internet, so your neighbours need not know that you have unwelcome visitors. After all, it’s not the type of thing anybody likes to promote.
How to Use Peppermint Oil for Pest Control (with Pictures)
By: Margaret Humphreys
In September, the National History Center of the American Historical Association held a Congressional briefing titled “Zika Virus: Historic Parallels, and Policy Responses.” At the briefing, Margaret Humphreys, professor of the history of medicine and Duke Global Health Institute affiliate faculty member, discussed the history of Zika’s mosquito vectors and the complexity of planning public health programs to counter disease-bearing mosquitoes. Humphreys has studied the history of mosquito-borne diseases in the United States and teaches a course at Duke on the history of public health in America. This is an excerpt from her talk.
What does it take to get a politician to vote to allocate money to control a given disease?
One category features infections that can be characterized as panic diseases. Two years ago, Ebola dominated the headlines, and SARS was scary in 2003. These diseases induce panic because the threat is broad — if anyone can get it, then everyone is afraid. And they are highly virulent, killing many people who fall ill. Gruesome symptoms, such as bleeding from eyes, vomiting blood, high fever and pain, grab the political imagination and raise an outcry from the populace.
In the case of yellow fever in the 1800s, people took the law into their own hands, turning back trains by tearing up railroad tracks or meeting arriving passengers with shotguns. The expense of this massive disruption of trade — many railroad companies just ceased operations during the peak panic — angered Wall Street, which in turn had a quiet word with Congress, which then legislated the first federal board of health in 1879, and later created the United States Public Health service to fight yellow fever as well as fend off immigrants who might be carrying cholera, typhus or tuberculosis.
Zika Doesn’t Elicit Panic
Zika lacks this panic component. Most people who get it are not very sick. They may have no symptoms at all, or merely a mild fever, faint rash, pinkeye, joint pains and headache. An unlucky few may develop a transient paralysis called Guillain-Barré syndrome, from which most recover. What makes Zika horrible are the birth defects that target brain development, leading to the deformed head that has become unfortunately familiar.
So far, most of the cases of microcephaly and other Zika-related birth defects have been in far away countries, although at least two dozen such babies have been born in the U.S. in the past year. Hundreds of currently pregnant women in the U.S. have tested positive for the virus.
A Brief History of Zika
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus in the same genus as West Nile, yellow fever and dengue. Researchers first identified in monkeys in a Ugandan forest in 1947, and five years later, human cases appeared in Uganda and Tanzania. Since then, Zika outbreaks have appeared in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.
In July 2015, Brazil reported the association with Guillain-Barré Syndrome and in October 2015 the association with microcephaly. So our knowledge of this disease, in the western hemisphere, is recent, but the fetal outcome has sparked public health alarm.Baby with microcephaly (left) vs. baby with typical head size.
Health officials have been warning about the impact of Zika since early this year, and President Obama requested new money to fight it in February. This was not forthcoming, and the money that has been available has been shifted from other pots, such as the one for fighting Ebola. That money ran out at the end of September.
To Spray or Not to Spray
Still, state and local governments have begun the fight against Zika. Their principal tool, mosquito control, is both powerful and problematic. Aedes aegypti — the type of mosquito that spreads Zika — breeds in “clean water” so that it favors flower pots, bird baths and any sort of depression that holds water.Aedes aegypti — the type of mosquito that spreads Zika — breeds in “clean water” so that it favors flowerpots, bird baths and any sort of depression that holds water.
So broadcast spraying or full house spraying — rather than finely tuned insecticide targets — may be attempted, which can scare people who don’t understand what is going on. When early 20th century New Orleans public health officers spread oil on household water barrels, local residents attacked them for poisoning their water. It’s not surprising that these alien-appearing workers scare modern people too.
Global spraying of insecticides from aircraft may be more efficient, but also more toxic to the environment. In the 1950s, DDT was sprayed to kill mosquitoes and crop pests, and Rachel Carson told us of the “silent spring” that followed, as bird eggs became too fragile to allow chicks to hatch. Last month, millions of bees died in South Carolina from planes spraying an insecticide against the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Further, the mosquitoes can develop resistance against insecticides, as happened with malaria mosquito spraying in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as with the Aedes spraying in Puerto Rico during the under-funded campaign against dengue over the past decade.
Education Campaigns Fall Short
A second mode of current attack against Zika utilizes the education of individuals, such as those public health officials are carrying on in New York City (NYC), Miami and elsewhere now. Central to the process is making people afraid of mosquito bites, which has been a hard sell historically. The U.S. Army created cartoons to convince World War II GIs to use mosquito repellant and bed nets, all in an attempt to ward off malaria.During World War II, the U.S. government launched an anti-malaria campaign to convince WWII soldiers to use mosquito repellent and bed nets, but compliance wasn’t optimal. Humphreys wonders whether current initiatives to curb mosquito exposure in the wake of Zika will have similarly disappointing results.
Macho dismissal of the tiny nuisances, coupled with the discomfort of bed nets and the smelliness of insect repellents countered their efforts. In Miami, the appeal of open-air cafes and the cool night life, coupled with the knowledge that non-pregnant folks have little to fear, can create an apathetic audience for such messages.
Targeting the pregnant in particular has obvious difficulties, especially in multi-cultural locales like Miami or NYC, where outreach into such a personal time requires multi-language skills and socio-cultural training. In NYC, they’re urging women not to visit the Caribbean and Latin American countries that may well be their homes, and if they do, to use mosquito protection.
Compliance depends on the hearer trusting the teacher over, say, the information available from relatives, and sharing an understanding of modern biomedicine that may not be consistent with their own worldview. This is the most labor intensive form of public health campaigns, and it has been only partially successful in the past.
Addressing Sexual Transmission of Zika Is Tricky Territory
A further wrinkle in the Zika situation is that it can be a sexually transmitted disease. The CDC recommends that the sexual partner of a pregnant woman who has been infected with Zika use barrier methods like condoms to protect from transmission. But Zika can survive in sperm for at least six months, and the man may not even know he’s been infected. How people who live in Miami are supposed to reproduce is unclear.
The government has been trying to control sexually transmitted diseases since the Civil War, with heightened efforts in World War I and World War II, with varying success. Telling people not to have sex doesn’t work very well. Telling people to use barrier methods also has well-known problems — some see the promotion of condoms as the promotion of promiscuity and think abstinence is the only appropriate government message.
A Plea to Congress: Fund Zika Vaccine Research
We’ve fought an epidemic virus that causes birth defects in the United States before. Once rubella, also called German measles, was common in the U.S., and if caught by a pregnant woman could cause deafness, blindness, heart disease, decreased intelligence and other defects in her infant. The association of this minor form of measles with birth defects was recognized in the 1940s, and by the 1970s, vaccination against it became common.Dr. Frances O. Kelsey, pictured here in the 1960s, spent most of her career at FDA overseeing scientific investigations of drugs.
As with rubella, a vaccine is the definitive solution for the Zika crisis, if we can get there. One estimate is that a commercial vaccine is at least two years away, if funding is restored immediately. Remember that it took six months to ready the H1N1 vaccine in 2009, and that was against a common organism — influenza — amidst a climate of high panic among parents.
In the early 1960s, a sedative drug called thalidomide was introduced in Europe and Canada, resulting in many deformed babies with flippers for hands and feet. But not in the U.S. An American FDA heroine, Frances Kelsey, paid attention to a few reports of birth defects that the sponsoring drug company tried to sweep under the proverbial rug, and refused to license thalidomide in the U.S. The thalidomide disaster has generated books and policy papers in thick piles.
Will Zika become the thalidomide crisis in this generation? Or will this congress, like Kelsey, step up to protect the unborn children of America from this destroyer of lives? I hope for the latter.
Margaret Humphreys is a professor of the history of medicine and Duke Global Health Institute affiliate faculty member. You can watch the briefing here.
Homemade Stinkbug Control
When you are looking for mosquito killer for your yard you want to get something that is effective. You don’t want to end up with a product that won’t get rid of your problem. That is why we have gathered together these tips for things to consider when choosing the best mosquito killer for your yard.
Is It Poisonous?
One of the first things you should check about any mosquito killer for your yard is whether or not it is poisonous. Many mosquito killers that you would use in your yard are dangerous for pets, wildlife, and humans to ingest. You don’t want to hurt the eco-system of your yard or get part of your family hurt by the chemicals you use to kill the mosquitos. That could cause the problem to get worse in ways that you never expected.
Does It Affect The Environment?
Many dispersal methods for chemicals and many chemicals can hurt the environment. With how fragile our eco-system is we want to make sure that we are doing everything possible to keep it safe. In some places it is even illegal to use a mosquito killer for the yard that has any environmental hazards in it.
Is It Effective?
The joy of the internet is that you can look up any product that you are considering purchasing and see what other people’s experiences with it have been. Use websites like Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes, and more to find out whether or not people have had a good experience with the product or not.
Is the Product Designed For Your Area?
There are a variety of different mosquitos that can be found around the world. Not all mosquito killers for the yard are able to eliminate all mosquitos. Make sure that the product you choose is designated as working on the type of mosquito you want to get rid of or for your part of the world.
Now that you know more about what to look for when you are choosing a mosquito killer for the yard you can go out there and pick the right tool for the job. What mosquito killer do you trust in your yard?
The nightmare never ends
In the last few years bed bugs gained a reputation as a parasite back from the dead — resurrected from a DDT-soaked post war era, invading cities with egalitarian disregard for social differences.
Most bed bug stories had a common attribute: whether it happened at Victoria Secret, a taxi cab, or a Brooklyn apartment, the typical narrative had a beginning, middle and end. But beneath the surface lies a grim tale of a nightmare that seems to never end.
“It almost makes you want to cry. You want to move (away.) You feel helpless,” says Elaine Johnson, a retired nurse on Long Island, New York.
“And you go to bed every night praying that it doesn’t happen that night.”
Johnson lives at 400 Fulton Avenue, an apartment building for senior citizens in the Village of Hempstead, New York. The building is a mile down the main strip from Hofstra University — where Obama and Romney faced off in the 2012 presidential election — and six miles from the county border of Queens. This is the urban outskirts of New York City, off one of the first exits from the parkway to the suburbs. I recently found Johnson sitting with neighbors in front of the building, looking out at traffic and a U-Haul storage center. Her first words when she saw me: “It’s still a problem.”
Inside, other tenants who recognized me said the stories keep coming so they stay vigilant. One woman took out her tablet device and showed me her bed bug app.
The previous time I was there, in the winter, several tenants gathered to tell bed bug stories. One man said he puts the bug on the edge of the toilet and slices it in half with a razor blade. Another man ranted for a while and though it was hard to understand, it involved the landlord. Another tenant, lamented that his family is afraid to visit.
“They know if they come for five minutes,” said Floyd Shorter, “they take the chance of getting bed bugs.”
The common bed bug is a brownish red (though white in infancy), wingless, oval shaped, six-legged insect that can be as small as a sesame seed and as large as a grain of rice. It lives on the blood of birds and mammals but has a preference for human blood. It doesn’t come from the outdoors but hitchhikes on the possessions of people into their homes. It goes unseen in crevices, usually in or near the bed where it can follow the carbon dioxide on the breath of sleeping victims. It tends to attack at night, injecting a mild anesthetic and gorging, often leaving a row of itchy, swollen bite marks that usually last several days or weeks. Bed bugs are not known to transmit disease — important to note — but victims tend to endure such stressors as the cost of replacing clothes and furniture and the fear of going to bed. You might call it a nightmare.
Bed bugs infested the headlines as nondiscriminatory vampires terrorizing all walks of life in major cities around the world with media coverage seeming to climax in the United States in 2010. At that time, New York City was acrawl with stories about bed bugs infesting five star hotels and top retail stores. This conversation practically exhausted itself and subsided but talk resurfaced last summer when the City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority fumigated at least 16 trains after alleged bed bug sightings.
There was a sense that bed bugs had returned — as though they had gone somewhere.
“The resurgence is definitely not dying down, although a handful of cities — such as NYC — seem to think that’s the case,” said Michael Potter, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky, in an email.
In a distant echo, a May, 2014 European research paper begins, “Worldwide, reports of the spread of the (common bed bug) are increasing.”
Bed bugs were wiped out in the United States and other countries in the mid 20th Century and resurged in the 1990s. By 2008, a survey found that in Cincinnati, Ohio — which has been ranked among the most bed bug infested American cities — one in six people had an experience with the insect. Between 2004 and 2009 yearly confirmed bed bug infestations in New York City leaped from fewer than 100 to more than 4,000.
Since then, some hard hit areas appear to be doing worse or at least not tremendously better — if complaints are a measure. Exterminator company Terminex reported a 47% increase in bed bug calls in Columbus, Ohio between January and May in 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. Industry reported a 20% increase in bed bug business in Chicago, Illinois from 2012 to late last year. Likewise a nonprofit Chicago tenants organization received more bed bug related calls on its hotline in 2012 than in 2010.
Other hard hit areas now look a lot better comparatively. Last year the Cincinnati health department said infestations there declined from 22% of the population to 15% by 2012. New York City data shows recorded bed bug infestations declined by nearly half from almost 5,000 in 2010 to just over 2,200 last year. (On the Internet its been suggested the City’s 311 complaint call-based data could be misleading — still, if it’s any indication, exterminator company Orkin dropped the City from number 7 on its worst bed bug cities list in 2010 to its current place at 17.)
Experts say bed bug reservoirs are most commonly and likely found in places inhabited by hoarders, undocumented immigrants, disabled people, the poor and the elderly.
But even in big towns like New York where the infestation reversal rate looks high — bed bugs are still creeping around the edges and possibly in nooks within.
“Why do bed bugs continue to be a problem in society? It’s because of what we call the reservoirs,” said Dr. Changlu Wang, an entomologist at Rutgers University.
Experts say bed bug reservoirs are most commonly and likely found in places inhabited by hoarders, undocumented immigrants, disabled people, the poor and the elderly. The last group tends to have the highest tolerance to the bites and is most likely to not notice an infestation.
In a 2013 Rutgers University study, Wang and other entomologists surveyed a building of more than 60 residents, most of whom were seniors, in Irvington, New Jersey. The researchers found that 70 percent of the residents surveyed had a bed bug infestation but didn’t know. One disabled person seemed to have at least 10,000 bugs in his room but never complained, Wang said. In another survey in Paterson, New Jersey in multiple buildings this last spring, he said, of 143 residents with infestations only 51% were aware of the pests in their homes. “There are many of these kinds of examples,” he said.
A study from early this year, in the Journal of Urban Health, emphasized the economic factor. The study found that unemployed residents of public housing in New York City were more likely to have bed bug infestations than their employed neighbors in the same building. If “reservoir” happens on a spectrum, those unemployed neighbors would have more reservoir-type infestations than those of the employed neighbors.
The major reservoir between the 1940s and now, researchers say, may have been the less developed parts of the world, especially in Central Asia, which has a temperature more suitable to the common bed bug (unlike the tropical bed bug). Experts believe increased international air travel in the late 1990s contributed heavily to the resurgence, among other factors. But some question whether pockets of bed bugs, be it among animals or in homes, existed all along.
“As for reservoirs of bed bugs, that’s the million dollar question,” Brooke Borel, author of upcoming book, Infested: How The Bed Bug Infiltrated Our Bedrooms and Took Over the World, has said. Part of the question, she said, is “Where are the reservoirs today?”
House of a thousand bed bugshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkP0ITEs8R4
AD Real Estate Investors, Inc., the management company of 400 Fulton Avenue in Hempstead, converted the building from its prior use as a hotel in 2005. In 2008 the building filled out with tenants.
“That’s when the bed bugs were in here like you wouldn’t believe,” said Ronald Reed, a Vietnam veteran and the tenant council president.
Some of the tenants suspect the insects were there already because hotels are known for hosting bed bugs. Not an outrageous concept. The bug tends to wedge itself into tight nooks to stay temperate and as a result can elude being seen. It can go several months without feeding, travel room to room on wiring and through pipes and vents, like characters in a heist movie. And even if most of the bugs are destroyed, survivors could multiply, fast. They can live some 10 to 12 months and can have three generations in a year. One female can lay more than 100 eggs in a year. That could amount to thousands or tens of thousands of bugs.
But scattered reports of long-term infestations suggests that the reservoirs are just, common.
“It’s more than we know,” said Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, an entomologist based at Cornell University and former chair of New York City’s bed bug advisory board.
Gangloff-Kaufmann discovered 400 Fulton Avenue as a side effect of a drug investigation. In 2007, Kathleen Rice, the Nassau County district attorney and now a congressional candidate, conducted an intense sting operation called the Terrace-Bedell Initiative to crackdown on drugs on Terrace Avenue and Bedell Street in the Village of Hempstead. In the midst of that project, investigators learned about the severe bed bug infestation at 100 Terrace, a large apartment building.
“We developed a very, very strong relationship with people,” said Assistant District Attorney Rene Fiechter. “As the trust builds one of the things that came up was they said, ‘Well, we’ve got a bed bug problem.’”
By 2009, Fiechter set up a county bed bug task force including Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann. The group held educational sessions, primarily attracting community groups from Hempstead because “residents there were so hard hit,” Gangloff-Kaufmann said.
The team surveyed the seniors at 400 Fulton Avenue, and received 60 replies from the 109 unit building. Two thirds of the respondents said they’ve had bed bugs at least once. The majority of respondents had bed bugs for a year or longer, despite treatments.
The committee attempted to coordinate an intervention there but the effort “wasn’t very successful,” said Gangloff-Kaufmann.
The management of the building did not respond to requests for comment.
Gangloff-Kaufmann said working with the buildings was challenging because both tenants and staff weren’t willing to go the lengths necessary to fight the infestations.
“This meant they were putting out small fires rather than addressing the whole building at once,” she said.
A full-building approach would take a costly, highly coordinated effort by both landlord and tenants. Landlords would have to pay for treating every room. Tenants would have to de-clutter their apartments and leave during a treatment.
“Everything requires a large input of money, commitment, time, and motivation,” Gangloff-Kaufmann said. “Tenants are also able to refuse intervention,” she added. “That’s often how you get reservoirs.”
Despite how common infestations are, not every one talks about their problem. Not only is this a potential block to seeking out infestations in buildings, but researchers believe there is a severe dearth of data about infestations as a result of secrecy.
“You can’t rely on tenant complaints to reveal bed bug problems,” said the Kentucky entomologist Michael Potter.
One reason tenants often keep quiet is for fear of discrimination from the landlord or management. Court records show landlords can and do sue tenants for hosting bed bugs. And undocumented immigrants risk deportation if they go to authorities with a housing complaint.
But many residents are quiet because of a less substantiated fear – stigma that bed bugs are tokens of uncleanliness. The truth is, bed bugs just follow blood. They don’t seek garbage or mold or clutter, which just makes it harder for them to be found, hence a problem for hoarders who may pick up infested items to begin with from the curb or thrift shops.
A testimony about a severe bed bug issue is more likely an admission of low income. Part of that is the costs involved. Victims often buy spray cans or “diatomaceous earth” powder, which the bugs walk on and die. But to really get rid of the bugs tends to require professional intervention. Pesticide treatments tend to start at a few hundred dollars per room and could take more than one visit. Heat treatments – using equipment that heats the bugs to death all at once at 125 degrees – can start in the several thousands. Exterminators may offer to bring a dog trained to find the bugs – a common type of inspection costing several hundred dollars. At any point, the victim might spend money replacing furniture and clothes or buying mattress covers.
Flashback: wartime scareshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EA8s88Hgssc
Bed bugs have historically been tied to low income housing. In the United States and Europe, the bugs were a huge problem in the early 20th Century, especially in areas that were poorer and more crowded, as Potter described in a 2011 essay in the journal American Entomologist. The wealthy, he wrote, “with an abundance of domestic help discovered that bed bugs could be kept in check with vigorous housecleaning.” That involved “washing bedding, breaking down the beds, and dousing the slats, springs, and crevices with boiling water or grease from salt pork.”
Central-heating at the start of the 20th Century inflamed the rate of infestations because bed bugs thrive in warmth (but not cruel heat.) The bugs took over homes, hotels, restaurants, shops and theaters, similar to recent headlines. The wave sparked a several-decade-long campaign to wipe out the bugs with a range of methods and insecticides, climaxing with dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) use during World War Two.
In 1939 a Swiss scientist named Paul Muller discovered that DDT killed bed bugs like nothing else. Studies found that even residue of the spray was effective for years. The U.S. military used it in the barracks. Civilians used it after the war. People bought it right off the shelf.
At the same time, though, reports found that the bugs were becoming immune. And in 1973, years after the bugs were thought to be wiped out, the United States banned DDT to protect human health, wildlife and the environment. And by the 1990s, the EPA banned contemporary bed bug pesticides from indoor use.
A 2011 Ohio resolution called for the EPA to allow an industrial pesticide, Propoxur, to be used on bed bugs. The agency denied the request. Then-EPA-administrator Lisa Jackson said in a letter to the Ohio governor that Propoxur could have health impacts on children.
Loosening regulations on insecticides “probably wouldn’t make a whole lot of difference at this point,” said Potter. The bug has shown an ability to develop resistance to every next chemical thrown at it, he said.
“We’re just in this arms race just trying to stay ahead of the bug,” he said.
Holding landlords and tenants accountable hasn’t been a simple task either. New York City, Nassau County and other municipal areas have set up task forces, which tend to be advisory. Some of the same governments have passed laws that deal with the broad confusion — about tenant rights and landlord responsibilities — that often results in lawsuits.
But New York City stands out for its progress. Even if the bed bug disclosure law New York State passed in 2010 for landlords and schools had any relevance to 400 Fulton Avenue the law only applied to New York City, which itself launched an online bed bug info-portal and enlisted two bed bug sniffing dogs, Mickey and Nemo. Perhaps more importantly, the City sends inspectors to respond to complaints. If the complaint is confirmed, the property owner is issued a violation notice and ordered to take care of it. This doesn’t happen everywhere, such as in Westchester County to the north.
That doesn’t guarantee that the City doesn’t have reservoirs and, as long as New Yorkers have blood, the stories will keep coming.
But unlike let-me-tell- you-my-bed-bugs-story bed bug stories, reservoir stories aren’t told and don’t have endings.
They happen to people who have worse problems to deal with. In Detroit — ranked 4th on Orkin’s (worst) bed bugs cities list — there have been reports lately of bed bug infestations on the city buses. At the same time, the City’s been dealing with a water shut-off crisis.
Experts say the issue lacks the severity to attract the attention required to eliminate it again.
“The problem with bed bugs is it’s not carrying the black plague,” said Fiechter.
Entomologists have been pointing to the reservoirs all along. In 2011, Gangloff-Kaufmann spoke at a bed bug summit held by the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C. She said, “We’re seeing more reservoirs of bed bugs appearing more often and intensely in poor communities, where people do not have resources to care for themselves.”
More recently, Dr. Wang said, “there are still many communities with chronic bed bug infestations.” He said, “Fighting bed bug infestations in our society should focus on these areas.”