Bed Bug University held its North American Summit in Chicago in September 2011. Leading researchers and executives from pest management, hospitality, university, housing authority, and property management fields came together to talk about trends in the bed bug industry. Some major highlights were showcased in the most recent issue of PCT.
Bed bug anxiety: Dr. Caleb Adler, associate professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati, explained that bed bug anxiety can cause some people with existing psychiatric issues to experience more severe episodes. He suggested pest management professionals share advice with clients to help ease their stress.
Bed bugs without beds: Professionals need more options when dealing with infestations in offices, retail stores and public spaces, said Jeff White, technical director of Bed Bug Central. He discussed the use of properly trained canines for initial inspections if they are prepared for the different settings. White also explained that maintenance staff should be trained to use and inspect interception devices and low-profile glue boards.
Help your client be the hero: Pest management professionals’ client’s reputations can be ruined by even a mention of a bed bug infestation. Helping them take control of the story early can help remedy the situation if responded to quickly and responsibly. Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, an entomologist at Cornell University, said educational messages are hard to comprehend when people are stressed.
“Bed bugs, themselves, are not the crisis,” she said. “It’s the reaction that’s causing the crisis.”
Cheap and easy monitoring: Pitfall traps placed around hot spots are an inexpensive effective tool for pest management professionals, said Dr. Changlu Wang, entomologist at Rutgers University. Dr. Wang said in a 360-unit multi-housing facility with 19 known bed bug infestations, visual inspections identified 17 more infestations and interceptor traps found an additional 26 infestations after one week. Dr. Wang added that bed bugs are most attracted to red and black pitfall traps.
Issues with OTC products: Dr. Susan Jones, entomologist at the Ohio State University, said her research may be an eye opener for clients and tenants thinking about using over-the-counter bed bug products. Jones found three consumer fogging products achieved no mortality of pyrehroid-resistant bed bug populations, even when the pests were just feet from the foggers and couldn’t escape the droplets. Bed bugs treated with botanical oils had less than 35 percent mortality, with nymphs still molting and females laying eggs on treated surfaces.
For the full list of highlights from the summit, refer to the article on PCT’s website here.