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Risks of DIY Bed Bug Treatment

Via the Huffington Post:


The Health Risks Of Bedbugs, Beyond Bumps In The Night

About 40 used bedbug bombs greeted Mike Deutsch when he entered a small home in Hempstead, N.Y., last year.

"The first thing I thought was, 'Is everyone okay?'" recalled Deutsch, an entomologist with Arrow Exterminating.

Fortunately, no one in the Hempstead house had been sickened by the chemicals enlisted in the family's do-it-yourself eradication attempt -- although new studies warn of the potential subtle or long-term consequences of exposures to bedbug pesticides, including hormone disruptionreproductive difficulties and behavioral problems. Everyone also escaped unscathed from a duplex in Marion, Ohio, thatcaught fire during a heat treatment for bedbugs in late December.

Research by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention suggests that people are not always so lucky.

A pattern of desperate, dangerous and often futile measures have Deutsch and other bedbug experts warning the public that bedbugs pose more significant problems than just their notorious nocturnal nibbling. While the epidemic fills fewer headlines today than when it resurfaced in the mid-2000s, experts also recognize that the bedeviling pests only seem to be multiplying further. A report released by Penn Medicine on Thursday suggested that infestations in Philadelphia are growing by 70 percent a yearNearly all pest management professionals, according to a nationwide survey published in April, reported servicing a bedbug infestation in the past year.

The issue has also captured the attention of several local and national agencies, which are now drafting and enacting legislation to promote safe bedbug control.

"People become desperate and will do crazy things," said Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann, a community-integrated pest management coordinator at Cornell University. "Overall, the public health effects of bedbugs have been largely overlooked."

Beyond the toxic chemicals sometimes misused to fight them or the house fires that can result from other efforts, bedbugs are associated with a variety of health concerns. The pests can cause anxiety, depression and lost sleep for those who face an infestation and the social and financial hardships that can come with it, Gangloff-Kaufmann said. She added that sores from bedbug bites may even open up avenues for infections, such as from superbug methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which commonly lives atop human skin. While the general consensus remains that bedbugs can't transmit disease, some scientists are unconvinced and underscore how relatively little is known about the insect.

People will also put themselves in dangerous situations to avoid the possible presence of bedbugs. As temperatures plummeted across the Midwest late last week, two homeless men reportedly chose to sleep outside rather than go into a Chicago shelter that's been battling bedbugs.

Kevin Govert, one of the men, told DNAinfo Chicago that he does not want to "get bedbugs again."

No building is immune. Infestations over the last couple months were reported in libraries, classrooms, movie theaters, hospitals, jails andfire stations, among other locales across the country.

"Bedbugs are not going to go away," said Dave Stone, director and principal investigator for the National Pesticide Information Center at Oregon State University.

Rising resistance among bedbugs to the chemical arsenal that once helped keep them at bay is making matters worse. One consequence -- and even a potential contributor to the insects' resistance -- is the tendency among some people to use more of the chemicals, and more often, should an initial application fail to eliminate the bugs.

In November 2012, the CDC -- using data from the National Pesticide Information Center -- issued a formal health advisory "alerting the public to an emerging national concern regarding misuse of pesticides to treat infestations of bed bugs and other insects indoors."

Between 2006 and 2010, 129 mild and serious health effects, including one death, were reported from bedbug-related pesticide use, according to the centers. Stone said that while he doesn't have any updated numbers, the trend doesn't appear to have abated.

"Sadly, pesticide misuse is going to be an issue that we need to be vigilant against all the time," he said.

Stone relayed reports of people putting the chemicals on their skin or on mattresses contrary to the instructions on the product's label. Victims of an infestation have been known to spray a pesticide not approved for bedbugs or for indoor use -- or even one that is outright banned -- further raising the risks of ineffectiveness and toxic exposures.

"The thought of an insect feeding on your blood -- it's psychologically traumatizing," said Stone. "It really makes people desperate, and they do resort sometimes to things that can harm their health."

In a study published in November, Canadian researchers found that the urine of nearly every one of 779 children studied showed evidence of recent exposure to pyrethroids, a pesticide commonly used in households and the central ingredient in bedbug control products. They are also the same pesticides to which bedbugs are increasingly resistant.

When researchers compared the children least and most exposed to pyrethroids, they found roughly a doubling in the odds of that child exhibiting behavioral problems, even after controlling for other factors, such as lead exposure and socio-economic status.

"Since the whole bedbug epidemic started a few years ago, I'd been wondering if these chemicals had any kind of an effect," said Maryse Bouchard, an environmental health expert at the University of Montreal and co-author on the study. "But we know very little about the health effects of pyrethroids. It's been relatively recent that we've used begun to use them on such a large scale."

Some even newer bedbug pesticides are emerging under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's expedited approval process, which the agency told The Huffington Post is part of its multi-pronged approach to combat the epidemic. Many of the new products combine different pesticides in an effort to outsmart the pyrethroid-resistant critters. More affordable over-the-counter products are still generally pyrethroid-based.

"As long as labels are followed, there should be no concern about health risks," said Missy Henriksen, a spokeswoman with the National Pest Management Association, referencing all EPA-approved pesticides.

But Ruth Kerzee, executive director of the Midwest Pesticide Action Center in Chicago, argues that even with the EPA's blessing, the jury remains out on the safety of the new pesticides, whether employed properly or not. Overall, the science on bedbug pesticides, she said, is minimal -- and so is the likelihood that a property owner will use a product precisely according to the label.

"We may not know the health effects until decades later," she said.

Kerzee noted that the burden of bedbugs is particularly heavy on poor people. Without thousands of dollars to pay for safe and effective strategies, such as hiring a professional to organize and heat-treat all of one's belongings, low-income families are left with few options. Gangloff-Kaufmann's program does offer a series ofillustrated guides in both English and Spanish on affordable measures to prevent and manage bedbugs, such as removing clutter in which bedbugs love to hide and "making your bed an island."

Moreover, shelters and subsidized housing for low-income families have been forced to close when building managers could not mitigate bedbugs properly.

Cynthia Northington, program director at Chicago's Franciscan House and Annex, said she and her staff have been working hard to keep their 300-plus beds open (hers was the shelter passed up by the homeless men). Exterminators strip and spray all beds once a week -- a practice Kerzee discourages -- in addition to the shelter's other strategies, such as limiting guests to one bag and incrementally replacing mattresses and encasing new ones in bedbug covers. It's been a costly program, she said, and they've been actively seeking donations.

"Right now we're in containment," said Northington. "But bedbugs multiply very rapidly, and before you know it, they could infest."

Bug bombs or foggers can exacerbate an infestation by driving the bugs into different areas of a building, noted Henricksen of the pest control industry group.

Bedbugs are so "cryptic and insidious" that they hide out in everything from TV sets to iPhones, added Deutsch of Arrow Exterminating. And while drops from a pesticide bomb may never even touch their shells, the chemicals could well penetrate human skin.

"People unknowingly put themselves in harm's way trying to get rid of these blood-sucking pests," Deutsch said. "This needs to be taken seriously."

Path: /news/risks-diy-bed-bug-treatment
Post date: Monday, January 13, 2014 - 16:53

1st Boot Camp of 2014 – Will You Be There?!

ONLY 3 SPOTS REMAINING FOR BedBug University Boot Camp

February 18-21, 2014 in Lawrenceville, NJ


Are you looking to better understand how to manage a bed bug problem? Does your business have a response plan? Does your current program require you to perform extensive preparation prior to bed bug services? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, we have the course for you, BedBug University: Boot Camp!
BedBug University: Boot Camp is a two-day course designed to educate those businesses affected by bed bugs. Attendees will be empowered by the tools provided to develop a successful in-house program and perform certain aspects of the BedBug Central protocol through a full day of hands-on training. Come find out what makes the BedBug Central approach so successful, unique, and widely adapted.  
Attendees will learn the NO PREP protocol in a classroom setting & experience the NO PREP treatment protocol in real-life situations. Implementation of the program learned at BedBug University can be achieved at a minimal cost. 

Attendees will take away how to:

  • Increase bed bug revenue

  • Enhance a current bed bug business model

  • Offer a five month NO bugs NO bites service plan

  • Maximize treatment efficiency through a FULL DAY OF HANDS-ON TRAINING

REGISTER NOW! or call (877) 411-1142 to register. For more information please visit:   

Path: /news/1st-boot-camp-2014-%E2%80%93-will-you-be-there
Post date: Thursday, January 9, 2014 - 09:42

BBC CEO Wins Corporate Citizen of the Year Award

Pest Control CEO Wins High Honor as Corporate Citizen of the Year

When He’s Not Killing Bugs, Phil Cooper Is Giving Back & Raising Awareness for a  Multitude of Charities


Lawrenceville, NJ – Phil Cooper, owner of both Cooper Pest Solutions and BedBug Central in Lawrenceville, NJ was awarded Corporate Citizen of the Year from NJBIZ, New Jersey’s only weekly business journal covering the entire state. Cooper was among 15 nominees in the Corporate Citizen of the Year category, which was then narrowed down to six finalists before declaring him the winner of this year’s award.

“As corporate leaders there comes great responsibility to be great corporate citizens; tirelessly promoting diversity, helping those in need and raising awareness for civic, charitable and health causes,” says Cooper.

Since an early age Cooper was always taught about the importance of charitable giving by his parents. As he began to develop in his CEO roll, his desire to support a multitude of charities grew as well. Having been an avid supporter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for years Cooper decided to trade his CEO chair for his bicycle in the summer of 2012.  Cooper would cycle across the country with the Bike the US for MS team from Yorktown, VA to San Francisco, CA, a total of 3,780 miles through nine states, raising $50,000 for MS.

The unique part of this journey began when Cooper decided to enlist the support of his fellow pest control buddies and others from the industry. Cooper developed, which served as an additional fundraising outlet, a place to engage supporters, a channel to blog about his journey and much more! He was amazed at the support he received and welcomed many a guest rider from the industry along the way. He was also greeted by many friendly faces from pest control companies near and far as they would pull into various towns across the country. It was the continued support of his peers that helped keep Cooper peddling that summer.

“I always knew how wonderful of an industry I was in, but I was even more in awe after the outpouring of support I received in 2012,” says Cooper.  “Companies from near and far reached out to show their support, encourage me to keep going and engaged with me throughout my travels.”

Cooper also uses his pest control background to help those in need receive free bed bug services as part of BedBug Central’s holiday charity, “Taking the Bite Out of the Holidays.” This charitable program was developed in 2009 and since then they have partnered with pest control companies across the country donating over $500,000 in services to those in need.

“When all is said and done this award is not the culmination of my efforts, but marks the beginning of my further commitment to being the best that I can be as a great corporate citizen,” says Cooper.  




Cooper Pest Solutions

Cooper Pest Solutions is a progressive and full service pest management firm located in Lawrenceville, NJ. Since its founding in 1955 by Theodore H. Cooper, they strive to develop or adopt the most advanced and effective pest treatment methodologies available. A family-run company that values its customers, assures results and makes safety an absolute priority. With every interaction we seek to achieve our company mission: WOW our clients, WOW our teammates, WOW our community and WOW our service partners. Visit for more information.

BedBug Central

BedBug Central serves as the nation’s leading resource for bed bug information available to the public. A creditable resource on bed bugs and bed bug related issues concerning health, prevention, treatment methods and more.  For more information please visit

Path: /news/bbc-ceo-wins-corporate-citizen-year-award
Post date: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - 09:33

Experts Predict Increase in Bed Bug Cases for 2014

Top Entomologists Call for Awareness in War against Bed Bugs
Experts Predict Increase in Bed Bug Cases for 2014

CHICAGO (Dec. 2, 2013) – There’s one thing on which top entomologists agree: The current bed bug infestation has not yet reached its peak in the U.S.

According to experts, the current surge in U.S. bed bug infestations began around 2004, but didn’t hit the national news until 2010, when multi-unit dwellings began to experience issues with the pesky bugs. Data from the 2013 Bugs without Borders Survey by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) confirmed that 98 percent of pest management professionals encountered a bed bug infestation during the past 12 months in an apartment or condominium, up from 90 percent in 2011.

“Bed bugs have been a hot topic in the news during the past several years; especially when a new geographical area is infested or bed bugs are discovered in public places such as hotels or shopping centers,” said Dini Miller, Ph. D., Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech. “Unfortunately, people have become desensitized to the issue, leading them to believe the risk has decreased, but the issue is actually greater than before.”

Pest control companies and businesses that sell products to prevent or control bed bugs echo the observation that the war against bed bugs is probably not going away any time soon.

“Since 2010, sales of mattress and box spring encasements have continued to increase each year,” said James Bell, CEO of Protect-A-Bed. “Every major pest control company in the United States buys our products, which they sell to individuals fighting a bed bug infestation. The demand for product has certainly not slowed down.”

Bugs without Boarders survey respondents reported an increase in bed bug infestations at a variety of public places, including schools, day care centers, hospitals, libraries and on public transportation. Based on these reports, top entomologists also agree on several other emerging trends.

People with bed bug issues tend to experience unnecessary anxiety

If you ask anyone who has experienced an infestation in his home, he will likely elaborate on the stress, anxiety and financial burden caused by the unwelcome bugs.

“There are pockets of the country where both the cost and the stigma associated with bed bugs are barriers to getting help,” said James Sargent, PhD. and director of technical support and regulatory compliance for Copesan, a commercial pest management company. “The bottom line is there is no need to freak out. Bed bugs do not typically spread disease and aside from temporary marks that itch, the bites are not lasting. A bed bug infestation can be quickly and effectively managed with the right tools. Eventually this issue will be a pest control problem which can be approached in a similar way to how we currently handle cockroaches and termites.”

Public places still pose a bed bug risk

Most of the experts also predicted a continued increase in bed bug colonies outside the home, in places like hotels, libraries and office buildings because people often don’t know they have bed bugs in their homes and unknowingly transport the pests into public spaces.

According to Jeff White, technical director at BedBug Central, all public places need to have specific policies in place that outline how to monitor for and address the bed bug issue because of the potential risk to the business or organization.

“Public awareness of the issue has increased, but it’s the responsibility of all industries to institute policies to address the risk of bed bugs, which will help slow the spread,” White said.

“In response to such strong consumer demand for products that protect consumers against bed bugs in public places, we launched ThermalStrike this year, which is a heating technology in luggage and boxes that kills all life-stages of bed bugs,” Bell said. “We anticipate that sales for encasements, the Blackout Bedbug Detector and ThermalStrike will only continue to increase in 2014.”

Education is the key to prevention

Anyone can be affected by bed bugs in their home, regardless of their income or geographical location. Top entomologists agreed that education about what a bed bug is, how to spot it and how to avoid bringing it into the home are the most critical tools in prevention.

“Avoid bringing bed bugs home by being very careful of what you carry into your house,” Miller said. “If you use diligence while traveling, you’ll be significantly more likely to avoid an infestation.

White elaborated, “Know what bed bugs look like and the most common ways that they get from one location to another so you can avoid bringing them into your home in the first place.”

Sargent reinforced that people need to be vigilant about asking questions and finding reputable information about services and products. “The general public has become more informed about the risk of bed bugs in public, but there is still too much misinformation and too many unreliable products in the marketplace, so consumers need to do their research.”

In addition, there are reliable products that are designed to help detect infestations early, like interception devices and encasements, which add peace of mind.

“Even before an infestation occurs, people can protect themselves by using entry, escape and bite-proof mattress and box spring encasements,” Protect-A-Bed’s James Bell said. “The key is early detection, which help people see the signs of an infestation early while keeping the bugs from spreading to other areas of the home.”

Protect-A-Bed products feature patented BugLock® with Secure Seal® technologies. More information about bed bug management solutions and Protect-A-Bed is available at


(release via Protect-A-Bed)

Path: /news/experts-predict-increase-bed-bug-cases-2014
Post date: Friday, December 6, 2013 - 10:45

Taking the Bite Out of the Holidays - Free Bed Bug Charity

Applications Being Accepted For Free Bed Bug Services During Holiday Season

Bed Bugs Infestations are on the Rise, Wreaking Havoc in Households and on Wallets of Those Who Can’t Afford Treatment

New Jersey – November 7, 2013 – For those suffering from a bed bug infestation, there’s finally a reason to be Merry this year – A nationwide program is accepting applications for free bed bug services during the holiday season.

Throughout the month of December, BedBug Central will coordinate with pest control companies across the country to provide free charitable bed bug services to those in need. Taking the Bite Out of the Holidays, is an annual charity, having donated over $500,000 in free service since its inception in 2009. The charity helps those suffering from bed bug infestations, who do not have the means to improve their situation, to find comfort and relief from their problem.

As bed bug infestations continue to spread and grow throughout the country, the National Pest Management Association reports nearly 30 percent of those living in urban areas have encountered bed bugs. Seeing firsthand how difficult and expensive bed bugs could be to eliminate Jeffrey White, Vice President of Technical Services for BedBug Central developed “Taking the Bit Out of the Holidays.”

“Bed bugs can be ver  that they can focus their attention on loved ones and enjoying the holiday season.”

Those in need of bed bug services or those who wish to recommend someone are asked to submit an application detailing in 300 words or less why they are in need of treatment. Applications can be submitted a variety of ways:

  1. Online: Submit an application online, click here
  2. Via mail:"Beddy Bed Bug", 351 Lawrence Station Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
  3. Email:
  4. Twitter: Send a Tweet to @BedBugCentral


Applications are being accepted through December 9, 2013, after that those individuals and organizations that have been selected will be notified and a treatment date will be scheduled. For more information on the charity please visit: Taking the Bite Out of the Holidays.


About BedBug Central: BedBug Central serves as the nation’s most authoritative information resource and website available to the public for information concerning bed bugs and bed bug related issues concerning health, prevention, and treatment methods. BedBug Central website

About Taking the Bite Out of the Holidays: Taking the Bite out of the Holidays is a charitable effort sponsored by BedBug Central that is offering free bed bug services to those in need who are suffering from bed bug infestations and do not have the means to better their situation this holiday season. Since 2009 nearly $500,000 in services has been donated to those in need. Taking the Bite Out of the Holidays website


Elana Scheier Ÿ PR Associate Ÿ Office: 609-799-1300 ext. 3059 Ÿ Mobile: 609-775-7770  Ÿ

Path: /news/taking-bite-out-holidays-free-bed-bug-charity
Post date: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 14:35


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