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Sacramento Bed Bugs - The Bed Bugs are here!


Sacramento may not know it, but the bed bugs are here

The shape of a flax seed and the color of blood, they hide in cracks and crevices, crawling out for a blood meal in the dark of night.

They're well known in San Francisco, where the health department has its own bedbug regulations. And in New York, where a bedbug attack early this month forced temporary shutdowns at two Abercrombie & Fitch stores.

In Sacramento, the quarter-inch parasites have yet to surface in the mainstream. Yet they're still there, hiding.

"It's on the rise. There have been more calls about it because people are getting infestations in their rental units," said Tom Curl, county code enforcement officer.

The National management Association reported a 71 percent rise in U.S. infestations since 2001. And a University of Kentucky study found that 91 percent of pest professionals had noted a bedbug increase. "It's a problem of almost epidemic proportions being reported in each of the 50 states," said spokeswoman Missy Henriksen.

Unlike San Francisco, officials in Sacramento don't track bedbug cases.

"I don't think Sacramento city or county does a good job to make sure it's easy for a person to report a bedbug problem," said Bill Gaither, director of Pest Control Operators of California.

The county's health officer, Dr. Glennah Trochet, said reporting bedbugs isn't required. "No one is responsible for keeping tabs on it because bedbugs don't cause diseases," she said.

Property owners in the city can face initial fines of $1,400 for failing to eradicate pests such as cockroaches. But they get a pass on bedbugs, which are considered a civil problem between landlords and tenants, said code enforcement officer Bill Hutcheon.

Curl said the county is taking small steps to deal with bedbugs. "We recently received direction that we do respond to bedbugs. Even though it's not a vector, it's a nuisance and it's going to spread to other rental units." Curl said the department can charge property owners with improper maintenance fees if bedbugs go untreated.

"It's not as reported here, but it's just as big a problem as in San Francisco," said Martyn Hopper of Pest Control Operators.

Chuck Ehmann, the department head of Clark Pest Control, said that two years ago he received a maximum of 10 bedbug calls a year. Today, he gets that many calls a month.

"We didn't know if this was going to be a little visit from the past or a new reality. They're not going away," said Jim Steed, owner of Neighborly Pest Management. Bedbug treatments account for a fraction of Steed's business, but the issue is high on the psychological radar, he said.

The mental impact sneaks up in the form of insomnia, phantom sensations and paranoia that the creatures are lodged in personal belongings. Most bedbugs are found in or near beds, according to the University of California's Pest Notes. The rest hide in upholstered furniture, bedroom cabinets, baseboards, wallpaper and carpets.

"Professionals who treat them say they are the single most difficult pest to eradicate -- worse than termites, ants and rodents," said Henriksen. The problem lies in their ability to hide in cracks as thin as a credit card.

Professionals have traditionally used chemical Insecticides but are researching less toxic and more effective methods such as heating a living space to about 140 degrees for a few hours and setting up traps. But bedbugs, which can lay up to 500 eggs in a four-month lifetime, are notorious repeat offenders, sometimes forcing pest control officers to apply several treatments to a single unit. Costs can swing from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple of thousand. As part of the treatment, residents must remove clothing and bedding from their living quarters.

Pest control providers say infestations are usually no one's fault. Clean and clutter-free living spaces help abate infestation, but as the New York Times Magazine reported in an article about the spread of bedbugs in an affluent New York neighborhood, bedbugs are equal-opportunity pests.

"You'd think that cheaper motels would be bigger targets but that's not the case," said Hopper.

The bedbug can increase landlord-tenant stress. The Rental Housing Association responded to the crisis by creating a bedbug addendum to its standard lease agreement last year. "It provides a layer of protection for the owner or manager," said senior deputy director Cory Koehler. "The resident shouldn't be able to come into a rental unit that is pristine and not follow good housekeeping standards."

Advocates with Legal Aid of Northern California said bedbug addendums have grown in popularity, but they maintain that the pests are an owner's responsibility. "Even with an addendum, you have to prove that it's the tenant's fault," said Martha Valles, a housing paralegal, and the parasite's elusive behavior can make that difficult.

The annoying insect that can leave itchy red welts, cause psychological damage, and trigger a slew of economic and legal complications has the potential to become lethal, some experts warn.

"We're lucky they haven't been inside of disease cycles yet," said Dr. Vernard Lewis, a University of California, Berkeley, entomologist. "Can the situation of bedbugs turn for the worst? Of course it can because evolution happens." Copyright (c) 2010, The Sacramento Bee, Calif.
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Blood-sucking bed bugs on the rise


Cases of bed bug infestations in Lincoln have doubled in the past few years, according to experts.

And it's not just hotels and hospitals that are calling in the experts. Cases of infestation in Lincoln homes

bed bug

 have also rocketed, with more people than ever needing the help of specialist firms to get rid of the nibbling monsters.

Experts say one of the main issues is that bed bugs are very resilient, living not just in mattresses, but furniture, clothing and even between cracks in skirting boards.

Pest control specialist Ian Spraggins from Eradicate Pest Control Specialists, based in Doddinton Park, said: "Bed bugs are most certainly on the increase in Lincoln – we saw a 50 to 55 per cent increase last year and who knows what this year will bring?

"One of the contributing factors is that more people are heading overseas on cut-price holidays where cleanliness might not be given as much attention. All it takes is a few to crawl into a suitcase, be carried back to the UK, then get nice and settled in your own home."

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Bedbugs make a comeback in a BIG way


Bedbugs make a comeback

Posted: Nov 19, 2009 1:29 PM PST
Chris Proffitt/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - The resurgence of an old pest is causing concern in bedbugsIndiana and across the nation. The bedbug is back big time, and they can be found everywhere, including five star hotels and your own mattress.

Eyewitness News found an Indianapolis home infested with a problem that's become so severe that some are calling it not far from epidemic.

"They're here. They're here to stay. They're going to be transferred anywhere humans are," said Elia Levin, pest control company owner.

They are bedbugs. They are about the size of an apple seed and their populations are exploding across the country. Hiding in mattresses, bed sheets, couches and even luggage, they have a sole purpose.

"Ecologically, their role in life is that they are predators on mammals and blood feeders," said Prof. Tom Turpin, Purdue University etomologist.

Their prey includes humans, sleeping soundly while the bedbug, travelling through walls and electrical outlets, finds its prey and feeds, gorging on human blood and often leaving telltale bite marks on their victims.

The old saying, "sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite" had real meaning before World War Two. The insect was popularized in "Mean Old Bedbug Blues," a 1927 jazz recording by Bessie Smith.

After the war, insecticides came alone and wiped out the bedbug in North America until international travel reintroduced the population, now up by some estimates as much as 500 percent.

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Coming to a College Near You! - Bed Bugs Get an Education


Bedbugs Close Building at John Jay College

By Joel Stonington AND Jennifer 8. Lee

Updated, 4:05 p.m. | John Jay College of Criminal Justice is shutting down one of its buildings because of bedbugs. The college hopes to reopen the building, at 445 West 59th Street, by Tuesdaybed bug morning after it is treated by an extermination service. Meanwhile, all the classes in the building, North Hall, are being postponed and rescheduled. On Thursday afternoon, a worker used a bullhorn to inform groups of students approaching the building that classes were canceled. Other classes will continue as scheduled.

Associated Press Cimex lectularius, the common bedbug, was found in a building at John Jay College.

"The college is taking it seriously and moving as quickly as possible to treat the building," said Jim Grossman, a spokesman for John Jay. John Jay is calling it a bedbug "condition." Mr. Grossman said, "Infestation is when you can see them swarming."

At an information session held Thursday afternoon, college officials said that rashes among staff members were first reported in mid-August and grew in numbers as time went on. Most staff affected with skin rashes were from the financial aid and registrar's office. A deep cleaning was ordered on September 14 and one bedbug was found. Soon after a second bedbug was caught. The college brought in an inspection team with bug-sniffing dogs on Tuesday that confirmed the bedbug problem on the first floor of North Hall.

The crowd of about 200 faculty, staff and students let out a gasp when school officials showed a map of affected areas. Bedbugs were found in roughly half of the rooms on the second floor, and the inspection has not been completed on the third or fourth floors of North Hall, though evidence was found on the third floor. Officials said that other buildings would also be inspected.

The president of the college, Jeremy Travis, said no bites had been reported, only skin rashes, a forensic psychology student said she and a co-worker both were bitten during the last two weeks. Deirdra Assey, 24, of Brooklyn, said both she and the co-worker checked their homes and spoke with landlords about bedbugs but said they eventually concluded the bites were happening during the day.

As soon as I figured out that campus had been infected it all made sense," Ms. Assey, a second year master's degree student, said. "I had no idea they could be infecting offices."

Indeed, despite the "bed" descriptor, bedbugs can in fact survive in many locations, such as buses, trains and movie theaters. Last year they were reported at Fox offices.

Bedbugs, once nearly eradicated, have spread all across New York City, in part because of the decline in use of DDT. In March, the city set up a bed bug advisory board.

Meanwhile, students expressed glee at the interruption in classes, giving them a break. Rudy Pamphile, 18, a freshman, walked past the yellow tape blocking the entrance to the building laughing and joking with a friend, saying, "No test today!"

Though Mr. Pamphile said he had stayed up until midnight the night before studying, he was not unhappy to be relieved of the burden, adding he would probably just hang out with friends until his next class.

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New York Bed Bug Infestations on the Rise

Really Great Article from Our Friends at JP McHale Pest Management in NY, Thanks guys for providing this piece! make sure to visit them at and their Blog at

Hello, my name is Brian and I work for JP McHale Pest Management Inc, located in New York. New York is one of the most visited cities in the world, and also creates a large problem in hotels to maintain rooms for bed bug activity.

Once though to be eradicated in the 1950s with, now off the market, DDT, bed bugs are making a comeback. 10 years ago, bed bug calls were rare. Today we receive 5-10 calls a day regarding possible bed bug infestations.

Bed bugs are small nocturnal pests that live in your room. Bed bugs can be found in your mattress, in your pillows, in your headboard, drawers and even lampshades. They feed off human blood, and females can lay 3-5 eggs per day. Bed bugs are transmitted by sleeping at other people's homes, or having visitors sleep over. They are transmitted most commonly by luggage.

New York has a lot of cases mainly because of the city. Hotels and motels are booked on a daily basis, and having one person stay in a room with bed bugs, can give everyone else that stays in the room bed bugs, unless detected. Sanitation is not an issue as a 5 star hotel has the same chance of getting infested as a motel. Early detection is key, and now inspections are becoming easier, cheaper and more efficient with K-9 bed bug inspection dogs. Human inspections are slow, inefficient and time consuming when they have to inspection 100's of rooms.

Bed bugs are a serious issue, and you should take several preventative measures when you travel to ensure you do not run into bed bugs.

  1. Check with your hotel or motel if they do weekly bed bug inspections.
  2. Always use the luggage rack in the closet. It will keep clothes off the floor and prevent bed bugs from getting into your luggage.
  3. Do a quick inspection on the mattress for small crawling bugs or possible blood stains which is common if bed bugs are present.
  4. When you return home, wash all your clothes and keep luggage in large garbage bags.

I would like to thank Clark Pest Control for allowing me to write a blog post for them. JP McHale Pest Management does bed bug inspections and treatment in the tri state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. We also have a K-9 bed bug inspection dog on staff.

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Bed Bugs and the frequent Traveler


In todays day and age, business travel is the "norm", for some its bed bugspecialized training, conferences and meetings. When we arrive at our destination, suffering from jet lag or coming in on a red eye, we are focused on what...SLEEP! The last thing on our mind is bed bugs, but should it be?

The truth of the matter is, bed bugs can surface at any hotel or motel, run down or top end. Bed bugs can be found not just on the bedding but have been found on headboards, decorative pillows and even popcorn celling texture.

So what can you do to protect yourself while traveling? this answer is easy and takes a matter of 10 minutes. First and foremost you will want to inspect your mattress for bed bugs by pulling back the sheets, blanket and comforter, looking carefully at the seams and tufts for bed bugs or bed bug evidences (black fecal spots).  If you discover any evidence you should report this to the management and request a new room.

So now i'm sure you are wondering if bed bugs can make their way back home with you, absolutely! I would recommend that you wash all clothing when returning home regardless if you wore them or not.

I hope this article prompts all to do an inspection when checking into a hotel or motel, make your stay less stressful and more pleasant...Inspect your bedding!

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