Bed Bugs Bite: Budget Apartments Loaded, Study Finds

by MAGGIE FOX

People living in budget apartment buildings across northern New Jersey are likely to have bed bugs and not even know about it, a new study finds. A team from Rutgers University found that one in eight low-income apartments had bedbugs, and half the time the residents didn’t even know it.

But the researchers said an in-person inspection can efficiently and cheaply find the bugs so that owners and landlords can do something about them. Untreated, bedbugs spread fast.

Left to their own devices, residents either used ineffective methods to deal with the bedbugs or just moved out, according to the the team, led by Changlu Wang at Rutgers.

They inspected more than 2,300 low-income apartments in Bayonne, Hackensack, Irvington, and Paterson.
About Bedbugs

“Infestation rates ranged from 3.8 to 29.5 percent among the buildings, with an overall infestation rate of 12.3 percent,” they wrote in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

“Within each apartment, the bed area trapped significantly more bedbugs per trap than the sofa (or upholstered chair.)”

Half the residents who had bedbugs didn’t even know, the team reported.

Those who tried to do something about it often did the wrong thing. “The majority of the residents (59 percent) who experienced bedbugs applied insecticides themselves in spite of the availability of professional pest control service contracted by the housing authorities,” the team wrote.

“The vast majority of the residents who applied insecticides used pyrethroids, household products, and essential oils. These products are largely ineffective for controlling bedbugs,” they added.

Although frequently washing bedding in hot water can help, a third of the residents didn’t do this, the team found.

And many didn’t notice the bites, either.

“Overall, 68 percent of the residents reported symptoms and 32 percent did not report symptoms after being bitten,” the team wrote. That’s because the insects inject an anesthetic when they bite.
“Among those with self-reported symptoms, the symptoms and their frequency were: pain 90 percent, itchiness 20 percent, welts 13 percent and insomnia 8 percent.”

Bedbugs became rare at the end of the last century, but they’ve been coming back as people travel more and forget about the pests.

“The trajectory of the bedbug infestation history in four cities suggests that bedbugs started to show up in residential buildings in the early 2000s, confirming earlier reports about the recent bedbug resurgence,” Wang’s team wrote.

“The bedbug management contracts in the four low-income communities were not effective in bedbug elimination. Overall, results suggest an urgent need to suppress bedbug infestations in these communities and reduce further bedbug dispersal among communities.”

The good news is that the inspection system the team devised is cheap and good at finding the bugs.

“Assuming (a) $50 per hour labor rate, the average per apartment cost for the building-wide bed 25 bug monitoring protocol was $12 per apartment,” they wrote.

Bedbugs are tiny, hide in cracks, and can go weeks without feeding, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They do not carry disease, but people can have allergic reactions to them and their bites can be annoying.

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Sleep tight: Bed bug reports increased by 44% in New York City

Other than “flight delay” or “LaGuardia Airport,” there might not be a two words that make travelers more uncomfortable than “bed bugs.” So prepare to be creeped out, because reports of bed bugs in New York City’s hotels have increased more than 44% since this time last year — even at some of the city’s most expensive, five-star properties.

According to the Bedbug Registry, a database that records bed bug-related complaints and sightings, the nasty little insects have been seen (or felt) in 176 of the 272 hotels that are members of the Hotel Association of New York City. The New York Daily Newsreports that guests had even complained of bed bugs in the glitzy rooms at the Waldorf Astoria, the Millennium Hilton and the New York Marriott Marquis (we like to picture those bed bugs driving tiny Bentleys right into the mattress folds).

Even one guest complaint places a property on the Bedbug Registry, but 18 hotels combined for 363 complaints, making up 42% of all of the bed bug sightings in the city. That is beyond bad news for those hotels; according to a study conducted by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, just one mention of bed bugs in an online hotel review could lower the value of a room by $38 for business travelers and $23 for leisure travelers.

Lisa Linden, a spokesperson for the Hotel Association, told the Daily News:

“Bedbugs are a global issue that extend beyond hotels. Every member of the Hotel Association of NYC that we are aware of has an active anti-bedbug program in place. If a problem arises, it is dealt with immediately and effectively.”

So what can you do if you’re heading to New York in the near future (other than start clawing at your own skin immediately)? A pest control expert told CBS2 that guests should pull back the sheets to examine the mattress for bed bugs and place their suitcases on luggage racks or in the bathtub to keep any disgusting stowaways from climbing into their bags. It also probably pays to educate yourself on what bed bugs do and do not look like, to prevent you from freaking yourself — or other guests — out unnecessarily. Those University of Kentucky researchers also discovered that 2/3 of study participants couldn’t tell a bed bug from other household insects.

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Rise of the SUPER PESTS: Bed bugs are becoming resistant to common insecticides

By SARAH GRIFFITHS FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 09:03 EST, 28 January 2016 | UPDATED: 09:45 EST, 28 January 2016

They live in the cracks and crevices of beds and crawl out a night to suck blood by detecting our body heat and carbon dioxide.
Now the much loathed bed bug is threatening to become even more of a pest because it is resistant to a common insecticide, scientists warn.
Exotic holidays have been blamed for the recent resurgence of bed bugs in homes as they hitch a ride on clothing or in luggage.

In the US alone, millions of dollars are spent on the most widely used commercial chemicals to kill bedbugs (microscopic image shown) but their overuse has led to an increased resistance to the compounds

In the US alone, millions of dollars are spent on the most widely used commercial chemicals to kill bedbugs (microscopic image shown) but their overuse has led to an increased resistance to the compounds


The research has found the parasites have developed a tolerance to neonicotinoids, or neonics, because of their widespread use.
It is the first study to show the overuse of certain insecticides has led to an increased resistance to the compounds, making them much less effective than advertised.

In the US alone, millions of dollars are spent on the most widely used commercial chemicals to kill bedbugs, but their overuse has led to an increased resistance to the compounds.
Assistant professor Troy Anderson, from Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences said: ‘While we all want a powerful tool to fight bed bug infestations, what we are using as a chemical intervention is not working as effectively it was designed and, in turn, people are spending a lot of money on products that aren’t working.

‘Unfortunately, the insecticides we were hoping would help solve some of our bed bug problems are no longer as effective as they used to be, so we need to re-evaluate some of our strategies for fighting them.’
Products developed to eradicate infestations in recent years combine both neonics with pyrethroids – another class of insecticide.
In the US alone, millions of dollars are spent on the most widely used commercial chemicals to kill bedbugs (microscopic image shown) but their overuse has led to an increased resistance to the compounds[/caption]Assistant Professor Dr Alvaro Romero from New Mexico State University added: ‘If resistance is detected, products with different modes of action need to be considered, along with the use of non-chemical methods.
‘Companies need to be vigilant for hints of declining performance of products that contain neonicotinoids.
‘For example, bed bugs persisting on previously treated surfaces might be an indication of resistance.
‘In these cases, laboratory confirmation of resistance is advised, and if resistance is detected, products with different modes of action need to be considered, along with the use of non-chemical methods.’
The study, published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, is the first to confirm the resistance.
Researchers collected bed bugs from homes in Cincinnati and Michigan and exposed them to four different neonics: acetamiprid, dinotefuran, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.

The blood-sucking bed bug (pictured) that's attracted to our body heat and carbon dioxide is threatening to become even more of a pest because it is resistant to a common insecticide, scientists warn

The blood-sucking bed bug (pictured) that’s attracted to our body heat and carbon dioxide is threatening to become even more of a pest because it is resistant to a common insecticide, scientists warn

They also used the chemicals on a bed bug colony kept free of insecticide exposure for more than 30 years and to a pyrethroid-resistant population from Jersey City that had not been exposed to neonics since they were collected in 2008.
Those that hadn’t been exposed to the neonics died after contact with very small amounts of the pesticide, while the Jersey City bed bugs showed moderate resistance to acetamiprid and dinotefuran, but not to imidacloprid or thiamethoxam.
The Jersey City colony’s resistance could be due to pre-existing resistance mechanisms.
When exposed to insecticides, bed bugs produce ‘detoxifying enzymes’ to counter them.
The levels of detoxifying enzymes in the Jersey City bed bugs were higher than those of the susceptible Harlan population.
Professor Romero explained: ‘Elevated levels of detoxifying enzymes induced by other classes of insecticides might affect the performance of newer insecticides.’
The Michigan and Cincinnati bed bugs, which were collected after combinations of pyrethroids and neonicotinoids were introduced, had even higher levels of resistance to neonics.
It only took 0.3 nanograms of acetamiprid to kill 50 per cent of the non-resistant bed bugs from Dr Harlan’s lab, but it took more than 10,000 nanograms to kill 50 per cent of the Michigan and Cincinnati bed bugs.
Just 2.3 nanograms of imidacloprid was enough to kill 50 per cent of the Harlan bed bugs, but it took 1,064 and 365 nanograms to kill the Michigan and Cincinnati bed bugs, respectively.
The numbers were similar for dinotefuran and thiamethoxam.
Compared to the Harlan control group, the Michigan bed bugs were 462 times more resistant to imidacloprid, 198 times more resistant to dinotefuran, 546 times more resistant to thiamethoxam, and 33,333 times more resistant to acetamiprid.
The Cincinnati bed bugs were 163 times more resistant to imidacloprid, 226 times more resistant to thiamethoxam, 358 times more resistant to dinotefuran, and 33,333 times more resistant to acetamiprid.

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Bed Bugs that Feed Are More Likely to Survive Pesticide Exposure

January 25, 2016 by Entomology Today 1 Comment

By Josh Lancette
Many studies have been done on how effective certain pesticides are when they are applied to bed bugs. However, most have not allowed the bed bugs to take a blood meal after being exposed to pesticides, which can change the mortality rates, according to an article in the Journal of Medical Entomology.

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Josh Lancette
Researchers from Rutgers University found that bed bugs that were allowed to feed after being treated with insecticides either had greater rates of survival, or they took longer to die than bed bugs that were not allowed to feed after being treated.
“Our results indicated that post-treatment feeding significantly reduced or slowed down bed bug mortality,” the researchers wrote.
In one case, bed bugs that were unable to feed after being sprayed with an insecticide had a mortality rate of 94 percent. But bed bugs that did feed after being sprayed with the same insecticide had a mortality rate of just 4 percent after 11 days.
This difference is important because most experiments that test the efficacy of insecticides against bed bugs are performed in labs where the bed bugs can’t feed after being exposure. However, in the field, bed bugs can feed after being treated with an insecticide, and the reduced or slowed mortality could give them a chance to reproduce.
“Many of the insecticides labeled for bed bug control may not be as effective as claimed, because of the inadequate testing method,” said Dr. Narinderpal Singh, one of the co-authors. “People often use laboratory bioassay results to predict field performance of an insecticide. It is important the testing conditions are similar to what would occur in the field. Current established test protocols for bed bug insecticides do not provide bloodmeals to bed bugs during the test period. We suspect the mortality data typically observed might be different if the tested bed bugs were provided a bloodmeal during the observation period.”
The researchers suggest that feeding “stimulates detoxification enzymes responsible for insecticide resistance,” which is why more bed bugs survive after taking bloodmeals, so using insecticides in tandem with other control methods is the best option.
“Incorporating non-chemical methods into bed bug control is very important in order to achieve good results,” said Singh. “Some examples of non-chemical methods include vacuuming visible bed bugs, applying steam to furniture and baseboards, laundering bed sheets and infested clothing, encasing mattresses and box springs with bed bug encasements, and installing interceptors under the legs of beds and upholstered furniture.”
The researchers also suggest that insecticide efficacy testing protocols should be changed so that they include using recently fed bed bugs, and that bugs that are fed one to three days after being exposed to pesticides.

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Fire started when man rubs alcohol on self for bed bugs

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