CBC news posted a great article warning about a possible bedbug pandemic and its implications for Canada. To read the full article, visit CBC News. Thanks CBC for the great reporting!
“Bedbug pandemic” possible, group warns
By CBC News, Wed Aug 4 2010
An international survey of pest control companies suggests the world is on the verge of a “bedbug pandemic,” says the U.S. National Pest Management Association.
The survey of nearly 1,000 companies, conducted by the University of Kentucky and released last week, found they have experienced an 81 per cent increase in bedbug calls since 2000.
“The results of the 2010 Comprehensive Global Bed Bug Study suggest that we are on the threshold of a bedbug pandemic, not just in the United States, but around the world,” Missy Henriksen, vice-president of public affairs for NPMA, said in a news release.
Several factors are combining to allow the spread of bedbugs. People are travelling more, and the insects tend to hitch a ride on clothing and in suitcases, creating a worldwide distribution network. In addition, many of the pesticides previously used to control them are no longer effective.
“The insecticides that used to be used before, they were fairly toxic and they’re off the market now,” said Christine Noronha, an entomologist with Agriculture Canada.
Because of their tendency to travel, bedbugs are a particular headache for hotel operators. Most operators these days put their housekeeping staff through specialized training to spot them.
“There seems to be an intensity of bedbugs in hotels,” said Walter VanBeek, president of the Hotel Association of P.E.I.
“Bedbugs can come in on luggage, and once they come into the hotel, they may make this their home.”
Planes, dorms and movie theatres
It is not just a hotel problem. The survey results show domestic cases topped the list for pest control companies, with close to 90 per cent of companies reporting they had treated cases in private homes. College dormitories, public transit and movie theatres were also on the list of bedbug habitats.
Charlottetown exterminator David Herring said he’s seen the signs of the growing problem.
“When I first started we didn’t see that many, a few calls a year,” said Herring.
“I’ve probably done 15, maybe even 20 jobs this year so far.”
Herring said getting rid of bedbugs is a long process. It generally involves two or three trips to a home to spray and steam, and costs hundreds of dollars.
“Usually from start to finish, you could be talking a couple months.”
Stopping bedbugs from entering your home can be difficult. The best you can do is act quickly once you suspect they’re there, before they multiply and create an even bigger problem.