Author Archive

How to Dispose of a Mattress

Unneighborly Disposal

Hercules and I were recently out for our afternoon constitutional, taking in the scents, sights and sounds of the neighborhood , as only one strolling with a dog can do, when we came across a mattress, bedframe and bedding stashed by a public trash bin on a busy street corner.

With the NYC Department of Sanitation rules being enforced as of January 3rd, 2011 people are trying to avoid the $100 fine AND the bother of wrapping their mattress in plastic before hauling to the curb. This mattress was heavily infested, as was the bedframe and the bedding dumped in the street. If you look at the picture you can clearly see egg casings, blood-stains, bug fecal matter and other grossness. I counted at least 30 adult bed bugs on the outside of this mattress before I got bored. So let us consider for a moment the process of disposing of this mattress; they dragged all this buggy stuff through their house, out past their neighbor’s homes, and into the street, with bed bugs jumping off at every turn. Chances are, the room is still harboring a significant population and now they are in the rest of the apartment along with the hallway and stairway by their neighbor’s apartments. Within a few months, the new bedding will be just as infested as this example and the bed bugs that they have so inconsiderately shared with the people of their neighborhood may be creating issues of their own.

I was pretty ticked off at this all-too-common example of bad manners and would have come home in a bad mood except that we soon came across another example of infested mattresses being thrown out.

Good Neighbors


These ones were actually wrapped in encasements and so far less likely to pose a danger to the owner or their neighbors. I am surmising that the owners of these mattresses had completed bed bug treatment, otherwise the mattress would be in a $10 plastic bag and not a $100 encasement. Extra credit points for these folk for not bringing new bedding into an infested environment. Let’s hope we see more of this thoughtful behavior and not just because of the $100 fine, but because we care about our community.

Elements of the National Bed Bug Strategy: an independent perspective

It was pretty exciting to be at the EPA Bed Bug Summit last week with the “world’s most renowned experts” and the head honchos of so many government bed bug programs. The first day we heard presentations from most of the stakeholders (except property managers and tenants associations.) On the second day, we split into breakout sessions from some heavy brainstorming. I chose “Elements of a National Strategy for Control.” This felt important! We were galvanizing for a crusade against those darned bugs! I was impressed with the level of thoughtfulness and enthusiasm for the good fight that echoed in the room. The document we came up with to bring back to the closing was concise, clear, pragmatic.

The main talking points were: to create a clearinghouse so that information could be shared across agencies to save resources and combat the of misinformation floating around on the internet, producing educational materials for consumers and businesses, such as public service announcements, come up with uniform national standards and to tailor control services to the level of infestation and type of structure. In the moment it felt like progress, but later, I realized that the themes sounded familiar. I decide to review the notes from the first EPA Bed Bug Summit back in 2009. Working group #1 at that summit recommended an inter-agency taskforce (that did happen) to coordinate efforts, provide guidelines, create a clearinghouse, develop an educational curriculum such as PSAs. Hey, come on guys, you’ve burst my bubble. No says that it will be easy to turn around our attitudes and behaviors on the bed bug front, but why are we reinventing the wheel here? We were recommending the same ideas over again instead of pushing the strategies ahead. The best and most promising idea from 2009 didn’t even make a reappearance; subsidizing control services. I’d love to see some serious negotiating between the agencies on how to design and implement provision of free or low-cost detection, control and protection services.

While we wait for the information clearinghouse to appear, let’s talk about the misleading information that is on the web now. Is there some product or information you have come across that confounds, appalls or amuses you? We definitely have some favorites to share with you. Watch this space.

Green Porno

2nd Annual Bed Bug Summit, Feb. 1-2, 2011

The Bed Bug Advisors at the Summit, D.C. 2011

Our two Principals and Advisors recently participated in the 2nd National Federal Bed Bug Summit, February 1-2 in Washington, DC. Like it’s predecessor, the summit was organized by the Federal Bed Bug Working Group, a coalition of heavy hitters from government teams including HUD, the EPA, the CDC, NIFA, NIH, USDA and many other acronyms. We had three take aways from the summit 1) that every agency in the coalition recognizes that bed bugs are a major issue in this country and that despite increased awareness and efforts since the first summit, the situation is worsening quite simply because they are present in the normal comings and goings of daily living. 2) that there is no lead agency and that each partner looks at the issue from a unique perspective (disease vector, pesticide safety, cost control, etc.) This also means that there is a vagueness around the roles and responsibilities and we witnessed quite a bit of buck passing and general avoidance from the agencies. 3) that there are large gaps in the materials available for community education, along with erroneous and misleading claims. Behavorial changes remain an obstacle and in the pilot programs implemented so far, education has resulted in limited success because of lack of buy-in by the participants.

Although there are many cities and state housing authorities implementing innovative bed bug management plans, as a nation, our response has been scattered and reactive. We, at Bed Bug Detectives & Advisors are convinced that behavioral changes, coupled with ongoing monitoring is the only way to reverse the bed bug trend, so seeing so many agencies and industry professional trade organizations come together was quite heartening. We await confirmation of the proposed Federal Bed Bug Information Clearinghouse, where the various agencies can share resources, including standardized regulations and practices. Look for a link on our resources page.

Send us your comments and we thrilled to work with you to keep you bed bug free!

Dear clients & experts

Bed Bug Detectives & Advisors are constantly thinking about strategies to rid the community of bed bugs and practical, cost-effective ways to minimize the impact of remediation on our client’s lives. Visit here often to read our notes from the field. Your opinions matter to us, we want to hear your comments on what you are reading, but, if your question is more about your own bed bug concerns, please email us.

Detection and monitoring

We offer one-time detection and custom on-going monitoring programs to clients in NYC and the tri-state area. Our aim is to help you maintain the lifestyle you love. Our detailed reports build confidence so that you are free of worry to visit neighbors, welcome home kids on break from the dorm, entertain customers, or keep office employees working comfortably.

NESDCA-certified teams

Our detailed reports build confidence, so that you, and the people most important to you, are confident the surroundings are free of bed bugs. And we save you time and money with proven solutions and provide certification that you're bed bug free! We are insured, independent of exterminators, and knowledgeable about safe and unsafe practices. Contact us today.