Archive for National governments

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

They bug anyone

It was terrific to hear the warm welcome given at the February 1, 2011 bed bug summit by Bob Perciasepe, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Here’s the story.

As first speaker and the highest ranking EPA administrator in attendance, Bob opened with a personal story. He spoke of being fortunate to live in a Brooklyn Heights brownstone that he and his family treasure. Five years back his daughter was in the routine of returning home on college breaks. He never imagined then that he would be addressing the audience with his own bed bug story.

The typical symptoms of the bug started to appear but they weren’t sure what it meant. Within a few weeks it was clear they needed help. And then it was determined that they had come home with his daughter and her friends straight from the dorm. As family and friends realized what was going on, emotions ran high. Spend lots of money to get rid of them. That’s what they did. And then what? Tell the daughter she can’t come home with a suitcase and friends? Sell the house and meet up out west to ski on breaks? Those thoughts come to mind all too often. It’s just the nature of the bug. A great moment for me and fiona in realizing that our company will help keep down the use of pesticide and keep up the quality of life for our clients and their families.

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!

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.