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.

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