“In most cultures outside of North America and Western Europe, tiny many-legged creatures are a delicacy, and an important source of protein,” Jeff Gordinier writes in a report on a five-course Mexican feast featuring insect cuisine last Saturday in Brooklyn. “Here in the United States they represent the growing realm of gastronomic spelunking.” For omnivores who want to take it to the next level, Tom Turpin, a professor of entomology at Purdue University, offers information on three common bugs you can easily buy, prepare and cook.
Dini Miller speaks at the North American Bed Bug Summit in Chicago
Rick Cooper speaks during the opening session, discussing the prevalence of bed bugs in areas that were previously not considered.
CHICAGO – With the national (and international) bed bug problem continuing to escalate, Tuesday’s North American Bed Bug Summit has drawn unprecedented attention for the pest control industry as local and national print, television and radio outlets have converged on Chicago for the two-day event organized by BedBug Central.
Recent attention-grabbing bed bug stories (e.g., “Bed Bugs Close Down Niketown;” and “Bed Bugs Found in NYC Movie Theater”) have piqued the media’s interest in the summit, which already was highly anticipated for having brought together pest management professionals and other industry stakeholders to hear from some of the industry's leading entomologists and bed bug experts.
More than 360 people are in attendance and while about 60 percent are from the pest control industry the remaining 40 percent include a variety of stakeholder (e.g., public housing officials, hotel/motel management, industry suppliers, etc.).
Bed Bug Central’s Rick Cooper, technical director of Cooper Pest Solutions, set the tone for the meeting in the opening session by noting, “Today maybe the question should not be, ‘Where are we finding bed bugs -- but where aren’t we finding bed bugs? We are seeing them in all facets of society.”
Bed bugs are no longer relegated to the hotel industry and isolated incidents in peoples’ homes. For example, Cooper said that in New Jersey alone Cooper Pest Solutions is treating 2-3 office buildings per week.
In reviewing the recent history of bed bugs, Cooper noted that bed bugs -- a pest that was thought to have been eradicated (or close to eradicated) during the 1950s -- began re-emerging in the late 1990s. Cooper believes that the problem spread throughout society due to a lack of public awareness. For the remainder of his presentation Cooper gave attendees a bed bug primer by reviewing bed bug biology, behavior and management techniques.
Other highlights included:
- Dr. Coby Schal, professor of urban entomology, North Carolina State University, shared some of NCSU’s research on the bed bug resurgence. One of the reasons bed bugs are not expected to be eradicated (as they were post WWII) is because of strains of pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs. Schal noted that there is anecdotal evidence that “immigrant populations of bed bugs” (those that have been transported to the U.S. from other countries) are more pyrethroid-resistant because heavy pyrethroid use is more prevalent in non-Western countries.
- Dr. Michael Potter (University of Kentucky) and Dr. Dini Miller (Virginia Tech University) reviewed various options for chemical treatments. Potter noted that when bed bugs began re-emerging he contacted pest control professionals in their 80s, such as Harry Katz, John Osmun and Val Smitter. He said the consensus was that products such as malathion, diazinon, lindane and others oftentimes only required one application. Today, bed bug management requires several trips and the use of a wide variety of products. And Potter says it’s not that technicians are not as skilled at treating – he says he rides with a lot of technicians and has observed them doing very thorough bed bug treatments. Again, the subject of pyrethroid resistance was discussed. Miller spelled out how pyrethroid-resistant bed bug populations spread. Bed bugs that are resistant to pyrethroids have a genetic mutation such as a thick exoskeleton or enhanced levels of enzyme activity. So, if a population of 100 bed bugs was sprayed with a product and there are four bed bugs that survive because they have a thick exoskeleton, those four bed bugs will mate and soon after an entire population will be bed bug-resistant
- Dr. Stephen Kells (University of Minnesota) and Dr. Phil Koehler (University of Florida) led a session on heat treatments, the Achilles heel of bed bugs, while Dr. Rudy Scheffrahn (University of Florida) gave a presentation on fumigation. Mike Potter led a session about ancillary bed bug service and tools that included a review of the many new products entering the market. Attendees had additional opportunities to learn about these products at the expo hall, filled with products and service offerings from more than 50 companies.
ST. LOUIS — Pest management professionals looking for low-toxicity alternatives to solve ant and roach problems can turn to BASF Pest Control Solutions’ new Prescription Treatment brand Alpine Ant and Alpine Cockroach Gel Baits.
“These new gel baits represent our next step in expanding the Alpine line of products which already includes nonrepellent pressurized and dust formulations,” said Nick Tresslar, marketing manager, BASF Pest Control Solutions.
Both baits feature the Reduced Risk active ingredient dinotefuran and bait matrices that are free of the Big Eight allergens, BASF Pest Control Solutions reports. (Dinotefuran, the non-repellent active ingredient in Alpine insecticides, has been granted Reduced Risk status for public health use by EPA.)
BASF says other product benefits include:
Alpine Ant Gel Bait
- Works great alongside Termidor termiticide/insecticide and Phantom termiticide-insecticide
- Low toxicity with low percent active ingredient
- Gel formulation stays moist
- Can be used outdoors and indoors including food handling areas
Alpine Cockroach Gel Bait
- Works great alongside Phantom
- Starts killing roaches within hours
- Attractive to bait averse cockroaches
- Can be used in food handling areas
- Available in reservoir or piston can
To learn more about the Alpine gel baits or to request Big Eight allergens literature, please contact your sales representative or visit www.pestcontrol.basf.us.
New York City’s bed bug problem has become so widespread that the city's health department has posted information on its website at http://home2.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/vector/vector-faq1.shtml/.
Resources available on this site can help tenants, owners and building managers prevent bed bug infestations, and safely control them when they occur.
Cockroaches appear to carry a secret weapon that can protect people against deadly superbugs, new research has found.
Dr. Naveed Khan and his team tested mashed up cockroach brains against the E. coli bacteria that cause meningitis and MRSA, the staph bacteria that has become resistant to antibiotics.
A night in a Petri dish together killed 90 percent of the bacteria, Khan told the (Toronto) Star. The insect parts had no effect on human cells, however.
“Some of these insects live in the filthiest places known to man,” he said. Because cockroaches can survive the loss of a limb, and the brains of cockroaches are the most protected parts of their bodies, researchers had decided to look there for their answers.
Tests also examined the nervous systems of locusts for superbug-fighting power, after realizing locusts were unscathed while soldiers fighting in countries such as Afghanistan were becoming infected with bacteria that resisted treatment.
Their basic analysis of the molecules in the insect brains and nervous systems revealed they are proteins and not fatty acids, a promising sign for development of antibiotics in the future. Khan and his researchers are extending their research now to see how the insect stew combats other superbugs.
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