WASHINGTON — U.S. EPA’s recently created Federal Bed Bug Workgroup is convening a second national bed bug summit in February to find solutions to the nation’s bed bug program. Open to the public, the meeting will focus on ways the government and others can continue to work together to manage and control these pests.
The summit will be held Feb. 1-2, 2011, at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center at 3800 Reservoir Road, N.W., Washington, D.C.
The work group, organized largely by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, includes representatives from the EPA, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, and National Institutes of Health. EPA hosted the first summit in April 2009.
Prior to the summit, the group will meet with researchers to evaluate and develop a research agenda related to bed bugs. The agenda is expected to include discussions on progress made in the areas of federal, state, and local governments; research; housing; and pest management. Other key topics are likely to be identifying knowledge gaps and barriers to effective community-wide bed bug control, proposals for next steps in addressing knowledge gaps and eliminating barriers, and developing a framework for addressing the highest priority needs.
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As a reminder, there are steps people can take to prevent bed bugs:
• Remove clutter where bed bugs can hide.
• Seal cracks and crevices.
• Vacuum rugs and upholstered furniture thoroughly and frequently, and vacuum under beds. After vacuuming, immediately take the vacuum bag outside and dispose in a sealed trash bag.
• Wash and dry clothing and bed sheets at high temperatures (heat can kill bed bugs).
• Monitor regularly for bed bugs so they can be treated before a major infestation occurs.
• Before using any pesticide product, READ THE LABEL FIRST, then follow the directions.
• Check the product label to make sure it is identified for use on bed bugs. If bed bugs are not listed on the label, the pesticide has not been tested for bed bugs and it may not be effective.
For more information on bed bugs, visit www.epa.gov/bedbugs.