News and notes related to bed bugs.
NPMA, BedBug Central Announce Global Bed Bug Summit
The National Pest Management Association will host the Global Bed Bug Summit, an educational conference and expo designed to provide advanced technical training, as well as management courses related to the business of bed bugs. Sponsored by BedBug Central, the Global Bed Bug Summit will be held Dec. 5-6, at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colo.
This event is a merger of BedBug Central’s North American Bed Bug Summit and NPMA’s Bed Bug Forum. “For the past three years, BedBug Central has hosted the annual North American Bed Bug Summit. During that same time period, the NPMA also hosted an annual Bed Bug Forum. And, while the audiences for each event were not exact, it is clearly evident that a merger of these events could only serve to benefit the pest management industry,” stated NPMA Executive Vice President Bob Rosenberg. “So, with that in mind, BedBug Central and NPMA have created an event that plays to the strengths of both organizations and provides the pest management community with a high-caliber, comprehensive program that addresses both technical and business-oriented topics.”
“While this event is new, we are pleased that it will be retaining some of the tried-and-true elements from our past Summits,” stated BedBug Central CEO Phil Cooper. “The trade floor will continue to be referred to as ExpoCentral, and will remain open during sessions; the ‘Beer Tasting’ and ‘Night with the Experts’ will be prominently featured; and BedBug Central’s Jeff White and NPMA’s Jim Fredericks will oversee the program development. BedBug Central and NPMA are committed to ensuring attendees receive a tremendous experience — complete with fantastic content and a relaxed and fun atmosphere.”
For hotel reservations, call the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel at 888/627-8405 to receive the NPMA group rate of $139 per night. Learn more at www.npmapest world.org.
PMP Gary Geiger is in
a New York State of Mind
How does a Florida pest management professional become the first bed bug fumigator in New York City? The answer: Sheer determination.
It all started when Gary Geiger, owner of Geiger’s Pest Services in St. Petersburg, Fla., took his daughter to New York to see a Broadway play. The year was 2007.
“I was watching the news in the hotel room and kept hearing about bed bug problems,” said Geiger, a former Air Force nuclear weapons specialist. “I’d been working in the pest management business for more than 10 years at that point and knew all about fumigation. When I got home, I found out how to get a New York license and flew back to New York to sit for the exam.”
Geiger then set up a bed bug fumigation business. He formed a partnership with a neighbor, who handled marketing and scheduling customers online. Meanwhile, he contracted with a fumigation yard in Queens, partnered with a New York pest management firm and worked out an arrangement with a local moving company. He rented an apartment in New York for the weekends.
“What we fumigated were trucks,” explains Geiger. “We’d go into an apartment, empty it out and put it into a truck. We’d then fumigate the truck. Our pest management partner would treat the apartment; then the moving company would put the contents back.”
After flying in from St. Petersburg on Friday night, Geiger fumigated on Saturday, opened the truck and ventilated on Sunday, and flew back to Florida Sunday night. “The travel was tough, but I’d take the kids and explore New York,” he adds. “All in all, it worked pretty well until about 2010, when the partnership fell apart.”
Bed Bugs Spike in Florida. Geiger still has an interest in the New York business, but now has people on the ground there and only travels up every month or two. For the most part, he’s focused on his firm in St. Petersburg, where he says bed bugs have spiked in the last year or two.
“We did 11 bed bug jobs in 2011 — and last year it rose to 175 jobs,” notes Geiger. “I have 15 technicians, and four of them now specialize in bed bug work.”
Essentially, Geiger’s Pest Services encompasses four businesses:
• Termite work and real estate inspections
• Residential and commercial pest control, with a bed bug side business
• Lawn and ornamental
But bed bugs have quickly become a focal point of the Florida business, which services residential as well as commercial accounts.
“Generally, when I get a bed bug call, the problem is already severe,” says Geiger. “The trigger point is 30 days — by then, you’ve almost reached critical mass. More than likely the homeowners have fogged or treated on their own, which makes the problem worse. It irritates the bugs and now they’re in the nooks and crannies, hiding out. So they’re not as easy to find.”
Geiger recently started using FMC’s Verifi bed bug detectors as part of his bed bug protocol. As the first devices to provide up to 90 days of active detection, FMC says, Verifi detectors employ three attractants to lure bed bugs. After 90 days, attractants can be replaced and detection can continue.
“What I’ve learned is that everyone has post-traumatic stress syndrome with bed bugs,” explains Geiger. “This happens because of the expense, the disruption, the shame, the sleepless nights — you name it! Verifi helps with all that — it helps give my customers peace of mind.”
Now, when he finishes a bed bug job, Geiger also installs Verifi units. “We place them near the beds or wherever the bed bug activity was,” he adds. “They are very easy to inspect, which is a beautiful thing. The homeowner wakes up every morning and looks in the tray and if there’s nothing there, he’s relieved.”
One of Geiger’s commercial accounts is a major mental health facility with multiple buildings and satellite houses. Patients ride a shuttle bus back and forth between training centers, classrooms, outlying housing and the central facility.
“If one person with bed bugs gets on the bus, people going to five different locations could spread them,” he says. “But they also have severely mentally ill patients who may think they have bed bugs when they don’t. If they call us, we’ll first do a thorough inspection and if we can’t find bed bugs, we’ll place Verifi units there and do follow-ups to prove they have them or not.”
Geiger has found bed bugs in a Verifi unit after 90 days. But his protocol calls for inspecting the units every seven days until 90 days have passed and the attractants have expired.
“After that, they own the units,” he notes. “If they want to pay us, we’ll refill the attractants and keep on inspecting. With the mental health facility, their maintenance guy is really good. He can replenish the attractants himself — we work together.” Geiger has tried the passive monitoring devices and found they don’t work for him. “There’s nothing on the market like Verifi,” he says. “It fits very well with our bed bug protocol. It’s just what we needed to satisfy our customers.”
To watch videos of Geiger, visit www.pctonline.com and click on “online extras.” Learn more at www.fmcprosolutions.com. Source: FMC Professional Solutions
Mattress Cover Also
Comfort Guard RL from American Bedding Manufacturers is a soft-knit, washable mattress cover that is a breathable, waterproof take on American Bedding’s bed bug-proof cover design, the firm says. The Comfort Guard RL is washable and dryable in temperatures up to 140°F. The product is bed bug-proof, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and stain-resistant. This inverted-seam mattress cover is environmentally friendly, containing no heavy metals or phthalates, the manufacturer says. American Bedding Manufacturers says the Comfort Guard RL has been independently certified bed bug-proof and protects against bed bugs, pests, dust mites, mold, allergens and bacteria, and is ideal for use in hotels, adult rehab centers, nursing homes, rescue missions and single-family homes.
For more information about the product, visit www.americanbeddingmfg.com.
BASF Offers Proactive
Bed Bug Treatment Protocol
BASF has created a proactive treatment program that combines both newer chemistries and recent bed bug behavior research. The BASF Proactive Bed Bug Treatment Protocol utilizes non-repellent, non-pyrethroid products and semiannual treatments to control potential infestations before they occur, the firm says.
Considering how time consuming and costly it is to eradicate bed bugs, it’s prudent for hotel and property managers to take precautions and avoid infestations in the first place. And BASF says incorporating the Proactive Bed Bug Protocol is a smart business decision. It includes:
• Reducing occupancy “downtime,” customer complaints and potentially costly litigation.
• Providing effective and economically viable treatment with two applications per year.
• Limiting human exposure compared to curative treatments (the Protocol utilizes crack and crevice, spot and void treatments).
• Controlling other common pests such as ants and cockroaches.
The Protocol uses Phantom termiticide-insecticide, Prescription Treatment brand Phantom pressurized insecticide and Prescription Treatment brand Alpine dust insecticide to kill pyrethroid-resistant and non-resistant bed bugs. According to BASF, as non-repellents, these products don’t disperse or “lock in” pests. In addition, they utilize different classes of chemistry as a resistance management tool.
The Protocol benefits PMPs’ customers in that it’s a tangible, known expense property managers can budget for, it costs significantly less than reactionary spending, and it increases potential business because of consumer demand for bed-bug-free rooms, BASF says.
For more information, visit www.pest control.basf.us to download the BASF SmartSolution for Bed Bugs.
New Booklet Equips
North Carolinians to
Combat Bed Bug Infestations
The North Carolina Pest Management Association (NCPMA) released a booklet designed to educate North Carolinians about preventing the spread of bed bugs. “Bed Bugs: Your Guide to Prevention, Detection & Treatment” includes in-depth information about bed bugs and how to prevent the further spread of the pests.
The booklet, which was created in partnership with the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension office, provides tips for identifying bed bugs and possible bed bug infestations, ways to prevent bed bug infestations in a home and tips for treating and ridding a home of a bed bug infestation.
“We realize that there are a lot of misconceptions and confusion about bed bugs and few resources to help clear up that confusion,” said Lee Smith, entomologist and board member of NCPMA. “We’ve developed this booklet to help people understand what bed bugs are, how they move from place to place and how to prevent spreading them into new places. We hope this serves as a useful tool for the people of our state.”
This booklet is available from NCPMA and its member companies.
“The most effective way to manage the spread of bed bugs is by educating the public about this pest and how they can control it. This booklet does just that,” said Dr. Mike Waldvogel, extension specialist and extension associate professor at North Carolina State University. “The North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension office is proud to work with NCPMA to produce this booklet and help show North Carolinians how they can take an active role in combating the spread of this pest.”
“Bed Bugs: Your Guide to Prevention, Detection & Treatment” includes tips, graphics and information that will help the public better understand bed bugs. Some highlights of the booklet include:
• Identification: A comparison of images of bed bugs and other similar bugs to help people properly identify the pests.
• Prevention: Tips for preventing the spread of bed bugs from the most well-known sources such as vacation stays and used furniture.
• Inspection: A complete guide for inspecting a home and furniture including diagrams identifying the most popular and hard-to-find bed bug hiding places.
• Treatment: A comprehensive list of ways to treat and rid a home of bed bugs.
To learn more, visit www.ncpestmanagement.org or call 800/547-6071.
of ActiveGuard Mattress
Allergy Technologies announced that it has expanded the availability of its ActiveGuard Mattress Liners in Florida through distribution by Southern Chemical & Equipment.
Southern Chemical & Equipment, known for its “no fine-print” guarantee, now distributes ActiveGuard to its PMP customer base. The distributor is located in Sarasota, Fla., and services PMPs typically within a 50-mile radius of its base location. ActiveGuard Mattress Liners make an ideal addition to Southern’s portfolio of products, according to Steve LaCroix, the company’s owner and operations manager.
“We’re proud to be carrying Allergy Technologies’ ActiveGuard because it’s a product that’s proven, tested and provides long-term performance,” said LaCroix. “My business focuses on serving small and mid-sized PMPs and they work with us because of our customer service and reputation, so delivering products that perform is a necessity. We envision a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Allergy Technologies.”
Joseph Latino, chief operating officer for Allergy Technologies, says the partnership with Southern Chemical & Equipment expands ActiveGuard’s presence in Florida.
“This new distribution agreement provides us with greater presence in Florida, which we have recognized as an area of the country that has become an expanding epicenter for bed bug infestations,” said Latino. “Being able to broaden the availability of ActiveGuard to reach PMPs of various sized companies is essential for the product’s growth, especially in this key southern market.”
To learn more, visit www.allergytechnologies.com.
Top 15 Cities with Largest Increase in Bed Bug Calls
Terminix this summer released its list of cities experiencing the largest increases in bed bug activity, with Sacramento, Calif., (pictured below) taking the top spot with a 54 percent jump in bed bug customer calls compared to the same time last year.
The 2013 list of cities with the highest increases in bed bug infestations include:
1. Sacramento, Calif. (54 percent increase in customer calls over last year)
2. Milwaukee, Wis. (53 percent)
3. Las Vegas, Nev. (50 percent)
4. Columbus, Ohio (47 percent)
5. Baltimore, Md. (46 percent)
6. Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. (41 percent)
7. St. Louis, Mo. (40 percent)
8. Cleveland, Ohio (36 percent)
9. Louisville, Ky. (31 percent)
10. Denver, Colo. (28 percent)
11. Los Angeles, Calif. (27 percent)
12. San Francisco, Calif. (26 percent)
13. Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas (25 percent)
14. Nashville, Tenn. (17 percent)
15. Houston, Texas (15 percent)
Terminix created the list by compiling and analyzing bed bug-specific call volume to its more than 300 branches throughout the country. The rankings represent cities with the biggest percentage gains in bed bug customer calls from January 2013 to May 2013 compared to the same time period in 2012. Eight of the cities — Columbus, Los Angeles, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Baltimore, Louisville, Cleveland and San Francisco — are also among the top 15 cities in total number of bed bug customer calls year-to-date for 2013.
Cryonite Service Center Opened in Tennessee
Located in the southern part of Sweden, Silvandersson Sweden AB is a glueboard and gluetrap manufacturer that delivers product to more than 50 different countries throughout the world.
In 2008, Silvandersson bought the patent for Cryonite and has, since then, developed and refined the system to operate more reliably and efficiently. Organizing the Cryonite Service Center in the United States is Silvandersson’s first step to establish a physical presence in the North American market. “Clearly, the United States of America will continue to be our largest market for Cryonite,” said Kenneth Silvandersson, the firm’s CEO. “The Cryonite Service Center will allow us to get a better feel for the needs of that market while improving service for existing customers in the U.S.”
Cryonite has been in use for some time and according to the manufacturer, it has proven to be a safe, fast and effective method to fight bed bugs, German cockroaches, stored product pests and other crawling insects. Over the past five years, an increasing number of PMPs have chosen to use Cryonite as a tool to fight pest problems in hotels, hospitals, schools, food facilities, residential homes and other sensitive areas, the firm says. This has increased the demand for service and support to Cryonite customers.
Silvandersson and PC Logistics of Tennessee are offering basic service for all Cryonite users in North America. The American staff of Cryonite Service Center has been trained in Sweden to be able to perform warranty repairs and service on both purchased and leased Cryonite units.
For more information, visit www.cryonite.com.
Marketers of Unproven Bed Bug Products Settle With FTC
In a significant enforcement action, the Federal Trade Commission reached settlement with two companies making deceptive claims about their cedar oil-based bed bug products. The settlement orders impose almost $5 million in fines.
Two marketers of unproven cedar oil-based remedies for bed bugs and head lice have agreed to enter into settlements with the Federal Trade Commission that prohibit the allegedly deceptive claims, and require pre-approval from the Food and Drug Administration for any future treatment claims about head lice products.
The settlements resolve deceptive advertising charges the FTC filed last year against Dave Glassel and the companies he controlled, including Chemical Free Solutions, alleging that they made overhyped claims that their BEST Yet! line of cedar-oil-based liquid products would treat and prevent bed bug and head lice infestations.
According to the FTC, the defendants falsely claimed that their natural, BEST Yet! bed bug and head lice products were invented for the U.S. Army, that their bed bug product was acknowledged by the USDA as the No. 1 choice of bio-based pesticides, and that EPA had warned consumers to avoid chemical solutions for treating bed bug infestations.
Under the agreed-upon settlement orders, the defendants are prohibited from claiming that their BEST Yet! products by themselves can stop or prevent a bed bug infestation, or are more effective at doing so than other products, unless they have competent and scientific evidence to make the claims.
The orders impose a $4.6 million judgment against Glassel who is facing bankruptcy, and a $185,206 judgment against Chemical Free Solutions, which will be suspended due to the firm’s inability to pay.
The FTC will continue to pursue its case against the remaining defendants: Springtech 77376, Cedar Oil Technologies Corp. and Cedarcide Industries. Source: FTC