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City Agencies Collaborate with Pest Management Firm to Deal with Bed Bug Infestation

19 Mar 2014

Posted by John D. Stellberger

On March 11, 2014 inspectors from the Inspectional Services Department, Public Health Commission, and Environmental Health Services, Inc. will lead the way with outreach and extermination of bed bug infestation in a Mattapan home. In February 2014 inspectors received a frantic call from Deanna Bogues the owner of a one family dwelling whose home is infested with bed bugs. The owner a disabled veteran and retired Major (living off a fixed income) attempted to exterminate the bedbugs by purchasing over the counter pesticides and self treating to no avail.

Deanna informed the inspection team that she started to experience this problem after receiving overnight guests from out of town. She did some on-line research and found that the bugs were in fact bedbugs. She then tried to exterminate them by purchasing an "all natural" spray on-line which of course did not work but exasperated her asthma symptoms. To this date Deanna's second floor rooms are infested with bed bugs due to the rising bedbug population. Her bed, clothing, curtains, furniture, and surrounding areas are stained with the bedbug fecal matter (blood expulsion), cast skins, eggs, live and dead insects.

Upon receiving notification of this issue a team of inspectors from Inspectional Services Department (ISD) & Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) conducted a walk-through of the house and noted an infestation of bedbugs throughout, consisting of bed bug evidence including live activity from un-hatched eggs, nymphal stage, and adults. Due to the extenuating circumstances of this case and physical limitations of the homeowner inspectors reached out to a leading bed bug pest management firm named Environmental Health Services, Inc. (EHS Pest) and they partnered with a treatment preparation company named House Works. These firms graciously agreed to donate their services pro-bono.

EHS will be responsible for administering the thermal remediation (heat treatment) technique. This technique is an innovative, clean and 100% organic method for completely eradicating the infestation in one day. Industry pest control experts have proven that temperatures above 122◦ F will kill bedbugs in all stages including eggs. Heat can penetrate cracks and crevices to kill bed bug adults, nymphs, and eggs. As a additional benefit the heat process will also kill dust mites, mold spores, allergens, and other pests that may be present.

House Works will be responsible for complete bed bug preparation services and cleaning that will greatly improve treatment efficacy. The will be offering a pre and post treatment service plan that will reduce process stress and allow the homeowner to get “back to normal” after the treatment.

Although, bed bugs do not carry germs nor spread disease they adversely affect our quality of life. Those who have found themselves a victim of bed bug infestations have complained of stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, welt marks (from the bites) and extreme discomfort. The entire infestation process may result in psychological distress and extreme agitation.

Reactions from bites vary on the individual and there may be a 2-9 day latency period for reaction with as much as 60% of the general public not showing any reaction at all. Their bites can result in itchy skin reactions and scratching which can lead to secondary skin infections. During this past year the Inspectional Services Department has responded to over 300 bed bug complaints.

Bedbugs Self Treatment Causes Fire

01 Jun 2012

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Firefighters: Bedbug “Do It Yourself” Spray Causes Fire

A fire that engulfed an apartment in Colerain on Friday night was partially caused by the use of a common bedbug deterrent, fire officials said.

Colerain Township firefighters said they received a call at about 9:30 p.m. reporting a fire on a second floor apartment in the 3500 block of West Galbraith Road.

Firefighters said they brought the fire under control at about 9:50 p.m. with the help of fire crews from Springfield Township and Green Township fire departments.

Authorities said a family of six, including four children, was displaced and receiving assistance from the Red Cross.

Fire officials said the residents of the apartment were using isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle to kill bedbugs. Officials said the home-remedy is common, but droplets formed by spraying the chemical dramatically increases the evaporation rate of the alcohol.

The vapor released is extremely flammable and was ignited by a cigarette, firefighters said.

No injuries were reported, firefighters said. The fire caused an estimated $30,000 in damage to the building and its contents.

George Williams,
General Manager - Staff Entomologist

Pest Control, RI, Pest Control, MA 

Bedbug Treatment Preparation

09 May 2011

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Bedbug Treatment Preparation
Click Image to Enlarge

Clutter = failure! That is rule #1 with bedbugs. EHS goes to great length to provide preparation sheets and even a bedbug preparation video so we can perform the most successful treatment possible. This picture shows you a unit that is “prepared” for treatment. Needless to say we could not do anything in this apartment because of all the clutter. Just look at the picture. If we were to treat how exactly could we? There is no possible way to successfully treat. In this picture alone there are a billion nooks for bedbugs to hide.

What amazed me was that the person was insistent that she prepared??? Once I explained to her that it was not prepared she defended herself by stating “where am I going to put all my stuff?”

I know that can be an issue & that has to be considered & dealt with but BEFORE the treatment date. I explained to her that eliminating bedbugs takes a team approach.

Not preparing for treatment delays the entire control process and can make matters worse by allowing bedbugs to spread.

Frank Diaz
Service Specialist

Pest Control, RI, Pest Control, MA

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