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ESA members take part in National Bed Bug Summit

Fifteen members of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) gave presentations at the "Second Annual National Bed Bug Summit: Advancing Towards Solutions to the Bed Bug Problem," held by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, DC, February 2, 2011.

The meeting focused on what is being done to combat bed bugs, the importance of educating consumers, improvements in prevention and control techniques, controlling bed bugs in schools and public housing, and on the state of bed bug knowledge and futue research needs.

"Many health departments are overwhelmed by bed bug complaints," said Susan Jennings (EPA). "Training is greatly needed to educate people about this pest."

Dr. Jody L. Gangloff-Kaufmann (Cornell University) stressed the importance of having bilingual team members on bed bug task forces in urban areas.

"We're seeing more reservoirs of bedbugs appearing more often and intensely in poor communities, where people do not have resources to care for themselves," she said. "The key to bed bug control is the involvement and awareness of members of the community."

Dr. Dini Miller (Virginia Tech University) spoke about some methods of bed bug control using integrated pest management (IPM), such as using dessicant dust, mattress encasements, removing clutter, using a vacuum cleaner, chemical treatments when applied correctly, and heat.

"The clothes dryer is the number-one line of defense. Clutter removal also helps by revoving bed bug hiding places," she said, noting however that some of these methods can be expenisve. "IPM using prevention and non-chemical methods take time, as do heat treatments, and time is money, especially when repeated treatments are necessary," she said.

Dr. Harold Harlan (Armed Forces Pest Management Board), who has maintained a bed bug colony for nearly four decades, gave some reasons whey bed bug control is so difficult.

"Control efforts most of

Contact: Richard Levine
Entomological Society of America

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