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Bed Bug Infestation an Epidemic; Bugs Found in Cell Phone, TVs and Keyboards
Date:4/15/2009

Arrow Exterminating Expects Public to Get Hit Hard Post-Spring Break

LYNBROOK, N.Y., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Mike Deutsch can't believe the places he and the other technicians at Arrow Exterminating are finding bed bugs these days: inside lamp bases, clock radios, TVs, computer keyboards, between the pages of books, inside electric switches, behind ceiling moldings and in one case, inside a cell phone. "We've never seen anything like this," says Deutsch, the Arrow staff entomologist. "We certainly know that bed bugs are not restricted to beds and upholstered furniture, but now we're finding them in places even we never thought possible."

What's more, Deutsch believes the worst has yet to hit Long Island and the Greater New York area. The ultra-high volume of spring break travel is bound to yield more than a deluge of spectacular tans. "Expect to see a huge increase in bed bugs after spring break is over this year," he says. Frequent international travel and hotel stays have helped bed bugs to make a comeback after near extinction in the U.S. The bugs find their way into suitcases and end up being carried home here to the States. Another reason bed bugs are back with a vengeance is that DDT, a pesticide commonly used in the mid-twentieth century to treat bed bugs, has been banned and the pesticides used today are safer but less effective.

Bed bug infestations have grown at a steady clip over the last handful of years. Infestation has risen so markedly that Arrow experienced no seasonal downtime this winter. "That was unusual," says Deutsch. "The heart of the winter is normally pretty quiet in our industry but we didn't miss a beat this winter due to bed bug service calls throughout Long Island and the five boroughs." Deutsch also believes the infestation will continue to worsen this year.

The public's refusal to accept the bed bug epidemic (despite the numerous reports of infestations regularly making headlines) continues to fascinate Deutsch. "Ignorance really is bliss because many people haven't taken the time to get educated about them," he explains. "Some don't even believe they exist and are astounded when our technicians explain what has been biting them." Despite the stigma associated with the pests, bed bugs don't adhere to specific socioeconomic demographics. Says Deutsch, "Five million dollar homes on the north shore of Long Island to homeless shelters in New York City are experiencing problems."

According to Deutsch, proactive measures to prevent infestation are limited but absolutely necessary. His advice: Don't buy any used furniture and that includes items that aren't upholstered. Bed bugs can inhabit cracks and joints in furniture. And, take the proper precautionary measures immediately upon returning from travel. Go directly to the garage with a robe and a plastic garbage bag. Undress and put everything that can be laundered into the bag. Put items that can't be laundered (such as sneakers) into the dryer on the highest heat setting for 30 minutes to kill any bugs. Examine all bags and luggage for evidence of bed bugs. Look for live bugs, blood stains, fecal smears and dead bugs caught in zippers.

"The infestation problem is only going to get worse in the immediate future," says Deutsch. "The public needs to accept this fact, get educated and take what preventive measures they can, especially since bed bug populations are extremely difficult to detect when their populations are at a low level within the home. People don't realize there is a problem until they are getting bitten."

About Michael A. Deutsch M.S., BCE

Mike Deutsch, technical director for Arrow Exterminating Company, Inc., is a Board Certified Entomologist with 30 years experience in the field of Urban Entomology and Public Health. Mike is a registered instructor with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and is on the board of directors of the Professional Certified Applicators of Long Island. He has worked for the Nassau County Department of Health as an inspector and was an adjunct assistant professor of Biology for the SUNY College at Farmingdale where he lectured on Applied Entomology.

Mike's role at Arrow Exterminating includes developing custom Green/Organic pest control programs for residential, commercial, industrial and institutional clients. Green pest control incorporates the principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), an environmentally sensitive approach to urban pest management utilizing organic pesticides and environmental management. Organic pesticides, based on natural or plant-derived materials, are bio-degradable and environmentally sensitive. Environmental management tactics include sanitation and structural maintenance to mitigate pest populations. Mike's dedication to Green pest control ensures better health and safety for area families, as well as the environment.

About Arrow Exterminating

Arrow Exterminating has been in business since 1947 and services Long Island and the New York metropolitan region. The company of certified professionals tackles all aspects of pest management concerning insects, rodents and nuisance wildlife. To learn more, please visit www.arrowexterminating.com or call 516-593-7770, 631-654-0110 or 212-223-4220.

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