Holiday Travel? – Beware of Bedbugs

For many people the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season involves traveling to see family and friends, taking flights, staying in hotels and potentially being exposed to bedbugs. There has been a significant increase in the reported cases bedbugs in the US.

In fact, the EPA finds the situation serious enough to warrant a summit. Yes a bed bug summit. In the statement below released by the EPA on December 08 2010 announces that a summit will take place in February.

 WASHINGTON – To help find solutions to the nation’s bed bug problem, the Federal Bed Bug Workgroup is convening a second national summit set for February 1-2, 2011, in Washington, D.C. The summit is open to the public and will focus on ways the federal government and others can continue to work together on management and control of these pests.

The first federal bed bug summit was held by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April 2009. Since then, EPA has helped organize the Federal Bed Bug Workgroup, which consists of EPA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, and National Institutes of Health.

The summit’s agenda will feature discussions on progress since the last summit from various perspectives, including federal, state, and local governments; research; housing industry; and pest management industry. The agenda also includes 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.

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, as well as vacuuming under beds (take the vacuum bag outside immediately and dispose in a sealed trash bag)
· Wash and dry clothing and bed sheets at high temperatures (heat can kill bed bugs)
· Be alert and monitor 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

Before the summit, the federal workgroup will meet with researchers to evaluate and develop a research agenda related to bed bugs. The summit will be held at the Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center at 3800 Reservoir Road, N.W., Washington, D.C. The agenda and information on attending the meeting via webinar will be available on EPA’s website.

It is better to be prepared and to be proactive rather than to be caught by surprise, as uncomfortable of a prospect this may be. Remember these 3 rules when staying in a hotel.

  1. Inspect the mattress. If you see brown or red spots you should request another room.
  2. Hang clothes and place luggage on rack and NOT on the floor or near the bed.
  3. Wash all clothes after your trip in very hot water.

 

From all of us at Dagley Insurance and Financial Services we wish you a Merry Christmas and a bug free New Year.

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