Bedbugs haven’t been in the news as much as they were this past summer but that doesn’t mean they are no longer a force to be reckoned with. Late last week the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) presented the “National Bed Bug Forum” held in Colorado. This educational forum gathered the nation’s leading Bedbug experts including Dr. Michael Potter, University of Kentucky. This forum was geared toward pest management professionals but Dr. Potter spoke of many things including how nobody should let their guards down.
Keep Your Guard Up!
Dr. Potter told the room of over 500 professionals to “Be careful what you wish for”. This remark is telling because it is not a secret that Bedbug elimination is expensive to the consumer and can be very profitable for the professional. However Bedbugs are extremely difficult to eliminate and one negative media story can put many small companies out of business or if not handled properly, cost the professional a lot of money. Potter also said “Infestation is inevitable. Infestation is unstoppable.” He warned the room of professionals that Bedbugs will be more and more difficult to eliminate this time around.
He reminded everyone that during the last influx of Bedbugs into this country during the mid 1900s, everyone had an “eternal vigilance”. People checked for Bedbugs every time they left home. Parents and public servants virtually eliminated these pests by the 1950s.
Potter attributed the dramatic rise of Bedbugs to immigration, increased travel and the fact that people own more stuff which gives Bedbugs more places to hide. He urged the professionals to teach people not to panic. “It’s insane to shut down a school or building because one bedbug was found.” he said. Bedbugs are also cutting into the profits of apartment complexes, hotels and other businesses and “the pest control industry is going to have to lead” Potter stated.
Dini Miller, a Virginia Tech researcher told the packed room, “Americans think it’s our birthright to live free of vermin”. ”Get over it.”
Dr. Potter also told the room that the clothes dryer should be your “best friend”. Bedbugs on blankets, clothes, linens and more will die in the dryer after 10-15 minutes.
The gist of what was told to the professionals is that Bedbugs are not going anywhere and they should expect the situation to worsen although the media isn’t reporting about them as much as they were.
For more information on Bedbugs visit our Bedbug FAQs page.