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The last two weeks I have had two separate calls on problems with bed bugs. While bed bugs may sound like a death threat if you have them, they can be controlled with the correct measures. These little insects are found worldwide in all living situations. The following article was provided by the Environmental Protection Agency:

1. Make sure you really have bed bugs, not fleas, ticks or other insects.

You can compare your insect to the pictures on our Identifying bed bugs web page or show it to your local Extension agent. (Extension agents are trained in pest control issues and know your local area.)

2. Dont panic!

It can be difficult to eliminate bed bugs, but its not impossible. Dont throw out all of your things, because most of them can be treated and saved. Throwing stuff out is expensive, may spread the bed bugs to other peoples homes and could cause more stress.

3. Think through your treatment options Dont immediately reach for the spray can.

Be comprehensive in your approach. Try other things first. Integrated pest management (IPM) techniques may reduce the number of bed bugs and limit your contact with pesticides. If pesticides are needed, always follow label directions or hire a professional. There is help available to learn about treatment options.

4. Reduce the number of hiding places clean up the clutter.

A cluttered home provides more places for bed bugs to hide and makes locating and treating them harder. If bed bugs are in your mattress, using special bed bug covers (encasements) on your mattress and box springs makes it harder for bed bugs to get to you while you sleep. Leave the encasements on for a year. Be sure to buy a product that has been tested for bed bugs and is strong enough to last for the full year without tearing.

5. Regularly wash and heat-dry your bed sheets, blankets, bedspreads and any clothing that touches the floor.

This reduces the number of bed bugs. Bed bugs and their eggs can hide in laundry containers/hampers Remember to clean them when you do the laundry.

6. Do-it-yourself freezing may not be a reliable method for bed bug control.

While freezing can kill bed bugs, temperatures must remain very low for a long time. Home freezers may not be cold enough to kill bed bugs; always use a thermometer to accurately check the temperature. Putting things outside in freezing temperatures could kill bed bugs, but there are many factors that can affect the success of this method.

7. Kill bed bugs with heat, but be very careful.

Raising the indoor temperature with the thermostat or space heaters wont do the job. Special equipment and very high temperatures are necessary for successful heat treatment. Black plastic bags in the sun might work to kill bed bugs in luggage or small items, if the contents become hot enough. Bed bugs die when their body temperatures reach 45C (113F). To kill bed bugs with heat, the room or container must be even hotter to ensure sustained heat reaches the bugs no matter where they are hiding

8. Dont pass your bed bugs on to others.

Bed bugs are good hitchhikers. If you throw out a mattress or furniture that has bed bugs in it, you should slash or in some way destroy it so that no one else takes it and gets bed bugs.

9. Reduce the number of bed bugs to reduce bites.

Thorough vacuuming can get rid of some of your bed bugs. Carefully vacuum rugs, floors, upholstered furniture, bed frames, under beds, around bed legs, and all cracks and crevices around the room. Change the bag after each use so the bed bugs cant escape. Place the used bag in a tightly sealed plastic bag and in an outside garbage bin.

10. Turn to the professionals, if needed.

Hiring an experienced, responsible pest control professional can increase your chance of success in getting rid of bed bugs. If you hire an expert, be sure its a company with a good reputation and request that it use an IPM approach. Contact your state pesticide agency for guidance about hiring professional pest control companies. Also, EPAs Citizens Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety provides information about IPM approaches, how to choose a pest control company, safe handling of pesticides, and emergency information.

If you would like more information, you can visit the EPA website at https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs.

Elysia RODGERS is the

agriculture and natural resources director for the Purdue University Cooperative ExtensionService in DeKalb County.


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The Cottages of Martinsburg where many residents are dealing with bed bug problems that are costing thousands of dollars.

MARTINSBURG Several residents at the Cottages of Martinsburg, located at 17 Cottage Road, have filed complaints with management and the West Virginia Attorney Generals Office about bed bug problems.

As many residents struggle to pay the rent, they said they find themselves with the additional cost of treating the bed bug problem that many feel is the responsibility of the landlord. They also must replace their furniture. For some residents, the cost of this problem has been in the thousands.

They said they are also unable to see any paperwork or billing from Ehrlich, the pest control company that is doing extermination work on the property. Some bills from management are as high as $1,750. The residents have asked Ehrlich for a copy of the invoice, or at least the work that has been done in their homes. Ehrlich has claimed they can only provide that information to the management at the Cottages of Martinsburg.

Bed bug-bitten children have been sent home from school as parents struggle to pay the high extermination fees and, in some cases, find ways to independently end the bedbug problem in their homes. Management has claimed that the residents have brought the bedbugs in, and therefore are responsible for the extermination bill.

Resident Branden Parks found bed bugs soon after moving into her home. Her child had recently been to the doctor for a wellness check just days prior to moving in. There was no sign of any bed bug bites during that medical examination.

I signed my lease Feb 17. I did not move my belongings in until the weekend of the 25. I went out of town for work on the 27. I did not get home until (March) 2. The 2 was me and my childrens first night (at their new address), Parks said.

He had just had a wellness check and it specifically shows he had no skin abrasions on him. That should prove I did not have bed bugs before this. She (property manager Nadine Kennedy) said to me, That doesnt prove anything. I also have my security deposit receipt that shows I didnt have bed bugs from my prior place either.

Resident Joy Cole-Jones moved into the cottages in April 2012. In August 2016, she saw bedbugs in her home.

I told them right away, and they sent somebody in a couple of days later Ehrlich to inspect. Well, they didnt find nothing, Cole-Jones said.

She killed and bagged a bed bug and took it to management. Ehrlich was called in by management.

They came about two and a half weeks later. It took a long time, I thought. They found, I think they said, one dead one, Cole-Jones said. They said, Your case is a mild case so you wont need the heat treatment. You just need the spray, and well do that three times, a week apart, and then well come back and look again. While that went on, I had to do everything they tell you bag up everything, take the pictures off the walls. After the third treatment, I had got rid of my furniture in the bedroom and me and my husband moved out to the living room.

But that treatment did not fix her problem.

After the third treatment they said, You should be okay, and so I went out and got new bedroom (furniture). Well, that same night I felt something. I turned over and there was one right there and I said, Oh my God, how can I have a mild infestation after you did three treatments and said I was clear and theyre still in here? And I did everything you told me to do and I am taking every precaution that I can,' Cole-Jones said.

Kimberly Sheer found out she had bed bugs from her childrens school.

I got notifications from the school and thats when I brought it to Nadines attention, and she said, Well, well get somebody out to look at your apartment, because I didnt know what bed bugs looked like, Sheer said. I never had any type of infestation of any type of bug in my life.

Like other residents, Sheer had to remove all her furniture.

I had to get rid of everything, all my beds, everything. I had to replace all my furniture. I had brand new furniture delivered on the day we moved in there, Sheer said.

Sallie Grant is a widow and lives alone. She also had to dispose of furniture, but one piece had great sentimental value.

I had to get rid of a sofa that was given to me by my mother, Grant said.

To prepare for treatment is time-consuming. The residents said it can be a hardship.

I have to empty all these closets and have them ready by Monday for Ehrlich to come in, and quite honestly, I dont trust them, Grant said. They never came back to inspect me after the first treatment. Its crazy. Nobody, nobody should have to live like this.

Residents are following every precaution they can to keep the bed bugs out.

When I come in from work, Im at the door stripping, putting my clothes in bags, hopping in the shower. As soon as I get out, theyre in the dryer getting heat to keep it from happening, Cole-Jones said. Nobody is coming to my house. There was too many other cases to say my family bought them in there.

Not being able to speak with the exterminator or see any invoice or other paperwork has many residents upset and confused.

They wont give it to you and they wont talk to you, and youre the resident. I called them and I tried to ask questions, and they told me they couldnt talk to me, they could only talk to the landlord, Cole-Jones said. So, I called Nadine and she said, Well, they said you was in the clear, and that was it, so I said, Well, Im not taking no chances because I know that its an infestation. I was in there crying. I said we are not bringing them in.

U.S. Residential Group, a third-party property management company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, manages the Cottages of Martinsburg.

I wasnt aware that anybody ever asked for that information, said Anne Beard, regional property manager at U.S. Residential Group.

As word spread through the community about different amounts for which others were being billed, neighbors began restricting their children from playing with their friends next door. Many said they struggled just to make their bills and felt they would not be able to afford to exterminate. Some just dealt with the bed bugs, or tried treating the problem themselves. Others moved away.

Theyre not admitting to it, and not only that, some of them have moved out and just didnt tell because they knew they were going to be charged, Cole-Jones said.

Sheer said she has been charged $1,700.

We are making payments. Weve paid at least over $1,100, said Sheer, who has moved out of the Cottages. (After moving out,) the owners contacted us and asked for payment.

Other residents have been charged different amounts.

She told me $1,500, Parks said about the amount that management charged her. After filing her complaint with the Attorney Generals Office, the amount fell to $500. Now Parks spends evenings after work meeting with other residents and has seen a pattern of exterminations and billing. The working, single mother of two children has retained a lawyer. She said she knows of 15 neighbors that, Has them (bed bugs) or has had them.

Many residents said they dont believe they have brought the bedbugs in and should not be held liable for the extermination bill.

Now your kids are getting bitten, and you call Nadine and say, I think I have bed bugs, and they say, Its your fault, you brought them here,' Parks said.

I live in a two bedroom apartment. I have never in my 75 years ever (had them). I moved here, I got bed bugs, Grant said.

The Journal acquired six consumer complaints that were filed with the West Virginia Attorney General. The AGs office stated, The Attorney Generals Consumer Protection Division, as of today, has received a total of nine complaints filed against The Cottages in 2017.

Under most circumstances, the law does not permit the Attorney General to disclose the existence or absence of any investigation, said Curtis Johnson, press secretary for West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morriseys Office.

According to a statement from the Attorney Generals office in February, The landlord is responsible for maintaining habitable housing and cannot pass that responsibility onto the tenant under West Virginia law. Also, requiring tenants to pay extermination fees without proof the tenant caused the infestation violates the states Consumer Credit and Protection Act.

U.S. Residential Group has agreed to allow Parks out of her lease.

You gave me an uninhabitable home. My home is not habitable for living. I moved into this problem, Parks said.

I consider the issues with her resolved. We have been willing to pay everything, we have been cooperative with her, trying to make her happy. To be honest with you, we are trying to take care of all the residents at this point and resolve this situation, Beard said.

As for the other residents, Beard said they are not being charged except for tenants in the past.

There are some that are paying for it from last year. We have changed policy and we are no longer charging; we are paying for it, Beard said.

The Better Business Bureau in Texas, where U.S. Residential Group is headquartered, has an open file on the company.

We do currently have 34 complaints filed against the business. The most important part is there are 22 complaints that arent answered. So its not just that they have complaints, but out of the 34, 22 of them are unanswered, said Phylissa Clark, vice president of public relations and communication at the Better Business Bureau serving North Central Texas. They havent responded to the customer or the Better Business Bureau. Of the ones left, three of them are unresolved; the consumer indicated that they werent satisfied with the result. They currently have an F-rating. We have been reporting on them since 2011; thats how long weve been monitoring the company.

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Insect bites are from mosquitos, spiders, flies, ticks, and other species that use their mandibles (jaws) to attach to a person or other animal. They can then suck blood out of their "prey" and leave saliva proteins that cause itching and swelling. Other insect species, like bees, yellow jackets, wasps, hornets and fire ants actually inject venom into their prey and can not only cause localized pain and swelling, but severe, acute allergic reactions in persons who are allergic. ...Read more


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Right-Wrist

Post date: February 8th, 2017

misterxbedbugs posted a photo:

Right-Wrist

Bed Bug Bite inflammation.

If you could really see the extent of these bites, you would never venture outside of your concrete bunker for fear of even getting close to a bed bug bite scenario.

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Anacostia-based Savoy Elementary School closed Monday because the school was too infested with bed bugs and other pests.

D.C. Public Schools announced Friday that the shut down, slated for Monday and Tuesday, was impending because the building needs a thorough cleaning,The Washington Post reports.

For now, students at Savoy will be relocated to Ferebee Hope Elementary School beginning Wednesday. Officials will be providing transportation between the school locations.

Savoy Chancellor Antwan Wilson assured parents that staff would be replacing all blankets, rugs, pillows, etc., and also said that once the school is cleaned, health officials will examine the building to make sure its up to snuff.

In late January, Fox 5 reported that parents at the school were absolutely enraged at the deplorable conditions their children were forced to learn in. Parents added that professional bug exterminators had already been brought to the school without much success.

One parent wasnt even aware of the bed bug infestation until they saw it reported on Fox 5.

This is not how you should notify parents of rats and bed bugs. I had to see it on the news. Then, the school doesnt notify the parents until 4 days later, the parent said.

Before the school said it was temporarily shutting down, Aaron Doughty, another parent, said he would not let his bed bug-bitten kids back to Savoy until officials take the problem seriously.

They wont be back because they have several bites on them and Im very concerned about the situation, Doughty said. I will not be sending them to school.

According to Doughty, who showed pictures of the bites on his daughters, the problem started appearing around Christmas and has since only escalated. Doughty added that the school nurse told him months ago the school was infested with bed bugs.

But its now in February that officials have finally decided the school needs to close temporarily.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama visited the school in 2013 andtold students that they wereblessed to have this school and also that no one is born smart.

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Parents say health and school administrators were on site at Savoy Elementary School but they gave no solutions on how to stop the pest problem at the school.

WASHINGTON - An emergency meeting about a reported bed bug, rodent infestation at a southeast elementary school provided few answers for outraged parents Thursday night.

Parents say health and school administrators were on site at Savoy Elementary School but they gave no solutions on how to stop the pest problem at the school.

The Department of Health was also at the school Thursday evening to tell parents about kits they can pick up to determine if they have bed bugs.

RELATED: Parents irked about bed bug problem at Savoy Elementary School in DC

DC Public Schools and Department of General Services were there to share what's been done to ease the issue. Parents say what was missing was a clear solution on how to address the problem moving forward. If this would have happened on Wisconsin Avenue, the school would be closed, said Aaron Doughty, a father to students at the school.

Doughty shared photos of what he says are bed bug bites on his two daughters who attend Savoy, and he was hoping the meeting at the school Thursday night would help provide some answers.

No solutions out of this meeting and my daughters have not been in school, I have a note for them and they're scheduled to return back to school on Monday but I want solutions before they come back because you've seen the pictures, Doughty said.

PREVIOUS: DC elementary school undergoing treatment for bed bugs

Doughty was one of many who say the school has been infested with bedbugs since November and complaints were ignored.

I was aware of the issue in December but the principal was nonchalant about it, said Commissioner Rhonda Hines.

One thing the parents are saying is this school should be closed. The students and staff should be moved out into a facility until they resolve this problem and I agree. It's a very unhealthy environment for teachers or students or any other staff to be working in, said Elizabeth Davis, President of the Washington Teachers Union.

Savoy's Principal Donyale Butler attended the emotionally charged meeting but avoided questions from the crowd and media.


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Red Spots from Bed Bug Bites

Post date: December 16th, 2016

truly_nolen_pics posted a photo:

Red Spots from Bed Bug Bites

Bed Bug Bites can cause severe discomfort and horrible skin reactions.

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Severe Bed Bug Bite Reaction

Post date: December 16th, 2016

truly_nolen_pics posted a photo:

Severe Bed Bug Bite Reaction

This person experienced a severe reaction to bed bug bites, which caused rashes and spots around her body.

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