Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Summit Targeting Bedbugs

The Federal Bedbug Workgroup is holding a second national summit that is set for Feb.1st and 2nd of 2011, in Washington, D.C. to help find solutions to the bedbug epidemic we seem to be in the middle of. They are focusing on ways the federal government and others can continue to toil collectively on management and control of these pests, the summit is open to the public.
The initial federal bedbug summit was held by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) back in April 2009. Since then, the EPA has aided in organizing the Federal Bedbug Workgroup, which consists of the following; the 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 program will highlight talks on progression since the last summit from various perspectives, including federal, state, and local governments; research; housing industry; and pest management industry. The program also includes identifying information gaps and barriers for successful bedbug control, proposals for next steps in addressing information gaps and eliminating barriers, and developing a framework for addressing the highest priority needs.
There are a few steps people can take to prevent bedbugs:
• Remove all clutter in home, clutter provides good hiding spots for bed bugs
• You should seal all cracks and crevices around your home
• Try to vacuum your 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)
• Dry clothing and bed sheets at high temperatures (heat will kill bedbugs)
• Stay on alert and check for bedbugs so they may be treated before a major infestation occurs
• READ THE LABEL FIRST, before using any pesticide product, then follow the directions
• Check the label on the product to make sure it is identified for use on bedbugs. If bed bugs are not listed on the label, the pesticide has not been tested for bedbugs and it may not be effective

Prior to the summit, the federal workgroup will congregate with researchers to evaluate and develop a re-search agenda related to bedbugs. The plan and information on attending the meeting via webinar will be available for everyone on the EPA’s website.