Bad News for Our Neighbors in the North

Oklahoma residents in Comanche County are unfortunately dealing with unwanted guests in the area.  Those unwanted guests are, as you probably guessed, bed bugs.  This story goes to show that an infestation or outbreak can occur anywhere at any time.  We hope residents are taking the right steps for containment and removal so this group of pests don’t make their way into Texas.  Read more about the outbreak in the story below.

Health officials in southwest Oklahoma warning residents of bed bug outbreak

LAWTON, Okla. – The Comanche County Health Department is warning residents of a bed bug outbreak in the area.

The health department said they are receiving at least two to three calls per day about bed bugs in Comanche County, KSWO reports.

Due to the increase, the health department wants residents to know how to prevent bed bugs from spreading.

The small, flat, bugs are reddish-brown bugs are the size of an apple seed.

The insects can hide almost anywhere inside your home.

“They can get into your electrical sockets, they can get into lamp shades, they can get into your curtains,” Health Specialist Zachary Foley told KSWO.

Experts expect the bed bug problem to get worse as the holiday travel season approaches.

The tiny bugs can get inside your luggage, purse, or coat.

“It’s a good idea to have a flash light when you go into a hotel room so you can check all the nooks and crannies, check behind the mattresses,” said Foley.

Health experts told KSWO that the tiny critters crave blood, but can go almost nine months without feeding on anyone.

Once a bed bug bites you, it may cause itching and loss of sleep.

If your home does become infested, heat will kill them.

There are professionals who will treat your home, but it can take 8 to 12 hours to work.


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Unwanted Thanksgiving Guests

As most of us are preparing to travel to a friend’s or family member’s house for Thanksgiving weekend, we are probably not thinking about picking up unwanted guests.  Not just any unwanted guest, but bed bugs.  Whether you are traveling down the street or across the country you should be aware of where the pests can hide and how they might come back to your house with you.  Read the article below to remind yourself of tips for prevention.


Thanksgiving travel can increase bed bug exposure

The tiny pests can lurk in hotel rooms and even grandma’s guest room

 By Mark Huffman

Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year. According to AAA, more than 48 million Americans are going to travel at least 50 miles from home.


At the risk of intruding on the warm family feelings of the holiday, or increasing your paranoia, we nonetheless are passing on this warning from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA): Thanksgiving can increase bed bug risks.

That’s because bed bugs tend to get around by attaching themselves to clothing or bedding in homes and hotels. Travelers who stay the night in one of these places run the risk of taking the tiny pests home in their suitcases.

Look for evidence

“The best advice I can give to those traveling over the holidays is to be on the lookout for evidence of bed bug activity at all times,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA.

The bugs are so small you probably aren’t going to be able to see them. Mannes says what you will see are signs of their presence, such as pepper-like stains on fabric-covered items, and molted bed bug skins.

In some cases you may see the actual bugs at various stages in their lifecycle – things like white eggs and empty egg casings.


Whether you’re staying in a hotel or a relative’s guest room, Mannes suggests carefully inspecting the room for bed bug evidence before settling in. It’s a good idea to pull back the bed sheets to examine the mattress seams, checking behind the headboard and looking in furniture crevices. If you are staying in a relative’s home, you no doubt want to do this discretely.

A small flashlight can come in handy during your investigation. If you find evidence of bed bug infestation in a hotel, you should, by all means, notify management and request a different room. If you find bed bugs in a private home, the response is a little trickier. However, you’ll need to find a way to bring it to the homeowner’s attention.

Vacuum and wash

As a final precaution, Mannes suggests travelers vacuum their luggage and wash and dry all clothes – even those that have not been worn – on high heat when returning home.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers travelers some additional bed bug tips. For example, the agency suggests emptying suitcases directly into the washing machine upon returning home. It says drying on high heat will usually kill them.

Store suitcases in the basement or garage. Keep them out of bedrooms and never store them under a bed.


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A Study on Insecticides

As you know, heat is the best way to effectively remove bed bugs from a house and/or your belongings.  However, bed bugs can also be fought with certain insecticides at certain stages of their life cycle.  In the article below, a study is discussed that used insecticides on bed bug eggs.  Read on to learn what worked and what did not.  Rely on professionals for insecticide and heat use, however, if you have a bed bug infestation.

Which Insecticide Spray Should You Use For Bed Bug Eggs?


Well, it depends. The efficacy of different insecticide sprays depends on a few different factors, such as which strain of bed bug is being treated, how resistant the strain is to the insecticide being used, and the permeability of the chemicals in relation to the egg shell composition, reports a recent study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology.
In the study, researchers from Clemson University tested four insecticide sprays against bed bug eggs and recorded how many eggs ended up hatching. For the eggs that did hatch, the researchers also recorded how many of those nymphs survived a week, as the bugs came into contact with residuals of the insecticides after they hatched.

Two different bed bug strains were used for the study. One was from a colony of bed bugs kept by Harold Harlan for more than 40 years without any exposure to insecticides. The second strain was a Jersey City strain, which is resistant to a class of insecticides known as pyrethroids and recently showed moderate resistance to neonicotinoids. The Jersey City strain is closer to what would be found in the field or to what people would find in their homes than the Harold Harlan strain is.

During the test, all insecticides fared well against the Harold Harlan strain. A pyrethroid and a neonicotinoid/pyrethroid mix both resulted in no eggs hatching, while a pyrethroid/pyrethroid synergist mix and a halogenated pyrrole both killed all nymphs.

However, for the Jersey City strain, results got a bit more muddled. The pyrethroid/pyrethroid synergist mix allowed 84% of eggs to hatch, and 99% of hatched nymphs survived. The pyrethroid and halogenated pyrrole both allowed over 90% of eggs to hatch, but killed nearly all nymphs after hatching. The neonicotinoid/pyrethroid mix only allowed 13% of eggs to hatch, and killed 38% of nymphs after hatching.

What do these results mean for the person trying to kill bed bug eggs?

The most effective insecticide overall was the neonicotinoid/pyrethroid mix, suggesting that having the dual active ingredients might give the best chance for success.

The study also shows that reading labels is important. For example, the pyrethroid and halogenated pyrrole both allowed nearly all eggs to hatch, but then killed nearly all nymphs. This result makes sense because neither product was labeled for bed bug eggs specifically.

The pyrethroid/pyrethroid synergist mix performed poorly both in terms of preventing egg hatch and killing nymphs. The label recommended spraying eggs for 13 seconds or until damp. The researchers sprayed the pyrethroid/pyrethroid synergist until damp to ensure that the application rate was similar to other products used in the study while applying the product at a rate that still followed the manufacturer’s recommendations.  If this insecticide was sprayed for 13 seconds, results might have shown it to be more effective.

In short, finding the right insecticide isn’t always easy. Make sure to read the labels to find the right product for your needs. If that product doesn’t work, you might be dealing with a resistant population and may need to find an insecticide with a different or additional active ingredient or seek the help of a pest control professional to identify an effective treatment plan.

Photo caption: Adult bed bug (Cimex lectularius) taking a blood meal from a human. Not yet fully engorged. Photo courtesy of Gary Alpert, Harvard University, Available at


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The Places Pests Will Hide

The information in this article applies to hotels and homes.  It is about how certain textiles and pieces of furniture can hide bed bugs better than others.  If you are an employee of a hotel or are just simply redesigning your bedroom at home consider the information this piece offers.  The less hiding places there are for bed bugs the less likely they will exist in an area.

Seeking Bed Bug Prevention? Allergy Technologies Offers Options

Tuesday November 15th, 2016 – 9:09AM


Just think! The design choices you are considering for room refurbishing may also be creating a welcoming environment for bed bugs. Bed bugs are elusive pests and an intrusive guest no hotel wants.

They can easily be introduced into a hotel room by anyone that walks through its doors, from hotel guests to service staff or even a shipment. Their small size, ability to reproduce rapidly, withstand long periods between meals, and nocturnal tendencies make them difficult to detect. The effects of an infestation can be devastating to a business. Hotel reputations can be irrevocably tarnished if reports land on travel websites, treatment costs are high and profits lost when rooms have to go unrented. That’s not to mention reimbursements to guests affected and the potential negative impact on stakeholder equity if a guest chooses to pursue an aggressive legal course of action.

So what does hotel room design have to do with infestations? It could mean the difference between a full-blown infestation being uncovered at 2 a.m. by an irate guest and minimizing the likelihood that a single bed bug introduced into a room ever transitions into an infestation.

Given our experience in handling the bed bug scourge that is canvassing our nation, we provide the following suggestions for hotel room design consideration. Making tweaks to current hotel room configurations, considering these changes in future design plans or implementing a preventive bed bug measure can certainly assist in lowering the incidence of bed bug infestations in hotel rooms.

Headboard Design

Upwards of 85% of bed bugs are found within a five ft. radius of the bed, with headboards being known for egg deposition. Removing upholstery in its design would be a marked step forward in reducing harborage, given the folds and tufts—similar to a mattress and box spring—routinely found in this furniture.

Also, straight design with little to no textured woodwork reduces areas susceptible to egg deposits. In addition, attention should be drawn to the backside of the headboard that affixes to the wall, as this area is routinely a hot spot for bed bug activity.

Box Spring Dust Ruffles

Dust ruffles that cascade onto the floor are an easy entrance ramp for bed bugs to crawl onto bedding. These ruffles are often highly pleated and cinched making it a favorite hiding place for bed bug egg repositories.

Highly suggested are the new decorative fabric covers available that fit snuggly onto the box spring (foundation).

Box Spring Platforms

Typical railed box spring frames are replete with nooks and crannies that are commonly strewn with bed bug eggs when an infestation occurs. In contrast, the use of metal box spring platforms is far less conducive toward bed bug harborage in the event that a room is challenged.

Active Liners

Unlike an encasement that simply protects the bed, an active liner protects not only the mattress and box spring but also the guest that is sleeping in the bed. As easy to install as a fitted sheet, an active liner such as ActiveGuard Mattress Liners can prevent a bed bug infestation as they kill bed bugs that come into contact with the liner continuously for two years. Installation of this simple preventive measure can stop bed bugs introduced into the room from turning into a full-fledged infestation.

About Allergy Technologies

ActiveGuard Mattress Liners kill bed bugs. Easily installed on mattresses or box springs, these liners’ offer two-year continual prevention and control against any adult bed bugs, nymphs or eggs. ActiveGuard has no cautionary signal words or use restrictions on its label. Only four sizes—single/twin, double/full, queen and king—fit almost every available mattress or box spring, and accommodate up to extra-large in length and 17-in. in depth. Underlying is ActiveGuard’s formulation; a unique and proprietary delivery system that offers sustained bioavailability of permethrin for two years. Newest research supports that after short exposure to ActiveGuard of only 10 minutes, bed bugs regardless of their level of resistance, begin to show significant reductions in feeding (biting) and a dramatic inability to lay eggs. This results in discontinuation of population growth thereby halting progression of an incident to an infestation. If you are seeking a pro-active preventative approach, ActiveGuard should be considered as the centerpiece of your long-term solution to keep bedding from being infested. ActiveGuard Mattress Liners are covered under U.S. Patents 5,916,580, 6,214,365, 6,440,438 and pending patents.

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