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Bed bugs articles

Winnipeg has second-highest rate of bed bugs in Canada

vincent poulin

Winnipeg sits as the second highest city in Canada with bed bugs, commonly found in mattresses and under seat cushions.

According to a news release from Orkin Canada, Winnipeg’s bed bug problem is at an all-time high.

READ MORE: Winnipeg has second-most bed bugs among Canadian cities

Orkin’s 2017 report shows that Winnipeg didn’t budge this year, as they stayed in second place again.

“In less than two decades, this pest has gone from a rarely experienced irritant to a major problem,” Orkin wrote in a news release.

To prevent bed bugs, Orkin says to dry potentially infested bed linens or clothing on the highest heat setting in a dryer.

They also suggest inspecting your luggage after a vacation, before bringing your suitcase in your home.

Top Ten Cities with Bed Bugs:

  1. Toronto

  2. Winnipeg

  3. St. Johns

  4. Vancouver

  5. Halifax

  6. Ottawa

  7. Hamilton

  8. Sudbury

  9. Windsor

  10. Scarborough

Bed bugs are known as “hitchhikers” — Orkin says early detection is the best way to reduce the chances of an infestation.

WATCH: Sniffing out trouble in your home and office: K9 bed bug detection

Dryer Sheets Repel Bed Bugs - NOT!

vincent poulin

We were surprised to see an American welfare office select Bounce dryer sheets as a tool to combat an ongoing bed bug problem. The Mercer County Board of Social Services office in Trenton, New Jersey had been plagued over the last fews months with a few outbreaks that involved temporarily closing the entire building. In the employee washroom, a sign alongside the supply of dryer sheets, instructs the reader to wipe their clothing down with a dryer sheet if they find theselves exposed to bed bugs.

We’ve set up some protocols just to be proactive so we don’t transport anything through the building just in case there is an exposure.

— Barbara Buckley, Social Services Director

A proactive approach is the right attitude, however, falling for an urban legend is a misstep. Headlines like,  "28 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Bed Bugs" is a good indication the content is a false hope. Another tell-tale sign for skepticism - ensure the source is reputable and an authority on bed bugs. Websites like the New Love News or News Dog are the not an authority on all things bed bugs. Would you follow automotive advice from your doctor's website? Remember, if it sounds too good to be probably is.

Procter & Gamble (P&G), manufacturer of the Bounce brand, have since released a statement:

P&G has no scientific evidence that Bounce Dryer Sheets kill bed bugs and therefore don’t recommend our product for use in this purpose,

— Anne Candido, Spokeswoman, Proctor & Gamble

Posted on November 5, 2016 by Sheree Swindle and filed under kill bed bugsnews & events and tagged dryer sheet repel bed bugs.

Abandoned Dog Purchased for Nearly $10,000

vincent poulin

An abandoned dog, who was found on the side of Highway 29, now has a new home and job.  Roger was found locked in his crate with a toy and a leash, but no food and water back in August.

He was rescued by the Bullock County Humane Society.  After they were unable to find an owner, Roger was sent to FSI K-9 Academy where he learned to be a bedbug detector.  He’s now being purchased by a company in Richmond, Virginia for close to $10,000.

“He can find bedbugs, he can find live bedbugs and viable eggs,” explained trainer James Latimore, “what he’s primarily going to be doing is searching apartments, retirement centers, hospitals and residential homes.”

Once at his new job, Roger will work around 4 hours a day.

Potential Bed Bug Control Tool: Aprehend

vincent poulin

Penn State and North Carolina State universities have refined an application of Beauveria bassiana, a fungal biopesticide called Aprehend, in an effort to control bed bugs. Their initial study has found it effective even against bed bugs that have shown a resistance to traditional pesticides.

Their patent-pending compound was applied to a quilt material to which the test bed bugs were exposed for an hour. The idea is the bugs then carry the fungal spores back to their harbourage thereby exposing the remaining bugs in the harbourage. A 100% mortality was achieved to the bugs exposed directly and 95 pcercent mortality was achieved within the week for the bugs that had remained in the habourage.

A bed bug that has sucumbed to Beauveria bassiana. Photo courtesy Penn State

It is important to keep in mind the 100% mortality was not achieved in the harbourage, however the product is still in development. Like all new bed bug tools, the test that counts is real life, in a number of diffeent surroundings, and not in the lab. The test of time will be the ultimate challenge, however first the product must make it past development into production. Before those stages, the researches will test different exposure times, sites with established harbourages and then field studies.

Keep an eye out for the product launch by ConidioTec, the firm established by Nina Jenkins, senior research associate in entomology, College of Agricultural Sciences, Penn State.

The remaining researchers on the team are:  Giovani Bellicanta, postdoctoral scholar Entomology, Penn State; Alexis Barbarin and Coby Schal, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology and W.M. Keck Center for Behavioral Biology, North Carolina State University; and Jason Osborne, Department of Statistics, North Carolina State University.

Posted on March 23, 2017 by Ken Hando and tagged bed bug control beauveria bassiana b. bassiana.

Scent Detection Rats. Yes. Rats. HeroRATs.

vincent poulin

Today, March 24th, is World TB Day. And Hero Rats are helping to eliminate this terrible disease. HeroRATs work similiar to bed bug dogs, bomb dogs or narcotics dogs. Instead of training to alert on bed bugs, explosives or drugs, HeroRATs have been trained to alert on the TB disease.

Tuberculosis is not a common threat in Canada (4.4 incidents per 100,00). However, citizens in other countries, like Ethopia, are not so lucky - TB kills three people every minute.

Soon a new TB detection facility in Addis Abba, Ethiopia will open its doors and APOPO will be assigning a team of HeroRATs to identify TB positive people that have been missed by public clinics.

APOPO HeroRATS save lives. You too can help by donating to the care of these life saving animals. Adopt A HeroRAT. Spread the word #UniteToEndTB

Certified Bed Bug Dog: What It Means To You

vincent poulin

Our certification assures you, our client, our dogs alert to the odour of live bed bugs. And as dog handlers, we correctly 'read' our dogs behaviour - their alert. We have just returned from Virginia Beach, along with our two bed bug dogs, Loola Loo and Lillie Loo,  where we attended David Latimer's Detector Dog Team Clinic. This was a three day workshop to hone our dog handling skills and renew our WDDO (World Detector Dog Organization) certification. We have proudly renewed our certification status annually since 2011. Congratulations to Ken, Loola and Lillie. 

WDDO (World Wide Detector Dog Organization) and NESDCA (National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association) are the two main accreditation agencies.  One of their functions is to test canine teams (a team is one dog and one handler) in real world scenarios to find live bed bugs. For another perspective on this subject read Jay Samples blog post:  Certifications:  What's the big deal??

Chili, The Weevil Detection Dog, To The Rescue!

vincent poulin

Ontario's emerging $275 million pepper industry was underattack last season from the invasive pepper weevil. Enter, Chili, a scent detection canine, trained to locate the pest with her nose before facilities workers are able to visually detect the pest. Early detection of pests can save thousands of dollars, protect jobs, and assist emerging industries such as greenhouse pepper growers.

Chili hails from Mexico and and after five weeks of training with  Sid Murrary he is now on guard for the devasting weevil at NatureFresh Farms - one of North America's largest greenhouse pepper growers. 

Professional scent detection dogs can be trained to find anything with a scent, and various industries as well as the Health sector (cancer detecting dogs) are just beginning to recognize the value of a professional scent detection K9. For more details on how Chili was trained read CBC News:  Sniffing out weevils

Posted on January 1, 2018 by Sheree Swindle and filed under news & events and tagged scent detection dog sniffer dogs sniffer dog.

Effective Bed Bug Repellent For Luggage - Maybe...

vincent poulin

Effective Bed Bug Repellent For Luggage - Maybe...

Protect your luggage

from bed bugs?

A study at Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and Bedoukian Research, Inc., showed promise to reduce the number of bed bugs attracted to the dirty laundry in luggage. The Journal of Medical Entomology, published John Anderson, Ph.D., and colleagues research on the effectiveness of eight compounds to reduce the risk of picking up hitchhikers. 

It will be awhile before any of these products hit the market, but it does look promising and although not 100% effective, the products may be worth the price for that extra edge of reassurance. Remember - doing a visual search yourself of the bed and headboard - before you unpack your luggage is still the best preventative step when travelling; along with storing your luggage in the shower stall or bathtub and also isolating your dirty laundry in a zip lock bag.

Posted on February 12, 2018 by Ken Hando and filed under news & events and tagged luggage bed bug repellent bed bugs and travelling prevent bed bugs.