Editor’s note: Suppliers and PMPs, if you have a bed bug-related news item or product you’d like to have highlighted in an upcoming issue, please send a press release and a high-resolution photo to jdorsch@gie.net.


Amcan Bugstop Launches New Heat Chamber

Amcan Bugstop launched its newest heat chamber system designed for professionals. The Bed Bug Sauna is a fast, non-toxic, energy-efficient way to perform targeted heat treatments in any location, the company says.

According to Amcan Bugstop, the Bed Bug Sauna is portable and easy to set up, and kills bed bugs in the most challenging places: dense furniture, mattresses, sofas and more. The patented infrared heat panels easily attach to the inside walls of the Sauna and create a deep heat that radiates and penetrates the items being treated.

The Bed Bug Sauna measures 8- by 8- by 6-foot high. Twenty heat panels are used inside to produce temperatures from 120°F to 145°F. Using only two 15-amp power circuits and 3,400 total watts, the sauna quickly produces results with less power and energy than convection heat, the company says. Learn more at www.amcanproducts.com.


NPMA Update: Landlord/Tenant/PMP Legislation Initiatives

In recent years, pest management professionals have partnered with legislators, tenants and landlords to find and deliver solutions to solve America’s bed bug crisis. In 2016 and 2019, Connecticut and Colorado enacted legislation into law that allows for both landlords and tenants to win regarding bed bug infestations. These laws incentivize tenants to notify landlords of a suspected bed bug infestation, and landlords in most circumstances are required to hire PMPs to inspect for and, if necessary, treat for bed bugs.

Tenants win because they are legally protected and permitted to come forward about a potential bed bug infestation without fear of retribution or eviction. Additionally, knowledgeable PMPs inspecting and treating for bed bugs is the best way to ensure that an infestation in the home is sufficiently addressed.

Landlords win because their property values are protected, it reduces the likelihood of negative reviews by tenants complaining about infestations, bed bugs are not spreading to/from adjacent apartments, and it reduces costs by addressing the problem early and in a proactive manner. States also win because they enact an effective solution into law with little to no fiscal impact on state budgets.

NPMA encourages state pest control associations to examine and evaluate whether bed bug legislation could be a valuable policy to pursue in their state. NPMA is a resource to answer questions and do the necessary legwork to assist state associations to enact policies that place PMPs as the solution to a state’s bed bug problem. Reach out to Jake Plevelich (jplevelich@pestworld.org) to learn more.

For a list of landlord/tenant/PMP bed bug law case studies, visit the online extras of www.pctonline.com. Source: NPMA


Bed Bugs Modify Microbiome of Homes They Infest

Homes infested by bed bugs appear to have different bacterial communities — often referred to as microbiomes — than homes without bed bugs, according to a study from North Carolina State University, which appeared in the July 7, 2020, issue of Science of the Total Environment. In addition, once bed bug infestations were eradicated, home microbiomes became more similar to those in homes that didn’t have bed bugs. NC State says the findings could be an important step in lifting the veil on the factors involved in indoor environmental quality and how to improve it.

Microbes can affect indoor air quality. So entomologists Coby Schal and Madhavi Kakumanu wanted to learn more about the microbiomes of bed bugs and whether they can shape the microbial community in homes they infest, and whether eliminating bed bugs changes the microbiome of homes that were once infested.

The study, performed in an apartment complex in Raleigh, N.C., compared the microbiomes of bed bugs with the microbiomes in the household dust of infested homes as well as the microbiomes in apartments that had no bed bugs. Nineteen infested homes were studied over the course of four months; seven were treated with heat to eliminate bed bugs after the initial sample was taken, while 12 infested homes were treated after one month. These homes were compared with 11 homes that had no bed bugs.

The results showed similarities between the microbiomes of bed bugs and the dust-associated microbiomes of infested homes, mostly through the presence of Wolbachia, a symbiotic bacterium that comprises the majority of the bacterial abundance in bed bugs. Bed bug and infested home microbiomes differed significantly from the microbial communities of uninfested homes.

“There is a link between the microbiome of bed bugs and the microbiome of household dust in bed bug-infested homes,” said Schal, the Blanton J. Whitmire Distinguished Professor of Entomology at NC State. “No previous study has reported the impact of chronic pest infestations on indoor microbial diversity.”

The study also showed that after bed bugs were eliminated, infested home microbiomes gradually became more like those in homes without bed bugs.

“The elimination of the bed bugs resulted in gradual shifts in the home microbial communities toward those of uninfested homes,” Kakumanu, an NC State research scholar in Schal’s lab, said. “This paper is the first experimental demonstration that eliminating an indoor pest alters the indoor microbiome toward that of uninfested homes.”

“Bed bug infestations are problematic in many homes in both developed and developing countries,” Schal said. “There is a critical need to investigate infestations from the perspective of indoor environmental quality, and this paper represents a first step toward this end.” Source: North Carolina State University