Bed Bug University – 2012 North American Bed Bug Summit

Victoria Pest Control just returned from the 2012 North American Bed Bug Summit – Bed Bug University, in Las Vegas, hosted by Bed Bug Central. It was an amazing experience and the conference was full of presenters from around the world, offering some the latest research into bed bug behaviour, control strategies, and the clinical relevance of bed bugs on human health. Here are some interesting highlights of the conference, as well as a photo of the president of Victoria Pest Control, Daniel Pratap, with Dr. Dini Miller, of Virginia Tech University! She is a rock star in the bed bug world!!

Daniel with Dini Miller at the Bed Bug Summit

Daniel Pratap and Dr. Dini Miller

Conference Highlights:

  •  In a large survey done in one affordable housing complex, containing 224 units, prior to inspection there were 16 known infestations. After inspections were performed, both visually and interceptor trap assisted, 39 new infestations were found, 4 by visual inspection, and 35 found with the use of interceptor traps. That means that 71% of all the active infestations were not being reported to management! This highlights the need for proactive inspections throughout entire buildings. Additionally, the interceptor traps had a 93% success in detecting bed bug activity! On Average, populations consisted of 84% nymphs, and 16% adults. (Richard Cooper)
  • In a “Mark, Release, Re-Capture” study, 477 bed bugs were collected and marked either Blue, Yellow, or Green, 159 bed bugs per colour, each group contained 90 nymphs and 69 adults. Within 5 days of being released, bed bugs were found in suites on either side, below, and across the hall of the host suite. The bed bugs were released in three separate locations – the bed bugs released in the bathroom had the lowest rate of recovery. On average, they were only able to recover 55% of the bed bugs released. (Richard Cooper)
  • Out of 110 different bed bug populations collected from around the USA, 88% of all populations contained 1 or both of the genes responsible for resistance to pyrethroids and other insecticides! This gives more credence to treatments that do not rely solely on pesticides for control, such as Thermal Heat Treatments.
  • Interesting findings on the effect of large bed bug populations on human health. The maximum allowable blood draw from an adult weighing  70Kg is 280ml in 30 days. With conservative estimates regarding bed bug population growth, in approximately 14-15 weeks, a bed bug population can be drawing more blood than the maximum allowed. Again, this highlights the importance for early detection and subsequent eradication once bed bugs have been confirmed. (Roberto Pierra)
  • For a long time, mating conflicts (traumatic insemination) has been thought to play a significant role in the dispersal of bed bugs. Some new research is now suggesting that it has far less to do with dispersal than previously thought. Host cues and harbourage availability are now thought to be greater contributing factors to bed bug dispersal. Very interesting! What this research is suggesting is that larger populations of bed bugs within areas with less harbourage potential (i.e. clutter) are more prone to dispersal. More bed bug refuge = less bed bug dispersal… but more bed bug refuge means harder to control infestations… what a paradox!!! (Professor Michael Siva-Jothy)

For further information about bed bugs, or any other pest, feel free to contact us… We really like bugs! But we like getting rid of them even more!!!

Cheers, and thank you for reading!

Victoria Pest Control