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KYW on Your Health- (Subscribe)
Goodnight, Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite
KYW's Michelle Durham spoke to John Russell, general manager of Action Termite and Pest Control about how you get bedbugs and what it takes to get rid of them. (10:06)

Source:  http://www.kyw1060.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=2744140

   Posted: Saturday, 12 July 2008 10:39AM

Goodnight, Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite

by KYW’s Michelle Durham

It's a problem that many people don't know they have or if they do, they don't want to talk about it; bedbugs. And once you have them, it takes a lot of effort to get rid of them.

General Manager of Action Termite and Pest Control John Russell explains how you get bedbugs in the first place:

You would go to a hotel after someone left that had bedbugs. You would put your clothing into the drawers and dressers and not realizing it then you take your clothes with you when you leave; go home and then spread it to the residential area."

It takes a lot of effort to get rid of them. Russell and his team bring in bug sniffing dogs to determine where they are; once that happens the intensive treatment begins:

"We have to treat every nook and cranny: picture frames, moldings, electrical outlets. We have to pull the carpet up. The second treatment is actually steam."

Steam will kill the eggs that haven't hatched yet. Bedbugs leave tiny blood stains on mattresses and sheets, so you can look for those. And Russell says when you check into a hotel pull the sheets off the bed and check the mattress seams and the headboards.

Source:  http://www.kyw1060.com/pages/2585530.php


Science behind the Nose - Amazingly Sensitive!


  • Hotels and Motels
  • Homes
  • Retail Spaces
  • Hospitals and Nursing Homes
  • Furniture Stores

According to a report prepared by the Institute for Biological Detection Systems (IBDS) of Auburn University (Auburn, AL), dogs have the following capabilities:
Sensitivity: Documented limits of olfactory detection for the dog range from tens of parts per billion to 500 parts per trillion.
Discrimination: Dogs are extremely good at discriminating a target vapor from non-target vapors that are also present, even at relatively high concentrations of non-target odors.
Odor Signatures: When being trained to detect a substance, dogs learn to alert to one or two of its most abundant vapor compounds.
Multiple Odor Discriminations: Dogs can easily learn as many as ten odor discriminations.

"Man’s best friend" has been used for years by military and law enforcement agencies to detect bombs and drugs, among other things.

  • From a single drop of urine, the sniffing dog learns the marking animal’s sex, diet, health, emotional state, and even whether it’s dominant or submissive, friend or foe.
  • Tracking dogs follow a biochemical trail of dead skin cells, sweat, odor molecules, and gasses.
  • For dogs, a scent article is like a three-dimensional “odor image” - much more detailed than a photograph is for a person.
  • Dogs can track a scent through snow, air, mud, water, and even ash.
  • The properly trained and certified detection dog is recognized in court as a "scientific instrument" (US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals)

THREE QUESTIONS"Getting bugs is his business

Sunday, August 10, 2008

John Russell makes a living from bugs and rodents.


Russell, 43, is general manager of Action Termite and Pest Control in Toms River, a business that has been around since 1971.


Russell, a former computer repair technician decided to return to his father's business in 1986 after realizing that corporate America wasn't what he wanted.


Russell talked to The Star-Ledger about the family business and a worst assignment ever.


What are some preventive tips you can give about pest control?


Mice can fit through openings quarter of an inch. Always seal up openings around the outside of the home including door sweeps, pipe openings and make sure garage doors are tightly closed


Termites: Store all excess building materials and firewood away from the house, wood is a source of food. Fix water leaks in the home, termites also need water. And get a yearly inspection.


Roaches: Use containerized roach baits. Wash kitchen cabinets with warm water, boric acid and baking soda and don't leave unwashed dishes in the sink.


How do you deal with customers who have bed bugs?

Bed bugs infest only a small proportion of residences, but they should be suspected if residents complain of bites that occurred while sleeping.


When a customer calls in with a bed bug problem, the following steps are used.

  • We use a canine team to pinpoint all infested areas. Dogs work much faster using their nose than a technician pulling a room apart and checking all possible hiding spaces. We then treat the entire residence

  • We then use a steam treatment, a safe non-chemical application, which will destroy all egg capsules and any nymphs that might have hatched from eggs after the first treatment.

    We also ask the homeowner to install bed bug covers to the mattresses and box springs and vacuum at least every other day to all areas treated. This includes mattresses, floors, furniture, moldings to remove all carcasses and eggs from the room.

  • Another sweep by the canine is done to ensure the area is clean and a final treatment applied.


    Share your "nightmare" job since you've been in business?

    The nastiest job I had to encounter was a severe maggot and fly infestation, as well as odor control in an apartment.  This job was in early August in 1988 or 1989. One of the residents committed suicide. Unfortunately, no family member had checked on him for about three weeks after the incident.


    We were called in by the complex management office. We arrived about 20 minutes after the coroner removed the body. There were thousands of flies and just as many maggots.


    The decomposition was so bad that the body had burned an impression of the entire body on the carpet. I had to go back three times with three different technicians, because each one of them couldn't handle the smell.


    I will never forget that experience and hope never to encounter something like that again.

    -- Cynthia Parker


    Biz Buzz: Don't let the bedbugs bite

    Friday, July 18, 2008

    Start throwing around terms like "host" and "bloodsucker" and a couple of things come to mind. Politicians, sure, but that's just too easy.

    Hookworms, leeches, Pacific lamprey. All cuddle-challenged creatures in their own way, but still nothing you'd likely encounter in your bedroom at 3 a.m.

    That leaves bedbugs, those wingless insects that have scared countless generations of children. If you suspect a problem, the Harvard School of Public Health recommends carefully examining the nooks and crannies of sleeping areas, keeping a nose out for a coriander-like odor that may be present in heavy infestations.

    Or you can send Sarah and Rex into the place. The two black Labrador retrievers spend their days working for Action Termite and Pest Control of Toms River, sniffing around for bedbugs.

    The former shelter dogs were given more than 800 hours of training in Florida to track the elusive bedbug. The company said Sarah and Rex are more than 90 percent accurate and can pinpoint infestations.

    Nighty night.

    -- Greg Saitz



    Bedbugs are making a comeback

    When a bedbug is siphoning your blood, it usually goes to the bathroom in the wound.

    That's just one of the many horrors that accompany infestations, which have become increasingly common in hotel rooms, cruise ships, houses, dormitories and even airplanes in recent years.

    All but eradicated in the 1950s, bedbugs have made quite the comeback, hitchhiking their way across the world in luggage.

    And exterminators say no one can sleep tight at night.

    Bedbugs have "definitely become a problem again," said John Russell, general manager of Action Termite & Pest Control, in Toms River, N.J.

    And "they don't care whether you're rich or poor," he said.

    Last year, the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City was reported to have bedbugs in the hotel before its gaming license was revoked.

    Russell's company is treating hotels in New York and Atlantic City for bedbugs as well as an 11-story building in Philadelphia.

    To help, Mike Russell, the company's vice president of marketing, says it employs two bug-sniffing dogs to root out bedbugs - and they're in high demand.

    "We're getting at least 20 bedbug calls a week," he said.

    John Russell said bedbugs are classic hitchhikers, finding humans from the carbon dioxide we exhale and hopping off into our beds, where they feed and breed at night. One female can lay up to 500 eggs.

    Sometimes, bedbugs can even be transferred by furniture stores that pick up old mattresses and carry them in delivery vans alongside new beds, John Russell said.

    The flat brown bugs can usually be seen underneath or in the seams of mattresses or nesting behind headboards during the day.

    Tiny blood stains on mattresses and sheets are also a sign that you've got bugs that are feasting.

    Bedbugs inject a numbing agent so their bite can't be felt.

    John Russell says they haven't been found to transmit diseases.

    Still, they're not a bug you can live with. *





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