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Outreach on the Prevention and Management of Bed Bugs, Cimex lectularius, in Human Environments 2007

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Project Leaders: J. Gangloff-Kaufmann, A. Taisey, M. Woodsen, C. Pichler, NYS IPM

Cooperators: C. Bragdon, S. Heath, Environmental Public Health Tracking, New York City Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene

Abstract: Bed bugs, Cimex lectularius, are blood-feeding parasites of humans and some animals. These insects, once commonplace in homes and hotels, nearly disappeared from developed countries by the 1950’s due to the use of residual insecticides. In the past ten years bed bugs have made an astounding comeback in the United States and abroad, especially in multiple-family homes, but not limited to urban areas. In New York State , the NYS IPM Program is frequently called upon to help individuals, organizations and agencies deal with bed bugs in homes, facilities, and schools. Through phone calls, presentations, sample identification, development of educational materials and other outreach, the NYS IPM Program is working hard on raising public awareness about this pest and means of controlling it.

NYS IPM staff made several presentations to local health departments in the New York City metropolitan region regarding bed bugs. In response to the resurgence in bed bugs in New York City , NYS IPM submitted a grant proposal to the Northeast IPM Center in cooperation with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to develop IPM protocols for bed bug management and prevention in NYC homeless shelters. Working with administration and staff of NYC Dept of Homeless Services (DHS) the cooperators have met with key bed bug experts and city agencies to delineate a course of action. In addition NYS IPM has been a resource for the NYC Board of Education, Director of Pest Control to help develop a response strategy for bed bugs in New York City schools, where bed bugs presumably come into the school buildings in personal items brought from home.

The NYS IPM has worked diligently on raising awareness about bed bugs and best management practices through a variety of outlets. In the near future, several educational resources will be available on the NYS IPM website, including a bed bug inspection worksheet, traveler’s wallet card, and a page for frequently asked questions.