Bed Bug News Roundup – Top Bed Bug Stories for February-March 2018

In the world of bed bugs and pest control, there are always plenty of interesting stories making the news each week. At Bed Bug Guide, we like to keep ourselves well informed about the latest developments. This is the ninth in our series of regular news roundups, in which we summarize the top headlines that grabbed our attention over the past month.

  1. Black Labrador Ruby Enjoying New Job as Bed Bug Detector

Ruby, a black Labrador from Queensland, Australia, was destined for a life of scent detection. Both her parents were detector dogs, and Ruby has been sniffing out bugs and parasites for most of her life. Scientist Julianne Farrell first purchased Ruby as a puppy to assist in her research into methods to combat caterpillars (known as itchy grubs) in the equine industry. These parasites can cause birth defects in foals. Farrell later trained Ruby as a termite hunter, until she grew too large to crawl under houses where termites like to hide. Finally, Ruby was trained as a bed bug detector to combat the rise of bed bugs in motels, caravan parks, and backpacker hostels. Farrell impregnates fabric with bed bug odor and wraps the fabric into training toys for Ruby, which encourages Ruby to seek out the same odor when she encounters it in bed bug infested rooms. “Play is Ruby’s obsession in life so she retrieves these toys that are thrown and in the process of retrieving them — and breathing and slobbering all over them — the scent in imprinted on her brain as something she needs to find, and she needs to find that scent in order to get a reward,” said Farrell.

  1. Bed Bugs Found in Rhode Island Fire Station

Woonsocket, Rhode Island firefighters are a battle of a different kind – this time against bed bugs. According to Fire Chief Paul Shatraw, the infestation was discovered this month when a fire officer complained of an itchy rash. Medical staff concluded that bed bugs were the culprits. An inspection of the fire station revealed significant bed bug activity, and local pest controllers were called in. All bedding, uniforms and other personal belongings were bagged and removed for treatment. Shatraw is unsure how the bugs arrived, but noted that firefighters spend a lot of time in unclean dwellings all over the city, and can easily carry back the insects on their clothes and equipment.

  1. Milwaukee Home Infested with Bed Bugs, Vermin and Cockroaches

Law enforcement officers who visited a Milwaukee home to serve court documents discovered two children living alone in the property, which was infested with bed bugs, rats, mice and cockroaches. Child Protection Services officials removed the children, aged three and eight, and a housing inspector was engaged to evaluate the living conditions. According to a statement from the County Sheriff’s Office, the mother had left the kids alone to run errands, while her four older children were at school. The statement also noted that the home emitted a strong odor of feces. The case will be assessed by the district attorney’s office and the mother may be charged with child neglect.

  1. Bed Bugs Discovered on Campus, State University of New York, Broome County

SUNY Broome officials have taken measures to resolve the situation after bed bugs were discovered on campus grounds. Joe O’Connor, Director of Health, said the bugs were first found in the Student Counseling Center, and later in the Old Science Building. O’Conner said an exterminator was called in to deal with the problem, after which no further incidents were reported. “I just personally think it’s nasty,” said Human Services major Tarea Burton, “People aren’t as clean as they should be so I feel like people could be bringing bed bugs in. It makes me want to go home, makes me want to clean, makes me want to wash my shower, makes me want to shake out my clothes when I go to other people’s house. Bed bugs are just disgusting.”

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