Bed Bug News Roundup – Top Bed Bug Stories for September-October 2017

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 fourth in our series of regular news roundups, in which we summarize the top headlines that grabbed our attention over the past month.

1. Bed Bugs Blamed For Devastating House Fire

A devastating property fire in Gaston County, North Carolina, has been blamed on a bed bug infestation. Fire investigators suspect the blaze broke out in a room where the family had sprayed rubbing alcohol to eradicate bed bugs. Flames gutted the home last month, forcing a woman and her great-grandmother to evacuate. Fortunately no one was seriously injured. Rubbing alcohol is a popular home remedy for bed bugs, but it’s a highly flammable and dangerous liquid. Experts say the safest option is to hire a professional pest exterminator.

2. Bed Bug Infestation Spreads to 8 Schools in Syracuse, New York

Bed bugs have been confirmed at seven schools in Syracuse, New York. The Syracuse School District infestation began last month at Henninger High School and has since spread to seven other nearby schools including Expeditionary Learning Middle School, Clary Middle School, Grant Middle School, LeMoyne Elementary, Porter Elementary, Huntington pre-K-8 and Webster Elementary. The district has hired an exterminator to apply organic pesticides to eliminate the insects. Students can unwittingly bring bed bugs to school on clothing, shoes and bags. Parents have been advised to place children’s clothing in a hot dryer for 40 minutes to destroy any bugs.

3. Macon County Bed Bug Coalition Battles Worst Outbreak in 7 Years

Local pest experts in Macon County, Illinois, claim bed bug numbers have surged to the highest level in seven years. The Macon County Bed Bug Coalition is hosting regular workshops to teach community members how to identify bugs and eradicate them properly. Business is booming for pest controller Scott Fisher who fields up to 90 calls per month and can charge up to $1000 per extermination. “It isn’t a battle. This is a war. They got a good foothold. They caught us off guard and it’s going to be a hard battle to win,” said Fisher.

4. University of Alberta Library Closed for Bed Bug Treatment

Rutherford Library at the University of Alberta in Edmonton was closed last month to be treated for a bed bug infestation. Library staff first received reports of bed bugs on Sept. 11, prompting management to hire a pest controller to investigate. Furniture in the library was removed and the area was professionally treated. Bed bugs were not reported in other campus buildings or facilities, however the university is on high alert for further outbreaks.

5. Hamilton City, Canada, Spending $1M in War on Bed Bugs

Hamilton City is struggling to keep up with a widespread bed bug infestation. Reports of bed bugs doubled every year between 2006 and 2011, and have since remained at elevated levels. The city has implemented a 3-year, $1 million initiative to control the epidemic, working alongside landlords to eliminate bed bugs from apartment buildings. Project leader Terry Quinn says the strategy has exposed dozens of infested units, but he has no way of knowing how many more bed bugs are out there. Over the past year, the city has trained 300 property management employees in integrated pest management, and implemented a system of regular checks and pesticide treatments. The city has also distributed educational posters and videos to residents.

6. Family Wins $546,000 Over Bed Bugs at California Hotel

An Arkansas family was awarded $546,000 this month, as a result of bed bug bites received while staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Ontario / Rancho Cucamonga in California. Their lawyer claims this was the biggest ever bed bug related judgment. A San Bernardino County Superior Court reached a unanimous decision to award damages for emotional distress and medical bills, due to bites and rashes suffered by Martha, Alex and Marcus McKindra while they stayed at the hotel. The plaintiffs argued that the hotel manager knew about the bed bugs but failed to disclose, inspect or warn the family about the danger.

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