Synthetic Chemicals Face Huge Obstacles as Resistance Affects Performance

There’s one aspect of any pest control product that is beyond important above everything else – the level of its performance against the pest that it’s labeled to control. When bed bugs were re-introduced to the world over a decade ago, several pesticides could offer strong control to PMPs.

Almost 70 years ago, DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) was developed as one of the first modern synthetic pesticides, even being touted as the “wonder chemical” to solve all pest problems big and small. As that was phased out not only for resistance but for the other issues it caused in the environment, it was replaced by numerous other types of chemicals.

Most recently, pyrethroids and neonicotinoids have been used to control bed bugs, but the resistance issues have been well documented. The journal PLOS One reported in April 2016 that bed bugs have been developing a thicker skin that provides a greater deal of resistance to traditional pesticides.

A year earlier, Dr. Fang Zhu of Washington State University released the findings of his bed bug project, which explored the role of resistance in pesticides. From his findings: “For the first time, we provided evidences that pyrethroid resistance is widely dispersed in western US bed bug populations.” Dr. Zhu’s study showed also showed that EcoRaider is “an effective product for controlling pyrethroid resistant bed bugs.”

Resistance forces pest control professionals to explore options that do not relate specifically to penetrating the exo-skeleton of the bed bug with a pesticide. Bed bugs also now have higher levels of enzymes that can detoxify the chemicals and their nervous system has adapted to allow its cells to withstand toxic effects.

Because of all of this – synthetic pesticides are no longer the automatic solution that they were years ago. PMPs are now using a wider array of solutions in their “toolbox” to try to reduce the resistance issue. A mixed use of heat treatments, green / natural solutions, pesticides and other approaches are now being used by many professionals.
For PMPs to maintain a strong level of performance against bed bugs, a solid IPM program must be maintained to rotate classes and integrate a good amount of natural solutions, which do not face resistance, to balance out the pesticide use.

About EcoRaider
EcoRaider is a highly efficacious botanical-based bio-insecticide that can be applied anywhere bed bugs or ants are found without restriction. It carries no signal words or cautions and has no label restrictions or precautions on usage.

Because EcoRaider is a green product, it is an ideal fit for sensitive accounts and environments where low-impact methods are advised. These include college dorms, senior-living facilities, managed-care and assisted-living housing, schools, health-care facilities, public housing, multi-family, and hotels.

For more information, visit https://ecoraiderpmp.com/ or call 1-800-338-0212. Also, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

EcoRaider Marketing Manager Ed DeMask Discusses Product during PCT’s Virtual Bed Bug Conference

EcoRaider was featured on PCT’s Bed Bug Virtual Conference on June 28th. This was the second consecutive year EcoRaider has been showcased as part of PCT’s online bed bug conference.

To listen to the podcast click here.

EcoRaider had approximately 10 minutes for Marketing Manager Ed DeMask to speak to Pest Management Professionals (PMPs) about how bed bug resistance develops, the cost of it, and how ER-22 by EcoRaider plays a key role as a “drop in” tool for resistance management.

In addition, the core speakers included PCT Publisher Dan Moreland (Bed Bugs: An Evolving Marketplace), Dr. Dini Miller (Bed Bug Control in Commercial Accounts), Larry Pinto (Bed Bug Best Practices), and Gene White (Hoarders & Other Psychological Challenges in Bed Bug IPM).

About EcoRaider
EcoRaider is a highly efficacious botanical-based bio-insecticide that can be applied anywhere bed bugs or ants are found without restriction. It carries no signal words or cautions and has no label restrictions or precautions on usage.

Because EcoRaider is a green product, it is an ideal fit for sensitive accounts and environments where low-impact methods are advised. These include college dorms, senior-living facilities, managed-care and assisted-living housing, schools, health-care facilities, public housing, multi-family, and hotels.

For more information, visit https://ecoraiderpmp.com/ or call 1-800-338-0212. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

In Trendy South Florida, The Only Thing Chic About Bed Bugs is Preventing Them!

South Florida is known for being all things trendy – music, hotels, fashion, architecture, and celebrities. So, the trendy, luxurious niche hotels that make up the popular vacation spots here are trendy in pest control, as well.

Being a destination that’s always a hot spot for tourists looking for the best of everything, the hotels in South Florida have taken a step forward by treating their facilities proactively for bed bugs rather than ever have a bed bug problem.

You could say the hotels are being trendy because they’re using a green bio-insecticide called EcoRaider. For hotels, it’s the top performing natural product and it kills 100 percent of bed bugs on contact, but more importantly it can also be used as a residual for hotels.

Bed bugs can hurt hotels in two ways – bad reputation issues via social media posts and the loss of revenue when the affected room(s) is taken out of commission to be treated with a synthetic pesticide. By using EcoRaider, South Florida’s most trendy hotels are now preventing bed bugs from ever becoming an issue.

One trendy boutique hotel has been using it proactively with incredible results.

“We decided we wanted to use EcoRaider as a preventative measure so we regularly spray it throughout the rooms and property and it’s been our way to prevent having a bed bug outbreak,” said Brian, the General Manager of a well-known South Florida hotel.

According to Brian, anytime a hotel deals with pest control it limits the exposure its Pest Management Professional (PMP) has with its guests for fear of negative concern. However, almost every hotel in the country regularly works with PMPs to be proactive about their approach to pest control.

But being able to use EcoRaider is a game-changer in a few ways: not only can hotel staff use the product themselves because it is not EPA labeled as a natural, green product, but it allows hotel administrators to continue renting out rooms in a very popular district.

“With other processes and chemicals, they require you to close a room for a number of days after treating for bed bugs so it would definitely be a negative and have a negative impact on our revenue,” said Brian. “With EcoRaider we don’t have to take the room and close it down for a few days.”

About EcoRaider
EcoRaider is a highly efficacious botanical-based bio-insecticide that can be applied anywhere bed bugs or ants are found without restriction. It carries no signal words or cautions and has no label restrictions or precautions on usage.

Because EcoRaider is a green product, it is an ideal fit for sensitive accounts and environments where low-impact methods are advised. These include college dorms, senior-living facilities, managed-care and assisted-living housing, schools, health-care facilities, public housing, multi-family, and hotels.

For more information, visit https://ecoraiderpmp.com/ or call 1-800-338-0212. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

International Students More Apt to Bring in Bed Bugs and Develop a Need for a Green Solution, Expert Says

College and university housing professionals are facing a large bed bug problem with their international student population – mainly because those coming in from other countries don’t have the insect prioritized as importantly as American students do, per Bob Hughes, a veteran pest management professional who has worked with major universities for years to control bed bugs.

“With international traveling students, because some of the cultures in the world are not as concerned as we are with bed bugs they see it as a nuisance pest and not a health hazard,” said Hughes, a 20-year pest management professional who has worked supporting university pest control departments throughout the Midwest.

“You see the problem more so in international housing because schools tend to group international students together by country and culture so they have some familiarity. Thus, they have a bond and when there’s a bed bug problem students tend to not throw their friends ‘under the bus’ by tattling on them. That’s how it gets out of hand.”

A major issue facing pesticide control of bed bugs, Hughes said, is resistance. Bed bugs have formed a resistance to common insecticides, according to a study by University of Sydney researchers published in April 2016 in the journal PLOS One.

“Resistance is a tough issue because pesticides can’t skirt around it, it’s truly an issue and that’s why there are always other products to turn to but this study showed that most common insecticides are giving way to some form of resistance.

“I’ve run into it before, several times actually and the first was at least six or eight years ago, before it became news. Now once you experience that you have to seek alternative approaches for bed bug treatment.”

According to Hughes, EcoRaider and its botanical or “green” formulation allows for a strong performance but it is not susceptible to resistance, which makes it a game changer when seeking a product that can actually kill a bed bug infestation once and for all.

“EcoRaider is really good because its formulation is designed to prevent resistance and to help end a bed bug problem,” Hughes said. “By using EcoRaider, universities can help break that cycle of never truly taking care of the problem because it delivers the power of performance with the safety of a green product.”

About EcoRaider
EcoRaider is a highly efficacious botanical-based bio-insecticide that can be applied anywhere bed bugs or ants are found without restriction. It carries no signal words or cautions and has no label restrictions or precautions on usage.

Because EcoRaider is a green product, it is an ideal fit for sensitive accounts and environments where low-impact methods are advised. These include college dorms, senior-living facilities, managed-care and assisted-living housing, schools, health-care facilities, public housing, multi-family, and hotels.

For more information, visit https://ecoraiderpmp.com/ or call 1-800-338-0212. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Knowing Bed Bugs Will Help you Kill Them!

NORTH BERGEN, New Jersey – The pest management industry’s leading magazine, Pest Control Technology, published an article by Dr. Michael Potter of the University of Kentucky. In the article, he pointed out that people need to “Think like a bed bug” in order to try to prevent and kill bed bugs. This is so very true!

Like most things in life, getting the proper perspective is important in being able to get a handle on how to address a situation. In this instance, it was about how to learn more about bed bugs and how to better control them. The trade article focused on several major categories:

Biology Begets Behavior – Essentially knowing the behavior of a bed bug is important. Bed bugs require blood to feed and they cannot survive without it. Thus knowing that bed bugs will seek out a feeding target is important in knowing how to prevent them.

Love the One You’re With – Bed bugs love to share small spaces and this is important when looking for a way to prevent them. The folds, seams and other areas in furniture and bedding become regular hiding places for bed bugs. In these areas, using EcoRaider is an ideal tool for killing bed bugs.

Conversations We Can’t Hear – Bed bugs communicate through the use of chemical pheromones … this allows them to interact socially and aggregate in one area like a seam of a bed or a cushion of a couch. The pheromones also tell bed bugs that they are in a safe place, either by the chemicals released in the air or those that are left behind in the form of feces or dead skin.

Do Not Disturb – Not all bed bugs are seeking a blood source all the time. In between feedings they will communicate with each other trying to alert others to move when there is a threat. Bed bugs move more frequently when they have not fed as opposed to those who have fed. This helps us figure out how bed bugs move and why.

EcoRaider® bio-insecticide is the leading natural pest control product used by pest management professionals It is proven by leading universities’ research and government sponsored studies. Several publications show superior performance compared to leading pro-grade pesticides both in the lab and in the field. For the first time, both consumers and professionals can use a green pest product with confidence.

EcoRaider has many key benefits, including that it is fast acting, effective with extended protection, and it delivers a quick kill and keeps working for up to two weeks on bed bugs. In addition, it can be used almost anywhere, including on bedding and near food areas.

EcoRaider provides a strong natural solution that delivers both an immediate kill and long-term residual against ants. EcoRaider kills ants on contact in one minute, repels ants for up to four weeks, prevents foraging ants from penetrating structures and it also disrupts existing ant trails.

About EcoRaider
EcoRaider is a highly efficacious botanical-based bio-insecticide that can be applied anywhere bed bugs or ants are found without restriction. EcoRaider can be used in various settings, including schools, health-care facilities and public spaces.

For more information, call 1-800-338-0212.

Help Prevent Bed Bugs In Your Hotel This Summer Travel Season

With the summer vacation season well underway, guests are coming and going and the opportunity for your hotel or motel to get bed bugs is increasingly high during June, July, and August. So being proactive and preventative will help you avoid the nasty insects as best you can. Follow some of the simple steps below to protect your facility from bed bugs:

1 – Have a plan. Just like every business should have a disaster plan for succession planning during the worst times possible, hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts need to be ready for bed bugs. Detail the daily, weekly and monthly cleanings and pest control services that have been provided to know how recently a room has been protected.

2 – Train your staff. From housekeeping to facilities management to front office management, your staff needs to know how to deal with a bed bug infestation or even a report of one. Respond immediately to all requests by guests, move them to a new room and do whatever you can to eliminate their concerns as quickly as possible. The more you do at the moment they report it, the less chance you’ll ever hear of it on social media.

3 – React properly. Remember that not only is a bed bug infestation or report affecting one room, it should be affecting several rooms. Consider the guests in the adjoining and above and below rooms, as well. Inform, relocate and pamper those guests the same way you did the first one.

4 – Be proactive. Hire a licensed Pest Management Professional (PMP) to regularly inspect and treat your entire facility. Using monitoring products is a proactive way to stay ahead of an infestation, and so is using strong natural products that are university-researched and proven to kill bed bugs, like EcoRaider.

For more information about bed bug prevention, visit the National Pest Management Association’s protocol for bed bugs in hotels and lodging.

New Research Shows Bed Bugs are Becoming Increasingly Resistant to Chemical Pesticides

 

Researchers published an article this week showing that they have taken the first step towards identifying a bed bug’s DNA by developing a genome map. The researchers, who published in Nature Communications, followed bed bugs throughout the New York subway system and their findings were very interesting.

There was a huge diversity among the bed bugs they trailed. In some cases, they would find a big genetic diversity among the bed bugs. What does this mean to me as a Pest Management Professional? Two things:

1 – Bed bugs are becoming resistant to pesticides so relying on the same formulation day in, day out may not work long term as many PMPs have thought. Researchers found that bed bugs are indeed developing a resistance to chemical pesticides.

2 – EcoRaider, which is proven and tested, continues to remain very effective even against resistant bed bugs. EcoRaider is a green product and works with an entirely different mode of action that is unlike traditional pesticides.

In addition to being effective, EcoRaider also is a product that is safe for using around children, doesn’t contain any signal or caution words, and it doesn’t stain mattresses or linens. To read the full research article about the bed bug’s genome map, visit the Nature Communications’ website.

Hotels GMs Look for Natural Bed Bug Solutions

Chicago hotel general managers face no different challenges than the rest of the country’s hoteliers – except for the fact that Chicago for the fourth time has been named the worst bed bug city in the country. So for hotels in the Windy City, that means there’s an emphasis by patrons to over-inspect their rooms to make sure there are no bed bugs.

Hotels specifically continue to face a daunting battle against bed bugs on two fronts.

First, the problem is costly. The financial outlay to rid a major hotel of bed bugs could be five or six figures based on the level of the infestation and how much eradication needs to take place.

Second, there’s the issue of reputation – maintaining the brand’s standard as a bed-bug free hotel is important, especially with the power of social media posts and websites such as www.bedbugregistry.com.

One Chicago Hotel General Manager, asked to be interviewed anonymously because being affiliated with bed bugs is obviously a negative to their clientele, said the pest remains a huge problem in the hotel industry.

“It’s one of those things that you really can be fully prepared for but if one guest reports finding one bed bug and posts something online about it, instantly it becomes a crisis for us. There are times when people have come in with a ladybug crawling on their backpack or jacket and when they throw it down on the bed it crawls around and they instantly report it as bed bugs.”

“So no matter how prepared we are as hotels, incidents are going to happen and it’s a matter of how you deal with them and how you take care of your guests in those situations – that’s the most important aspect.”

The General Manager says that there are a few keys to limiting exposure outside of the hotel when there is a bed bug infestation – talking to guests immediately and trying to avoid a social post is truly important, especially on Twitter where posts can be tagged to the hotel’s official Twitter account.

Being preventative is very important as well. Letting guests know that you are doing everything you possibly can to provide an excellent, bug-free experience helps.

Preventing bed bugs isn’t easy but there are options for creating a hotel pest control program that is proactive – and it’s one that can be implemented by hotel staff rather than calling in a professional for additional cost. Interception devices are becoming more popular because they will attract bed bugs and once they are inside of the device, they cannot climb out and they die before reaching a food source.

Being able to say that they treat their rooms and beds with green, natural products rather than chemicals is a huge benefit, said the General Manager.

“In this day and age being able to have anything that’s natural that you can call ‘Green’ to use to fight bed bugs is a tremendous positive for all hotels. The last thing any guest wants to know is that chemicals were just used in the area where they will be sleeping – so being able to say that literally no chemicals are used on your mattress or box spring that’s a huge positive.”

HOTEL FRIENDLY

EcoRaider provides hotels with a proactive solution that is ideal for using in rooms because it is a natural, green product. EcoRaider does not stain linens or bedding and is safe for both children and pests. It is used in many sensitive areas because it is safe for use – especially in hotels.

EcoRaider, available through a national distribution network, quickly kills bed bugs on all stages without adversary environmental effects. It demonstrates as the only natural product that kills bed bugs with 100% efficacy based on a research paper published by the Entomological Society of America’s Journal of Economic Entomology – it allows bed bug control with a green, natural product.

EcoRaider offers ready-to-use, naturally derived bio-insecticide that can be applied anywhere bed bugs are found without restriction. EcoRaider can be used in various sensitive environments, including schools, health-care facilities and public spaces.

For more information, call (201) 751-0011. Also, follow EcoRaider on our social sites on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

 

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The Life Cycle of the Bed Bug

Knowing what to look for is the first step in identifying and controlling bed bugs. There are many bugs that look like bed bugs so an accurate identification is a critical first step to avoid costly treatment for the wrong bug.

master graphs

The types of bugs that look like bed bugs will vary somewhat depending on your region of the country.

Adult bed bugs are:

  • About the size of an apple seed
  • Long and brown, with a flat, oval-shaped body (if not fed recently)
  • Balloon-like, reddish-brown, and more elongated (if fed recently)
  • A “true bug” (characteristics of true bugs include a beak with three segments; antenna that have four parts; wings that are not used for flying; and short, golden-colored hairs)
  • Smelly, with a “musty-sweetish” odor produced through glands on the lower side of the body.

Young bed bugs (also called nymphs) are:

  • Smaller, translucent or whitish-yellow in color;
  • If not recently fed, can be nearly invisible to the naked eye because of coloring and size.

Bed bug eggs are:

  • Tiny, the size of a pinhead
  • Pearl-white in color; and
  • Marked by an eye spot if more than five days old.

No matter what stage of bed bug you encounter, EcoRaider kills bed bugs effectively without lingering environmental effects. EcoRaider is a ready-to-use, naturally derived bio-insecticide that can be applied anywhere bed bugs are found without restriction. EcoRaider can be used in various environments, including schools, health-care facilities and public spaces.

For more information, call (201) 751-0011. Also, like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Bed Bug Wars: Notes from the Field

A dirty bed bug job, a dedicated PMP, and a cooperative client. Plus a bonus.

 

Pest control professionals are on the front lines every day protecting the health and welfare for their clients and for the public. It’s not uncommon for the professionals in this industry to go the extra mile to solve a tough problem and relieve the discomfort, anguish, and even health issues that can arise from a particularly heavy pest infestation.

And it’s truly a wonderful day for any pest control professional when they have the full buy-in and cooperation from the client on those really tough pest control problems. It makes the job a lot easier. It’s even better when there is a bonus at the end of a very tough job. This is one such tale.

On a hot steamy day in mid July I met with a local PMP who was about to undertake a particularly difficult assignment in a small rural community outside of Memphis. When I arrived a little before 10 AM, the temperature was already 93 in the shade and heading to 97 or higher for the day. Mid July in the south can be like that.   But in spite of the heat and humidity, this was going to be a good opportunity to see EcoRaider in action on a heavy bed bug infestation.

A 92 year old woman was being eaten alive by bed bugs, and her family had returned from Michigan, California, and Alabama to help. Grandma had been a seamstress and quilter in her younger days. In addition to the accumulation of old books, papers, furniture, and favorite knick-knacks, grandma had accumulated boxes and boxes of remnants and scraps that were part of her trade. Some were nearly as old as she was. To her, they were an important part of her past, her history, and her memories. Relinquishing possessions, no matter how mundane, can often be difficult and emotional, especially for the elderly. And that was the case here.

Like many of her generation, she grew up in a time of poverty and discrimination, lived through the Great Depression and World War II years, worked hard, sacrificed for her family, and her children and grandchildren were able to better themselves and become successful. Now they were back to help. And they had followed the PMP’s pre-treatment instructions to a tee. The PMP had talked with one of the local family members in person, and with the rest of the out of town family by phone to lay out the plan prior to treatment day. The house was clear and ready. The family had moved the furnishings outside under a carport or under the shade of old oak. Clothing had been bagged to take to the nearest laundry. They did everything right.

Bed bugs had taken over the ramshackle old house. They were everywhere – in the carpet, behind the floor and window moldings, the door frames, in the sagging drop ceiling, even in the bathroom. And of course, the mattress, box springs and other furnishings were heavily infested. This was not a good or healthy environment for anyone, much less a rather frail 92 year old.

By early afternoon, after a long and very hot day and a lot of hard work, the entire job was finished. All that was left was to vacuum up the bed bug debris. Steam had been used for the initial knock down, followed by EcoRaider for extra penetration, kill insurance, and for residual. Everything was treated; floors, window moldings, ceiling areas, and furnishings. For the mattresses and upholstered furniture, using steam on edges and crevices and an application of EcoRaider on the edges and surfaces, most of the furnishings were salvable. This was a bit of a bonus for the family who had planned on replacing all or most of the furnishings. That money could now be put to use for other things that grandma might need in the future.

By the time we left, we all felt pretty good about the job. The family returned to the local motels where they had been staying and where grandma was resting comfortably out of the heat, and out of reach of bed bugs. Tomorrow they would return to move furniture back inside and put the house back in order.

After about two weeks I had almost forgotten about that hot summer day in the country. I got a call late one afternoon from the PMP who had done all the detailed work to rid this family of the bed bug infestation. She told me that her follow-up inspection came up clean. She only found one bed bug on a throw pillow, and likely it was one that had been brought back in after the treatment. Good news indeed. Everything worked. EcoRaider did its job. And a hardworking, detail oriented PMP did hers.

But she also told me there was more good news. After I had left, the family paid the bill in full – and much to her surprise gave her a bonus of several hundred dollars extra in appreciation of all her hard work, attention to detail and professionalism in dealing with this very difficult problem. And I could tell that she was touched by that gesture.

But there’s more. One of the granddaughters (who was pretty much ‘in charge’ for the whole operation) had been wearing a Disney character t-shirt on treatment day. Our PMP had mentioned that she was a Disney fan and she and the ‘in charge’ granddaughter chatted a bit about different Disney movies and characters while the work was going on. Just casual conversation. But a week or so later, our PMP received a package of Disney merchandise, and a very nice thank you note from the ‘in charge’ granddaughter in California. This was just icing on the cake.   A cash bonus and gestures such as this are probably quite rare in the pest control industry I would imagine.

While important and noteworthy in themselves, more significantly, that bonus and gesture of appreciation was a tangible symbol and recognition of a job well done, a problem solved, and of true pest control professionalism at work. And we at EcoRaider were proud to play a part in it.