Bed Bugs: An Overview

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1 Bed Bugs: An Overview What you need to know, and then some Jeff Hyman CSEA OSH Specialist

2 1. Overview Bed Bug History What are Bed Bugs? How and When do they Feed? Are Bed Bugs Harmful? Bed Bug Bites 2

3 All but Eradicated During WWII, DDT came into widespread use. Very effective against bed bugs. All but eradicated from industrialized Countries. Rare pest for almost 50 years.

4 4 Bed Bug History Historically common pest DDT used widely in the 1940 s to kill mosquitoes, cockroaches and bed bugs All but eradicated in industrialized countries by the 1950 s DDT banned in the U.S. in 1972 and in Europe and Australia ~10 years later Significant reemergence in mid-1990 s in North America, Europe and Australia Increase in global travel Changes in pest management practices Pesticide resistance in bugs Lack of knowledge

5 What are Bed Bugs? 5 Bed bugs are visible. Reddish-brown color, flattened bodies, ~0.2 inches long Insects that feed only on blood, and bite the same way mosquitoes bite Adults are the size of apple seeds and young are the size of poppy or sesame seeds Eggs are the size of a grain of rice

6 Bed Bug Life Cycle 6

7 How and When do they Feed? Primary at night, but will adjust pattern to when people are present Attracted to carbon dioxide (CO2) and body heat. Can detect CO2 from 3 feet away Feed once every 3-5 days Can live months without feeding They do no live on people or in clothing they bite and leave 7

8 Are Bed Bugs Harmful? Bed bugs do not carry diseases, but there are health effects: Itchy or painful welts on the skin May cause allergic reactions Secondary skin infections from scratching Stress and anxiety Fatigue from not sleeping Imaginary itches 8

9 Don t Let the Bed Bugs Bite! Many people show no reaction to bed bug bites Others may develop red swollen patches or marks Reactions can be more or less severe, depending on the sensitivity of the individual Symptoms may appear 1 hour to 2 weeks post bite 9

10 Bites Bed bug bites are clear at the center, where the two tubes located on the head of the bedbug puncture the skin. Red raised swelling or bites occur around the center (referred to as papules) Bites usually appear on areas which are exposed during sleep such as the arms, legs, shoulders and neck. 10 Bites or a rash are not enough evidence of bed bugs. Look for more evidence such as: live or dead bugs, stains, or cast skin debris.

11 2. Where are Bed Bugs & How Do They Spread? Bed Bug Travel Signs of an Infestation Where do Bed Bugs Hide? 11

12 How Does a Workplace Become Infested? There are two ways to get Bed Bugs: Migration Bed bugs move through hallways, plumbing, electrical lines, etc. Hitchhiking Bed bugs climb into bags, clothing or household items which are then relocated by a person 12

13 Signs of an Infestation Blood stains, spots, streaks from crushed bugs on bed sheets or cushions Rusty or tiny block spots of excrement on sheets, mattresses, bed clothes, walls, cushions Eggs when ready to hatch are the size of a piece of rice Egg shells/shed skin An offensive sweet, musty odor when infestations are severe Bites on skin; pets scratching bites 13

14 Where Do Bed Bugs Hide? Bed bugs mainly hide in small spaces close to where people sleep Crevices of mattresses, chairs, walls, etc. Hard smooth surfaces and from metal and plastic surfaces, e.g. metal bed frames with recessed screw holes, wood bed frames with slats, even on bed springs 14 Light infestations Bed bugs stay around the bed Heavy infestations Bed bugs will spread everywhere

15 Hiding Places Beds, sofas, bedside tables, recliners, picture frames = Hot Spot 15

16 16

17 3. Bed Bug Prevention and Control Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Examples of Control Methods 17

18 Integrated Pest Management (IPM) 18 Pesticides alone are not enough to get rid of bed bugs: Pesticides are not as toxic as years ago, but contact with the bed bug is needed for kill Many bed bugs can survive pesticides. Using enough to kill them may put employees at risk The most effective program for eliminating bed bugs is one that utilizes Integrated Pest Management (IPM). IPM uses various methods to minimizes risk of pesticide exposure to employees and the public, safeguards the environment, and maximizes effectiveness An IPM plan should be in place to deal with pests, including bed bugs, before they become a problem

19 IPM Methods Inspect work/living spaces and surrounding areas where bed bugs were seen Correctly identify the pest Keep records, including dates when and locations where pests are found Clean all items within a bed bug infested living area Reduce clutter where bed bugs can hide through storage and/or disposal of items Eliminate bed bug habitats Physically remove bed bugs through cleaning 19

20 IPM Methods Pesticide use, careful and according to the label directions by a licensed professional Follow up inspections and possible treatment Raise awareness through education on prevention of bed bugs for employees, clients, residents, facilities managers, and landlords An office or facility may need several cycles of inspection, cleaning, and pesticide use before bed bugs are fully eliminated IPM also includes prevention through education 20

21 Examples of Extermination and Control Methods Chemical Control Pesticides Insecticides Steam or High Heat Cold or Cryonite Physical Removal of Materials Vacuuming Sticky Tap Bed Bug Traps/Barriers Climbup Interceptor Mattress Encasements 21

22 4. Protecting Workers Role of the Local H&S Committee Management s Role What Can Workers Do? Protections for Workers Who Make Home/Field Visits 22

23 Role of the Local H&S Committee: A team effort is needed when dealing with a bed bug problem at work 23 The Union(s) should be included in discussions on treatment plans to ensure workers are protected from exposure to pesticides and with minimal disruption Acquire training for the committee Request copies of material safety data sheets for all pesticides or chemicals to be used Gather all supporting documentation Request meeting with management to discuss the issue Set time frame for corrective action

24 Management's Role Agencies and staff should develop clear guidelines for: Risk reduction and prevention Reporting of bed bugs Response procedures L&M participation in treatment plans A communication plan to inform staff, cleaners, and others who may come in contact with a site where bed bugs have been identified Communication with employees the plan for occupants with special considerations (respiratory problems, chemical sensitivities, pregnant women, the elderly, children, etc) in and near the treatment areas 24

25 What can Workers Do? Report sightings to your supervisor and local Union leader. Complete an unusual incident report Work with the union to ensure a licensed professional exterminator is quickly brought in to conduct a thorough inspection Request copies of material safety data sheets for all pesticides or chemicals to be used if necessary consult with family doctor 25

26 26 What can Workers Do? Kill them immediately preferably without pesticides Catch them with sticky packing tape or crush them in paper towels Bed bugs can be forced out of cracks and crevices with flat edged items such as a putty knife or playing card Empty any personal bags (such as your purse or briefcase) and check thoroughly for bedbugs Change your clothes at home- Bag all clothes and any items to be washed (on hottest setting) or put in dryer. Do not put in another room or carry through other rooms unless bagged Dry for at least 30 minutes at 120F degrees (hottest setting on home dryers is fine)

27 Protections for Workers Who Make Home/Field Visits 27 Learn how to identify bed bugs When visiting, bring in only what you need and avoid placing bags close to walls and furniture (if this is unavoidable, place belongings in a closed white plastic kitchen bag and examine it for any bed bugs before leaving) If possible, stand rather than sit, or avoid sitting on furniture with fabric wood or metal chairs are better Inspect shoes, clothing, and belongings after leaving If you find any bed bugs kill them immediately Put work clothes in the dryer for at least 30 minutes on high heat when you get home

28 Preparing for Extermination Call a Bed Bug Exterminator! Workers can help prepare the office or facility for treatment Organize belongings into containers for temporary storage. Move furniture and other things away from walls. Empty and take apart furniture, especially bedroom items. Create as much access to the bugs as you can. 28

29 5. Regulations and Resources OSHA Web Resources PEF & CSEA OSH 29

30 Regulations Because Bed Bugs are not known to transmit disease, they are considered a nuisance and not a health hazard. However, a PESH complaint may be filed, and an employer may be cited under OSHA Standard: (a)(5) Vermin control Every enclosed workplace shall be so constructed, equipped, and maintained, so far as reasonably practicable, as to prevent the entrance or harborage of rodents, insects, and other vermin. A continuing and effective extermination program shall be instituted where their presence is detected. 30

31 Resources 31 NYC Department of Health Cornell University IPM site /default.asp Centers for Disease Control (CDC) EPA_Statement.htm ICPMR (Australia) Bed Bug Website A Code of Practice For the Control of Bed Bug Infestations in Australia

32 Other Resources

33 Resources CSEA Safety & Health:

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