Upcoming Summit Targets Bedbugs

To help find solutions to the nation’s bedbug problem, the Federal Bedbug Workgroup is convening a second national summit set for Feb.1-2, 2011, in Washington, D.C. The summit is open to the public and will focus on ways the federal government and others can continue to work together on management and control of these pests.

The first federal bedbug summit was held by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in April 2009. Since then, EPA has helped organize the Federal Bedbug Workgroup, which consists of EPA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, and National Institutes of Health.

The summit’s agenda will feature discussions on progress since the last summit from various perspectives, including federal, state, and local governments; research; housing industry; and pest management industry. The agenda also includes identifying knowledge gaps and barriers to effective community-wide bedbug control, proposals for next steps in addressing knowledge gaps and eliminating barriers, and developing a framework for addressing the highest priority needs.

As a reminder, there are steps people can take to prevent bedbugs:

  • Remove clutter where bedbugs can hide
  • Seal cracks and crevices
  • Vacuum rugs and upholstered furniture thoroughly and frequently, as well as vacuuming under beds (take the vacuum bag outside immediately and dispose in a sealed trash bag)
  • Wash and dry clothing and bed sheets at high temperatures (heat can kill bedbugs)
  • Be alert and monitor for bedbugs so they can be treated before a major infestation occurs
  • Before using any pesticide product, READ THE LABEL FIRST, then follow the directions
  • Check the product label to make sure it is identified for use on bedbugs. If bed bugs are not listed on the label, the pesticide has not been tested for bedbugs and it may not be effective

Before the summit, the federal workgroup will meet with researchers to evaluate and develop a research agenda related to bedbugs. The agenda and information on attending the meeting via webinar will be available on EPA’s website.

More information on the summit: http://www.epa.gov/oppfead1/cb/ppdc/bedbug-summit/2nd-bedbug-summit.html

More information on bedbugs: http://www.epa.gov/bedbugs

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