Bed Bug Infestations Rampant, Says County Task Force Coordinator Tanya Drlik, a Speaker at Next Nor Cal Entomology Society Meeting
April 23, 2012
|Bed bug, Cimex lectularius, shown here ingesting a blood meal from the arm of a “voluntary” human host, is wreaking havoc locally, nationally and globally.(Photo by Piotr Naskrecki, published by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wikipedia website.)|
DAVIS--Bed bugs may be little, but they are a big problem--infestations are rampant locally, nationally and globally, says Tanya Drlik, integrated pest management (IPM) coordinator of Contra Costa County who will speak at the University of California, Davis campus at the May 3rd meeting of the Northern California Entomology Society.
“We’ve had a reprieve from bed bugs for about 50 years, but now they’re back,” said Drlik, who will discuss “The Resurgence of Bed Bugs and Current Effective Control Methods” at 9:45 a.m. in the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facilityon Bee Biology Road.
The society--membership is open to the general public--will meet from 9:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Drlik is one of five speakers on topics ranging from bed bugs to lacewings to endangered species.
Drlik, who formed the Bed Bug Task Force to help prepare Contra Costa County to meet the challenges of the mounting bed bug infestation, says that bed bugs “have no regard for wealth or class—everyone is vulnerable. Bed bugs can be found all across the country in apartment buildings, hotels and motels, private residences, hospitals, waiting rooms, fire station, taxis and buses…and the list goes on. They’ve infested four-star hotels and penthouses as well as homeless shelters and rundown apartment buildings.”
“Judging by history and the experience of other jurisdictions across the country, the problem is only going to increase, and more and more public buildings and homes will experience infestations,” said Drlik, who has a master’s degree in ecosystem management and nearly 40 years of experience in the field of IPM.
“Bed bugs are difficult to control because of their small size, their secretive nature and their growing resistance to the pesticides we have at our disposal. Poverty, clutter, and poor housekeeping do not cause bed bug infestations, but they make eliminating infestations much more difficult.”
Bed bugs “can be seen in epidemic proportions in some areas of the United States, including New York City and central and southwestern Ohio,” said Drlik, adding that since 2004, New York City has experienced a 2277 percent increase in complaints about bed bugs in the five boroughs (source: New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development). “Colleagues in the Franklin County Health Department in central Ohio have commented to us that they were completely unprepared for the rapidity with which bed bugs spread throughout their county.”
“Bed bugs are far more common in urban areas, and the poor, the elderly, and the mentally ill suffer disproportionately because they do not have the funds, the information, and often the wherewithal, to eliminate infestations,” she said.
The Nor-Cal Entomology Society agenda:
9:15 a.m.: Registration for club members and guests (with coffee). Dues, $10 per year, can be paid at the meeting.
9:45 a.m.: “Resurgence of Bed Bugs and Current Effective Control Methods” – Tanya Drlik, Contra Costa County Health Services Department.
10:30 a.m.: “Protecting Invertebrates Listed as Threatened or Endangered Species in California” – Darlene McGriff, California Natural Diversity Database (California Department of Fish and Game).
11:15 a.m.: “California Forest Insect Conditions Going into 2012” – Cynthia Snyder, U.S. Forest Service, Shasta-McCloud Management Unit.
12 p.m. Lunch (see below)
1 p.m.: “PG&E’s Use of Safe Harbor Agreements and Programmatic Permits to Protect Endangered Organisms on Utility Rights of Way” – Peter Beesley, PG&E.
1:45 p.m.: “In-Depth Look at Lacewings, an Augmentative California Biological Control Agent” – Shaun Winterton, California Department of Food and Agriculture Biological Control Program.
2:30 p.m. :Adjourn
The Department of Pesticide Regulation will grant continuing education hours: two and a half hours of "laws," and an hour and a half of “other,” according to Nor Cal Entomology Society president Bob Case of Concord, retired deputy agricultural commissioner from the Contra Costa County Department of Agriculture.
Luncheon reservations ($15) should be made by Friday, April 27 with secretary-treasurer Eric Mussen, Extension apiculturist at the UC Davis Department of Entomology, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 752-0472.
The Northern California Entomology Society, comprised of university faculty, researchers, pest abatement professionals, students and other interested persons, meets three times a year: in February at the California Department of Food and Agriculture Plant Diagnostic Lab; in May at the Laidlaw facility; and in November at the Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District office.
Directions to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility:
From the east: Take I-80 through Davis to the Hwy 113 North, Woodland exit. Go north toward Woodland on 113, but take the immediate next exit (Hutchison – UC Davis) and fork to the left. Turn left on Hutchison, back over 113 (away from the main campus), and continue west about 1.3 miles. When you see the small green sign with a white airplane and arrow pointing to the left, turn left on Hopkins Road. Proceed south on Hopkins to the end of the farm field on the left. Turn left on Bee Biology Road. The first building on the right is Bee Biology. Parking is free in front of the building or between the olives on both sides of the road.
Lunch ($15) Per Person:
The lunches, from Noah's New York Bagels, are "sandwich or salad box lunches” and come with potato salad, dill pickle and fresh baked cookie. Bread choices are multigrain whole wheat; harvest grain;. potato; marbled rye; and cornmeal rye bread. Bagel choices include foccacia, challah, or regular and “thin-sliced,” large diameter bagels. Also plain, sourdough, egg, whole wheat, whole wheat sesame, pretzel, poppyseed, sesame, peppercorn potato, “everything” bagels and a “tuscan” bread.
Additional: you can order a fresh fruit “cup” or a yogurt parfait to accompany the meal.
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology