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Every other year the National Pest Management Association holds a Global Bed Bug Summit. ATCO Pest Control has attended the past four conferences, and it has been exciting to attend these conferences as several researchers from around the global share their results from all of their studies and research being conducted regarding bed bugs with the pest management industry.

This past year ATCO sent Richard, ATCO President, Corey, Heat Treatment Supervisor, and Brian, Lead Heat Treatment to the two day conference in Denver, Colorado.

Corey, Richard, and Brian at the conference in Denver, Colorado.

This year we heard from Stephen Doggett from NSW Health Pathology located in Australia. In this industry, when we use a product and the bed bug doesn’t die, we view it as resistant. In other words, the bed bug is now resistant to our material, but from Stephen’s research we learned that this is not always the case. He shared with us six different resistant mechanisms, and one of the mechanisms that stood out to me was Cuticular Resistance. The bed bug developed a thickness to its cuticle enabling its absorption of pesticide. This is a reason why many pest control companies have resorted to using multiple products which have different modes of action to successfully eradicate the population of bed bugs. Further studies continue to be conducted when it comes to resistance.

The next speaker was Dini Miller, Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech. She spoke about several research studies that are being held around the world. One method being used is remote bed bug monitoring. The system is called DeltaFive where a sensor is installed in an area where there is potential bed bug activity. Through the use of the cloud, it will inform the pest control company when bed bugs are present. We are still waiting to see the total cost of this technology and weigh out its benefits for our customers.

Dini Miller (second from the left) along with other professors and Brian (far right).

Next was Zachary DeVries, Ph.D. He discussed human health regarding bed bugs. His study showed asthma symptoms and other respiratory allergens from bed bug histamines. Even after eradicating bed bugs from a unit, bed bug histamines still remain present for at least 3 months after a treatment. His session touched on how critical it is to limit respiratory allergens from bed bugs. Even though bed bugs continue to be a issue, and while they don’t cause diseases, but they do pose an emotional and physical impact on humans. It was great for our team to see that our course of treatment, using heat and desiccant dust, are the most effective tools in the industry.

Presentation on human health pertaining to bed bugs.

As we enter a new year, ATCO will continue to be in the fore front of education and new technology to successfully help our customers.

-Richard Estrada, ATCO President