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Asbury Park Press – Features Action Termite and Pest Control

Humans losing war against bedbugs

9:03 AM, Dec. 4, 2011

A common bedbug is engorged with blood after feeding on a human. Bedbugs are back with a vengeance, in New York City, New Jersey and around the globe, authorities say.


For Action Termite and Pest Control, located in Toms River and Red Bank, bedbugs have doubled the size of the business in less than 10 years, according to Michael Russell, vice president of sales and marketing.

When bedbugs finally reached the Jersey Shore in the mid-2000s, Russell said, Action was the first company to begin using bedbug-sniffing dogs to find infestations. Today, the company has six dogs and has grown from 24 employees to 48. Its market has expanded from Ocean County to include New York and Philadelphia.

“We probably didn’t get a (bedbug) call for 30 years,” Russell said. “Today, it’s 50 percent of the business.”

Action first uses dogs to sniff out bedbugs wherever they hide. Russell says the dogs are 98 percent effective, compared with 35 percent for a visual human inspection. They then treat the infested areas with a one-two punch of steam heat and chemicals.

Why is so much attention paid to the tiny bedbug? Why have these insects, barely visible to the naked eye, demanded so much human energy during the past decade? Why more than mice, mosquitoes or cockroaches?

It’s because they live where we live and, more importantly, feed on our flesh.

“Tolerance for bedbugs versus roaches, for example, is zero,” Wang said, “because of the pain and discomfort they cause.” Bedbugs can leave their victims covered with hundreds of tiny, painful bites — often inflicted while the victim sleeps.

For complete article: http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011312040018

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