Taking on bedbugs at Rosemont summit

September 21, 2010 8:20:15 PM PDT
Amid a rash of bedbug infestations, vendors at a conference in Rosemont are promoting various ways to fight back.

Experts from around the country are talking about detecting and controlling the spread of bedbugs that generates lot of anxiety for those who have them and lots of money for those trying to fight them.

A dog named Walter at the fair is man's best friend and a bedbug's worst enemy - he is trained to sniff out the pests in the home.

"You bring the dog in, the dog will sweep an area - go through and smell seats, room dividers and when he hits on a bedbug or the scent of one, he will sits and alert," said Richard Effaldana of Dana K-9 Scent Detection.

Effaldana says that recently, business has increased tenfold.

Lorne Chadwic's product, a pump that shoots out carbon dioxide that freezes bedbugs, has reportedly seen a 30 percent increase in the last six months.

They are just a couple of vendors showing off at the first annual Bedbug Summit in north suburban Rosemont for pest control professionals, scientist, multiple dwelling managers and government agencies to discuss ways of keeping bedbugs under control.

There has been a bedbug resurgence in recent years in part because they developed a resistance to pesticides and have been spread faster because of increased international travel.

Experts say the best thing you can do is to be able to spot the tiny bugs and stay educated.

Preventing a bedbug infestation is easier than removing them, and once they are in your home, it takes a multi-method approach to get rid of them which can take a financial and emotional toll, which is why Susan McKnight has seen more demand for her product that traps bedbug before they can climb into your bed.

Killing the tiny bugs costs big money: nearly $1,000 for the average home, and thousands more for businesses and apartment buildings.

The most infested cities stretch from coast to coast. At the top - New York, where the bugs have invaded retails stores, movie theaters and even the Empire State Building.

According to one pest control company, Chicago ranks 5th in the U.S. for bedbug infestations.

In Illinois, officials admit the state's efforts to battle bedbugs are lagging. Earlier this year, the general assembly approved a plan to have a committee of experts offer guidance on how to eradicate the insects.

The sold-out summit continues through Wednesday. Organizers say next year's conference will be three times larger.


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