New UF/IFAS website has tips on bed bug prevention and control
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A new website, developed by the Florida Bed Bug Workgroup and the University of Florida, provides resources for anyone concerned about bed bugs, from college students living away from home for the first time to pest control professionals and landlords.
The Florida Bed Bug Workgroup includes members from numerous state government offices and agencies, including UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the state departments of education and health, the hospitality and housing industry, and several private industry groups.
“The workgroup’s goal is to raise consumer awareness of bed bugs to minimize the spread of these tenacious pests,” said Faith Oi, an assistant extension scientist in UF’s entomology and nematology department who help oversee the website’s creation.
Bed bugs are reddish-brown, tick-sized flat insects that feed on the blood of humans and other animals. Infestations can be difficult to control in homes, hotels and other places humans dwell.
The site, http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/bed_bugs/index.shtml, went live this month and is hosted by the Florida Cooperative Extension Service. It contains tips on bed bug prevention, links to training opportunities for pest control personnel, and advice on hiring a pest control professional.
There are also photo galleries for identifying bed bugs at various stages in their life cycle; pictures of bed bug bites on human skin; videos about bed bug research, canine detection and treatment methods; as well as links to publications on bed bugs from UF/IFAS and other organizations.
There are even tips for keeping bed bugs out of stores and ways that schoolteachers and social service and public health employees can handle the insects, including recognizing the difference between an introduction and an infestation.
According to the site, keys to bed bug prevention include keeping bedding and homes clean and de-cluttered, repairing cracks in walls, and avoiding buying or picking up used furniture or bedding.