April 25, 2016

Bedbug infestations plague dorm

Source:, April 22, 2016
By: David Yaffe-Bellany

When Luying Liu GRD ’21 noticed brown blotches on her bed sheets, she told herself not to panic.

“I was doing a lot of other stuff at the time and tried to get my mind off it,” Liu said.

But the blotches — dried blood from the tiny insect bites on her arms and back — kept reappearing. On March 31, Liu — who lives on the eighth floor of Harkness Hall, a 172-bedroom dorm complex for graduate and medical students located on Cedar Street near Yale-New Haven Hospital — contacted Yale Housing and the Office of Facilities to request an inspection. It was clear where the blotches had come from: a bedbug infestation, the sixth in Harkness Hall since October.

The Harkness Hall bedbug infestations, which at the moment have subsided, have generated fierce debate within the graduate and medical student community, fueled by the activism of angry residents who insist that housing officials have badly mishandled the problem. Two weeks ago, the brewing controversy forced the Medical School Admissions Office to relocate dozens of visiting students scheduled to stay in Harkness Hall for a three-day admitted students event. And late last week, in an email to building residents, Director of Graduate and Professional Student Housing George Longyear announced a revised bedbug protocol designed to prevent future infestations, after consultation with an expert in bedbug management. The new protocol calls for preemptive treatments as well as other measures designed to prevent future infestations.

January 16, 2013

[Bed Bug Supplement] Tiny Pests, Huge Claims

Source:, December 28, 2012
By: John Culotta

Until about five years ago, bed bugs were largely the stuff of bedtime sayings. “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Now, these tiny pests have emerged as a big nuisance throughout the country, with infestations affecting neighborhoods from New York City to Seattle.

With the emergence of bed bugs has come a new set of concerns — and risks — for pest management professionals. As we approach 2013, the time is right to review what we’ve learned over the past several years about the treatment of bed bugs, the risk involved and how you can protect your business against customer claims.

More bugs, more claims. As PMPs are acutely aware, the insect commonly known as the bed bug (Cimex lectularius) has made a dramatic comeback in recent years. For example, confirmed infestations in New York City rose from 82 in 2006 to more than 4,000 in 2010. PMPs reported a 100 percent increase in bed bug related calls over the same period, and these stubborn bugs are being found everywhere from homes, hotels and cruise ships to apartments, churches and nursing homes.

When bed bugs first emerged, PMPs found they often had to apply three or more chemical treatments to eradicate them, which raised concerns that bed bugs were growing resistant to chemicals. Extermination challenges are pronounced. As a result, heat treatments emerged as a popular treatment option — although we learned that heat had very specific requirements and did not always work on the first treatment.

Although bed bugs have not been shown to transmit disease, the bites can be irritating physically and troubling emotionally. That’s why customers whose infestations are not eliminated on the first treatment come back to the PMP with claims we don’t see in infestations like termites — claims for bodily injury, emotional distress and loss of revenue.…

July 20, 2012

OK Library Closes Due to Bed Bugs

Read here about a library in Oklahoma that was temporarily shut down after bed bugs were found on a chair.…

November 22, 2011

Your Bed Bug Response Plan

Source:, November 21, 2011

Bed bugs may be making fewer headlines these days, but that does not mean the critters — or the problems they present for companies — have been eradicated. Discovering an infestation is only the beginning; the legal fallout can last for years. Courts have recognized that state and local governments are not responding to the bed bug epidemic and have taken it upon themselves to force businesses to remedy infestations — or else.

Judges and juries have come down hardest on companies whose response they have deemed negligent. Most often, this means companies that have allowed patrons into known infestation areas, tried to treat an infestation using in-house employees instead of hiring professionals or used inadequate quarantine procedures to stop bed bugs from spreading.

For instance, in a case before a federal appeals court in Chicago, a judge ruled that hotel management rented rooms to guests despite having labeled the rooms in their computer system: “Do not rent, bugs in room” and “Do not rent until treated.” The court found that the punitive damages for renting rooms known to be infested was worth $1,000 for each room in the hotel.…

March 17, 2011

Bed Bug Lawsuit Goes to Court in Maryland

Source:, March 15, 2011

Another bed bug lawsuit is making headlines, this time in Maryland. Sam Alfrey, the plaintiff in a small claims case against the owner of the Travelers Hotel LLC brought a bottle of dead bed bugs to court in a lawsuit seeking $2,480 for the rent he has paid since moving in last September, as well as expenses for a five-day hospital stay, said Appeal-Democrat.

Alfrey claims the room was riddled with bed bugs and black mold. Charles Johnston, the hotel manager, said that he’s been working on the bed bug problem since he was hired there seven months ago. The building is 100 years old, noted Appeal-Democrat. “I will not dispute those are bedbugs” in Alfrey’s room, Johnston said. “Bedbugs will continue to be an issue,” even in his room. “I saw one walking across my rug,” Johnston added, quoted Appeal-Democrat. Johnston also admitted in court that he advises prospective tenants about the hotel’s bed bug problem.…

January 24, 2011

Why Bedbugs Won’t Die

Publication Date 01/19/2011
Source: Dow Jones News Service (From THE WALL STREET JOURNAL)
Posted on:

The first comprehensive genetic study of bedbugs, the irritating pests that have enjoyed a world-wide resurgence in recent years, indicates they are quickly evolving to withstand the pesticides used to combat them.

The new findings from entomologists at Ohio State University, reported Wednesday online in PLoS One, show that bedbugs may have boosted their natural defenses by generating higher levels of enzymes that can cleanse them of poisons.

The findings add to a growing body of evidence from molecular-biology studies that bedbugs have recently evolved three improved biochemical defenses against common pesticides. Bedbugs today appear to have nerve cells better able to withstand the chemical effects, higher levels of enzymes that detoxify the lethal substances, and thicker shells that can block insecticides.…

December 10, 2010

Bedbugs at NYC Waldorf

Read here about a lawsuit claiming bedbugs at the Waldorf in NY.…

September 24, 2010

Bed Bugs May Bite Insurers But Won’t Dog Industry

Publication Date:  09/02/2010
Source:  Marketwatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — When dogs bite people, insurers often pay. But what happens when bed bugs bite?

Bed bug infestations in the U.S. have multiplied at an alarming rate in recent years.

A recent survey of almost 1,000 pest exterminators found that 95% of the firms had dealt with a bed bug infestation in the past year. That was up from 25% of firms in surveys conducted before 2000. The National Pest Management Association, which did the surveys with the University of Kentucky, described the trend as a pandemic.

Bed bugs are more difficult to get rid of than cockroaches, ants and termites, so it costs thousands of dollars to clean them up.

Big companies, including TimeWarner Inc., TWX, have been hit with infestations. …