EPA Launches Bed Bug Information Clearinghouse
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is launching an online Bed Bug Information Clearinghouse. It contains peer-reviewed bed bug outreach materials from a variety of different sources such as governments, universities and extension services. Stemming from a top recommendation from EPA’s Second Annual National Bed Bug Summit, the Bed Bug Information Clearinghouse is a collaborative effort between EPA and partners in the Federal Bed Bug Workgroup.
The goal of the Bed Bug Information Clearinghouse is to provide a “one-stop” location for communities throughout the country to exchange information and outreach materials on the control, detection and prevention of bed bugs. This will help communities conserve resources and provide improved effectiveness and accuracy of community outreach materials. The Clearinghouse is searchable based on:
• Audience – such as Hotels, Health Centers, Housing Authorities, Schools, Shelters, Residential Consumers, etc.
• Topic – Detection, Prevention, Non-chemical Control, Management, Pesticides
• Type of product – Outreach Materials such as Factsheets, Brochures, Websites, etc.
The Clearinghouse will include information in English and other languages as available. Some of the current information focuses on identifying and treating bed bug infestations in various types of situations. In addition, there is information on several different types of treatments such the use of heat to kill bed bugs.
While there is no quick fix for bed bug infestations, having accurate information about bed bug control will help keep the public from over-applying or misusing pesticides. There are a variety of non-chemical approaches for controlling, detecting and preventing bed bugs that have been shown to be effective, including:
• Checking for bed bugs on luggage and clothing when returning from a trip
• Looking for bed bugs or signs of an infestation on second-hand items, such as a sofa or bed, before bringing the item into your home
• Reducing clutter where bed bugs can hide
• Using a protective cover that encases mattresses and box springs
A more informed public is a better partner in the control, detection and prevention of bed bugs. With the help of community advocates distributing outreach materials from the Clearinghouse to the public, EPA hopes that this will lead to increased prevention as well as a reduction in infestations.