EPA awards grants to combat bed bugs
Thursday, April 7, 2011
(CNN) -- Targeting social service agencies that
serve low-income, minority and immigrant neighborhoods, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $550,000 in bed
bug-control education and prevention grants, the agency announced
According to a news release, the five grants will be used in
communities where the plague of "bed bug pressures are significant
but resources to address the problems are limited."
Over the next 24 months state organizations from Texas,
Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, and New Jersey will facilitate
programs aimed at helping prevent widespread bed bug
For example, the EPA website lists the Maryland Department of
Health and Hygiene as receiving $142,440. The money will go to
develop and provide training as well as technical and material
support to residents, service providers and retail firms that
combat bed bugs in the 12 poorest ZIP codes of Baltimore and as
well as county health offices throughout Maryland.
The grant would include training for the migrant workers of
Caroline County, who are extremely vulnerable to bed bugs, the EPA
said. The educational outreach programs seek to reach groups that
serve transitional housing managers, vendors of second hand goods,
healthcare providers, and local pest product providers, the EPA
Also listed on EPA website is a grant for New Jersey's Rutgers
University of $99,688. Rutgers will lead a statewide bed bug
educational outreach program for low-income communities. The
effectiveness of anti-bed bug programs will be measured through
monitoring of all apartments in those communities and documenting
pesticide usage over one year.
Due to the influx of bed bugs around the United States last
year, the EPA hosted a national bed bug summit in early
The grants are a step to further educate the public about bed
bugs. Last summer in New York several high end hotels, clothing
stores Abercrombie and Fitch, Hollister, Niketown, and Victoria's
Secret, as well as an AMC movie theater in Times Square shut down
due to a serious invasion of the insects.
The goal is to seek new approaches in managing bed bug problems.
EPA spokesman Dale Kemery said, "Lessons learned from the grants
will be available for use by other communities."
Bed bugs, according to the EPA, are brown insects about 1/4 to
3/8 of an inch long that feed on the blood of humans through
biting. They are known to live up to a year without feeding.
Typical steps for ridding and preventing bed
bug infestations include correctly identifying the bugs, and then
physically removing the bugs through cleaning, applying appropriate
pesticides, and reducing clutter.