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Afraid Of Rodents And Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year – PRNewswire

READING, Pa., Jan. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- As if 2020 didn't present enough challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 could be a banner year for pests around the country.

To help residents prepare for 2021, entomologists from Rentokil, the global leader in pest control, and its family of pest control providers, used field knowledge and data to provide their predictions for pests in the upcoming year.

"We're seeing more rats in urban, suburban and rural settings because of the shutdowns," said Marc Potzler, Board Certified Entomologist with Ehrlich Pest Control. "Food sources are cut off, and rats are having to travel to scavenge for food. We've seen rats out in public during the day, which is highly unusual.

"Warmer winters have also allowed for mice populations to boom in residential areas as it allows for a longer breeding season and there is a lower population loss due to hard freezes.

"Right now is the perfect time to rodent-proof your home," said Potzler. "Make sure to repair any gaps on the exterior of your home, such as around garage doors, windows or pipes."

"There is an increase of mosquitoes across the country, but notably on the West Coast, and they are adapting each year," said Eric Sebring, Associate Certified Entomologist with Western Exterminator. "We have seen evidence of behavior adaptation, where mosquitoes lay their eggs strategically to hatch throughout the season."

Protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes by removing any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one teaspoon of water. Also, wear EPA-approved insect repellent while spending time outside.

"As people begin to travel again, we will start to hear about bed bug infestations," said Sebring. "Bed bugs can be dormant for several months at a time, so they can emerge when a food source, humans, become available."

Bed bugs are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place on people, luggage, clothing and other personal belongings. Homeowners and businesses such as hotels, colleges, hospitals, senior living facilities, retail stores, and libraries have experienced problems with bed bugs.

If traveling, inspect the bed by pulling back the sheets to examine the mattress. Check your luggage before packing and unpacking, and look for signs of living or dead bugs the size of an apple seed or black fecal smears.

In 2021, we will see the outdoor pest pressures continue:

Ticks:Ticks are responsible for transmitting several diseases, including Lyme disease, to humans and animals. These small insects are found in grassy areas and in the woods, so it is important to inspect yourself and your pets after spending time outdoors. Cover as much skin as possible while outdoors, wear long pants, long sleeves, closed-toed shoes, and tuck pant legs into socks. Light-colored clothing will also help any ticks you pick up stand out.

Ants:"As soon as the weather starts to warm up, we will see an increase in ant populations," said Tom Dobrinska, Board Certified Entomologist for Presto-X. "Most of the ants we are dealing with are odorous house ants. When spending time outside, make sure to clean up any food, water or sugary substances and ensure that your home is free of any holes or cracks for them to enter."

Stinging Insects: Stinging insects, such as wasps and yellow jackets, emerge at the first sign of warm weather, and as warm weather seasons are getting longer, stinging insects have more time to create issues. Make sure you check for nests early in the spring as they are smaller and get early nest treatment. Make sure to keep windows and doors shut, and secure outside bins so stinging insects are not attracted to the contents.

"We received more calls for termites this past year than we have in many years," said Potzler. "It's important to raise awareness for homeowners now to have proactive protection to keep from costly repairs in the future."

The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive pest that has been making its way across the country since it was first introduced from Asia in 2001. Besides its pungent odor, this stink bug has become a nuisance for homeowners as it gathers in large numbers on the sides of houses and buildings and enters through small cracks in the home. "The brown marmorated stink bug is here to stay," said Dobrinska. "We will continue to see this species emerge in late spring in large numbers."

The Spotted Lanternfly will continue to wreak havoc across the Northeast and beyond. The invasive pest, first found in Pennsylvania in 2014, is spreading across the Northeast, with New York reporting its first sighting this year. The pest can significantly damage trees and plants.

"The Spotted Lanternfly is becoming a big problem in the Northeast, and it will continue to spread," said Potzler. "It can be devastating for agriculture and is a nuisance for homeowners."

The egg masses look like a smear of mud on trees and outside of homes. It's important to scrape the egg mass off, put it in a bag with rubbing alcohol and throw it away, and then call the state department of agriculture.

The infamous "Murder Hornet," also known as the Asian giant hornet, grabbed many headlines, causing homeowners to panic trying to decipher the difference between stinging insects in their yards and this aggressive species. The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet species in the world, growing up to 3 inches in length. Currently, the Asian giant hornet has only been found in the Pacific Northwest.

"We know that there was one colony found and eliminated in Washington State," said Sebring. "Unfortunately, if there is one, there will be more."

While your chances of being stung by an Asian giant hornet are fairly low, the sting can be dangerous as the venom volume is higher, causing more pain. The hives are primarily built underground or in hollows in trees. If you suspect it is an Asian giant hornet or any stinging pests, call your pest management provider to assess the situation as soon as you spot activity.

ABOUT RENTOKIL For nearly a century, customers have trusted Rentokil to protect their families, homes and businesses from pests and the health threats and damages they can cause.

Rentokiland its companies, including Ehrlich Pest Control,Western Exterminatorand Presto-XPest Control, provide commercial and residential pest control to customers in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The comprehensive pest management solutions include general pest control, mosquito, termite and bed bug inspections and service, vegetation management, and bird management.

In addition, Rentokil North America operates business services companies including Ambius, specializing in hand, air and surface hygiene solutions with Hygiene360 as well as interior landscaping and scenting; Steritech, offering food safety and operational assessments; SOLitude Lake Management, providing lake and pond solutions; and Vector Disease Control International, which serves governments and municipalities with mosquito control services.

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Afraid Of Rodents And Bugs? 2021 May Not Be Your Year - PRNewswire

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Roxy the Bed Bug Dog: The End of Secure Property Rights in Working Animals? – Reason

Not Roxy at all, but Buster, a dog with no useful skills whatsoever.

Roxy is a "specially trained bed bug sniffing dog," owned by M & M Environmentala bed bug exterminatorand kept for four years at the home of M & M employee Barry Myrick; Myrick and Roxy "work[ed] together visiting homes and business to determine whether bed bugs were present." Myrick had agreed at the outset that he "must return Roxy to M&M immediately upon the request of the Employer or upon the conclusion of my employment." The company paid for Roxy's food and medical care.

In March 2020, Myrick was either laid off or quit (there's a dispute about), but never returned Roxy. M & M sued to get Roxy back so she could "resume her bed bug sniffing duties" (M & M Environmental v. Myrick), but Monday New York trial court Judge Paul A. Goetz said no:

Traditionally under New York law, dogs and other companion animals such as Roxy have been treated as personal property. However, in light of the many protections afforded animals under the law, a growing body of case law has started to recognize that dogs fall within a special category of property that is treated differently from other types of personal inanimate property (Ferger v Warwick Animal Shelter, 59 AD3d 68 [2nd Dept 2008] [observing that trusts may now be created for pets upon the death or incapacitation of their human companions and pets may now be included in orders of protection issued by Family Court]). The question then arises what standard should be applied when determining custody and ownership of this special category of personal property.

In Travis v Murray, the court, in the context of a divorce action, was called upon to decide with whom Joey, a miniature dachshund, should live. After a thoughtful and extensive survey of the law concerning pets, the Travis Court determined that the most appropriate standard to apply when deciding with whom a pet should reside is the one found in the First Department case, Raymond v Lachmann (264 AD2d 340, 341 [1st Dept 1999]), the "best for all concerned" standard.

{Other courts have cited Raymond for the proposition that the appropriate standard is a "best interest of the animal" standard. (Feger, 59 AD3d at 72 [deciding appropriateness of a protective order to prevent disclosure of the identities of the donor and adoptive owner of a cat sought by plaintiff]; LeConte v Lee, 35 Misc. 3d 286, 288 [Civ Ct, NY Co 2011] [deciding replevin action between former paramours]).}

The Travis court detailed the factors to consider when applying the "best for all concerned" standard and indicated that it would hold a hearing at which the parties would be given an opportunity to prove not only why she will benefit from having Joey in her life but why Joey has a better chance of living, prospering, loving and being loved in the care of one spouse as opposed to the other. The factors the Court set out include who bore the major responsibility for meeting Joey's needs (i.e. feeding, walking, grooming and taking him to the veterinarian) and who spent more time with Joey on a regular basis. Outside the matrimonial action context, trial courts have also applied the best for all concerned standard when determining ownership and custody of pets (Mitchell v Snider, 51 Misc 3d 1229 [Civ Ct NY Co 2016] [replevin action between former paramours]; Ramseur v Askins, 44 Misc 3d 1209 [A] [Civ Ct Bx Co 2014] [replevin action between nephew and aunt]; see also Hennet v Allan, 543 Misc 3d 542 [SC Albany Co 2014] [citing Travis in determining that the dispute between two former paramours required a hearing as to which party "has the most genuine right of possession"]).

[T]he question is not whether [M & M] holds "title" to her but rather whether [M & M] or [Myrick] has the superior right to custody of Roxy taking into account that she falls within a "special category of property." When resolving competing claims of who owns a dog, application of the best for all concerned standard is appropriate because it takes into account the special nature of dogstheir needs and well-beingas well as the competing claims by the parties.

Applying the best for all concerned standard and the straightforward factors set out by the court in Travis, on this record, [M & M] has not established a likelihood of success on the merits to warrant ordering Roxy's return to [M & M]. [M & M] does not submit evidence that it endeavored to meet any of Roxy's needs such as feeding, walking and grooming her. [M & M] merely reimbursed [Myrick] for food and veterinarian care; [Myrick] has been the party responsible for ensuring that Roxy has been properly feed and kept in good health.

Footing the bill for food and veterinarian care, without more, is insufficient to establish that [M & M] was meeting Roxy's needs. Nor does [M & M] allege that any of its other employees or [owners] spent any time with Roxy on a regular basis and there is no dispute that she has lived with [Myrick] for the past four years.

Prime evidence on this record that Roxy is well cared for by [Myrick] was not submitted by [Myrick] but rather by [M & M]. The YouTube video [M & M] linked to in its papers demonstrates that [Myrick] and Roxy have developed a deep mutual bond between them over the last four years. Removing Roxy from the home where she has grown and thrived, as evidenced in the YouTube video, for the past four years would likely cause her a great deal of distress and would not be in her or [Myrick]'s best interest.

[M & M]'s expense in acquiring Roxy and any compensable quantifiable business loses incurred as result of her not being deployed on [M & M]'s behalf may be awarded at a future date and do not outweigh the harm it will likely cause to Roxy and [Myrick] by ordering Roxy's return to [M & M].

I can see the arguments for the law recognizing the interests of dogs and similar animals, including their bonds with people they've lived with; perhaps this New York approach is indeed better than the traditional approach, where the owners have control over where and with whom the dog lives and works.

But I wanted to flag this, because it does seem like a serious departure from the traditional approachand one that would apply to a wide range of working animals (at least as long as they are working for a company, rather than just for a sole proprietor). After all, in most companies that use such animals, the animal will be taken care of by employees and not the company owners; and often the animal will be taken care of by one particular employee more than by others. The sort of human-animal bonding that the judge found here will likely happen in many such cases; and, if this decision is followed, companies will no longer be able to have any confidence that, when the employee quits, they'll be able to continue using the animal. Maybe that's fine, but it strikes me as worth thinking about.

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Roxy the Bed Bug Dog: The End of Secure Property Rights in Working Animals? - Reason

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Co-op and Condo Annual Bedbug Reports Are Almost Due – Habitat magazine

Dec. 10, 2020

When it comes to Local Law 69, Dennis DePaola likes to stay ahead of the curve. The law requires all multi-family residential buildings, including co-ops and condos, to file an annual bedbug history with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31. With the deadline looming, DePaola, an executive vice president and the director of compliance at Orsid Realty, already has all his paperwork in order.

The Annual Bedbug Report must detail any units that had infestations during the previous 12 months, which ones took eradication methods, such as calling an exterminator, and whether those efforts were successful. We keep all of those records for our properties throughout the year, log it on a spreadsheet and send out reminders that it needs to be kept up to date, DePaola says. That way, when December rolls around, the team in our compliance department simply goes over each building and files the report electronically by the deadline.

That review and filing process is just the culmination of Orsids bedbug-fighting protocol. Anytime there are reports of bugs, we typically work with the buildings super and resident manager and bring in a testing party right away, DePaola says. His inspector of choice? Specially trained canines, who can sniff out live bedbugs and viable eggs hiding in tiny nooks and crannies in beds, sofas, wooden furniture and behind walls, which no mere human can easily find. Out of an abundance of caution, Orsid takes an aggressive approach by testing units adjacent to the affected apartment as well as the ones above and below it. If we do 3B, well also do 3A, 3C, 4B and 2B, he explains. We call it our cloverleaf approach.

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If an infestation is discovered, we immediately do remediation, because the last thing you want is for the problem to spread, DePaola says. The law requires that buildings use a pest-management professional who is registered and certified by the state. We have several companies that we work with, DePaola says, since we dont want to be pigeon-holed with just one outfit. Several years ago, when bedbugs became a real issue in New York City, virtually all of our buildings passed policies on remediation. Most of them specify that the cost of regular testing and extermination will fall on the building.

After the annual report is submitted, the information is posted on HPD Online, which lists a buildings bedbug history along with information about complaints and litigation, violations and charges. Local Law 69 also requires that the history must be posted in a prominent place within the building or given to residents when signing or renewing their leases.

If a building fails to file an annual report, its still not clear what the penalty will be. Its more likely to be analogous to failing to file a property registration, DePaola says, which has a $250 to $500 civil penalty.

The good news for co-op and condo boards is that the law, which was enacted in 2018, does not appear to have had a chilling effect on apartment sales. Yes, bedbug histories are now publicly available online, but the legal obligation to disclose that information has been around for years, DePaola says. And we havent found that infestations affect sales. We thought people would be backing out, but extermination is very effective these days. Weve immediately eradicated bedbugs in every reported case except one building, where we had to chase them around for a while. But we got them in the end.

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Co-op and Condo Annual Bedbug Reports Are Almost Due - Habitat magazine

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Bedbugs, Roaches Infest Thousands Of NYCHA Homes | New York City, NY Patch – New York City, NY Patch

NEW YORK CITY Roaches and bedbugs were caught crawling through city public housing almost 60,000 times last year, attorneys announced Monday.

NYCHA residents filed about 59,770 bug infestation complaints in the first nine months of 2019, according to the Legal Aid Society.

Judith Goldiner, Attorney-In-Charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit, called the findings troubling but added NYCHA's quick response time was encouraging.

"This is a clear byproduct of more staff on the ground and resources," said Goldiner, even though, "The high number of work orders filed by NYCHA residents to remediate insect infestation within their homes is indeed troubling."

The Grant Houses in Harlem logged the most work orders with 981 roach and bedbug infestations reported, according to documents acquired through Legal Aid's Freedom Of Information Law request.

It took the Housing Authority roughly 9.5 days on average to respond to those complaints, the records show.

The Pomonok Houses in Fresh Meadows, Queens, had the most bedbug complaints with 116 work orders, which took the Housing Authority roughly 9 days to remediate, Legal Aid said.

Bedbug and roach responses have improved since the city's $2.2 billion agreement (with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) to address lead paint, mold, heating and pests took effect in July 2019, said NYCHA press secretary Rochel Leah Goldblatt.

Under the new Integrated Pest Management system, roach responses have become more thorough and bedbugs and rats are treated like emergencies, taking higher priority on the work order list, added Goldblatt.

"NYCHA is working closely with the Federal Monitor on Integrated Pest Management techniques and a Pest Action Plan," said Goldblatt. "NYCHA lacked the resources to adequately address many issues in its aging housing portfolio, including pests, due to years of federal disinvestment."

The public defenders group echoed these sentiments and called on state legislators to continue to increase funding for NYCHA in 2020.

"Public housing is critical to so many New Yorkers," Goldiner concluded. "We must ensure that residents live safely and with dignity."

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Bedbugs, Roaches Infest Thousands Of NYCHA Homes | New York City, NY Patch - New York City, NY Patch

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The benefits of hospice – Citrus County Chronicle

Douglas S. had a very hard life. He was living in a hotel in Homosassa and was very ill when he was brought onto hospice service. When the admission nurse arrived she quickly realized he had little food and was unable to care for himself. He was unkempt, there were feces on the floor, an oxygen concentrator that was filthy, and the room had bed bugs.

During this visit, Douglas confided to the nurse that he was running out of funds to continue living in the hotel. Quickly, she admitted Douglas onto HPH Hospice services and communicated his living conditions and financial circumstances to the care team.

Because of the generosity of the Citrus County Community Charitable Foundation and a grant they awarded to the Citrus Hospice Care Center, HPH Hospice was able to immediately moved Douglas to the care center. When he arrived he had a sore on the top of his foot from a rat bite, his beard was long and mangled, he was filthy and he had bed bugs in his belongings.

The staff immediately gave him several baths, a haircut, and shaved his beard. They fed him and treated him like he was royalty. They had won his trust and he confided in them some aspects of his life.

He shared that he had a son who had been estranged from him for many years. He also shared that he was a Vietnam veteran. With tears in his eyes, he shared what it was like when he returned home from Vietnam. He and other veterans were not respected, and once he was even spit on for being part of that war.

The team rallied and arranged for a bedside veteran pinning ceremony. During the pinning, Douglas became very emotional and cried. He stated that this was the first time anyone had thanked him for his military service. He could not thank the team enough for the recognition.

As an added blessing for the patient, the team worked diligently to locate Douglass estranged son. They found that he lived in New York City and was working as a security guard at Mount Sinai Hospital. They contacted him and talked about his dad. The son recounted that he also was a military veteran and was a decorated Marine.

Unfortunately, due to the stay-at-home orders from the COVID pandemic, the son would not be able to come and visit for one last time. The care team arranged to provide a FaceTime visit for the father and son, to allow them to reconnect and say their goodbyes.

During this very emotional encounter, Douglas asked his son for forgiveness for being less of a father than he deserved and thanked him for growing to be a better man than he was.

Very shortly after the Face Time visit, Douglas developed respiratory distress. He died two days later. His son expressed that he was so very grateful to the team for the care they gave to his father. He was at peace knowing that he and his father had resolved their hard feelings and his father died with respect, dignity and honor.

This story was submitted on behalf of the Citrus County Community Charitable Foundation.

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The benefits of hospice - Citrus County Chronicle

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