Bed Bugs in the News

News articles, stories, thoughts  and commentary about bed bugs.


The Brown Peril - How contagious are bedbugs

Slate BedBugs

The Brown Peril - How contagious are bedbugs, really?

By Dave John and Amy L. Fairchild

Posted Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011, at 7:16 AM ET

A well balanced article in Slate magazine focusing on the real and perceived perils of bedbugs now and looking back over time.


Dear Lice Guy: What's Bugging Me?

Check out the recent NPR interview with IdentifyUS founder Dr. Richard Pollack who talks about his work identifying lead lice and other pests for many thousands of thankful clientele.

or Listen to the Podcast here

Identifying pests from a mobile device - IDmyBUG™

There's a  newway to submit specimens for identification using a mobile device. IdentifyUS has launched a new mobile device compatible version of their pest identification website and their Specimen Evaluation Form that makes submitting specimen data and images a breeze using any camera-equipped cell phone with web browser support. Simply navigate to and bookmark the IDmyBUG mobile website and you'll have quick access to the mobile version of the IdentifyUS Specimen Evaluation Form. Enter data and snap a picture (or two, or three) of the suspected pest and send it to IdentifyUS for a rapid, objective and authoritative assessment. Positive identification of a suspected pest should be the first step in determining what to do next. By knowing exactly what kind of creature you are up against you can effectively react and defend yourself with the confidence and support of expert advice. 

Before you call in a pest control operator, before you treat with chemicals or pesticides, and before you make any move to eradicate a presumed pest, ask IdentifyUS to help confirm the true identity of the bug(s) in question. It's never been easier than using the IDmyBUG mobile identification procedure!

Bouquets can carry hidden pests

Bouquets can carry hidden pests

Just in time for Valentine's Day, ABC News runs a report on invasive pests sneaking their way into the country and your home via bouquets of flowers. If this happens to you, send us pictures of the critters so we can identify them for you!



Why Bedbugs Won't Die

Why Bedbugs Won't Die

As this recent article in the Wall Street Journal points out, bed bugs are rapidly evolving to withstand pesticides according to a study on the Transcriptomics of the Bed Bug (Cimex lectularius) by researchers at Ohio State University. 

Man Loses 10,000 LPs to bed bugs

Listen to this CBC radio interview from Kliph Nesteroff. It highlights some of the trauma, and misunderstandings, with eliminating bed bugs.

Isabella Rossellini explores bed bugs

Varmints in my Garments

We find it's often helpful to try and keep even the most stressful situations in check with a little lighthearted humor. This post is an attempt to provide some comic relief to those needing a break from the serious work and effort associated with eradicating pests like bed bugs, head lice and other bothersome creatures.


Debate on use of bed bug sniffing dogs continues

There's been a lot of press lately around the use of dogs trained to 'sniff out' bed bugs. We'll try to help you sort of fact from fiction regarding the use of dogs for this purpose. First, here's an article in the New York Times that sums up the current debate over the use of dogs for bed bug inspections Along with a recent video featured on ABC News examining the use of bed bug sniffing dogs.

So what's the real value proposition here? Well, yes, dogs can be trained to respond to certain odors and can be valuable tools. Their noses and responses, however, should not be considered to be fully conclusive, regardless of their training or whether they are fed as a reward or as a matter of course. A dog is only as good as its training and handling, and even a well-managed dog may quickly lose interest or become distracted by competing stimuli. If a dog reacts as trained to the scent of a bed bug, this should trigger a thorough search by trained eyes to confirm the presence of an extant population of bed bugs. Treating based solely on a dog’s reaction is unwise and invites abuse. That's why IdentifyUS offers no cost/low cost information about bed bugs and their management with no third party pest control agenda. That's why we also recommend that you always attempt to positively identify live culprits at the scene. If you want a trained entomologist to help, start by completing a Specimen Evaluation Form and uploading digital images of your specimen to IdentifyUS.

Outsmarting Bedbugs At Home and Away

Outsmarting Bedbugs At Home and Away

A WCVB TV Channel 5 news brief recently highlighted IdentifyUS entomologist Dr. Richard Pollack during their newscast. You can watch the video here.

Why don't we offer a registry of infected addresses?

Why don't we offer a registry of infected addresses?

Several Internet sites offer the opportunity to list an address where a person believes s/he encountered a bed bug. These searchable reports are then available to other visitors interested in learning about the bed bug history of a hotel, residence or business. Are these reports and resources of value or do they simply add to confusion and worry? We believe that these reporting sites may be more deceptive than of value. Why?

  1. The reports are subjective. Anyone may file a ‘report’ of a bed bug encounter or sighting, and for any address. Few, if any, of the reports have been verified to confirm that the ‘bed bugs’ were bona fide bed bugs. Because most people seem to misconstrue any insect (or bit of fabric lint) on the bed to be a bed bug, and that any bite-like reaction must be from a bed bug, then it is quite likely that many (most?) of the reports are incorrect.
  2. Whereas many such reports may derive from folks who earnestly wish to offer a warning to others, there’s no mechanism to stop a devious person from filing a prank report of a supposed infestation at the home or office of an enemy or competitor. These spurious reports may damage reputations and result in loss of business. There seem no means by which a person or business injured by such a claim can challenge the accuser or refute the claim. Because there is no means to sort the wheat from chaff, and because these reports generally lack any level of authority, they may provide more misinformation than actual substance. This is a case of bad information being worse than no information whatsoever.


We would like to hear your thoughts on whether you have used such a service to file a report or warning or to respond to one. Do you feel a registry service for reporting any type of infestation is useful or an invasion of privacy? What mechanisms do you think can be put in place to offer an objective and independent confirmation process that would satisfy both the reporting party and the owner or manager of the location being identified? 

IdentifyUS offers expert identification of pests including bed bugs. We offer quick turnaround and have no commercial or third party interest in treatment products or services. You can submit a sample using our Specimen Evaluation Form and by uploading digital images of any creature you wish to have examined and identified.

Bed bugs found at NH camp

Bed bugs found at NH camp

Students from Duxbury MA apparently have a run in with bed bugs and IdentifyUS's Dr. Richard Pollack tries to calm the hysteria by showing actual bed bugs up close and personal in this video.

Exterminator to the rescue

Having to call an exterminator is no laughing matter, but this is...


Bed bug false alarms just as bad as the real thing

Bed bug false alarms just as bad as the real thing

Elizabeth Barclay comments on her own very real battle with bed bugs in Slate magazine online...

How NOT to fight bed bugs

How NOT to fight bed bugs

This recent house fire is a good lesson in what NOT to do when trying to eradicate bed bugs from your home

WBUR 'Here and Now' Program on Bed Bugs

WBUR 'Here and Now' Program on Bed Bugs

Radio station WBUR had a segment of Robin Young's Here and Now program on bed bugs today. She interviewed Gary Alpert, from Harvard. Here's a link to Gary's bed bug fact sheet.

Office Memo: Bed Bugs Are Back

Office Memo: Bed Bugs Are Back

Recent Forbes article on how bed bugs are making their way back into our offices, workplaces, and other public spaces.


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