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Metro Health says bed bug infestation ‘Worst it’s ever handled’

North Side apartment for seniors, disabled covered in bed bugs and roaches

By Chris Shadrock – Web – News Producer, Jessie Degollado – Reporter

Thursday, San Antonio Code Compliance and Metro Health were outside the Aurora Apartments which are infested with bed bugs. The apartments are located in one of the city’s oldest high rises on the near North Side infested with bed bugs. CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF THE STORY

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Texas pesticide deaths: Chemical may have sickened, but cleanup was fatal

By Holly YanShawn Nottingham and AnneClaire Stapleton, CNN

Updated 1:46 PM ET, Tue January 3, 2017

(CNN) The act of watering the ground after applying pesticide may seem innocuous, but it was enough to kill four children in Texas.One was a high school senior on the brink of graduation. The other three were her little brothers; the youngest was 7 years old.On Tuesday, Amarillo police explained what went wrong: Some of the family members started feeling sick Monday after the pesticide was applied under their mobile home. So one of the residents tried to dilute it with water.It was fatal mistake. Read the rest of the story here


Houston pest control technician finalist for industry award

By Sarah Scully Published 12:21 pm CST, Thursday, February 4, 2016

Houston-area pest control technician Walter Parada has been named a finalist in Pest Control Technology magazine’s 2015 Technician of the Year Awards.

Parada lives in the Spring Branch area and works for Holder’s Pest Solutions, a division of Copesan Services. He was featured in the magazine’s December issue as a finalist in the commercial category, chosen out of 100 nominations from companies across the U.S. The magazine uses criteria of ongoing education, community service contributions, safety, customer relations, and leadership skills to assess nominees. The rest of the story



2 hospitalized after pest control truck crashes into Maryland Chipotle

GERMANTOWN, Md. (WJLA) – A two-car crash caused a pest control truck to crash through the front of a Chipotle in Montgomery County Monday morning, leaving two people hospitalized, according to authorities.

The Montgomery County Fire Department said the crash happened at the restaurant sometime before 7:35 a.m. in the area of Crystal Rock Drive and Century Boulevard in Germantown. The crash involved an Orkin truck and another car. Officials say both drivers were evaluated by medical personnel and that two adults were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The rest of the story



Combating all that creeps, crawls and bites

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas —

The 502nd Civil Engineer Squadron Pest Management spent one sunny morning showcasing how they combat insect and animal population on Joint Base San Antonio to the 502nd Air Base Wing and JBSA senior leadership July 20, 2017. 

Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle, 502nd ABW and JBSA commander, Col. Lee Flemming, 502nd ABW and JBSA vice commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Kristopher K. Berg, 502nd ABW and JBSA command chief, all had the opportunity to get their hands dirtyspreading bait, inspecting a dining facility and checking traps with the pest control technicians. 

“They’re controlling nature and making it a better place for all our joint base mission partners and allowing us to carry on with our missions,” said Pringle. “There are great professionals and it’s really been a great day to be able to spend with them. 

Pest control technicians use a systematic approach to find long term solutions for each pest problem, like setting bait that staggers rodent and insect populations or taking proactive steps to prevent infestations in the first place. 

“We use a process called integrated pest management,” said Jorge Ortiz, 502nd CES Pest Management pest control technician. “We’ll start off by doing an inspection and identifying the problem, then figuring out a way to combat the pest.” 

The 502nd CES Pest Management faces everything from animals as large as feral pigs to insects as small as bed bugs with various traps, bait, and pesticides. The rest of the story


Anti-Mosquito Paint Approved in US

Monday, April 23, 2018

Japan-based global paints and coatings supplier Kansai Paint Group announced last week that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved the company’s mosquito-repellent paint.

The Kansai Anti-Mosquito Paint is designed for interior use, the company says, and contains a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide. The company maintains that the paint has “shown to significantly reduce the presence of mosquitos in painted areas.”

“Development of the Kansai Anti-Mosquito Paint marks a major milestone, not only for our company but also for the worldwide effort in fighting the spread of infectious diseases,” said Hiroshi Ishino, Kansai president.

“For generations, people all over the world have struggled with mosquito-borne illnesses and the effects they have on families and communities. Kansai is proud to be the first company in the world to develop a safe paint, approved by the EPA that addresses this challenge in a creative and effective way.”

How it Works

The paint’s active ingredient, according to Kansai, disables the nervous system in mosquitos, preventing them from flying or biting. Further, the company says, the ingredient has not been shown to be a danger to humans, either by physical contact or oral ingestion.

“Our testing has showed that the Kansai Anti-Mosquito Paint was able to exterminate on contact more than 90% of mosquitoes and is effective for at least two years,” noted Kalpana Abe, Vice President, President’s Office, Kansai Paint Group. “It will deter various species of mosquitos, which can carry several viruses present in the U.S., including Zika and the West Nile.”

It is the only anti-mosquito paint currently approved by the EPA and it expected to be available in the U.S. this summer (it is already available in Uganda and Zambia).

Production of the paint in the U.S. will be led by U.S. Paint, which was acquired by Kansai in 2016.



CULTURE OF FEAR: Laurel Plaza residents talk rats, reprisals

  • By Dalondo Moultrie The Herald-Zeitung
  • Feb 10, 2019 

Laurel Plaza residents say they are worried. They’re worried about rats. They’re worried about bed bugs. They’re worried about what the building’s management will do if they complain about either.

The persistent pest control problems don’t seem to be improving and management seems only to be exacerbating other issues they’re facing, said family members and a number of residents who live at the senior living apartments in New Braunfels.

For quite some time, rats and bed bugs have run rampant at Laurel Plaza, they said. The rats bring with them an odor that at times is unbearable.

Meanwhile, management meets complaints about the pest issues and other concerns with disdain and/or threats, some said. Many spoke to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung only on the condition that their identities remain hidden for fear of reprisals.

One man who lives in San Antonio, but whose mother resides in one of the apartments, said he was at his wit’s end trying to figure out how to work with the manager or whomever would listen to help clean up his mother’s home.

Jason Mickel said his mother has lived in the apartments for a couple years and they’ve never seen problems like what exists now in the five-story building.

“You can go in that building and smell death as soon as you walk in there,” he said. “I’ve spent out of my own pocket almost $1,000 trying to kill rats and bed bugs. I’m owner of a handyman business in San Antonio called Mickel Handyman Service. I’ve had professionals go in and clean the bed bugs.”

Yet the problems continue.

Mickel does some pretty dirty work on his own. But what he experiences in his everyday life doesn’t compare to what he has encountered when visiting his mother at Laurel Plaza, he said.

“It smells so bad in her apartment that I have to wear a respirator,” Mickel said. “Seriously, I clean sewers out. I don’t have a problem with sewers but seriously I have to wear a respirator. I can’t deal with that.”

Laurel Plaza is managed by the New Braunfels Housing Authority. Though it has New Braunfels in its name, the housing authority is not a city-run entity.

In fact, determining who runs the authority proved problematic Friday.

A call to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs didn’t answer the question. A spokeswoman there referred calls to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

A HUD spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment on the struggles residents at Laurel Plaza say they are facing.

A visit to the New Braunfels Housing Authority offices also proved fruitless. Programs Manager Mickey Lloyd, who manages the apartment building, said he felt uncomfortable answering questions about the building, which sits adjacent to his office at 300 Laurel Lane. Lloyd offered his business card and suggested a reporter submit questions in writing.

He did not reply to an email with a list of questions detailing the complaints and asking for answers.

That’s typical behavior for Lloyd, some residents said.

They said he has ordered the gate to the apartment building’s parking lot be closed at a certain hour and issued gate keys to only certain residents. He has threatened, with little explanation, to end the social gatherings enjoyed by many such as bingo and special lunches held in the apartment building’s community center, residents said.

Some said he has evicted or threatened to evict residents, which has left others terrified.

One woman who asked that her name not be used said management has threatened to punish residents who have bed bugs in their homes.

“If they find bed bugs in your apartment, they tell you that you can’t come out for two weeks,” she said. “He told everybody if you have bed bugs you can’t come out.”

The stories about management’s treatment of residents couldn’t be independently confirmed, but a parade of complainants reached out to the Herald-Zeitung with story after story.

Lloyd’s decision not to speak helped to shed no light on the situation.

A call to a city department helped confirm the pest infestation problem, however.

Inspectors with New Braunfels’ environmental services division have visited the property several times over the past few months, Environmental Services Manager Bryan V. Ruiz said.

Staff members have reviewed the property, checking common areas such as the hallways, laundry rooms and the basement, Ruiz said.

“We’ve had complaints for rodents, rats. We’ve found some droppings,” he said. “They have pest control companies coming out. One is their normal monthly maintenance company. Another is a company that comes out once a week baiting and trapping trying to remove any rodents they have inside the structure.”

His team has no jurisdiction to check inside individual apartments, Ruiz said.

His department first learned of the issues back in the fall. They’ve been trying since about December to stay on top of the issue and make sure management is following a program to clean up the problems, Ruiz said.

“The pest control companies have been out there every week,” he said. “It’s a large complex so it’s not going to happen overnight to get it under control.”

Getting it under control can’t happen fast enough for Mickel.

He said the problems have caused issues with he and his wife. The wife complained about the smell and thought his mother was being less than cleanly, but they eventually learned the problem was much bigger and extended well beyond his mother’s unit, Mickel said.

He hopes to see some results, because his mother doesn’t want to move. But her remaining in the apartment building weighs on his mind.

“It makes me very concerned,” Mickel said. “That apartment is filled with elderly people or disabled people. They’re stuck.”