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University of Missouri-St. Louis Receives Grant to Combat Bed Bugs

Release Date: 04/06/2011
Contact Information: Ben Washburn, (913) 551-7364, washburn.ben@epa.gov


Environmental News


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Kansas City, Kan., April 6, 2011) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is awarding a grant totaling $89,074 to the University of Missouri-St. Louis to conduct research and educate high poverty communities, minorities, and immigrants about the dangers of bed bugs. The University of Missouri-St. Louis will partner with the St. Louis Lead Prevention Coalition to administer the grant.

The 12-month project will develop training materials for building inspectors and social service agencies that serve low-income minority and immigrant neighborhoods, assist residents in addressing existing bed bug infestation problems, and proactively avoid a larger contamination problem through the following initiatives:

  • Help households create healthy home environments through education and understanding how the environment impacts health.
  • Assure public policy is appropriately addressing the problem by distributing model ordinances and codes to governmental jurisdictions in the affected community.
  • Creation of a smart phone friendly website to distribute general information about bed bugs, bed bug control, prevention, and identification.
  • Creation of a Facebook page to complement the website in distributing information about bed bugs. The Facebook page will function as a source of highly portable and up-to-the minute information about the most effective strategies for preventing, controlling, and eradicating bed bugs.
  • Creation of a graphic booklet that focuses on key information that will be most effective in the fight against bed bugs.
Infestations of bed bugs have spread to many cities around the United States in recent years. As part of the Federal Bed Bug Workgroup, EPA helped develop a national Bed Bug Summit in early February. The Agency has worked with various federal agencies to explore and develop techniques for combating the influx of bed bugs. The bed bug grants are a further step in educating consumers and professionals about the pests.
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