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Rutgers Awarded EPA Grant to Fight Bed Bugs

Release Date: 04/07/2011
Contact Information: John Martin, (212) 637-3662, martin.johnj@epa.gov

(New York, N.Y.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today it has awarded Rutgers University nearly $100,000 to implement a bed bug education educational outreach program in at least 50 low income communities in New Jersey. Rutgers will also use the grant to set up a model Integrated Pest Management program at an affordable housing community in Jersey City. This model will focus on community participation, early detection, and non-chemical control practices, and will use of low-toxicity insecticides to manage bed bug infestations.
“Projects such as this are an important component of our fight against bed bugs,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “Bed bugs are a problem that hits all communities and they are a particular problem in New Jersey, where we have the highest population density in the country. The best way to fight bed bugs is to be educated on what does and doesn’t work and to find practical, lower cost ways of reducing infestations.”

A February 2010 survey conducted by Rutgers found that five out of eight surveyed communities experienced increased bed bug control costs from 2008 to 2009. Only three out of 14 surveyed management teams said they could afford bed bug control.

To help combat bed bug infestations that have spread throughout the United States in recent years, EPA has been working with various federal agencies and communities to develop techniques for combating the pests. In addition to Rutgers, four other organizations throughout the nation have been awarded grants to implement new approaches in managing bed bug programs. Lessons learned from these grants will be made available by EPA to other communities.

The Rutgers grant will provide the school with $99,688 over the program’s 19 month duration.

For more information on bed bugs, visit http://www.epa.gov/bedbugs.

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