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Bed bugs continue to affect society and place a burden on public health systems; experiences of the Let’s Beat the Bug! campaign are presented to help information networks prepare personnel to effectively address questions about this pest. Following recommendations from the Minnesota state bed bug working group, a phone and email information line was established, and the Web site, was revised. The Information Line primarily assisted people who had issues dealing with failed treatments and landlord reluctance to take effective measures against this pest. Web site visits indicated a preference for learning do-it-yourself control methods. There were commonalities in the information sought from both services. People were often looking for reassurance, in addition to information about basic prevention and control of bed bugs. We present here priority topics that public health personnel should be prepared to answer if they receive inquiries about bed bugs.

Dr. Stephen Kells, University of Minnesota

Dr. Stephen A. Kells is an Associate Professor in the Entomology Department the University of Minnesota. Steve obtained his BSc. (Agriculture) and MSc. (Entomology) from the University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada).  Steve then researched urban pests at the Center for Urban and Industrial Pest Management (Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA).  In 1998, he received his Ph.D. and completed an additional year of post-doctoral research at the Post-Harvest Education and Research Center.  Steve then served as Technical Director at Abell Pest Control, Inc. for Canadian and US operations.   Since 2004, he has worked in extension education and research in Urban and Stored Product Entomology. During this time, he worked to develop non-chemical options for controlling bed bugs and he conducted research on the aggregation behavior of this pest.  His extension programming through the “Let’s Beat the Bug” campaign has been highly successful in helping those affected by bed bugs.  Steve has also published several articles research journals and trade publications. Return to Conference Schedule