New bed bug codes of practice published – UK and Australia

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Joining the revised UK European code (second edition) released earlier in the year comes the revises and very recently published Australian (fourth) edition.

In the last issue of Pest magazine (Issue 25 January & February 2013) we reviewed the European Code of Practice Bed Bug Management – click here to see – and a copy of the Code itself can be downloaded if you click here.

Now the fourth edition of A Code of Practice for the Control of Bed Bug Infestations in Australia (CoP) has been released. A copy of the new Australian CoP can be downloaded by clicking here. Also worth a read are the submissions made commenting on the revised fourth code – click here to read.

With Stephen Doggett of Westmead Hospital in New South Wales as the principle author, this Australian code blazed a trail for all other codes subsequently introduced elsewhere in the world. However, in the preface to this updated edition, Stephen pays tribute to two of the subsequent codes.

He explains: “The European Code of Practice Bed Bug Management was initially developed from the third edition of the Australian CoP and has been adapted for the European market. This has become a quality document such that the current edition of the CoP has cherry-picked the best from the European CoP. The organisation behind the European CoP, the Bed Bug Foundation (BBF), has joined forces with the Working Party for the Australian CoP, in an information co-sharing arrangement to better improve standards on bed bug management. The chair of the BBF, Oliver Madge, is especially acknowledged for his collaboration.”

Also recognised is the NPMA Bed Bugs Best Management Practices from the USA, released in 2011. While more limited in detail and scope then the European Code, it is a welcome addition to the fight against bed bugs and does contain useful information that was used to enhance the Australian CoP.

The preface continues by explaining that bed bugs remain an international problem and infestations can only be reduced in number worldwide if best practice management options are undertaken globally. If one were to seek an example of transnational co-operation in the pest management industry, you need look no further than these bed bug codes.

This fourth edition is more a refinement of the previous edition and there are few major amendments or additions. One of the big trends in the US is the use of thermal heating to control bed bugs which is now included in this CoP. However, Stephen councils caution and says: “If done properly thermal heat can result in the very quick eradication of infestations. Unfortunately however, there has been a recent series of fires resulting in the complete destruction of buildings with the use of heating and so such technology should only be employed by the most experienced.”

Regarding products such as monitors and other devices these are still excluded from the new CoP. “Very few have been verified as efficacious by an independent scientific body. Accordingly, the use of any management device not specifically supported in this CoP is not recommended,” concludes Stephen.


European Code v2
The European Code 
– version 2
Australian Code - 4th edition

The new Australian CoP 
– version 4 

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