New York, New York — In order to educate at least 50 low income communities in New Jersey, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a $100,000 grant to Rutgers University.
In addition to the educational outreach program to be implemented, the grant will also be used to set up a model Integrated Pest Management Program in an affordable housing community in Jersey City. The pest management model will focus on community participation, early detection, and non-chemical control practices. Further, initiatives that deal with the use of low toxicity insecticides in managing bed bugs will also be put into consideration.
Regional Administrator Judith Enck said that these types of projects are an important component in their fight against bed bugs. “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.”
The program came to rise due to the growing concern over bedbug costs. In a survey conducted by Rutgers, about five in eight communities showed a growing bed bug costs from 2008-2009. Further, 3 out of 14 surveyed management teams said that they can afford bed bug control.
To address this concern, Rutgers and four other organizations throughout the country have received grant awards that will be used to implement new approaches in managing bed bugs programs. EPA is also working with various federal agencies and communities in developing techniques in combating pests.