Q & A With Bed Bug Expert Jeff White

For those of you don’t know who Jeff White is, check out our latest bed bug pro interview below to learn about this bed bug wrangling expert. He’s one of the good guys who give us professionals a good name. He works tirelessly so eradicate bed bugs from this earth and trying to do it all while being a dad. He’s a regular guy like the rest of us pros but he has the expertise and experience to teach us a thing or two. Relax and take notes. 

  • James: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule for speaking with us Jeff. Please introduce your self.
  • Jeff White:My name is Jeff White and I’m the Director of Innovation and Technical Content with BedBug Central and Cooper Pest Solutions in New Jersey.
  • James: Thanks for that Jeff, We always hear great things about Cooper pest. Being in this field I hear rediclious myths about bed bugs. Some people told me they think they fly, others think they’re able to hop like fleas.What do you think the 3 most inaccurate myths are about bed bugs? (By the general public)
  • Jeff White:
  1. That bed bugs only effect those that are dirty or poor.  Bed bugs have no association with dirty homes.
  2. That you cannot see bed bugs with the naked eye.  Bed bugs are readily visible with the naked eye, especially as adults.
  3. Since bed bugs aren’t on the news anymore they aren’t as much of a problem.  Nothing has changed since the media spike in 2010.  The only difference is that media outlets aren’t covering it.  Bed bugs are the same as they were in 2010 and in some communities worse.
  • James: For those who don’t know, Jeff takes much time out of his busy schedule for public education. He has a channel on Youtube called BedBugtv. Jeff can you tell everyone a little about BBTV?
  • Jeff WhiteBed Bug TV started in 2008.  At the time there was a lot of poor information that caused hysteria in those researching bed bugs.  Bed Bug TV was created to provide an easy-to-digest format to learn about bed bugs in a light-hearted fashion.  The vision was quality education in a manner that calms the nerves.
  • James: How did you get involved in Pest Control? Did you have other directions you could have gone in life, but loved pest control too much?
  • Jeff White:After completing my Masters at the University of Florida I was accepted to Rutgers University to begin my PhD.  Six months before starting my soon-to-be major professor, Dr. Sridhar Polavarapu, informed me he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away shortly before I was scheduled to begin.  He was kind enough before his passing to find another laboratory for me to work in and complete my PhD but I struggled to find the right program and decided 2 years into my studies that pursuing my PhD was not the right career path for me at that time.  After a few months of failing to find a job in the forest or agricultural entomology sector I decided to apply to be a technician in a pest control company to pay bills until I could find a permanent position (even though I had zero experience in the pest control industry).  At that point I opened a phone book and Cooper Pest Solutions ad caught my attention so I called to see if they were hiring technicians.  In a moment of “right place, right time” I quickly found that Cooper’s entomologist gave his notice the day before I called.  I interviewed the next day, was hired on the spot and that was February 13, 2006, the rest is history.  Shortly after being hired I was given the task of creating the bed bug program side by side with Rick Cooper. In 2007, we created BedBug Central and this platform allowed me to become involved with many different aspects of the industry.
  • James: Without naming any specific names, Where was the most uncommon place that your company had to treat for bed bugs?
  • Jeff White: Although it shouldn’t be a surprise since bed bugs will travel wherever people do, public environments often surprise people.  We have been involved with many different offices and schools.  Other unique environments are cars, public transit, libraries amongst many others.
  • James: What are some hobbies you have outside eliminating pests? Tell us something that people may not know!
  • Jeff White: Between work and being knee-deep in raising my two boys with my wife (Evan is 4 and Alexander is 2), there isn’t much time for hobbies! That being said I enjoy working on my golf game.  Throughout my life I’ve been a fairly athletic person who has quickly picked-up and been respectable at most sports.  Golf has challenged me and provided me something to focus on and an escape from the daily grind.
  • James: How do you feel about Canine bed bug inspections?
  • Jeff White: Tricky topic.  I think canines are a tool to inspect for bed bugs.  That being said you need to understand that they aren’t perfect and you can’t just trust what a canine is saying.  You need to be doing something to verify what the dog is saying and if you can’t you should be setting up a monitoring program where the dog indicated bed bugs were present to confirm the issue.  I believe canines are best suited for the detection of bed bugs in public settings (offices, schools, etc…) because visual inspecting large areas is time-limiting and canines are the only tools that can inspect large areas in short amounts of time.  In residential settings I would rather rely on monitors such as interception devices (such as BlackOut, Climbup or SenSci Activ Volcano) or other options to detect bed bugs.  Although they may take a few weeks to detect lower level problems (where only a few bugs are present) they are very effective.
  • James: Thank you so much for all that Jeff. I always watched your videos and thought I knew you, but now I know you much better! Thanks for taking time out to talk to me and spread the good word on bed bugs. You give all us PCOs a great name. Keep up the good work!
  • Jeff White: Thank you!

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