MM Novato Reviews

Heat treatments with electric heaters are significantly safer than other gas-powered heat treatment methods. Those may use more powerful heaters, but they carry a real risk to excessive carbon monoxide exposure, in addition to a risk of accidental fires. Fortunately, the new Tri-Flo 15-amp heat treatment system is here to help. This is the first […]

Tri-Flo 15-Amp Bed Bug Heat Treatment Kit Review

Heat treatments with electric heaters are significantly safer than other gas-powered heat treatment methods. Those may use more powerful heaters, but they carry a real risk to excessive carbon monoxide exposure, in addition to a risk of accidental fires. Fortunately, the new Tri-Flo 15-amp heat treatment system is here to help. This is the first complete room treatment solution that can be run on standard, grounded 15-amp outlets. They’re all-electric and ETL-certified to ensure safe operation, and they’re a lot simpler to transport and operate than the traditional propane and diesel-powered rigs normally used by professionals. But can these simplified packages really get the job done? Let’s find out.

Benefits of an Electric Heat Treatment

Regardless of the type of equipment used, a heat treatment can be an effective option for professionals working with many small units. Hotel owners, property managers, and pest control professionals all benefit from rotating through units with heat treatment kits. Hotels can treat rooms faster and get them back in service sooner so they can start collecting revenue again. Less follow-up effort is required per room, and the overall cost can be lower once the same equipment has been used in several treatments.

Heat treatments with electric heaters are significantly safer than other heat treatment methods, such as kerosene or propane. The latter may use more powerful heaters, but at a real risk to excessive carbon monoxide exposure, in addition to the previously discussed risk of accidental fires. The right electric-only gear, such as the Tri-Flo kit, would be ETL-certified to ensure safe operation.

Unboxing and First Impressions

Like other professional-oriented gear we’ve reviewed, the Tri-Flo treatment kits ship out in discrete, flair-free packaging. No bright colors or gaudy marketing material here – Tri-Flo ships only what you need and nothing else. The kit will come in multiple boxes, some for the large heater units and others for the circulation fans included to improve heating efficiency.

While the unpacked arrangement may seem complicated to heat treatment newcomers, Tri-Flo’s packages are much simpler from the start than the heating gear that pest pros are used to. Electric heat setups usually require at least a 3-phase, 20kW diesel generator. Those weigh almost 800 pounds and need to be towed to the job site. In addition to the fuel, hookups, and the (traditionally larger and more complex) heaters and fans themselves, complete setups used to start at over $40,000. Compared to that headache, the eight-piece Tri-Flo rig is a huge relief when it comes to cost and setup.

1400-watt Tri-Flo heaters

The heater units themselves are very sturdily made, thanks to their stamped metal bodies, and the lack of a gas-powered motor keeps the package’s noise, weight, and maintenance needs at a minimum. The included Stanley circulation fans are simple and ergonomic in design, and provide side-mounted 110V outlets so that they can be daisy-chained to each other. This cuts down on the total number of outlets your kit needs: rather than needing four separate sockets for your fans, you could cut it down to just one if you can position the fans accordingly.

Using the Tri-Flo Kit

Before hooking up the heaters and beginning your treatment, there are a couple of steps you’ll need to do to prepare the room. Begin by inspecting the room, if you haven’t already, to gauge the severity of the infestation. Remove the sheets on the side of each bed in the room and inspect along the seams of the mattress for black dots (fecal matter), brownish transparent bed bug shells or actual bed bugs. Inspect the box springs as well, including the corner guards, which are a popular hiding spot for bed bugs. Check the sheets for small blood stains, which could be indicative of bed bugs.

Reduce clutter in the room to reduce hiding places and speed up the heating process. Things like clothes, books, drawer contents, and small electronics should be sealed in garbage bags and stored away from the room. Remove any couch seat cushions and lean the mattress and box spring upright against the wall. Open any dresser drawers and closet doors to ensure adequate heatup inside and out.

Once you’re ready to start your treatment, pre-heat the room by setting the thermostat to the highest setting available, ideally 90 degrees or more.

Place the heater units around the bed and other key treatment areas so that they heat up first. In order to hook the heaters up, you’ll need to find separate circuits for each unit. A hotel room will typically have at least two circuits: one in the bathroom, and another in the bedroom. You can use extension cords to reach a circuit in an adjacent room.

Turn the heaters on the high setting and monitor the room’s temperature until it hits roughly 106 degrees. The kits include a handheld laser thermometer to help with this. Once the room temperature has reached about 106 degrees, place the included fans in the room to provide heat circulation. Point the fans at the most heavily infested areas and turn them on the high setting. This will accelerate the convection effect, allowing the overall temperature to rise over the lethal 121 degrees we’re shooting for.

Monitor the room’s temperature until it hits around 130 degrees for 2 to 4 hours, depending on the level of infestation. This temperature will be uncomfortable to stay present in, so check in every 30 minutes or so with the included laser thermometer.

After the heat treatment is finished, you’ll want to follow up with a residual spray application. Look for sprays labeled for the surfaces in the room, such as CrossFire or Temprid. Then apply bed bug proof mattress and box spring covers and ClimbUp Insect Interceptors if the bed didn’t have those already.

Wrapping Up

Bed bug heat treatments have been as effective for many users as they are risk- and cost-prohibitive for others. With the prospect of hauling around hundreds of pounds of gear and dealing with diesel or kerosene, in addition to the added noise and chemical exposure, most professionals have resigned to using slower alternative treatment methods that require multiple follow-ups.

The Tri-Flo heat treatment kits are here to change that. These are simple, effective, and safe alternatives to the gas motor-powered heaters in the field today. One plug per heater, and you’re in business; no generators, no fuel, and no extra power equipment. For the first time, hotel managers, property managers, and pest control operators have access to a truly safe and cost-effective heat treatment package.

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MM Novato Reviews

CrossFire bed bug concentrate is the latest and greatest formula used by pest management professionals. Unlike other products on the market, CrossFire is designed and labeled exclusively for use against bed bugs. Insecticide concentrates present a great value for high-volume users, but homeowners and property managers don’t always want to measure and mix insecticides with […]

CrossFire Aerosol Bed Bug Spray Review

CrossFire bed bug concentrate is the latest and greatest formula used by pest management professionals. Unlike other products on the market, CrossFire is designed and labeled exclusively for use against bed bugs. Insecticide concentrates present a great value for high-volume users, but homeowners and property managers don’t always want to measure and mix insecticides with water in a tank; they’d much prefer to use an aerosol product that’s ready to work right away. That’s why MGK came out with CrossFire Aerosol: this is the same leading formula in a convenient aerosol package. No measuring or mixing needed. Just grab a can, shake it up, and start treating.

Dual action formula

CrossFire AerosolCrossFire is the latest bed bug formula from MGK, and has been in development for years. It combines two active ingredients with an insecticide synergist for a potent dual-action effect. The contact killer, metofluthrin, is synergized with PBO to prevent recovery by bed bugs that are resistant to pyrethroids. Clothianidin is the residual, and was to break down very slowly, allowing it to stay effective for months.

Both chemicals penetrate the bed bugs’ exoskeleton and attack their central nervous system. This causes their nervous system to overreact, causing paralysis then death. CrossFire is non-repellant, and kills within 5 minutes of exposure. It’s also been proven effective against resistant strains of bed bugs and their eggs.

What’s interesting is that CrossFire is currently the only aerosol product we offer that doesn’t have a signal word on its label. This means that CrossFire’s ingredients are considered to have minimal toxicity to humans. Even so, we still recommend that you follow the basic safety guidelines suggested by the EPA and the manufacturer. This includes taking care to keep the chemicals off your skin and out of your eyes and mouth.

Using CrossFire Aerosol

Using CrossFire Aerosol

CrossFire Aerosol comes with a high-volume jet nozzle and a low-volume tube attachment. For spot treatments, hold the nozzle about a foot away from the treatment surface and spray for about 2 seconds per foot. For cracks and crevices, use the low-volume tube attachment and insert the injector tip into the space, then spray to fill the void.

Apply CrossFire to cracks and crevices, like on or around baseboards, floorboards, bed frames, headboards, furniture, door and window frames, closets, beneath floor coverings, and the edges of the carpet. CrossFire can also be applied directly to the seams and folds of your mattress and box spring. Spray until the fabric is damp but not wet, and wait for the bed to dry before you put your linens back on. Make sure that you read and follow the product label and MSDS for safe and effective usage.

For best results, combine CrossFire Aerosol with other pest management tactics, such as thorough inspection and non-chemical treatment methods like vacuuming, steaming, and heating. You’ll also want to protect your bed with certified bed bug proof mattress, box spring, and pillow encasements, and isolate your bed frame with ClimbUp Interceptors. For a complete guide to a professional-grade bed bug treatment, check out our proven 4-step solution.

CrossFire Aerosol

CrossFire Aerosol will be the new standard for home bed bug treatment tools. Alongside other methods, using CrossFire will greatly increase your chances of success, thanks to its synergized, resistance-fighting formula and its super-long residual effect. There’s no such thing as a silver bullet for bed bug treatments, but the latest development trend is producing results that come pretty close. CrossFire is the latest fruit of that trend, and we highly recommend it.

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MM Novato Treatments

If you own or manage a hotel, you know all about the current bed bug epidemic. Whether or not you’ve seen one yourself, you’ve seen the news and heard the worries from your guests. Yet most hotels don’t have a plan of action for bed bugs. Don’t wait for disaster to strike; learn how to treat […]

How to Treat a Hotel Room for Bed Bugs

If you own or manage a hotel, you know all about the current bed bug epidemic. Whether or not you’ve seen one yourself, you’ve seen the news and heard the worries from your guests. Yet most hotels don’t have a plan of action for bed bugs. Don’t wait for disaster to strike; learn how to treat a hotel room for bed bugs today so you’re prepared for the worst tomorrow.

A bed bug infestation can be devastating to a hotel’s operation. The room in question needs to be inspected and treated as soon as possible. Traditional treatment methods involve follow-ups lasting for weeks, during which the room can’t be safely occupied. Plus, nearby rooms are at risk of the spreading bed bug population.

Hotels are one of the most common victims of bed bug infestations due to the frequent rotation of travelers. Act fast and get your rooms back in service using this simple plan to treat a hotel room for bed bugs:

Supplies Needed

Tri-Flo 500 Combo

Before you begin to treat a hotel room, there is some equipment you’ll need to gather. First, you’ll need a Tri-Flo bed bug heat treatment kit with the correct connection types available to the room. There are two packages available for rooms up to 325 square feet: the 110 Starter includes three 110-volt, 1,800-watt heaters, while the 220 Starter includes a single 220-volt, 5,000-watt heater.

The 220 Starter needs access to a 30-amp plug; if you don’t have access to that, the 110 Starter is a suitable alternative and only requires access to three 20-amp plugs. Note that the average residential outlet type is only 15 amps, so they won’t be able to provide enough power for these heaters, hence the slightly differently shaped outlets.

Tri-Flo Plug Compatibility

The Tri-Flo 500 Combo package combines a 5,000-watt heater with two 1,800-watt heaters. This is a much more potent solution intended for larger spaces, and will require access to both 110-volt and 220-volt power sources on independent circuits. A typical hotel room will have separate circuits for the bedroom and for the bathroom, and you can use appropriately rated extension cords to reach circuits in adjacent rooms. If your kit needs a 30-amp circuit, one may be in use with the room’s wall-mounted AC unit.

The Tri-Flo kits each come with a handheld laser thermometer, but you may prefer to use wireless temperature probes to more easily monitor the temperature in various parts of the room. Ideally, you’ll have at least two wireless probes available: one for an open-air spot in the room and another for an insulated part of the bed.

In addition to the heat treatment kit, you’ll want to have some other gear handy as well to effectively treat a hotel room. All smart bed bug treatments should start with an inspection, so some basic inspection tools such as a flashlight and magnifying glass can help. After the heat treatment, you’ll need a set of mattress encasements, box spring encasements, and ClimbUp Interceptors for each bed in the room, if they aren’t protected already. You’ll also need a set of residual sprays that are labeled for the surfaces in the room, such as CrossFire Aerosol or JT Eaton Plus.

Inspection

Bed bugs on mattress seam

Begin by inspecting the room, if you haven’t already, to gauge the severity of the infestation. Remove the sheets on the side of each bed in the room and inspect along the seams and underside of the mattress for the following signs:

Fecal Spots are signs of bed bug waste. These look like thin black streaks, and can be seen on sheets and upholstered furniture.

Shed skins are left behind when a bed bug molts, a sure sign that they are progressing through the five instar phases to maturity. Like other insects, bed bugs have an exoskeleton that needs to be replaced by a larger shell as they grow. If you find these golden shells, you’ll know that bed bugs have been reproducing nearby.

Blood spots are dark and red and can be found where bed bugs have been crushed by a moving person or other activity that would open their stomach, releasing the freshly-consumed blood meal.

Bed bug eggs are milky white and about the size of a grain of rice. These are usually deposited two to five at a time, and will be dropped every day while a female is pregnant.

Bed bugs themselves are dark reddish brown, and will grow to about the size of an apple seed (roughly five millimeters). They have six legs, short antennae, and no functioning wings. Their big, segmented abdomen have tiny hairs that give the illusion of dark bands.

Inspect the box springs as well, including the corner guards, which are a popular hiding spot for bed bugs. Move slowly and carefully; if you rush this job, you might miss important signs. Once you’re done with the main sleeping area, expand from there to nearby furniture and flooring. Keep moving further and further away until you’ve covered the whole room.

Room Preparation

Reduce clutter in the room to reduce hiding places and speed up the heating process. Things like clothes, books, drawer contents, and small electronics should be sealed in garbage bags and stored away from the room. Remove any couch seat cushions and lean the mattress and box spring upright against the wall.

Open any dresser drawers and closet doors to ensure adequate heatup inside and out. Pre-heat the room by setting the thermostat to the highest setting available, ideally 90 degrees or more. Help seal the heat in the room by ensuring the windows are completely shut.

Heat Treatment

Hotel room layout

Place the heater units around the bed and other key treatment areas so that they heat up first. Turn the heaters on the high setting and monitor the room’s temperature until it hits roughly 106 degrees. The kits include a handheld laser thermometer to help with this.

Once the room temperature has reached about 106 degrees, place the included fans in the room to provide heat circulation. Point the fans at the most heavily infested areas and turn them on the high setting. This will accelerate the convection effect, allowing the overall temperature to rise over the lethal 121 degrees we’re shooting for.

Monitor the room’s temperature until it hits around 130 degrees for 2 to 4 hours, depending on the level of infestation. This temperature will be uncomfortable to stay present in, so check in every 30 minutes or so with the included laser thermometer.

Final Touches

After the heat treatment is finished, you’ll want to follow up with a residual spray application. Look for sprays labeled for the surfaces in the room, such as CrossFire Aerosol or JT Eaton Plus. Then apply bed bug proof mattress encasements, box spring encasements, and ClimbUp Interceptors if the bed didn’t have those already. This will help prevent bed bugs from reaching your guests in the bed, and will make it easier to routinely check for bed bug activity.

Note: Be sure to launder the encasements with the rest of the bedding every few months – wash using a fabric-safe setting and a detergent that doesn’t include bleach, then tumble dry on the low heat setting to prevent damaging the waterproof membrane.

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MM Novato Reviews

Heat treatments have proven to be very effective at killing bed bugs quickly and thoroughly. Exposure to heat above 120 degrees Fahrenheit will kill bed bugs of all life stages within just an hour. This saves time spent checking each and every item, and saves money that may otherwise be spent replacing infested items that […]

Tri-Flo Bed Bug Heat Treatment Kit Review

Tri-Flo 500 Combo

Heat treatments have proven to be very effective at killing bed bugs quickly and thoroughly. Exposure to heat above 120 degrees Fahrenheit will kill bed bugs of all life stages within just an hour. This saves time spent checking each and every item, and saves money that may otherwise be spent replacing infested items that are thrown out.

However, bed bug heat treatments are difficult to set up and execute. They’re normally done with forced-air kerosene or propane heaters and insulation throughout the room. This allows for rapid heat-up, but if done incorrectly could have disastrous results. Multiple homes have caught fire in recent years due to improper heat treatment attempts. It’s important that you use the right equipment and follow the right process.

Fortunately, the new Tri-Flo bed bug heat treatment kits are here to help. These are ETL-certified, UL-recognized heater designs that can safely heat up a room with minimal setup and no additional electric equipment than what is already available on site. But can these simplified packages really get the job done? Let’s find out.

Benefits of an Electric Heat Treatment

Regardless of the type of equipment used, a heat treatment can be an effective option for professionals working with many small units. Hotel owners, property managers, and pest control professionals all benefit from rotating through units with heat treatment kits. Hotels can treat rooms faster and get them back in service sooner so they can start collecting revenue again. Less follow-up effort is required per room, and the overall cost can be lower once the same equipment has been used in several treatments.

Heat treatments with electric heaters are significantly safer than other heat treatment methods, such as kerosene or propane. The latter may use more powerful heaters, but at a real risk to excessive carbon monoxide exposure, in addition to the previously discussed risk of accidental fires. The right electric-only gear, such as the Tri-Flo kit, would be ETL-certified to ensure safe operation.

Choosing a Tri-Flo Package

Tri-Flo Package Comparison

Before you purchase a Tri-Flo treatment kit, you’ll need to determine which package is right for your needs. There are two Starter packages available for rooms approximately 325 square feet or smaller. The 110 Starter includes three 1,800-watt heaters that use 20-amp plugs. These heaters are simple to hook up – just find three 110-volt, 20-amp outlets that are each on their own breaker to plug each heater into.

The 220 Starter has one, much more powerful 5,000-watt heater. With the 220 kit, you only have one heater that needs a plug, but it needs a 220-volt, 30-amp plug. This outlet is commonly used for large room heaters. If you don’t have access to that type of socket, the 110 Starter would be a suitable alternative; the three 110-watt heaters can match the 220-watt heater in heating power without the need for the 220-volt plug.

The Tri-Flo 500 Combo combines a 5,000-watt heater with two of the 1,800-watt heaters. This is a much more potent solution intended for larger spaces, and is ideal for rooms up to 500 square feet in size. However, the combo will require access to both 110-volt, 20-amp and 220-volt, 30-amp power sources, with each socket on independent circuits.

Unboxing and First Impressions

Like other professional-oriented gear we’ve reviewed, the Tri-Flo treatment kits ship out in discrete, flair-free packaging. No bright colors or gaudy marketing material here – Tri-Flo ships only what you need and nothing else. The kit will come in multiple boxes, some for the large heater units and others for the circulation fans included to improve heating efficiency.

While the unpacked arrangement may seem complicated to heat treatment newcomers, Tri-Flo’s packages are much simpler from the start than the heating gear that pest pros are used to. Electric heat setups usually require at least a 3-phase, 20kW diesel generator. Those weigh almost 800 pounds and need to be towed to the job site. In addition to the fuel, hookups, and the (traditionally larger and more complex) heaters and fans themselves, complete setups used to start at over $40,000. Compared to that headache, the 3- to 6-piece Tri-Flo rigs are a huge relief when it comes to cost and setup.

Tri-Flo bed bug heater

The heaters themselves appear very well made, especially considering their low price. The stamped metal design provides a durable design that should last through many treatments over the years with minimal upkeep. The lack of a gas-powered motor helps cut down on noise, maintenance, and weight, leaving only a simple and compact heater design.

The included Stanley circulation fans are simple and ergonomic in design, and provide side-mounted 110V, 15-amp outlets so that they can be daisy-chained to each other. This cuts down on the total number of 110V outlets your kit needs: rather than needing three separate sockets for your fans, you could cut it down to just one if you can position the fans accordingly.

Using the Tri-Flo Kit

Before hooking up the heaters and beginning your treatment, there are a couple of steps you’ll need to do to prepare the room. Begin by inspecting the room, if you haven’t already, to gauge the severity of the infestation. Remove the sheets on the side of each bed in the room and inspect along the seams of the mattress for black dots (fecal matter), brownish transparent bed bug shells or actual bed bugs. Inspect the box springs as well, including the corner guards, which are a popular hiding spot for bed bugs. Check the sheets for small blood stains, which could be indicative of bed bugs.

Reduce clutter in the room to reduce hiding places and speed up the heating process. Things like clothes, books, drawer contents, and small electronics should be sealed in garbage bags and stored away from the room. Remove any couch seat cushions and lean the mattress and box spring upright against the wall. Open any dresser drawers and closet doors to ensure adequate heatup inside and out.

Tri-Flo treatment layout

Once you’re ready to start your treatment, pre-heat the room by setting the thermostat to the highest setting available, ideally 90 degrees or more.

Place the heater units around the bed and other key treatment areas so that they heat up first. In order to hook the heaters up, you’ll need to find separate circuits for each unit. A hotel room will typically have at least two circuits: one in the bathroom, and another in the bedroom. A third 220-volt connection may be in use with a wall-mounted AC unit so you can use that for a 5,000-watt heater if your kit includes one; otherwise, you can use extension cords to reach a circuit in an adjacent room.

Turn the heaters on the high setting and monitor the room’s temperature until it hits roughly 106 degrees. The kits include a handheld laser thermometer to help with this. Once the room temperature has reached about 106 degrees, place the included fans in the room to provide heat circulation. Point the fans at the most heavily infested areas and turn them on the high setting. This will accelerate the convection effect, allowing the overall temperature to rise over the lethal 121 degrees we’re shooting for.

Monitor the room’s temperature until it hits around 130 degrees for 2 to 4 hours, depending on the level of infestation. This temperature will be uncomfortable to stay present in, so check in every 30 minutes or so with the included laser thermometer.

After the heat treatment is finished, you’ll want to follow up with a residual spray application. Look for sprays labeled for the surfaces in the room, such as CrossFire or Temprid. Then apply bed bug proof mattress and box spring covers and ClimbUp Insect Interceptors if the bed didn’t have those already.

Wrapping Up

Bed bug heat treatments have been as effective for many users as they are risk- and cost-prohibitive for others. With the prospect of hauling around hundreds of pounds of gear and dealing with diesel or kerosene, in addition to the added noise and chemical exposure, most professionals have resigned to using slower alternative treatment methods that require multiple follow-ups.

The Tri-Flo heat treatment kits are here to change that. These are simple, effective, and safe alternatives to the gas motor-powered heaters in the field today. One plug per heater, and you’re in business; no generators, no fuel, and no extra power equipment. For the first time, hotel managers, property managers, and pest control operators have access to a truly safe and cost-effective heat treatment package.

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MM Novato News

The bed bug epidemic is a strange and mysterious occurrence. Bed bugs have seen a huge resurgence worldwide, and researchers have yet to determine why. We thought we had it bad enough with the bed bugs we knew. Now, there is a whole other beast to worry about: tropical bed bugs are back. There are […]

Tropical Bed Bugs Invade Florida

Tropical bed bug

Tropical bed bug sample. Photo credit: Ken Walker, Museum Victoria

The bed bug epidemic is a strange and mysterious occurrence. Bed bugs have seen a huge resurgence worldwide, and researchers have yet to determine why. We thought we had it bad enough with the bed bugs we knew. Now, there is a whole other beast to worry about: tropical bed bugs are back.

There are two species of bed bugs that feed on humans. The first is called the common bed bug, or Cimex lectularius. It gets that name because it’s everywhere: common bed bugs can be found in all 50 states, and are widespread throughout the rest of the world. The tropical bed bug, Cimex hemipterus, is much less common. Tropical bed bugs have only been found in subtropic or tropic regions such as Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore.

Until recently, the common bed bug was thought to be the only species of bed bug found in the US. It is also subsequently the only species that has been widely studied. Now all of that may change with the discovery of the tropical bed bug, a pest thought long gone from the states.

The new case of tropical bed bugs was discovered in a home on Merritt Island, Florida. Florida is one of a few southern states that is believed to have the ideal conditions for tropical bed bugs to flourish. However, an infestation hasn’t been reported in over 60 years until now.

On the surface, tropical bed bugs are almost identical to the common bed bugs that we know and hate. Like common bed bugs, tropical bed bugs are flat, oval-shaped critters with six legs, short antennae, and small, vestigal wing pads. Where they differ in appearance is their neck segment, called a “pronotum”. While the common bed bug has a U-shaped pronotum that flares out on either side, the tropical bed bug’s pronotum is narrower and lacks those wing-like extensions.

Researchers at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences are asking the public to send samples of suspected tropical bed bugs. For more on this story, and on submitting samples, check out the UF/IFAS’s press release.

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