The Affordable, Twenty-Dollar System that Transforms Bed Bug Problems into Viable Solutions

bedbugdot picThe Bedbugdot Company announced the launch of their flagship product Bedbugdot™, the simple, easy to use bed bug early-warning system to help people discover bed bugs before they develop into serious infestations.

A great concern with the persistent growth of bed bugs today is the environmental impact within communities across the nation. There seems to be no stopping them and anyone can get them. Bed bugs transfer on people’s personal belongings as people carry them to work, friends’ and other family members homes, on public transportation and social environments by people who have infestations but are not aware they do.

For some, the bed bug bite leaves an obvious itchy red mark, yet there are those who show no symptoms from the bites. The primary reason for people calling on a pest professional is mysterious bites, yet having early introduction stages of bed bugs can present a problem even for the most trained professional to find.

Bedbugdot design is the culmination of over 6 years of research, development, and offers the most effective, low-cost and environmentally friendly solution for early detection of bed bugs. The discreet design provides 24-hour protection and detection when physically placed in the most common places where bed bugs hide.

Constructed from a paper and cardboard material that bed bugs prefer, each dot is handmade using recycled materials and packaged in a 24 Home Value Pack that provides enough for apartments, condominiums, townhomes, dorms and small homes and businesses.

The consumer follows simple instructions to apply the dots in most often-occupied places and check often for bed bug signs; live bugs, eggs, cast skins and fecal stains. Once the consumer recognizes a sign, they call in their professional for verification and a treatment.

The cost for treating an “infestation” versus “early introduction” can be four to five times more. The bedbugdot saves people money while stopping unknown infestations from growing into breeding grounds and spreading.

The consumer also gets the advantage and benefit of sensible bed bug education that explains the importance of knowing what processes do not work for bed bugs with a FREE E-book ($9.95 Retail Value). This saves them from making mistakes that can cause the spread bed bugs.

The company believes that if they can get people looking for signs at an earlier stage, pest management can go in and rid them of bed bugs before they get a chance to spread them structurally and throughout their communities, work, school and businesses. This helps to cut down on severe infestations, unaffordable costs and the great emotional suffering people go through.

For more information visit www.bedbugdot.com or for distribution and retail inquires call 844-923-3284 #2

Are You Booking at Bed Bug Hotel From HELL?

HOSPITALITY COVERIt’s two AM in the morning and in the middle of a sound sleep, my phone rings.

I wake to the soft voice of a young lady whispering through her tears and exhaustion, “I have hundreds of bites all over my body and the guy at the hotel just told me there is nothing they can do until the manager shows up in the morning”.

All too often, I hear people’s cries for help in the middle of the night waking to the torment of bed bugs crawling on them. It doesn’t surprise me any longer that this is happening but the shame of it all is there has been plenty of time and information for these hotels to have learned about bed bugs. They should know by now how bed bugs can significantly ruin one’s reputation as well as hit their pocket books through bed bug lawsuits; yet surprisingly hardly any of them have done what is necessary to prevent these things from happening.

Every day articles pop up on the internet with reports of this or that hotel is ridden with bed bugs and innocent people fall victim to bites and taking bed bugs home with them. In most of these cases, the guest has no clue that they have picked up a hitchhiker to invade their personal space once they return from their trip. In other cases, they very well know their encounter supplied them with signs of bed bugs through bites and bloodstains on the morning sheets but they still wind up bringing them home with them because they just don’t know what to do.

Either way there is no excuse for these hotels to not know what to do to prevent and protect their hotels and guests from bed bugs.

Another recent caller expressed that they stayed at 5 different hotels during their trip and have no clue which hotel they could have picked bed bugs up from.

Because I address so many of these calls I compiled information needed to educate these hotels and created a Layered Defense Strategy© to help to protect their guests and stay out of the courts, all for UNDER fifteen dollars!

Setting up a proper defense strategy isn’t rocket science but may cost hotels a little up-front costs. Instead these hotels continue their ignorance by keeping their heads in the sand and “react” after the fact which puts them in position for a law suit and ruined reputation. A little money up front saves them  lots of money on the back end!

People on my calls ask what is it that I do when booking in a hotel and I answer:

If I was to book a trip and was staying at a particular hotel my first advice to all consumers is check online to see if they have been “written up lately” and if they were, find out how they handled the situation. There are several web sites you can look at including and not limited to the Bed Bug Registry, Trip Advisor.

Do your homework – search out all possible resources!

Don’t expect hotels to tell you the truth! As you will soon understand, many hotels don’t even want the whisper of bed bugs mentioned in any way and chose to ignore the possibilities.

PROVIDING YOU PACKED PROPERLY TO PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL BELONGINGS FROM BED BUGS (Read Travelers Handbook first) AND BEFORE ACTUALLY BOOKING THE HOTEL ASK THESE QUESTIONS:

  • When was the last report of bed bugs?
  • Do they monitor and have regular inspections for bed bugs done by a bed bug professional?
  • Ask to see the most recent report.
  • Understanding bed bugs could have come in with the last guest or housekeeping staff and can go unnoticed, if you were to encounter any bed bugs in your room, what is their protocol?
  • Do they have the right facilities and products to treat your belongings in the case of suspected bed bugs before you leave the hotel?

And if you think any of this is crazy – then you have not experienced bed bugs during a trip or bringing bed bugs home from after your trip.

Don’t be one of those who say “I just didn’t think I could get them, or it was a five star hotel”. There is no reason that you shouldn’t thoroughly enjoy your trip and if you are prudent in the way you pack your belongings before your trip, carefully inspect your room before you retire, take every precaution possible, you can limit the possibilities of picking up a souvenir and bringing them back with you.

We are here to help you realize what needs to be done before you travel. www.ibbra.org

What You Need to know BEFORE you Sign a Bed Bug Addendum

signature

This is a long one but worth reading. I hope that it will inspire more people to ask more questions and know more BEFORE you move into a dwelling.

I receive calls all the time from people who have just signed a lease and moved into a unit that is infested with bed bugs. It is then that the landlord points the finger back at them and tells them they must have brought them in and refuses to do anything about it. I hope that this will help people ask as many questions and get it in writing before they sign a lease!

When my kids grew up and moved out, I moved from a house into an apartment. I hadn’t lived in an apartment for 38 years. Placed in front of me with a pen for signing was a stack of papers consisting of 30 pages deep! I felt more as if I was purchasing a home and signing escrow papers and not just leasing an apartment.

Like most people, the moving van was “waiting” outside which put a bit of pressure on me to get the papers signed quickly. I asked many questions as I initialed and signed every page. When the next page said Bed Bug Addendum I hesitated for quite some time, rose up my eyebrows and started to read every word before making any decision to sign it. I read over the addendum and saw many flaws in it that made me start to ask many questions. I thought about the people that sign this blindly knowing absolutely nothing about bed bugs and their nature.

No identification or pictures showing what they looked like, signs of them or where they hide or what not to do. There was no bed bug notice form to give my management if I should encounter them. Included was a single page with basic bed bug information.

I DIDN’T TELL THEM MY BACKGROUND AND ASKED:

The first thing out of my mouth was – you’re kidding me – what’s a bed bug?

  • How do I know the person before me that just moved out didn’t have bed bugs?
  • What proof did they have to show me that there positively are no bed bugs other than me taking their word for it?
  • And suppose the person who just moved out did have bed bugs and they didn’t know that they did? Am I now moving my personal belongings into the unit and risk having bed bugs riddle my belongings and getting bit?
  • What about the apartment beside me or below or above me? Have these people been fully educated on bed bugs? Have these units been checked on a regular basis? Or maybe the people have bed bugs and are one of those who don’t get affected by the bites? How can I be assured?

The staff member which sat in front of me was flabbergasted and could not answer any of my concerns or questions. She looked at me with a blank stare and said “It’s a little brown bug the size of an apple seed, if you find any, let us know”.

Now that was comforting I thought to myself (sarcastically).

While I am not an attorney, and this is not meant to be a legal representation or documentation, the attorney that I do work with has given an extremely powerful and meaningful observation to this sticky issue. Being a consumer I too fall victim to many of the same things others do and write for the purpose of public awareness.

Disclaimer: Always have your attorney review any paperwork you sign and consult with your own attorney to explain further anything you don’t understand in any Bed Bug Addendum.

The biggest problem I personally see with this type of written bed bug addendum is that holding the tenant responsible in this way and them knowing it, causes them to “hide” the fact that they have bed bug and they then try to self-treat which causes yet more problems. I have spoken to many tenants which refuse to “tell their landlords” because they don’t have the monies to pay for remediation better yet the neighbors unit.

WE TORE INTO THIS PARTICULAR BED BUG ADDENDUM TO EXPLAIN WHAT IT SAYS

When a tenant moves into a multi-unit property, they are often presented with a Bed Bug Addendum along with their standard lease. This addendum serves several purposes. It is my intention to help explain this addendum to you in the best way I can so that you understand what you are signing if you are a renter. In the first four paragraphs of this particular addendum, it is the intent of these addendums to serve as an acknowledgement of the possible problem of bed bugs.

Paragraph 1

An addendum, in general, is an addition required to be made to a document by its reader subsequent to its printing or publication. Your lease is a legal document and most importantly in legal contracts, an addendum is an additional document not included in the main part of the contract which may contain additional terms, specifications, provisions, standard forms or other information. The main lease contract has already been printed and the cost of destroying the batch and reprinting is deemed too high so an addendum is added.

Next Paragraph

PURPOSE – This portion “modifies” the original lease and assumes their “we take no responsibility” clauses by adding that THEY RELIED ON YOUR REPRESENTATIONS TO THEM.

DO NOT LIE ON THIS PLEASE! IF YOU HAD BED BUGS IN THE PAST, HAVE THEM NOW OR MOVED FROM ANOTHER PLACE BECAUSE OF THEM – THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO LIE. YOU CAN BE THE CAUSE OF BRINGING BED BUGS INTO A PREMISE THAT POTENTIALLY HAS NO BED BUGS!

Next Two Paragraphs

INSPECTION there are two paragraphs in which you have to agree with one or the other. In this addendum it was already filled out for me and I was not given a chance to choose which one I decided to do. They automatically checked the second one for me.

You agree that you: (Check one)

Have inspected the dwelling prior to move-in or signing this addendum and that you did not observe any evidence of bed bugs or bed bug infestation;

OR

Will inspect the dwelling within 48 hours after move-in or signing this addendum and will notify us of any bed bugs or bed bug infestation.

Most people sit at the desk of the agent, don’t read it completely and sign away. They don’t stop and go and look or ask pertinent questions.

  • Did you?
  • How do you know that the “inspection” was done by a qualified bed bug professional prior to cleaning the unit?
  • How do you positively know that there are no bed bugs?
  • What about surrounding units? Have they been recently inspected as well?
  • Where is the written reports and proof?
  • Has the unit or building been treated for bed bugs in the past?
  • How long ago?

Many times management will send in a cleaning staff BEFORE BED BUG INSPECTIONS ARE COMPLETED. The cleaning crews are not normally trained to notice signs of bed bugs and in many cases they “clean” any evidence of bed bugs up. (Paint over or clean fecal stains – vacuum remaining cast skins, etc.)

Then maintenance does a final inspection before a new tenant moves in to deem it ready. If any bed bugs are residing in the unit, they are now well hidden in cracks and crevices and cannot be visually found. This leaves a false sense of security where the management “thinks” there are no bed bugs in the unit. As stated in the addendum “far as the management knows”. I don’t know about you but I would like to see a written report from a professional.

When bed bugs are disturbed, they tend to seek out harborage where they are safe and go into hiding. Then when a new tenant moves into the unit and is settled, after a few days and in some cases up to 14 days they start being bitten.

Remember now that you signed an addendum assuming and trusting there were no bed bugs (after the 48 hour period) and all of a sudden you are getting bit and are now are responsible for treatment costs if there are any bed bugs.

Always request documentation and a copy of the last pest control report that shows the investigation of the unit and surrounding units was completed by a professional bed bug expert pest control company just prior to your move-in.  This way you can “hopefully” (if they used professionals) feel better that you are moving into a bed bug free dwelling. Do not sign unless you have that in hand.

INFESTATIONS – We are not aware of any current evidence of bed bugs or bed bug infestation in the dwelling.

You agree that you have read the information on the back side of this addendum about bed bugs and: (Check one).

Again, this box was already checked for me! It’s like they read my mind!

You are not aware of any infestation or presence of bed bugs in your current or previous apartments, home or dwelling. You agree that you are not aware of any bed bug infestation or presence in any of your furniture, clothing, personal property or possessions. You agree that you have not been subjected to conditions in which there was any bed bug infestation or presence.

OR

You agree that if you previously lived anywhere that had a bed bug infestation that all your personal property (including furniture, clothing, and other belongings) has been treated by a licensed pest control professional. You agree that such items are free of further infestation. If you disclose a previous experience of bed bug infestation, we can review documentation of the treatment and inspect your personal property and possessions to confirm the absence of bed bugs. You agree that any previous bed bug infestation which you have experienced is disclosed here: ____

(It is the intention of these addendums to inform the new tenant that the unit(s) in which they are leasing have been investigated thoroughly by bed bug management staff and are free and clear of bed bugs as far as the management knows and gives you ample time (48 hours) to investigate the unit yourself for any possible signs of bed bugs. They state this by saying that they “ARE NOT AWARE” of any current evidence of bed bugs or bed bug infestations in the dwelling).

Again, remember – management is relying on you to tell the truth about previous bed bug infestations in your personal belongings you are about to move into their units. They ask to see your documentation – did you ask for theirs?

Are you willing to move into a residence relying on someone’s assuming?

Next Paragraph

ACCESS FOR INSPECTION AND PEST TREATMENT

(You must allow us and our pest control agent’s access to the dwelling at reasonable times to inspect for or treat bed bugs. You and your family members, occupants, guests, and invitees must cooperate and will not interfere with inspections or treatments. We have the right to select any licensed pest control professional to treat the dwelling and building. We can select the method of treating the dwelling, building and common areas for bed bugs. We can also inspect and treat adjacent or neighboring dwellings to the infestation even if those dwellings are not the source or cause of the known infestation.

You are responsible for and must, AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE, have your own personal property, furniture, clothing and possessions treated according to accepted treatment methods established by a licensed pest control firm WE approve. You must do so as close to the time we treat the dwelling. If you fail to do so, you will be in default, and we will have the right to terminate your right of occupancy and exercise all rights and remedies under the Lease Contract. You agree not to treat the dwelling for a bed bug infestation on your own.)

This says if your neighbor gets bed bugs and reports to management, they can require you to have your possessions treated at your own expense. By no fault of yours this kind of makes you responsible if your neighbor gets bed bugs, don’t it?

It’s obvious that in order for the management to provide remediation for bed bugs that you need to allow access to the dwelling without interference.

The more we work together the better but are the pest control people that the management hire experienced in bed bug remediation?

It states that they chose the type of method used to treat the problem. There are many different methods in treating bed bugs from standard IPM products and methodologies, to heat, and fumigation.

  • What if you are a senior or child and are susceptible to any toxins?
  • What if you are disabled and cannot do the preparation?
  • What if you have animals?

There are many variables and these need to be addressed before any decisions are made not just accept whatever treatment option that the management choses. But you signed an addendum that requires you to do whatever they choose.

Next Paragraph 

NOTIFICATION – This paragraph is obvious. If in the event you feel that there is any problem with any type of pest you must notify management immediately.

It is our suggestion that you notify them in writing. Our philosophy is the most critical component of bed bugs awareness is the time between introduction and acknowledgement or first sighting so that the infestation is kept to a minimum compared to months later.

Always notify the management in writing. Include visuals, bites signs, pictures or anything else you may see that makes you think there may be bed bugs.

Next Paragraph 

COOPERATION – Let’s move on to the “Cooperation” part of the addendum. It is stated that “if they confirm the presence or infestation of bed bugs”, you must cooperate and coordinate with them and their pest control company.

This is all fine and dandy because it takes concerted effort to get rid of bed bugs but it also states that they have the “right” to ask you to “remove” all your personal items and ask to temporarily vacate in order to perform the remediation. In other words – they are saying move ALL personal items – MOVE OUT ON A TEMPORARY BASIS. If you do not cooperate – they have the right to consider you in default and have the right to terminate your lease and exercise all rights under the Lease Contract.

Because there are many different methodologies and techniques in bed bug remediation, hopefully the management takes the path of least resistance when it comes to changing the life style of the individual living in the dwelling.

Today there are so many ways that are being used in the professional pest control industry that can safely treat the dwelling with all personal possessions intact without having to move anything. Matter of a fact, moving things around can spread them further throughout the premises.

These are things that have to be addresses with management before you enter into a contract. It is stated that if you do not cooperate they have the right to terminate your right to occupancy and exercise all rights and remedies under the lease contract.

Next Paragraph

RESPONSIBILITIES – here is where it gets down to the brass tacks. The first sentence states “You may be required to pay all reasonable costs”.

 The word “may” is placed into the addendum for specific reasons. They cannot state you must or have to because of the implied warranty of habitability of landlord law as required in most states of the union. When a person or company owns and operates a rental property they MUST provide an inhabitable dwelling.

In an explanation of this in almost every state, tenant is entitled to a safe and livable home, regard­less of how much rent you pay or whether your landlord tries to get you to accept a hovel. We’re talking about basic, important items such as a roof that keeps out rain and snow, hot water, heat, and sturdy floors and walls that aren’t in danger of imminent collapse or occupied by rodents and pests.

This list of necessary features includes the absence of significant danger from lead, asbestos, and, most recently, mold, plus reasonable protection from criminal intrusion. If the landlord refuses to provide or repair these aspects of your home, you may, depending on where you live, be able to:

  • withhold rent
  • pay for repairs yourself and deduct the cost from your rent
  • sue the landlord, or
  • move out without notice and without liability for future rent

Your right to livable housing has a lofty-sounding legal name: You’re ­entitled to the benefit of the landlord’s “implied warranty of habit­ability.” This means that, whether she knows it or not, your landlord has promised you a livable place simply by renting it to you. This basic right originated in court decisions in the early 1970s. By now, all but one state (Arkansas) has embraced this notion, either by decision from their highest court or by statute, and even in Arkansas, some cities and counties have enacted ordinances that come close to establishing the same standards.

Before anyone should attempt to withhold rent or do anything on the list above you must consult with an attorney. A lease is a legal document and you will be held accountable.

The Implied Warranty of Habitability

So what does it mean to say that your landlord is expected to fulfill an implied warranty of habitability? It means that the property owner must:

  • keep basic structural elements of the building, including floors, stairs, walls, and roofs, safe and intact
  • maintain all common areas, such as hallways and stairways, in a safe and clean condition
  • keep electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems and elevators operating safely
  • supply cold and hot water and heat in reasonable amounts at reasonable times
  • provide trash receptacles and arrange for trash pick-up
  • manage known environmental toxins such as lead paint dust and asbestos so that they don’t pose a significant danger
  • in most states, provide rental property that is reasonably safe from the threat of foreseeable criminal intrusions, and

Exterminate infestations of rodents and other vermin in virtually every state, these rights are yours, no matter what the landlord has asked you to sign or agree to. (In narrow situations, landlords and tenants in Texas and Maine can agree that certain habitability requirements will be the responsibility of the tenant.) In other words, the landlord cannot shrug off these responsibilities in a “disclaimer” when the tenancy begins. And he can’t effectively ask you to waive your right to them. (Any so-called waiver will not be upheld by a court.)

Here we go again – if after you move and they feel that you were the responsible party for the bed bugs and they have to move or remediate other adjacent units of yours – you may be held responsible for the costs incurred to do so including loss rental income and other expenses incurred by them to relocate residents, clean and perform pest control duties. This can be thousands of dollars.

Example/Scenario: You lease apartment 203 on Saturday the 29th and move in on the 1st. By reading this addendum you now know you have to check for bed bugs. You have no clue what bed bugs are – only the information written on the back of the addendum. You look around the empty apartment and see no living bugs anywhere. You are now given the option to sign off on two different scenarios; either you have inspected and found no bed bugs – OR – you will inspect within 48 hours. You now have to legally sign off stating you are advising them you checked for bed bugs and found none.

What people do not know is that even the most trained bed bug professionals is only good for 30% accuracy and have a hard time finding bed bugs without the use of certain tools and knowing exactly where to look.

You now sign.

Problem: The apartment may have been sitting vacant for three weeks or more since the last tenant moved out. The dwelling was cleaned and checked off as ready to rent by the untrained supervisor of the maintenance staff as “bed bug clear and free”.

Remember, you just signed a legal agreement that states you investigated and know there are no bed bugs and take full responsibility and two weeks later you and your children wake up with red welts all over your body.

The nature of the bed bug is to hide away in a safe- undisturbed place until which time they require a blood meal. (Bed bugs are known to go long periods of time without a blood meal). This means that there may be bed bugs hidden within the walls, baseboards, electrical conduit or tack strips of the carpet.

OR

The unit upstairs, next door or below has bed bugs and they just made their way through the structure of the building and found you.

None of which was obvious when you moved in.

Now what?

According to the remainder of the addendum you signed you need to promptly notify management if you find any signs of bed bugs.

You call management and state you “think” you have found bed bugs.

Now according to the addendum you signed, you must allow the pest control company that your management choses and approves to enter your dwelling for remediation.

Here is where it gets sticky. If the pest control company that your property manager chooses is experienced with bed bug remediation that’s a good thing BUT if (and in many cases) they use their own maintenance staff to spray the baseboards with insecticides and place DE in the outlets – you may have a problem. Always ask about these things.

When you moved in you provided the bed bugs many new places to take up housing in your furniture. And they would rather find a warm and cozy place within your bed or 5 – 10 feet of your bed to take shelter in-between meals instead of making it back to the confines of the walls. In other words, they don’t want to be too far from their next blood meal.

The purpose of me writing this is so that we can all come together and stop pointing fingers at one another. Can’t we all come to an agreement as to how we are going to combat this bed bug problem?

We have just completed a new style of a Bed Bug Addendum that works for all involved. Management has certain guidelines and protocols they must have in place prior to leasing any unit. Tenants have responsibilities prior to signing any addendum and must follow protocol as well. Being fair on both parts keeps everyone on their toes.

Call 888-966-2332 for more information www.ibbra.org

The Importance of Documenting all Bed Bug Related Issues

You’ve all heard document, document, and document! As bed bugs continue to multiply worldwide, the need to document every complaint, bite, investigation, infestation, treatment and scenario becomes a priority in all cases. Litigation in bed bug situations are growing daily. In addition, because of this people are finding out that if they complain they can in some cases, be well rewarded with financial benefits.

Bed bugs were not in the mix of well-known and common insects that invade our lives up until about a decade ago but now they are playing a significant role in everyday life. People are familiar with ants, fleas, flies, mosquitoes and cockroaches because they grew up knowing them where bed bugs were only a mention in a goodnight saying “Don’t let the Bed Bugs Bite”.

Most of the cases involved in today’s litigations are multi-unit apartment owners, hospitality and furniture rental companies but time will reveal more and more cases regarding car rentals, storage facilities, secondhand stores, hospitals and senior care homes, pre-schools, universities, families and businesses. You name it, wherever people gather there will be a chance of someone picking up a hitchhiker and pointing the finger back at someone or somewhere they visited.

It’s pretty well known that if someone wants to get away with not paying for their hotel room for the night they can easily make a complaint and the hotel management will not charge them for the room. I have heard where people have an infestation at home and cannot afford treatment. They stay at a hotel for the night, wake up and complain, get a free night’s stay then a couple of weeks later turn around and say it was the hotel’s fault and then require the hotel to pay for their treatment. That is extortion by the customer. The fear of a bad reputation or possible law suit sends the hospitality management into a tail spin who can’t do enough to keep the guests mouth shut and just make them happy.

So what would a hospitality group do to protect against this happing?

What makes some companies achieve guest satisfaction regardless of facing a bed bug scare?

Companies that have protocols in place stand out from the rest because they have developed strong analytical tools and a framework to work. They have increased their opportunity to build strong customer relationships and trust while creating uncontested market share.

How is this done?

Here’s where having a LAYERED DEFENSE STRATEGY© IBBRA, plays an important role.

Being a recent phenomenon, the resurgence has caused the pest control industry to re-evaluate the way they deal with them as well as having a new learning curve because they are not eliminated like the other insects. Trial and error has brought the technical end of remediation to the forefront where while this is being addressed daily, the education regarding bed bug challenges is still pretty new for the customer, and it is only “after” the culprit has been discovered that a reaction occurs.

Solving bed bug issues and problems is the first goal of any pest control company when called on but as time marches on the ultimate and long-term goals are geared towards creating a protection against future infestations for their clients. This entails a tremendous amount of education, understanding and documentation. Although bed bugs can’t be stopped at the door, the way the situation is handled can make a significant difference in whether these companies get sued or not.

We’ve been focusing on the “big bug picture” for long term and see that everyone and we mean every living human that has blood running through their veins must at least know the risks involved with bed bugs. And most importantly, know how to prevent from getting them and how to find them in the earliest of stages before it becomes an “infestation”.

Multi-unit properties and hospitality groups often change staff and management. If proper protocols are not part of a complaint hierarchy, policies and procedures in place and accurate records are not kept, the chance of litigation grows. If these reports are not complete and accurate where new management can go back and read the details and fully understand them, the chances are that problems will occur.

The book Bed Bugs Hospitality and Risk Management, addresses protocols that help to reduce the risk of a bed bug law suit for the hospitality industry. Written from experience of dealing with bed bugs in hotels we’ve been able to design a manageable proactive program where management and staff are fully educated and know what to do in the event of bed bugs.

Reducing the chances of litigation is to document as much as possible. The documents have to be self-explanatory and be able to be fully understood regardless of whether a new staff or pest control company is brought on. Until one experiences a law suit first hand, property managers usually can’t comprehend the full impact on their property and return on investment for their shareholders. Most fail to understand how difficult it is to eliminate bed bugs once they have become established. Addressing and setting up a strategy for bed bugs requires time and effort and money to do it right. Once established and in place the risk fact drops low and guest satisfaction grows.

Apartment complexes and multi-unit properties can take the same approach in developing and establishing a starting point from when a new tenant and residing tenants can all know the signs and be able to notify management in the earliest stages. The book Bed Bugs for Landlords, Tenants and Property Management explores the issues of bed bug infestations from several unique perspectives including legal responsibility, control and prevention and economic consequences.

Learn the steps for developing a proactive plan of action! www.ibbra.org

The Burning Question – Can I Self Treat For Bed Bugs?

Dealing with bed bugs often remind me of an old English Proverb – “desperate times call for desperate measures”.

These are desperate times for many. Hearing the desperation in people’s voices after they have exhausted every do-it-yourself type treatment they have read on the internet or found at their local store caused me to compile information and provide direction and help to these people.

Sometimes in life it’s not what you know but what you don’t know that can hurt you. Knowing what NOT TO DO seems to be the biggest problem. When I hear the techniques that people use for self-treatments I think to myself how they are just burning up their hard earned money in fruitless attempts as well as causing a much larger infestation. I cringe when I hear they have soaked their homes with cans and bottles of multi-insect labeled bug sprays, flea bombs and the spreading of diatomaceous earth throughout their homes and furniture thinking it would take care of their problem. After continuous and fruitless efforts they soon figure out that doing these things isn’t the answer, and then they call me. If they had only known BEFORE their unsuccessful attempts what not to do.

Of course one would be better off paying for the services of a professional who knows how to deal with bed bugs properly but in some cases that is not an option because of affordability.

Dealing with bed bugs is a momentous enough challenge for the pest control industry and when an uneducated consumer attempts to handle bed bugs on their own many problems can arise. Because of their cryptic nature, flattened bodies, hitchhiking abilities and amazing ability to migrate into cracks and crevices where they can’t easily be found, sometimes months pass before a family seeks professional help.

On average, I receive from 5 to 10 calls daily at all hours of the day and night from people in anguish searching and begging for a solution and the need for bed bug education and solutions is evident in every call I receive.

It’s like a double edge sword.

On one side you have an uneducated person that knows nothing about the insect they are dealing with and use products and processes that don’t work and continue the spread of them and on the other side you have people that can’t afford services of a professional.

So what does one do?

Just because they can’t afford the services does that mean they are stuck with bed bugs?

In a sincere effort to provide this knowledge and help to these people, the book Treatment Methods and Options for the Homeowner was written. This book was not written to take the place of professional treatment, it was written so that people understand the process and so that they fully understand what processes don’t work and hopefully avoid things that spread them further.

Face it; there are so many people who seriously cannot afford the services of professionals. Depending upon the extent of the infestation the costs can be quite significant.

The International Bed Bug Resource Authority (IBBRA) has established an industry first “Three Step Program” for anyone from consumer to business owner to follow to properly address their bed bug issue. The three steps will allow them to “Educate” themselves about bed bugs, their behaviors and to learn about companies and or products that can assist them.

Secondly, they will be able to “Evaluate” their overall situation and not have to combat bed bugs blindly or without the proper tools.

Lastly, this will enable them to “Initiate” a plan of action steps to utilize the best possible resources to solve their problem and set a preventative protocol in place for future possibilities of infestation.

Unless one lives with bed bugs terrorizing their life they don’t quite understand how important it is to be “proactive instead of being reactive” after they have been infested. In one of my other books Bed Bug Basics, you will find details on what people need to know about the risks of bed bugs and finding the bed bugs before they find you.

The Treatment Methods and Options for the Homeowner book was written and is intended to assist anyone undertaking the challenge of dealing with a bed bug situation and prefer to self-treat. This book shows you what to do and most importantly what not to do. These treatment options and methods were compiled in collaboration with members of the IBBRA who are leading bed bug pest management professionals.

The greatest concern with do-it-yourself bed bug control is brought on by the mis-use of chemical pesticides used by the general public which are at best moderately effective at controlling these pests. One thing the general public needs to be aware of is that the use of these toxic chemicals in bed bug control is definitely a job for professionals.

The eradication of bed bugs is a complicated enough job by itself and by the use of ineffective products and/or the mis-use of chemicals which bed bugs are resistant to or are not designed for, can further complicate the problem.

Using ineffective chemicals and methods can also present serious health risks.

If you live in a dwelling with shared walls such as an apartment, townhome or condominium, and are renting, it’s best to alert the owner or property manager.  Many times bed bugs move from these adjoining units to infest those surrounding them and treating one unit alone is not always advisable.

Obviously, learning how you are at risk of bed bugs before you bring them home or finding them in the earliest stage of introduction is the best scenario but unfortunately this is not always the case.

The homeowner has different challenges that depend on the severity of the infestation. The variables are how long the infestation has been going on and how it has spread to other parts of the home. I encourage those contemplating do-it-yourself treatment methods to read through this book in its entirety before making the decision to take on this job. And I cannot stress the importance of knowing about re-introduction possibilities. You need to know all the risk factors so you can develop a pro-active alert with all members of your family.

Lastly, remember, if your efforts prove unsuccessful and you are still experiencing bed bugs, please turn to us to help you so you don’t make crucial mistakes.

www.ibbra.org