“Bed Bug Education will never be as expensive as Bed Bug Ignorance”

Approaching 2016 Bed Bug Problems

This past year has been a small reminder of how bad the resurgence of bed bugs will be in the future years to come. The lack of policies and procedures, public awareness and education has greatly fueled the proliferation.

Those who live in apartment communities suffer the most. Pest control struggles with cultural and language differences, disabilities, handicaps, living styles and affordability issues that take precedence over focused elimination processes.

Let’s face it, becoming skilled at getting the clients to perform regular prevention has been the biggest setback with most remediation efforts. The ability to implement sound solutions are the skills required to overcome these obstacles. It’s mandatory to make sure there are set parameters and complete understanding before, during and after, completing a job.

All our Founding members work hard at giving their clients more than just service on their problem. Although very successful at what they do, they don’t measure their success strictly by their nights receipts.

To mention a few:

Dominique of MassBedBugBusters supplies books and does educational presentations; making sure, her clients always understand the new bug they are now dealing with and the future problems they can face.

I often hear from clients of PBuggy from PestPlus in New Jersey with a smile. While some may say, he’s a little rough around the edges, most of his clients love his entertaining way and the way he takes the time to explain what they are up against and what they need to do for preventing it from happening again, before he does his treatments.

The same goes for Michael from GotchA Bed Bug Inspectors in Long Island. His clients rest much better at night knowing that they are fully educated before he leaves them.

Our most recent member, Randy from All Starr Termite and Pest, spends time educating each client. He will never do a bed bug treatment in a multifamily property without inspecting all surrounding units. He always walks away with a well-educated client.

The Growing Do-it-Yourself Segment

Demographically, over 50% of the nation cannot afford a professional for bed bug treatment. Do-it-yourself treatments are growing at record speed and we all need to help people reach sound and safe solutions without doing harm to their homes and families.

Unfortunately, the uneducated bed bug victims reach for products and use methods that spread the problem further. We get calls from people who have already exhausted attempts of getting rid of their problem by using bed bug bombs, copious amounts of DE, cans of Raid, Hotshot or other means and now have breeding grounds of bed bugs throughout their homes. These people carry bed bugs into our communities, to work, school and other places they should go.

The IBBRA and their members help people that can’t afford their services by directing them to the IBBRA’s  Do-it-Yourself Bed Bug Treatment Methods book. The book covers basic biology, where they hide, risks, and their feeding nature to bring the client up to speed on bed bugs, and then walks them through a safe step-by-step elimination process.

The first DIY items we suggest for these people are the use of a good vacuum and steamer. There is a list of items to use inside the book which most can be obtained from USBEDBUGS, with an explanation on how to use them safely. The book also covers how to avoid pitfalls as well as providing proactive protocols and protection.

Will every person that follows the process be successful? Many have already but it all depends upon the extent of the infestation and the amount of work the person is willing to do to get rid of them. However, the message it drives home educates them so that they are fully aware so they don’t hurt or harm their families or homes or carry bed bugs where ever they go.

We can’t walk away from these people and leave them on their own to figure it out!

Do something today that our future will be proud of…

The IBBRA offers the book at their cost to all their members and FREE to those who just cannot afford the extra ten dollars. We are all in this together and helping people who cannot afford bed bug treatment even if you are a professional will help cut down serious infestations from spreading in our communities.

The International Bed Bug Resource Authority (IBBRA) is a globally recognized model of excellence for Bed Bug Awareness and Education. Part of the IBBRA combines an academic experience with vast resources from entomologists, scientists and major university research and the other part is dedicated bed bug professionals who make a difference in people’s lives everyday.

The IBBRA members serve homeowners, hospitality groups, healthcare, senior facilities, shelters, property management, businesses, schools and the travel industry with opportunities to gain from their valuable experience and education in the bed bug industry.

For those who thrive on the intellectual challenge of bed bugs and want to protect their clients, IBBRA members are there with straightforward ethical services and plenty of bed bug information.

We are always here to help! www.ibbra.org

The Face of Bed Bug Control is About to Change in Multifamily Properties!

Picture1 (2)For years, the International Bed Bug Resource Authority has been working with multifamily properties to formulate a sound operative program for the effective control of bed bugs. Through trial and error, these properties have endured serious financial injury, lawsuits and physical challenges to the structures of their buildings.

Because most people are still struggling to understand the covert nature of bed bugs, the unthinking reaction to a breakout is a single unit focused treatment that in many cases forces the problem into surrounding units. Unbeknownst to the property owner, those tenants not affected by the bites of a bed bug can have infestations that have built over a year or more before showing signs in adjoining units.

It takes approximately six months of regular blood meals and temperature conditions for bed bugs to reach exponential growth patterns. Once the bed bugs reach “exponential growth patterns” and establish “breeding grounds within walls and structures” outside of beds and furniture, the problem increases tenfold.

During these long-term serious infestations, the best a single professional treatment can do is knocking down a good portion of the visible active infestation. Meanwhile, the eggs hidden behind and between the walls, baseboards, crown molding, doorframes, cracks and crevices, etc., continue to hatch.

Tenants may move from an infested unit and leave an infestation hidden in the walls without the owner knowing. In these cases, standard maintenance (paint, carpet) and clean up prepares the unit for a new tenant. Most maintenance workers are not aware of the signs of bed bugs and are often painted over, vacuumed up or washed away. When a new tenant moves in, in a matter of days or weeks the bed bugs come out in search of a blood meal and the fun begins.

The tenant then reports the problem to the owner and because the owner never knew there was a problem, they accuse the tenant of bringing bed bugs to their unit and try to hold them financially. This finger pointing [who done it] and senseless arguing [who is responsible], breaks down any semblance of a good tenant/property owner relationship that often winds up in court. We have seen this happen time and time again with frustrating and financially draining results.

Our focus has always been to educate property owners well enough in advance to stop these types of situations from occurring. The IBBRA’s Layered Defense Strategy is designed for multi-family properties to greatly reduce and cover costs related to bed bug treatments.

Based on our developed strategic partnerships with the leading multifamily owners, developers and managers, the IBBRA is commitment to providing structured education, policies, procedures, proactive protocols, prevention, and essential  documents to address continuing outbreaks of bed bugs in these environments.

The most financially rewarding part of our program!

Most important financial lessons come out of our toughest losses and a common theme is trying to succeed through trial and error without a sound strategy.

Properties are already allocating funds beyond normal budgets with costs that are above what they want or have to pay, but to date, have had no choice.

The Layered Defense Strategy provides a sound and affordable financial strategy while having your inspection and treatment costs covered without reaching into your own pocket.

With these protocols in place, you will significantly reduce long-term and repeated financial costs of remediation, protect against structural invasion, and minimize legal risks, while protecting facilities, residents, staff and whole communities.

Face it, bed bugs are not going away and will be just another bug in our lives that if people do not understand them, they will dole out their fair share of monies and with repeated infestations that will drain the ROI of any complex.

We are here to help!

1-888-9NOBEDBUGS   [1-888-966-2332] www.ibbra.org

Let’s have some fun! Can you pass the Bed Bug Test?

 

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IBBRA Bed Bug Test – Edition (3) Revision 1-2015

Bed bugs have evolved from being nest parasites from inhabiting bat roosts and bird nests centuries ago.

True

False

Bed bugs and bat bugs are one and the same.

True

False

Bed bugs are not of great significance in any other country but the United States.

True

False

The main reason for the bed bug resurgence is:

International travel

Pesticide resistance

A percentage of people are not affected by bed bug bites

A whole generation of pest controllers had no encounters with bed bugs

Lack of public awareness

All of the above

Bed bugs were common in the 1930’s

True

False

The first control chemical used in the US for bed bugs was?

DDT

Citronella

Chlordane

Lindane

Baking soda

Bed bugs got their name from occupying what preferred habitat?

Chairs

Old newspapers

Moldy carpets

Dark kitchen spaces

Mattresses

All of the above

Bed bugs have a huge public behavior, making identification and elimination simple.

True

False

Bed bug eggs are approximately 1/32 inch or approximately the size of a poppy seed

True

False

The eggs are easy to find because of their reddish-brown color

True

False

Bed bug eggs hatch in approximately how many days?

1-3

4-6

7-10

A female bed bug can lay an average of how many eggs a day?

1-2

2-3

3-4

4-5

8-12

How many eggs can be expected from a female bed bug in her lifetime?

50-100

100-150

200-500

600-700

800-900

Bed bugs eggs are glued in place by a sticky substance and hard to remove.

True

False 

A good indication of the age of a bed bug egg is a small red eyespot.

True

False 

At optimal temperatures and regular blood meals, approximately how long is the period from egg to adult?

6-10 days                                 4 weeks

2 weeks                                   24-36 days

15-18 days

Typically, you find bed bug eggs laid in groups but can find a single egg by itself.

True

False

After twenty days, all bed bugs eggs are finally hatched.

True

False

The newly hatched first instar is difficult to see unless they are moving or have had a blood meal.

True

False

Consecutive bed bug instars (2nd and 3rd) are large enough to see without a blood meal in any environment.

True

False

Adult bed bugs are approximately the size of a standard orange or apple seed.

True

False

How many times must a bed bug shed its exoskeleton to become a mature adult?

1           3           4           5           6

With regular blood meals, bed bugs mature into breeding adults within approximately how many days?

5-10                 15-18               20-23               24-36

A blood meal is not required for a bed bug to shed its exoskeleton.

True

False

Bed bugs must have regular blood meals in order to reproduce.

True

False

Bed bugs do fly and jump on you.

True

False

The adult bed bug is easily seen with the naked eye.

True

False

The bed bug adults are of a reddish-brown color.

True

False

An unfed bed bug can multiply in size how many times after a blood meal?

1-2 times

2-3 times

3-4 times

4-5 times

5-6 times

As digestion occurs, the bed bugs shape changes to that of torpedo or football.

True

False

You can easily identify a bed bug by its wings.

True

False

Bed bugs are so thin before they feed that they can hide in spaces as small as the thickness of a piece of paper.

True

False

Bed bugs normally hide within 3 to 10 feet of bedding areas, and will move great distances when hungry.

True

False

Bed bugs can live in mattress seams, but can also be found in?

Chair cushions and sofas

Behind electrical outlet covers

Cracks & crevices behind baseboards and coving

Behind wallpaper and picture frames

All of the above

The treatment methods of spraying all baseboards thoroughly works well to eliminate bed bugs hiding behind them.

True

False

Bed bugs don’t mind if they are disturbed, but will cling to mattresses and not let go.

True

False

Sanitation plays a major role in whether or not you get bed bugs.

True

False

Bed bugs prefer variable temperatures and drafty areas, such as air and floor ducts.

True

False

Peak blood meal activity is always from midnight to 7 a.m.

True

False

Cluttered areas will not affect bed bug elimination.

True

False

It takes how long before a person is considered “infested”?

15 days

30 days

60 days

90 days

120 days

The telltale signs of a bed bug infestation are:

Finding live bed bugs

Finding fecal matter stains

Find bloodstains and smears

Finding castings

A sweet, musty odor

All of the above

Bed bugs prefer what human habitat parameters:

Warm temperatures

Carbon dioxide

Exposed skin

You are resting

All of the above

Bed bugs “dine and dash”, scurrying to their hiding places, leaving their previous meal’s excretion on the sheets and surrounding areas.

True

False

Some people are not susceptible to bed bug bites; others can get rashes, welts, and blisters.

True

False

Bed bug bites look different from mosquitoes and fleabites.

True

False

Human skin reactions to bed bug saliva are small, flat, or raised bumps; red, swollen, itchy skin; or infected bite areas if scratched.

True

False

Bed bugs spread MRSA, Hepatitis B, Chagas, and transfer other diseases and spread pathogens.

True

False

Bed bug bites may cause in certain individuals:

Bulbous or blistering eruptions

Staph infections, impetigo

Anemia and iron deficiencies

Severe inflammation, rashes, allergic   reactions

Anxiety & severe loss of sleep

All of the above

Repeated bed bug bites can cause saliva sensitization, causing intense allergic reactions.

True

False

A bed bug inspector should inquire about the mental health of home occupants for anxiety, insomnia, and systemic reactions.

True

False

Bed bugs always “poop” before shedding their skin.

True

False

It is not necessary to be 100% correct in identifying bed bugs because the infestation treatments are all the same.

True

False

In multi-family apartment homes, bed bugs do not travel between units, preferring to stay in their nests.

True

False 

Insurance companies consider the clean-up of bed bug infestations to be a maintenance problem.

True

False

Bed bugs cause what social implications?

Health problems due to lack of sleep

Loss of personal belongings and public credibility

Social stigma of you or your house being “blacklisted”

Identity impacted by degradation feelings

All of the above

Bed bugs are a public menace, not just a private homeowner’s problem.  All sectors must learn their part in preventing of bed bugs.

True

False

The EPA’s primary responsibility is to ensure that pesticides for public health uses are safe and effective against the pests on their labels.

True

False

Misuse of pesticides can cause what damages?

Harm to central nervous systems

Irritate the skin and eyes

Cause cancer

Tumors in children

All of the above

The EPA has not restricted the use of Propoxur indoors.

True

False

Synthetic pyrethroids do not leave behind a toxic environment hazardous to humans and pets.

True

False

Homeowners have successfully used toxic lawn-and-garden chemicals, and flea and tick bombs, to remove bed bugs.

True

False

Property managers and landlords are legally exempt from legal lawsuits regarding bed bugs.

True

False

It’s always the Landlord or Property Management Groups responsibility for the elimination of bed bugs.

True

False

In most states, you can discard bed bug infested furniture on the streets for city pick-up trucks as long as they are wrapped and marked.

True

False

Since landlords do not have daily access to their units, it is not their responsibility to educate and inform tenants how to identify bed bugs, and what to do to prevent infestations in their units.

True

False

It is always the tenant’s fault that they have bed bugs.

True

False

Hospitality is ultimately responsible for any bed bug problem within their property.

True

False

Pesticides registered with the EPA have been known for and are linked to:

Acute poisoning

Cancer

Hormone disruption

Asthma, neurotoxity, and organ damage

All of the above

The environmental impact of using toxic pesticides is known and of finite danger.

True

False

Bed bugs are known to have built up a resistance to Chrysanthemum extract (pyrethrins)

True

False

Chlorphenapyr is a toxic, less repellent, substitute for pyrethroids.

True

False 

Fumigation by sulfuryl fluoride is cheaper than termite fumigation.

True

False

Heat remediation is the best way to kill bed bugs.

True

False

Freezing can kill bed bugs in walls and between cracks and crevices.

True

False

If not used properly, steam spray can dislodge bed bugs and eggs before the heat can kill them.

True

False

Diatomaceous earth is an advisable product for use on all fabrics, couches, and mattresses.

True

False

A trained bed bug scent detection dog can find bed bugs in areas that a human can’t.

True

False

All trained bed bug dogs are 97% accurate in detecting bed bug infestations.

True

False

Finding where bed bugs hide is more difficult than identifying them.

True

False

Certifying a bed bug dog is mandatory and must not be used without it.

True

False

County Public Health Departments can positively identify all bugs found in sleeping areas.

True

False

All pest management companies are well trained in bed bug control.

True

False 

To remove anything from an infested room or premises, it must be bagged and sealed.

True

False

When inspecting for bed bugs, you should wear:

Disposable medical gloves

Safety glasses

Long sleeve shirt and pants

Disposable “booties” for your shoes

All of these

Because bed bugs don’t jump, it is safe to sit on beds, couches, or chairs.

True

False

Due to their size, early stage infestations are really nothing to worry about.

True

False

You really don’t need any tools to do an inspection for bed bugs.

True

False

The signs of bed bugs you should look for are:

Fecal matter

Blood stains on sheets

Castings from nymph molting

A strange or peculiar odor

All of the above

When spot checking the bed, pull back the blanket, raise the bottom sheet at the head of the bed, and check the seams at the corners for bed bugs.

True

False

If bed bugs are found on mattresses, they are normally isolated to only edges.

True

False

A headboard or footboard bed bug discovery could find a bed bug “trail” to a hidden crack or crevice.

True

False 

Which of the following should you check for bed bugs?

Nightstands, remove drawers and contents

Dressers, remove drawers and contents

Pictures and wall hangings look behind and in corners

Comfort chairs, check seams, corners, cushions, underneath

All of the above

Bed bugs like rough surfaces or raw unfinished wood under tables and drawers.

True

False

Bed bugs like light, so they will be easy to find on open bright surfaces.

True

False

Bed bugs don’t like plastics.

True

False

Serious infestations give off an out-of-place smell.  What one of these should you expect?

Spoiled, raw beef

Musty odor

Sweet odor such as root beer

Fresh red raspberries

Any of the above

If you find bed bugs in the bedroom and living room, you can consider your inspection done.

True

False

Your inspection ledger should show each room inspected and locations where the bed bugs were found.

True

False

Habitat clutter can cause a complete failure of a bed bug control program.

True

False

Bed bug damaged property/belongings must be bagged and sealed before exiting the room.

True

False

All bed bug infested items in bags must be tagged “bed bugs’ to prevent re-infestations.

True

False

Any heat over 120 degrees will kill all stages of bed bugs.

True

False

A person can pack it up and move to get away from infested apartments.

True

False

Keeping a clean, uncluttered apartment will keep you from getting bed bugs.

True

False

Bed bugs can be carried from room to room on the fur of a dog/cat.

True

False

Bed bugs will soon be as common as ants, fleas and flies in households and businesses across the nation.

True

False

Hope you had fun!

There is a New Girl in Town and She’s Looking GOOD!

Picture1Austin now has a beautiful Belgian Shepherd Bed Bug Detection Dog!

Her name is Zima, she has a full year of bed bug sniffing under her belt, and she is good at it! She now brings her sniffing expertise to our local area with her handler Randy who owns All Starr Termite & Pest Control.

Randy has been specializing in bed bugs for many years and realized one of the biggest problems was finding bed bugs early. Even with evidence of bites, bed bugs can hide in places that are not easily accessible even for a trained human eye.

His treatment success rates have climbed significantly since he purchased his heat equipment and he recently purchased a second unit.

I had the pleasure of meeting Zima yesterday and I was greeted with a happy tail wag and many kisses. She is not only beautiful, with a soft coat, clear eyes and alertness, but she possesses a very loving manner.

As Randy took a seat at the table, he gave Zima the command to lie down. She immediately dropped to her position but never took her eyes off Randy. She laid still and upon command, Zima’s eyes immediately focused on Randy’s voice patiently waiting for her next instruction. Of course, she checked my couch inch by inch in a strategic pattern and found “no bed bugs”. (I didn’t have any anyway) but it was great to see how she loves to work.

Now with the help of Zima finding bed bugs early on, she will bring yet another intrinsic value to his clients and services.

Pretty soon she will be barking with a Texas drawl :o)

To hire Zima and Randy call 512-281- 5515 or visit www.allstarrpest.com