Step 1 – Educate
Before you attempt any elimination techniques, you MUST BE SURE it is Bed Bugs you are dealing with! Many times people find bugs and automatically assume it is a bed bug. Always save the bug in a self-sealed bag and bring it to a professional pest control company or take a clear picture of it and send it to us for validation.
Early detection is important when it comes to bed bugs! The sooner you discover bed bugs the better off you are when it comes to treatment. Sadly there are people who are not affected by the bites of a bed bug and months of reproduction can cause the environment to become a “breeding ground”. We suggest that people look for bed bugs often by using an early detection system.
Face it, our lives are busy and the last thing you want to do is spend countless hours in search of bed bugs. The Bedbugdot Early-warning Detection System helps you find bed bugs in early stages by applying a simple dot to most common bed bug hiding places. Checking those specific areas often will reveal signs of bed bugs so you can start a treatment before they get out of hand. www.bedbugdot.com
Before anyone can tackle a bed bug problem, it’s important to understand the insect that you are dealing with. Although bed bug education can be lengthy and sometimes redundant, knowing the very nature of this blood sucking parasite will equip you with the knowledge you need to fully understand the means and ways of complete elimination and prevention.
“Early Detection is Everything and Education gets you There!”
With the IBBRA’s 3 Step System, everyday folks are privy to information on the methods and options used by the professional pest control industry. Available for public awareness and education on bed bugs are 11 books written specifically for the novice.
Inside the pages of each book you will find the answers to the “most asked questions” without having to spend hours on the Internet searching for “hopefully” the right answer to your questions.
And what’s more important is that if you have a question outside of the powerful professional information you find in these books, answers are only a simple contact form or phone call away because we are here to support every book that is written!
In the pages of each book you will find important information on what you actually need to know about the characteristics and habits of bed bugs. We also cover their life cycle, how bed bugs reproduce, their feeding habits, financial economics, social implications, health related possibilities, scent detection dogs, why re-introduction is a big problem, what NOT TO DO, professional products used in the industry, along with how to choose an experienced pest control company, and what questions to ask for the best results.
Our commitment and focus is to embrace and educate the public globally to create a worldwide awareness on bed bugs. These informative books are peer reviewed by some of the leading bed bug professionals worldwide, packed with powerful bed bug information, and are available in both paperback and Kindle versions. Make sure to share this information with your family and friends.
Think like a Bed Bug – This will be one of the most important books you will ever read to help you understand a historical pattern of what we can expect with bed bugs in the near future.
Since these are pests we have lived without for many years it’s going to take time and effort on everyone’s part to increase awareness and be preventative and proactive in their approach with bed bugs. This is information you need so they don’t take up residence with you. You will learn the many “risk” factors starting with the fact that bed bugs need blood to exist and you just happen to have it.
Bed bug management takes a lot of hard work and vigilance from both the consumer and the pest control industry. Early detection plays the most significant role as without educated and informed consumers, control cannot be easily achieved. This book was written for quick and easy understanding as you take the bed bug journey and discover why they are reproducing so fast and see why they are one of, if not the toughest pests ever to eliminate. Along with identifying them, you will learn where they hide, how to treat bites, tools used for detection, travel tips and plenty of prevention methods
Click here for information on each book.
Step 2 – Evaluate
Bed bugs have sparked a consumer alert like few other pest problems of past decades. A new, innovative and safe approach to bed bug elimination and prevention through education and behavioral changes is urgently needed. A key component of education and one of the first tenets of Integrated Pest Management is to “know what you’re up against”
Bed Bug Inspection
In the next several decades our lives are most likely to be fundamentally transformed more than in the previous one thousand years. Let’s examine a new innovative and safe approach to bed bug elimination and prevention.
Bed bugs are not difficult to identify if you know what you are looking for, finding them can be the problem because of their talented ways of hiding in the smallest of cracks and crevices.
If you capture a bug, you need to positively identify it. You may be able to do this yourself, but if you aren’t sure there are several options for you; you can take a picture or send a specimen to https://identify.us.com/, seek the identification from your pest professionals’ entomologist or adviser or you can mail a specimen to your County Public Health Department.
Use a seal-able vial, small container, or plastic bag to capture bugs noticed near sleeping areas. Do not crush or damage the bed bugs. Seal and freeze for three hours.
Inspecting for bed bugs
It is important that you are trained in identification and biology of the bed bug before attempting to inspect or using any product. You must be extremely thorough during the inspection process and be sure not to rush through but take time to find all harborages.
- DO NOT REMOVE anything from the premise you are inspecting. If anything is removed it must be bagged and sealed properly.
- When you inspect for bed bugs make sure you wear disposable medical gloves and safety glasses. Bed bugs gorge on the blood of humans so much so that they can easily pop with very little pressure.
- Avoid sitting, leaning or placing anything on beds or couches or chairs.
Bed bugs are very difficult to detect in their early stages so you need a keen eye and knowledge. Because of their size and lack of visibility they can hide in the smallest of spaces. You will be looking beyond just furniture and beds and carefully examining small unsuspected hidden areas and looking for “signs of bed bugs”, fecal stains, castings, eggs.
We suggest these tools to assist you in inspection:
- A 10X magnifying glass
- Disposable gloves
- LED flashlight
- Screwdrivers (Flat and Phillips)
- Mirror for inspection
- Moist disposable towels
- Note Pad (to record inspection)
- Sticky tape and/or glass collection bottle
- Plastic bags for removal of items
- Change of clothing
- Bed Bug Detection Dog (if you are lucky to have one available)
What to look for: Live bed bugs in any stage of growth, fecal matter (sometimes looks like mold) and blood stains on sheets, castings of nymph growth, a peculiar odor. They may be in different stages during your investigation, from larva to any of the 5 stages of growth. Don’t be discouraged, in a short period of time you will be trained to look for certain telltale signs that improve your due diligence. (Refer to pictures)
Starting with the bed: The first thing you should do is to spot check the bed. First approach your bed and pull back the blanket or comforter. Lift the bottom sheet away from the corners of the bed and check the seams. Pull the seam away to see deep in the crevice. Use the LED light and magnifying glass to look close. Look for signs of adults, smears of fecal matter, nymphs and their castings and possibly larva (eggs). Always roll bedding into the center of the bed and be careful not to allow it to touch the floor. Remove bedding and place into a large plastic bag for transport to the laundry room.
If you find anything, that even resembles bed bugs or evidence of their disposals, continue to check the whole mattress from top to bottom. Carefully inspect both sides of the mattress piping.
After complete inspection of the upper mattress, lift the top mattress off and set aside. Examine the box spring, corners and seams in the same way. Look where the fabric is stapled on the box spring. Lift the box spring off and check the frame. Make sure to check the mattress tag and plastic around the edges; bed bugs often hide there.
Move to the headboard and check wood, metal or fabric for tiny black spots (like the size of poppy seed) examine behind the headboard and the footing for, castings [translucent skins] or actual bed bugs. Bed bug spots (fecal matter) are dark brown to black in color and eggs stick to the surface. You can also take a moist towel and wipe the spot to see if it smears and if so, then it may be fecal matter. (Always refer to pictures for identity if puzzled)
Use sticky tape or glass bottle to capture your findings for proper identification and make notations on inspection ledger. Continue to look at the night stands and dressers alongside of the bed. Remove all drawers and contents. Check all corners and seams inside and out and under-neigh. One pest control operator I spoke to uses colored tape to mark the spots where the bed bugs are colonized.
Carefully remove any pictures or wall hangings on the wall behind or alongside the bed. Examine all corners, seams and folds. Use your magnifying glass! Even the most trained inspectors have a hard time finding a few eggs or instars that you recently brought home from a trip on your luggage.
Check the wall sockets by removing plates, space between the carpet and wall, digital clock, drapery folds, silk flower pots, etc. If there is a lazy chair or dressing stool, turn it over, remove the cushion[s] and check all seams and areas. If you have found any bed bugs or signs of bed bugs, remove legs from stool or chair if possible. (Look under, around and in everything)
Bed bugs like rough surfaces or raw unfinished wood as under tables and dressers. Tip or turn over these items for thorough inspection. Bed bugs don’t like the light, so they’ll be hiding in areas that are usually dark or have very low light.
Other signs of bed bugs may include a foul smell. Usually only found in serious infestations the odor has been described a number of ways, some say it resembles spoiled raw beef, musty odor or a sweet odor such as root beer or fresh red raspberries.
If a person is getting bit and suspects bed bugs it is probably safe to assume that the bed bugs will be found in the areas where the person sleeps or relaxes (i.e.) bedroom or den/living room. But do not stop your inspection thinking that you will find them only in that room. Continue to inspect each room carefully as if you suspect them to be everywhere. Remember, bed bugs “hitchhike” on clothing, shoes and just about anything and can be moved easily from room to room.
Continue your inspection with each bedroom and make notations for each room. Move to rooms adjacent to the bedrooms and continue your inspection thoroughly.
Remember single homes vs. apartments. If bed bugs are found in a home, it is isolated from infecting the home next door (unless you are close to your neighbor and visit each other often) but with apartments it is safe to assume that the bed bugs can or have traveled into the walls and crawl spaces and can travel to adjacent apartments above, below, next to and across easily and they need to be notified if bed bugs are found.
Use your camera to document bed bugs as you find them and note location of each picture. These pictures can be used as examples in your portfolio for training purposes.
People have the tendency to panic when they realize they have bed bugs. Assure them that it’s not the end of the world. One of the most prudent moves one can make BEFORE bed bugs are introduced is to eliminate clutter. As mentioned many times, clutter can cause complete failure of a bed bug control program.
Dos and don’ts about bed bugs
DO – Eliminate Clutter
Clutter is a bed bug’s best friend and you’re worst enemy. Clutter provides an infinite number of areas and harborages for bed bugs to hide and creates areas that cannot be effectively treated by pest control. These areas are a “safe haven” for bed bugs. Cluttered areas can cause the complete failure of a bed bug control program. If cluttered conditions persist, you may only be able to reduce the number of bed bugs and never completely eliminate the problem.
Before bed bugs arrive, eliminate clutter.
Plastic containers with lids and large zip lock bags are perfect for shoes, linens, storing toys, books, extra clothing and miscellaneous items when not being used and offer a “protected zone” where bed bugs cannot enter.
Although most pictures on the internet are examples of extreme situations, they are perfect examples of just where bed bugs can thrive and where they can be found and how bad the infestations can become if left untreated. We are finding more and more of these situations as time goes by because of the lack of awareness.
Use due diligence and careful thought process and DO NOT just toss items into a garbage can or on the street or alley. Many people are grossed out by the very thought of bed bugs and want to throw everything away. This is unnecessary and could possibly make the problem worse. As you disturb the bed bugs and carry items through the home, bed bugs can fall off of the item and be spread throughout the home to uninfected areas.
In addition, discarded items are often picked up by other people (maybe even your next door neighbor), spreading the problem to new areas.
If you must discard an item it must be wrapped and sealed in plastic so that the bed bugs cannot drop off during transport. DO NOT leave infected items curbside as they can be picked up by unsuspecting people.
DO pay attention to where you go and how you place your purses, luggage, backpacks or anything that could possibly “pick up” the hitch hikers.
DO NOT – be in denial about bed bugs if you discover that you have them. If you should experience bed bugs, or suspect that you have them, let people know that you have them so that they do not come over and pick up a few to take home with them. It’s not about “dirty”. You will be doing them a great service to tell them NOT to come over until you have the problem taken care of. Or, if your friends have been to your home and then you discover you have bed bugs call them immediately!!! (Just like you would have if both your young children were together playing and your child broke out with chicken pox).
Safely disposing of Bed bug infected items
Like I mentioned earlier, the very first thing that people do when they find out they have bed bugs is panic and throw things out of their homes. What they don’t realize is – doing that can cause more harm than good.
To make sure that your infested items do not become a source of contamination for others, items must be disposed of in a responsible way. Some states now fine people for leaving bed bug infested items on the curb.
- While moving the furniture through the home, bed bugs can fall off on an area where it is clear of bed bugs thus creating a new infestation area.
- Innocent people may become victims to bed bugs when they see a perfectly good mattress, dresser or couch, grab it up and take it home with them only to cause an infestation in their own homes.
- Depending on the extent of the infestation people need to recognize that it is not always necessary to throw out items because they can be treated and replacement cost is very high. Some bed bug specialists are capable of decontaminating an infestation.
- If you have infested furniture follow your pest control operator’s advice in treatment. I.e. bed bug control solutions, heat, cold, steam, or a solution treatment.
If you insist on getting rid of the items that are infested, make sure that they are 100% properly contained and wrapped in plastic, taped and boldly marked CAUTION – BED BUG INFESTED before you move them through your home or out on to your sidewalk or lawn or dumpster for proper disposal. If you call a disposal company to remove infested items let them know that what they are picking up is infested with bed bugs.
What NOT to do:
Think safety first and foremost when seeking solutions for bed bug elimination. Mistakes lead to re-contamination, spread of and possible damage to you or your home.
DO NOT – ignore bed bugs; they will not go away on their own.
DO NOT – move from or sleep in another room. This will cause the bed bug to spread to other parts of the dwelling.
DO NOT – use excess amounts of foggers or aerosol type of insecticides. These can cause explosions and fires!
DO NOT – place items in the microwave – Again extremely dangerous!
DO NOT – use a conventional oven – FIRE RISK!
DO NOT – use a hair dryer. This will blow them all over the place!
DO NOT – send your infested clothing to a dry cleaner without advising them! You could spread the infestation to others.
Please act responsibly by identifying items and spreading the word about bed bugs.
Removal and complete elimination of bed bugs can be a significant problem for certain people and locations. Every bed bug must be eliminated in order to stop reproduction of them. Leaving behind one pregnant female can start the process all over again.
The decision of “do-it-yourself” treatment or hiring professionals needs to be made before attempting any bed bug treatment. Some people cannot afford the services of a professional and purchase products from their local hardware store. In all cases these products; without complete understanding and education do not work and can cause problems by spreading the bed bugs, poisoning people and in some cases such as bed bug foggers and bombs can cause fires.
If you MUST insist on trying to eliminate the problem yourself read – Bed Bug Treatment Methods and Options for the Homeowner [safe do it yourself].
Read the book in its entirety BEFORE you attempt to treat for bed bugs. The book covers things NOT TO DO and what works.
For Professional Bed Bug Elimination Call the Bed Bug Hotline @ 1-888-966-2332 or visit our Service Providers Page to address your bed bug problem now.