The most recent bout of calls that I have been receiving is from tenants dealing with bed bug issues and landlords not responding well.
I’m already seeing eyes roll back in heads. Sure, there are those tenants that are just horrible and I get that. Nevertheless, there are those who are not and don’t deserve the treatment they are getting.
If they do respond to a bed bug complaint, the landlord sends in a maintenance worker, employee or friend that sprays the baseboards with who knows what.
In one case, the landlord handed the tenant a one gallon sprayer with Phantom (which he uses every time someone moves) and told them to spray it whenever they see a bug and when they run out to call him and he will fill it up again. On top of it, he was never told not to use it on his bed or couch. And we wonder why there are resistance issues with bed bugs?
Another tenant told me the prep sheet he received from his landlord was from a small company on the other side of the US. So what they’re doing is finding whatever they can on the net, printing it out and using it for their tenants.
I had a call from a resident who resided in a complex that had been throwing up and experiencing headaches since the landlord sprayed for bed bugs two weeks ago. He said he literally soaked his apartment, the apartment next door and upstairs and all the hallways and elevator. The fumes were so pungent that he got sick. I ask him to check the material safety data sheet (MSDS), and tell me what chemicals or products were used and his reply was, “I didn’t get any paperwork”. He thought he had the flu but wasn’t getting any better. I suggested he went to the doctor and also request a chemical sheet.
Active public bed bug education is one of the most important aspects of owning rental property yet many owners, either ignore the facts or hide from it. This sheer ignorance is running rampant. Starting with examining the relationship between bed bugs and dwelling conditions, many owners cover-up the fact that bed bugs existed in a unit when re-leasing to a new tenant.
People – More is not better!
As I’ve written about before, the average human mentality is that if one is good – more is better. It’s often thought that soaking baseboards with a pesticide with a residual in an empty unit will do the trick of eliminating them, when in essence; because it also can work as a repellant, it can force them deeper into wall voids and spreads them to adjacent or surrounding units. If you can see a bed bug – you can kill the bed bug – problem is – they hide where most cannot see.
The bed bugs survival is blood, and they will always forage for their next meal, and if a unit is empty, they will move through the wall voids or where ever they can to obtain a blood meal in a human occupied unit.
With all the resistance issues with commonly used pesticides nowadays, and the fact that it does nothing to the eggs, it a wonder that any of the bed bugs are killed at all.
Frequently, bed bugs spread throughout whole buildings before management is finally forced to pay attention. Either a group of tenants gets together and goes to community housing directors or a lawsuit may be filled.
Having answered thousands of Bed Bug Hotline calls, I’m continually presented with the struggles tenants have when approaching their property owners with a possible bed bug problem. Immediate blame and shame is placed on the tenant who is suffering in an attempt to get them to pay for remediation.
Fear of eviction leads to hiding ineffective attempts of self-treatment by the tenant while the bed bugs are taken to work or anywhere the tenant may go, spread to adjoining units and throughout whole buildings.
Some tenants tell me that their landlord just doesn’t take it serious.
I’m sent pictures of and am told of piles of bedbug soiled mattresses and used furniture are leaned up against buildings as people attempt to rid themselves of bed bugs by throwing away items. This remains a fruitless effort as the bed bugs crawl off and back into the building to infiltrate yet another innocent victim’s apartment. Before long, there isn’t an apartment that hasn’t a bed bug problem.
Just because you can’t see it – it doesn’t mean that it is not happening
Most of the landlords are absentee owners who depend upon a management group or a relative to run things for them. It’s all about the end of the year returns that they are interested in and refuse to apply proper elimination and prevention techniques because of the cost.
Yet, they will pay each time they have a breakout. It never did make any sense to me that a small amount up front would make a significant difference in controlling future outbreaks.
In my professional opinion, none these chemicals should be sold to anyone who does not have a hold a professional license!
Tenants are left powerless to control bed bugs!
Helping tenants get past the thought that bed bugs are a sanitation issue and it is always their fault isn’t easy. Because such guilt and shame is ladled upon them, they often hide the fact they have them and attempt self-treatments.
It’s hard enough for a professional to contain a bed bug problem in multi-unit properties better yet shaming, guilting or leaving it up to a non-professional lay person.
Licensed to find bed bugs
I have to laugh at the stupidity of the bed bug addendums out there. Especially, the ones here in the state of Texas. It states that the tenant has 48 hours to let the management know whether there are bed bugs in the unit they are moving into. After that point, if you call with a bed bug complaint, the tenant has to pay for elimination. And get this: if bed bugs are found in surrounding units – you have to pay for them as well.
How stupid is this!
The law is – anyone that identifies bugs for a living has to have a professional license to do so. This also includes scent detection dog teams in many states.
Now tell me, how can a landlord or property management group insist that an uneducated, unprofessional tenant find bed bugs as a lay person, would they not need a license to do so?
How can they possibly be held responsible? Most tenants don’t even know what a bed bug is!
I hope there are plenty of property owners and management groups reading this blog. It is time you all wake up, take action and be responsible in the case of bed bugs in your properties. Whether you like it or not, bed bugs are here to stay and dumping blame on anyone for getting bed bugs is shameful when you too can fall victim to them. Maybe you should move into your bed bug ridden property yourself and live with it for a while to see exactly what your tenants have to go through. Quality of life and stress of bed bugs can make a normal person crazy!
How can we as a nation, cope with this growing crisis if property owners and management are not educating tenants, having regular professional inspections and following up to make sure your tenants and building is safe? If you are not doing these things to protect your property and your tenants, you’re a sorry example of a landlord and the finger of blame can be pointed directly to you for failing to do what is required to control bed bug outbreaks in your community.
It is YOUR tenants that are taking bed bugs attached to their personal items back into the community, to work, others homes and anywhere they should go.
We’re here to help!
For close to a decade, the IBBRA has been helping provide resources for bed bugs issues worldwide. Whether for a knowledgeable pest Management Company or educational resource, we are always there to assist in any way we can.
Our most recent call volume has been filled with bed bug negligence on part of multi-unit family properties. Many of these owners are ignoring the problem, self-treating with products that don’t work or refusing to treat. In some cases, bed bugs have been present for over two years.
Having excessive amounts of bedbug’s in any environment comes with great responsibility towards keeping customers, patrons, guests, employees or tenants and their families protected and safe from falling victim to them.
Although most ethical and reliable companies will do the right thing, many times these situations are ignored and people get hurt because of ignorance, negligence or down right refusal to right the wrong.
After exhausting all attempts of proper communication regarding bad bed bug situations; victims sometimes need someone well versed in consumer protection law violations, personal injury and premise liability to step in and help them best understand what needs to be done to resolve a situation.
This is not about suing anyone and everyone because of a bed bug bite.
Understand that not all bed bug infestations qualify as a legal matter that would entitle someone to seek compensation. We offer this resource to those who have exhausted every possible attempt to work with those who are responsible and have sustained injuries and/or damages resulting in physical or psychological problems, lost wages, and medical bills, damage to personal property, remediation expenses and extermination bills and cannot come to an equitable resolution.
If you have been damaged or injured as a result of direct exposure to bed bugs in any of these situations, contact www.bedbuglaw.com for a free consultation.
In many of these situations, a simple letter of understanding is enough to address the situation in a way that brings a new reality to the forefront and allows those the opportunity to get it right.
As a legal resource for individuals seeking legal representation against negligent business owners and property owners for injuries caused by bed bugs nationwide, the website http://www.bedbuglaw.com/ is regularly updated with recent information related to changes in the law, bed bug lawsuits and settlements, complaints by guests or customers of negligent business owners and informative videos.
About GS Law Group
Grant Schwarz has dedicated his career to protecting his community and helping others. Grant Schwarz began his career as a State Prosecutor in Florida protecting his community. While working as a prosecutor, Grant Schwarz earned a reputation as a vigorous advocate for his clients and a seasoned courtroom attorney.
Grant now helps thousands of individuals injured by bed bugs to recover compensation for their injuries nationwide. Grant works tirelessly to enforce the rights of individuals against negligent and fraudulent business owners and their insurance companies. Grant’s trial practice with his firm focuses on consumer protection law violations, personal injury and premise liability.
Grant and his team of bed bug advocates have represented clients in nearly every state in the country against most hotel/motel chains, national landlords and furniture stores. Grant has litigated bed bug lawsuits against most insurance companies and has gained inner knowledge about their claims handling processes through extensive litigation.
Named as a Super Lawyer, 10.0 rated Superb Attorney by Avvo, a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by The National Trial Lawyers, Grant is consistently recognized as a top litigator.
Grant created www.bedbuglaw.com as a legal resource for individuals seeking legal representation against negligent business owners and property owners for injuries caused by bed bugs nationwide. The website is regularly updated with recent information related to changes in the law, bed bug lawsuits and settlements, complaints by guests or customers of negligent business owners and informative videos.
Grant represents clients throughout the United States and has established a reputation for being an aggressive and committed advocate for his clients.
The bed bug lawyers at BedBugLaw.com are available to provide you with a free consultation to discuss how we can help you to obtain compensation for your injuries, property damage, loss wages; inconvenience and incidental costs that you incurred following your “unpleasant incident” with beg bug bites.
Call 888-274-9098 to request a free consultation.
IBBRA Disclaimer: This content or the content on our site is offered only as a public resource service and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The IBBRA is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. We cannot provide any kind of advice, opinion, or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, options, or strategies. Our site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of a law firm or any individual attorney.
Food for Thought…
The news is full of reports stating failure rates using pesticides are increasing across the nation. Resistance issues are growing past pyrethroids and have recently shown up with two other commonly used pesticide products (Bifenthrin and Chlorfenapyr).
So what’s going to happen when we run out of chemical options? I’m no biochemist, but we have to ask more intelligent questions.
NEWS flash! These are quotes from a recent news article:
Biopesticide (naturally occurring substances) developed by Penn State scientists has the potential to turn the bedbug control market on its ear! From recent news, this fungus (Beauveria bassiana), is proposed to be the end all for bed bugs. Quoting a natural and indigenous fungus that causes disease in insects but is harmless to humans.
And that my friend is all we hear. How many will delve a bit deeper to hear past the marketing hype?
Beauveria bassiana is a common soil borne fungus that occurs worldwide. Fungal spores must contact the insect for infection to occur. It has even been found infecting the lungs of wild rodents, and the nasal passages of humans (http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/mbcn/kyf410.html)
Although reported to be non-toxic to vertebrates, the potential allergenicity of Beauveria species has not been widely studied. Beauveria bassiana possesses numerous IgE reactive proteins, some of which are cross-reactive among allergens from other fungi. A strongly reactive potential B. bassiana specific allergen (35 kDa) was identified. Intradermal skin testing confirmed the allergenic potential of B. bassiana. (https://clinicalmolecularallergy.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-7961-3-1)
End All? And…is it really safe for humans?
In one case, human infection by Beauveria bassiana has been reported in a person with a suppressed immune system having dyspnea (difficulty breathing). Additionally, can these fungus spores exacerbate breathing difficulties in others? Can it cause keratitis?
Have studies been done to see what this particular fungus can do in “concentration forms” to humans. It is generally considered safe as an insecticide in nature, but reports state it should not be applied to flowers visited by pollinating insects. Makes you wonder why huh?
Thinking critically on the value proposition of this product…
I believe it is time to think a bit more critically about this product and figure out the value proposition in this untapped market for bed bug prevention. In affordable housing, most people naturally go about their lives and when they find an insect or bug in excess or out of the ordinary, they call their exterminator.
However, the majority of the United States is not going to be spraying a fungus throughout their homes in anticipation or for preventing bed bugs any more than they would be spraying to “prevent” fleas, flies or cockroaches.
Sure, there are many natural insecticides in our soils and environments, but not in converged forms. I believe the next test that should be done is developing these concentrated forms and testing them with humans, before placing them on the market for sale for the prevention of bed bugs. (Especially, those living with respiratory issues, COPD, allergies, elderly and young children, who may have suppressed immune systems) Can it cause fungal meningitis and or a bloodstream infection?
Who wants fungus in their homes? The word alone triggers the thought of athlete’s foot or worse. Most people don’t understand that although there may be some beneficial funguses, to the average person, the word fungus alone has the same effect as the words bed bugs do.
So, as a pest control technician can we go in and tell the person that you are using Aprehend a new biopesticide preventative for bed bugs. BUT the truth is you are not telling them what Aprehend is and that clinical studies have not been done on humans to reveal the possible health implications and end result.
The researchers found that exposure to the biopesticide caused the bedbugs to become infected and die within four to seven days. So what’s the big deal here when we have other dusts like CimeXa that can be applied and cause a kill within six days, and if used according to directions is non-toxic and can be applied as a spray.
We’ve got to ask questions like – How will this affect scent detection dogs?
Better yet and furthermore – how about the expensive scent detection dogs that spend their lives with their delicate noses and olfactory flat up against the very areas that may be intoxicated with these new funguses. How does that affect them? Will they develop a fungal disease or have breathing problems because of it?
What are we humans thinking? Is it all about the money or is it about really getting rid of bed bugs and keeping the public safe at the same time? Are there liability issues here?
With around twenty thousand-pest control firms in the US and only a little over ten percent or so actually doing completely non-toxic heat treatments for bed bugs; I guess we will all see an increase in bed bugs for the next few decades.
Preventing bed bugs…
How could you “prevent” fleas when you can easily walk across grass and have one jump on you, which is then brought into your home and start an infestation without you knowing. Maybe you don’t even own a cat or dog. How would you “prevent” a fly from flying into your home when you open the door? OR a cockroach hitching a ride on a food product you bought? Or a lice attaching to your hair from the back of a chair, in a movie or airplane?
Most of these are simply unpreventable and are just plain bad luck just as bed bugs are. Prevention is a word loosely used when it comes to bed bugs. The only thing you can prevent when it comes to bed bugs is “infestations” and that is accomplished only through vigilance. Be on the lookout, check often; be careful of your surroundings, what you buy, where you lay your personal items and get out the steamer the first sign of a bed bug.
With the mounting incidence of bed bugs in homes, apartments and businesses, discovering them early removes the possibility of “infestations” from building. All public or high traffic businesses and multi-unit dwellings need to be doing regular inspections for bed bugs and here’s why:
LIKE TRYING TO FIND A NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK
I’m sure at one time or another in your life you’ve heard the expression, “Like trying to find a needle in a haystack”, and that is exactly what it’s like trying to find a single bed bug introduction, small amounts or bed bugs eggs in any environment. The bed bug is like the needle and the environment is like the haystack.
That is why there are so many more infestations popping up all over. People may suspect a problem but can’t find evidence of such. It is then that they play the wait and see game and before long, a bed bug infestation has built and they are taking bed bugs with them to work and school or anywhere they go.
INSPECTING FOR BED BUGS
The truth is, no matter how hard we try as humans, our visual inspections pales in comparison to the remarkable scenting ability of a detection dog.
In early stages of bed bugs, or when they’re are first introduced, the size and reclusive nature of the bed bug places them in inaccessible areas where unless we had x-ray vision we just could not detect where they are hiding. In addition, human inspections require extensive knowledge of the bug, the use of a magnifying glass and a bright light to see in dark crevices, while tearing apart and disassembling furniture. This process is extremely time consuming in such that a person can expect a professional to be in their homes for well over an hour or more. Even after a careful examination, they still may not have found the area where they are hiding.
To give you an example, pretend you’re asked to hide a straight pin somewhere in your living room and ask a friend to find it. You could have pulled a cushion from your couch and penetrated it deep along a seam in the corner or behind the cardboard of a wall hanging or painting. Alternatively, maybe you slipped it through a crack behind the baseboard and it fell through. Finding it would literally take hours and in most cases, they would never find it!
Now, if they told you it was somewhere in the vicinity of the chair in the right-hand corner of the room, you could focus your efforts in a few square feet vs. inspecting the whole room and all its contents and it would cut your inspection time down. Again, just because you know the area doesn’t mean that you will find it if it is hidden behind that baseboard.
HUMAN INSPECTION vs. DETECTION DOG COSTS
Knowing that inspecting for bed bugs takes a tremendous amount of time to do it right, the cost for doing a proper inspection could range anywhere from one hundred dollars on up. A human inspector with around 35% accuracy couldn’t possible do a comprehensive inspection in fifteen to thirty minutes and can miss hide harborages easily leaving you with bed bugs unnoticed. On the other hand, although it may cost you a bit more, but detection dogs can sweep the same areas in a fraction of the time it takes a professional, have a much higher accuracy rate and show you exactly where the bugs are hiding for a much easier and efficient treatment.
Spending a little more money upfront will save you from expensive treatments later should they go unnoticed and build up to infestation levels!
HOW DETECTION DOGS DO IT
Luckily, bed bugs put off a scent, which these dogs are trained to detect. They pick up the scent cone and when they smell where bed bug’s hidden harborages are, they signal an alert of their find to the handler. This is especially valuable in early stages when treating for bed bugs stops infestations from building.
TREATMENT FOR BED BUGS
Because every insect has a different nature and tolerance to what we use to eliminate them, they require different treatment elimination processes. You need to find and verify the insect in question in order to know which treatment to use. (Treatment used for cockroaches doesn’t work for mosquitoes and so on)
Unlike many other insects, there is no preventative insect spray for bed bugs. Although the use of CimeXa in wall voids, electrical outlets and cracks and crevices has shown to be affective in stopping them from getting to far should they cross those barriers.
VERIFYING DETECTION DOG ALERTS
Before the application of any professional treatment, the industry requires verification of the insect at question. Once the dog alerts on a particular area, it is up to the handler to do a comprehensive inspection to expose evidence of the alert.
If they are not able to visually verify the dogs alert, it doesn’t mean the dog was wrong or that it was a false alert, it means that there may not be enough bed bugs to find visual evidence or that they are well hidden behind baseboards, in wall void or in places where they can’t see into or behind. This doesn’t mean they are not there. During this time, they will suggest monitoring for activity and reschedule an inspection at a later date.
On or off the job, these dogs are continually trained by their handlers using live bed bug specimens to keep them keen on the scent of live bed bugs or viable eggs.
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR WHEN CHOOSING A TEAM
In every industry, there are do-gooder’s and those who take advantage of others. Watch out for those who say they can sweep 70 to 100 rooms with one dog in a single day. Detection dogs require breaks for resting their nose, potty breaks and a snooze.
PEACE OF MIND
The most rewarding part of regular inspections is the peace of mind it gives you. Whether in your own home, business or multi-unit properties, regular bed bug detection dog inspections can help keep from infestations from ever happening!
Reach out to the IBBRA for a reputable detection dog team in your area. www.ibbra.org
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure… the old proverb explains that it is easier to stop something from happening in the first place than to repair the damage after it has happened. There is no truer statement when it comes to bed bugs.
The truth is bed bugs are easy to get rid of if found early but if you wait until they build up into breeding grounds and go into “repair” mode, the damage can cost you a bundle.
No one is immune to bed bugs no matter how clean or rich you are. Bed bugs feed on blood and unless you happen to be one that has no blood running through their veins, you too can fall victim to bed bugs.
So let’s think this out using a little common sense …
Picking up a bed bug can be as easy as going to your favorite store, business, doctor’s office, show or restaurant or grabbing one up at school or work or a friend’s home. One pregnant female can attach to your clothing or personal items, be brought home, lay eggs and start an infestation (if you don’t notice it early)
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN “INFESTATION AND AN OCCURANCE”
Not everyone has an infestation. One or two bed bugs do not depict an infestation. That is what we call an “occurrence”. Now, if you happen to be one of those who do get a reaction from a bed bugs bite and you are bitten, suspect and search for bed bugs right away! If you still can’t find any signs, call in a bed bug detection dog team as soon as possible to avoid an infestation.
Now, let’s suppose you don’t react to their bites. You have no clue that bed bugs are coming out and feeding on you and months can go by when you finally realize dirty fecal stains. ßThis is very common and is the biggest reason you should be inspecting your sleeping quarters regularly. Again, finding them early in the “occurrence” stage is best and much easier to get rid of.
“INFESTATIONS” TAKE TIME
Female bed bugs lay eggs, the eggs must hatch and go through five stages of development before becoming a breeding adult. (Approximately 22-36 days or longer depending upon temperature, availability of food source and conditions) Although the female lays many eggs in her lifetime, she doesn’t do it all at once. Regular mating and feedings are required.
Those breeders now start laying eggs, which have to go through the whole process of development before they become breeding adults. So as you can see, it takes a couple of months before anything substantial builds.
If people get their steamers out at the first sign they can usually get rid of the problem before they get a chance to build up. (Providing they are doing it right and in the right places)
You can’t prevent infestations from occurring any better than that!
HOW ELSE DOES ONE PREVENT BED BUGS?
You could resign to never leaving your home, never having visitors and completely shut yourself off from the world, but that is unrealistic. The majority of society, goes to work, the grocery store, lets the repair person in, has guests, their kids go to school and go out for outings.
Living in a single family home is one thing, but when it comes to those who live in multi-unit properties where bed bugs can crawl through wall voids, be dropped off in stairwells, foyers, elevators, laundry rooms, that gets even more complicated.
Vigilance is the key to avoiding bed bugs to begin with. You have to be cautious with everything you bring into your home including the clothing you wear, backpacks, purses, and things you purchase when you come back from an outing.
Whenever you are in a place where there are many people, you have to be aware of the fact that one single bug could have crawled on to your person or a belonging of yours. That alone is enough to make anyone in their right mind lose it!
When you enter your home or place of residence, change your clothing and place them directly in the dryer if you have one or in a bag and seal it until you can do laundry. Don’t lay them on the floor of your room, on the bed, over a chair, couch or anywhere.
CAN YOU SPRAY AWAY YOUR BED BUG TROUBLES?
Face it we do not live in hermetically sealed homes. All kinds of bugs find their way in through openings like window and doorframes, electrical conduits, chimneys, eaves, crack and crevices everywhere. Some people think that if they constantly spray their homes or apartments with a pesticide that they have less of a chance to get bed bugs.
Problem with that is where are you going to spray? Repeated spraying of surfaces where there isn’t an insect (which is basically against the law for any pest management company to do – they must identify the insect in question before choosing the proper pesticide), leaves a chemical residual that can potentially build up and create a resistance anyway. Besides, how do you know that you are using the proper pesticide for the bug at question to begin with?
Next, if there is a bug where the pesticide is sprayed you also have the potential to repel the bug from that area to get away from the chemical, which can spread the problem to other areas.
Repeated spraying can also create a toxic environment in which depressed immune systems, children, pets and elderly can become sick. There is no safe and effective preventative chemical treatment.
Here’s another mistaken treatment that many people turn to their local stores for. The problem with foggers or bombs is that they disperse a chemical into unobstructed air space and never get inside the cracks and crevices where bed bugs hide. Foggers are a fruitless effort that also spreads them so don’t waste your money.
Bed bugs are not as easy to prevent as many other types of bugs but that doesn’t mean you can be as vigilant as possible and knock them out as soon as you get one or two of them.
WHAT DOES IT COST TO BE PREVENTATIVE AGAINST BED BUGS?
Being preventative is more of an act than anything else is. One never knows when they, a family member, or visitor could have come across a situation where they picked up a hitchhiker.
Here are some of the best prevention methods:
- Be aware of where you go and where you place items in your home.
- Be careful to inspect any secondhand items or hand-me-downs you get before bringing them in your home.
- If you should show signs of bites, suspect and look for bed bugs right away.
- Change your sheets on a regular basis and check for signs while doing so.
- Do a thorough cleaning and vacuuming of your home and places you rest.
- Use a steamer often on your mattress edges, carpets and edges, couches, baseboards and other areas where bed bugs hide. [It also helps sanitize against bacteria and viruses]
- Remove any clutter throughout your home
- Organize closets and drawers [Place items in clear totes with locking tops]
- Talk about bed bug risks with all family members
CAN I PAY SOMEONE TO PREVENT BED BUGS FOR ME?
No, there isn’t enough money in the world to pay someone to follow you around to prevent you from picking up and introducing a bed bug to your environment; but there are detection dogs that can come in on a regular basis to make sure they don’t build up into infestations in your home.
If you have a large family, have many visitors, travel often or work in a high-risk environment, having your home or office checked regularly can help to prevent an infestation from building. It takes approximately 22-36 days past the eggs hatching when you have a new amount of breeding adults so quarterly inspections will keep you from ever having a serious infestation.
Reach out if we can be of any assistance, we are always here to help!
Bed bugs are not just in the United States. They are infiltrating homes worldwide and Bed Bug Experts, now founding members of IBBRA are the only UK pest control company to offer a 12 MONTH BED BUG GUARANTEE. Yes, you heard it right, 12 months! Let’s see how they can do that.
Here in the US, it is rare to find a company that will treat “just the infected area”, as most insist on doing the whole premises. Once stung by an expensive one time, whole-house bed bug treatment, if they get them again, because of affordability issues, people tend to turn to self-treatments, which always gets them in trouble down the line.
Since the cost for treating a whole home vs. an infected room is so vast, the Bed Bug Experts evaluate each case carefully to make sure they don’t do needless treatments in rooms that are not affected. This builds trust and confidence with their customers and if they should ever have or suspect a bed bug problem in the future, they always get the call.
What separates Bed Bug Experts from other companies is that their whole focus is on only one pest, bed bugs. Richard believes that education on this evasive bug is important for all his clients and includes a Q & A section on his web site as well as client handouts.
THE ONLY GOOD BED BUG IS A DEAD BED BUG
Just ask the experts how you got bed bugs in the first place, and they will answer – just bad luck. When communicating with Richard Barrie, owner of Bed Bug Experts, he indicated, “sometimes a person may have just returned from a trip and only have the beginning stages of bed bugs in one room, or a bed bug or two may have come in on a single item. Why spend the money and treat the whole house if only one room is affected?”
Bed bugs can spread for numerous reasons: A person moves an infected item (blankets, pillows, clothing, etc.) from one room to another, a person may go and sleep on a couch to get away from bites, by dragging an infested item through the house to dispose it, or a person uses a product without knowing what they are doing. Of course, it also depends upon how long a person has bed bugs and it’s also possible they could have come from a neighbouring property, particularly if the adjoining rooms have been vacated for a while. The list goes on…
Bed Bug Experts located in Ayr, Scotland, stands behind their guarantee for both single treatments in one room and whole house treatments. They take away the “scare you to death and do the whole house” treatment and have never failed to get rid of even the most infested homes.
Their sensitive, highly knowledgeable and confident technicians evaluate each case and do their best not to disrupt the household any more than it already is. Their treatments are kinder and simpler than other companies are because they don’t create great emotional distress for the client by insisting on them throwing their possessions away or doing tons of preparation. The confidence and security for their client’s exists in their guarantee to come back if necessary without an extra charge. They are with you every step of the way until every last bed bugs is destroyed.
With all the horror stories on the internet, Richard says, “Don’t believe everything you hear about bed bugs. Getting rid of them is not a big deal if you know how. We do”.
Bed Bug Experts know that the effects of a bed bug infestation can go far beyond irritating bites, so their incentive to get it right the first time grew into their ironclad guarantee. However severe, they have never been defeated and are always 100% EFFECTIVE. That is a big commitment but their record of accomplishment proves their success.
THE BEST BED BUG GUARANTEE IN THE UK
All their single treatments come with automatic 6 MONTH GUARANTEE, but where all the main living rooms and bedrooms in the property are treated, they extend the guarantee to a FULL 12 MONTHS for no extra charge. Usually one treatment is enough, but if the bed bugs aren’t completely gone after a few weeks they go back and do it again FREE OF CHARGE until they are gone for good. People do not pay another cent for any additional treatments.
What I loved most about the Bed Bug Experts is that they are honest and professional. Let’s all reach out and welcome the Bed Bug Experts and whether across the street or across the oceans, we all look forward to working with them to help make a difference! Bed Bug Experts on 020 3285 7399 www.bed-bug-experts.co.uk
The IBBRA would like to welcome Kay McDonald and Bed Bug Detection K9s as a Founding Member of the International Bed Bug Resource Authority (IBBRA).
Dogs trained for scent are just that, trained for scent, but a working “team” is both the dog and the handler together. The importance of good handling is that it keeps the dogs on cue and working at high efficiency. False positives are not an option with this team!
Kay McDonald isn’t just a dog handler. She is a woman with vision, care and a great big heart. As Vice President and Canine Training Director for Massachusetts Rescue and Recovery K9 Unit (www.mark9.us) she expressed to me how minutes in a search can mean the difference in life or death for someone lost or injured or trapped. These teams are crucial in the rapid location of someone lost to save their lives and each of their dedicated teams consist of professional volunteers who donate thousands of hours to train their dogs for the sole purpose of helping others in times of need.
Both of Kay’s search and rescue (SAR) dogs have the highest level of certification for their chosen training through the Massachusetts Search and Rescue Dog Federation (www.MASSARDF.org) and Crime Scene work through the International Police Work Dog Association. Her live find dog searches for live missing persons and her cadaver dog searches for expired people.
Just recently, her 7-year-old Border Collie Rio passed an advanced 160-acre certification test, finding the hidden person in just three hours. Her cadaver dog is Poppy, is a 5-year-old Border Collie/Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix. Poppy was initially bred for flyball, but now works on century-old cold cases as well as fresh.
Few bed bug detection handlers have such professional versatility as Kay. Kay is a highly experienced, multifaceted trainer/handler that has been instructing dogs in high-level activities for over 20 years. From agility sports, animal wrangling for films, flyball competitions, rescue and recovery work; she has now joined the world of bed bug detection.
During my interview with Kay, you can feel her passion about rescue work and equally with bed bug detection. “Finding bed bugs early changes the game for people. It can help prevent a serious outlay of money for long-term infestations. These people need help, she explained to me, and I’m here to do just that”. She’s focused and committed to helping people.
A dog “team” is only as good as the handler, says Kay. You can have a highly trained dog, but if the handler doesn’t know what they’re doing you can miss bed bugs or have false alerts. Accuracy and taking my time is number one priority for me. We sweep the room with great detail so we don’t miss anything. I may take longer than other teams but if there are bed bugs, we will find them.
Kay trained her own bed bug detection dog Spice, and certified as a team through the IBBMA Integrated Bed Bug Management Association (www.IBBMA.org). Kay is also an evaluator for both MASSARDF and for IBBMA. She conducts working, detection dog training sessions in narcotics, explosives (vapor wake), human remains, live find and nose work. Her long-term goals and intentions are to help other bed bug detection handlers perfect their skills and become the best in their field.
When she and her dogs are not working, they enjoy playing flyball and compete on the Bay State Bandits Flyball Team. Let’s all reach out and welcome Kay and Spice aboard!
Bed Bug Detection K9s is located in Pepperell, MA right outside of Boston and you can reach Kay at Bed Bug Detection K9s (http://www.bedbugdetectionk9s.com)
An owner of a pest control company recently told me, he doesn’t get as many calls for bed bugs as he had the past two years. He also added, “He thinks bed bugs are dropping off as they did years ago and once he takes care of a client’s problem, he never hears from them again”. That told me two things, he might be doing a good job, but he is not engaging his clients.
The fact is, a few years back there were only a handful of pest control companies doing bed bug work, but today, the competition is so much greater. In addition, in some areas, do-it-yourselfers are rapidly growing.
I asked him where he targets his marketing and advertisement, who writes his blogs, how does he stay in contact with his previous clients“, and how he optimizes” his web site to get new customers.
He had a blank, lost look on his face. It reminded me, of me a few years back when I didn’t even know what a URL was. Keeping up to date with Google standards and ranking algorithms is a full time job all by itself. I learn something new every week. And just when I think I understand completely it, it changes. Thanks Google!
He shared with me that he spent a lot of money on his site but he is not getting the traffic that he thought he would. Some people think that once you put up a web site, you’re all done. Not true, with hundreds of thousands of web sites on the Internet how does Google know who to put on the first page unless you let them know you exist?
Sure you can pay though your nose, but if you use the words Bed Bugs, it will cost you dearly!
You need to earn that position by optimizing your site daily in order for Google to take you serious and place you high in the search engines.
Some people think they can just hire a SEO company (and there are plenty of them out there), and starting at around $499 a month for a basic package, will promise you first page ranking in three months.
Please be careful and don’t bite for this…check out the SEO company thoroughly. Do a trail run or test before you sign up for any long term, costly adventure.
They can get you to the front page quickly – top – front and center – but be careful here – some of these companies purchase links, thousands of them and add them to your site. You will see a huge surge of traffic, which leads you to thinking that you are getting your monies worth.
The problem is, they are loading you with bad backlinks. When loaded with bad backlinks, and Google realizes it, you are tossed back five pages or more it can be years before your site will see the light of day on the front page ever again. Bad backlinks can harm your domain permanently.
A high quality website grows over time with organic visits in terms of both search engine trust and loyal readers. I’ll say it again, loyal readers. You have to blog!
Make sure that your content is unique and original and Google hates publish duplicate content on websites. If you must use the same content in two areas make sure do a “no index and no follow” on those pages so that they do not have a negative impact on your SEO.
Are you a key word stuffer? Great, you have a list of keywords often used by your target market that you want to include in your content. Don’t cram all of them into one piece of content or use all of them in each article you write. Google will pick this up as an attempt to manipulate their algorithms, and you will lose ranking. Use them only in your title or opening paragraphs and naturally within the body of your content.
Guest posting for links – You do me and I will do you – Be careful here, if done wrong can damage rankings! Remember; always create original, relevant and useful blogs and information for your audience. If you’re going to allow any guest posting for links, make sure they are industry related and not just for exposure or recognition.
There is an expression, “Content is King!” Great content encourages people to link to your pages, give them thumbs-up and share them with others and this shows Google™ your pages are interesting and authoritative which leads to search engine success. It is that simple!
However, good content alone is not enough.
Here’s the catch – it involves writing regular, powerful content that people find useful and beneficial and it has to be shared on a regular interval (daily-weekly-monthly) in blogs, twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc., and over-time Google™ picks up on these authoritive signals.
Creating inbound traffic and unique visitors is an investment that turns into a gift that keeps on giving. Its said, the rule of thumb for an average firm in this industry is 1,000 visitors per month. If you are getting 1,000 unique visitors per month… Pat yourself on the back.
But when I see that I’ve been working on a particular segment, and then seeing a spike (or trend) towards more visitors – then I know that I’m doing my job. The number of visitors will ebb and flow a bit, so having analytics measured across months and years is more important to the big picture. If you are not seeing anything close to that, you may have some work to do.
Last year, the IBBRA web site received over 72,000 unique visitors searching for bed bug solutions and answers. Growing to that volume took a consistent growth pattern based on daily postings of important information that people are searching for or opted-in to receive.
Since we’ve gained strong SEO, we continue to create stronger value for our members. Many of our members share our posts or link to our posts and blogs and we do the same for them when they send their blogs to us. If you are not sharing them, you cannot benefit. THAT is what it is all about.
Great content from idea to publication can help you build your audience and drive continued traffic growth to your site. So if you don’t have a blog, you need one.
If you can’t write, then reach out! There are lots of blog writers out there starting at $100up a blog which is a small price to pay for the amount of unique visitors you’ll get after around 10-20 blogs. Find someone who is well versed in your industry.
I’ve been ghost writing blogs and books for others specific to bed bugs, heat treatments and much more for several years and would like to open my services to you as well. Some of our members already use me to create original blogs for them with great success, so I decided to open it up for others that require help.
If you are looking for content on bed bugs, I am offering packages of five blogs at a time. Just tell me what you want to tell your audience and I will write it for you. Most blogs are 600+ words (most are more). If I feel that I can’t write about the topic you choose, I will bow out gracefully and help you find someone who can.
Your customers don’t stay with you because you’re “cute”, they found “value” in your services. Insure your customers think of you beyond just the first service day.
So what makes you stand out from your competition?
Always here to help! www.ibbra.org
Could it be – that we have too much STUFF?
I’ve written a number of articles on how “clutter” creates a much more difficult environment in which to get rid of bed bugs; but the sense of discontent and fear for a hoarder, can send them both physically and mentally into an emotional tailspin.
Clean, well-organized people are often overwhelmed with just the thought of having to prepare for a treatment; face it, it is a lot of work, but when a hoarder is faced with the challenge the game changes. “Clean it up or give it away” comes through loud and clear often leads to the building of serious psychosomatic fear. The very thought of having to give away their exaggerated sense of protectiveness for these “precious possessions” creates an indeterminate state and traps them like a deer in headlights.
No one knows exactly why, but they just can’t let go. The true epiphanies usually don’t come until one attempts to prepare for the removal of bug that is biting daily. Meanwhile, they live with piles of useless things that create immense discontent.
In the past, I wrote about one particular woman that had record amounts of hats, purses and shoes that she had collected over many years, which overflowed in boxes and bags under and alongside of her bed. It got to the point when she was being bitten nightly but would not budge the items under her bed for the love of money. She expressed how much she has spent on these items and how valuable they were to her. In her exact words, they were “irreplaceable”. When I asked her when she last worn any of them or pulled these things out to clean, she answered, she didn’t remember, maybe six years or so. I cringed. Now, I am getting a huge vision here, I can only image, but have a clue what is going on under her bed.
After back-to-back phone calls like this from people who asked if they had to get rid of their “stuff”, I reached out to better understand the physiological attachment to these belongings. I can understand a couple heirlooms and artifacts that have deep meaning, but a collection of old “stuff”, I grappled.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Cory Chalmers, Owner of Steri-Clean Inc. Cory launched the series Hoarders, which depicts the real-life struggles and treatment of people who suffer from hoarding and was one of the most watched series on A&E for years. Daily, he and his crews deal with immense biohazard conditions and severe emotional struggles. He shared with me that many times on the show, in an effort to help his clients live a better physical and emotional life; the psychologists and clean-up crewmembers were shown to the door by the hoarder in refusal of any help. They just couldn’t let go.
Re-evaluating your material possessions
We live in a world where the vision of “more is better”. If one is good, ten must be better! Unfortunately, more always gets in the way. Now you need a bigger house with a bigger garage or another storage container. What happen to the days when good enough was good enough?
Modern day kitchen gadgets took the place of a knife and a little time. Conveniences, immediate satisfaction and things to make others think we are more than we are, fill store shelves. Even with all these “conveniences”, we still have little time to enjoy our families. Weekends are filled with, “We have to clean the garage”.
How many times have you walked into a store and saw something so cool that you just had to have, and purchased it? Where is that item now? Crammed in a drawer, in storage, in a closet? When is the last time you found the need to use it or use it for entertainment? Exactly my point!
When my kids and I moved from what I call “the big house” to a smaller home on the oceanfront, we had no choice but to scale down. We sat and went through “stuff” that we just “had to have” and believe me; my kids didn’t suffer from not ever having enough, I asked the question, “Do we need, want or desire this?”
When you look at items that way, you find that there really is very little that we actually really “need”. Does one need fifty pairs of pants, twenty pairs of shoes or sixty T-shirts in every color? How many jackets does one need?
More than half of what we humans have hung on a hanger are collecting dust and not worn for years. Women, how about that pre-pregnant “size eight” dress that you were holding onto to fit back into one day? Men, what about those pants with size 34 waist those are crammed between another dozen or so things that don’t fit you since you took up drinking beer?
I placed many items into boxes and would review the contents a week or so later. Before I was done, I had reduced the box to half of what it was originally. My kids did the same and I saw them piling their “stuff” for give-a-ways, donations and rubbish.
I often tell women to think about how much time it takes them to clean a house that has lots of “stuff”. Women tell me that they have to go in and “organize” rooms, which takes hours of their time. I’ve received calls back from women that I spoke to that went through their items and reduced them only to be told that it freed them up from having to organize or move them here and there and it takes them less time to clean their homes and more time for their families.
Now is everyone going to do this, probably not, but if you have an hour here and there, grab up a box of your “stuff”, go through it and delete the things that hold you back and think about buying only what you actually need which helps eliminate excessive debt and you can put more into savings or retirement.
Two significant contributors to depression and anxiety are financial hardship and stress so ask yourself, have you over-accumulation “stuff” and how much time do you have to work to pay the bills for this stuff?
I read somewhere that hoarding is the “endowment effect on steroids” and there is a wide spectrum of over-accumulation. We own more things than we need or can possibly care for, and cannot park our cars in the garage because it is filled with things that don’t fit in the house.
I ask myself when I am about to purchase something, “Do I need, want or desire this – will I actually “use” this item up – and is this going to bring me closer or further to my goals?” I don’t know about you, but at this time in my life, I want to focus more on living with less “stuff” and focus more on building a more meaningful life and spend time with those I love. I want that freedom of choice every day of my life from now on.
When it comes down to the nitty gritty, all the “superfluous wants and must haves” don’t make up the person. No material possession really has any meaning; they only fill your ego or deplete your pocketbook.
Here to help!
We all know that most everything in life has a purpose. If that is true, what purpose has the bed bug? They are not a food source; they don’t prey on other pests, you can’t make energy or fabric from them. In the ecological scheme of things, they are still part of the diversity of life on our planet.
Looking back over their history, you can see that they were nothing short of pure hell for those who had them. In homes, they created a reason to have hyper vigilant and thankless repetitive cleaning habits. In businesses, they made it impossible to feel safe, and in travel, they affected people’s belongings and lives much as they do today.
Unlike arachnids that feed on other pests to help keep populations down, the bed bug doesn’t prey on other insects as their food supply. Spiders are primary controllers of insects in our crops, which would be consumed by other pests without them. Spiders are food for other organisms, from other spiders to birds, reptiles, and small mammals like shrews. Spider venoms show promise in the field of medicine. Spider silk is among the strongest, most elastic of natural fibers. Synthesized spider silk has proven useful in creating the next generation of parachutes and bulletproof vests. (1)
So, how about blood sucking ticks? Ticks are an essential food source for animals that forage for nourishment in the places where ticks live (which is almost everywhere, really). (2)
Even nasty disease vectors like mosquitoes have sustainable benefits. In the aquatic stage, fish feed on mosquito larvae, once emerged as adults, birds and spiders and other insects feed on them. Dragonflies and damselflies love mosquitoes. Frogs eat adult mosquitoes and tadpoles eat the larvae. (3)
Occasionally, I’ll get a call from a bed bug victim that says, “What was God thinking when he made these horrible bloodsuckers?” After lengthy conversations surrounding the topic of the function or role bed bugs play in our lives, we’ve come up with the biggest benefit of having bed bugs.
It goes like this…
There are no words to describe people’s relationship with personal possessions. We live in a world of “stuff”. People have more “stuff” than they need and it piles up in closets, drawers, hallways, spare rooms, garages, storage units and many become hoarders. Some of this “stuff” has only value to the owner of it.
I recently spoke to a woman in a high-rise apartment that had boxes of purses, shoes and miscellaneous items hidden away under her bed since she moved in over 7 years ago. She’s not sure how long she’s had bed bugs. Eek!
When I suggested her going through her things she remarked, “Those are my “things”, I have nowhere else to put them, they cost me a lot of money”. I’ve spoken to others who have articles of clothing from twenty years ago, hidden away in boxes because they intended to fit back into them someday. I hear people tell me “how expensive” and how valuable their “stuff” is, and the attachment to these things is strong.
We just can’t let go of our “stuff”
Until… bed bugs!
No matter how resistant you are to letting go, either you do it now, or you will be forced to do it later. At least now, you have a chance of selling it without an infestation of bugs.
We have concluded that the sole purpose of bed bugs is…
TO CLEAN UP THE “CLUTTER” IN LIFE!!!
Yes, that’s it, to clean up this world of “stuff” we live with.
You know, that “stuff” you’ve been meaning to go through for the last decade in the spare room, closet or garage. How about the paid for storage you haven’t visited in months, maybe years?
I tell people to pick up an item and ask this question, “Do I need, want or desire this?” Does the item serve you or take away from you? If you haven’t worn it, used it, loaned it or made money with it in the past couple of years – get rid of it!
I heard of a couple that had several homes and when their last child got married, they sold everything, put the money in a nice investment and now travel the world. Now I not telling you to throw away your life or do what these people did but I am saying that clearing out the extras in life makes life easier. You would be surprised how little we actually need in life to sustain a great life style. Besides, you will spend less time cleaning, paying for storage for things you never use and most of all be able to “see if you have a bed bugs problem and take care of it” much easier.
Don’t wait to get bed bugs before you clean up your act. It will be so much easier should you get bed bugs if you don’t have “stuff”.
www.ibbra.org We’re here to help!