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

Bed Bug Education will never be as expensive as Bed Bug IgnoranceApproaching 2016 Biggest Bed Bug Problem

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, regular inspections, public awareness and education has greatly fueled the explosion.

The calls that have come through the IBBRA ‘s Bed Bug Hotline this January have exceeded last year’s calls for the same month by a whopping 80%!

Those who live in apartment communities have been suffering the most with finger pointing being on the top of the list. Pest control professionals have been struggling with a multitude of issues including, cultural and language differences, disabilities, handicaps, living styles and of course, affordability issues.

And let’s not forget the most important issue of all, shear bed bug ignorance of property owners and managements groups that only want the immediate problem solved and have not embraced regular inspections to keep “infestations” from building. They’d rather pay over and over again or attempt to charge their tenants instead of putting a program in place.

It doesn’t have to be that hard folks!

Let’s face it, becoming skilled at getting the clients to perform regular inspections to find bed bugs early and educating their tenants upfront has been one of the biggest setbacks for most. No one wants to spend a penny more than they have to, but in the end, they wind up spending ten times more.

Driving home the “facts” before you take on the job

The fact is – Bed bugs are here to stay and their repeated introductions and invasions in our lives will not mysteriously just go away. This reality should be the number one fact driven home by all pest professionals to their clients.

The success of eliminating and controlling future infestations does not rely on an in and out process for every time there is a complaint. It depends on complete cooperation from tenants, management and the professional completing the job. Bed bugs are going to happen repeatedly and will eventually run the kitty dry. Management has to be warned upfront that a single elimination process is not the way to address future bed bug issues!

Back to the future

Give them a peek of the future with a Be Aware – Not Scare IBBRA approach. Just like the movie “Back to the Future”, the highest-grossing film of 1985, we have to give them a peek of what will happen unless they do what is required to avoid future problems. We used to joke when someone didn’t “understand something” by knocking on our heads and saying “McFly” wake up.

It’s time to do some head knocking.

A Bold Move by Pest Control

Do you have the nerve to walk away from a job and insist that part of your service is regular inspections? Sure, they will call a competitor of yours to do the job and you will lose that revenue. The thing is that, after continued and repeated bed bugs, their pockets will be drained and they will still have the same problem. This leaves them wondering if they had gone with your services to begin with, if they’d be ahead of the program. It is then that you receive the call.

No one wants to turn down business, but if you can see a reoccurring problem that will make you look unsuccessful or strain your warranty with call backs, it might be the best thing to do.

I know of several professional bed bug professionals that refuse to do a job unless management abides by certain processes. They got tired of being called back to treat a single surrounding unit of the last unit they serviced because management didn’t want to check surrounding units. To them it was nothing but a vicious circle and a waste of their time.

What if all pest professionals took a strong stance on this by not servicing a client that won’t abide by a process that protects them against “infestations” in the future? These multi-unit management groups would be forced to do what is right and make the common sense IBBRA Layered Defense Strategy work for more.

It may be a gutsy move but your reputation builds and precedes others as the “go-to” for any bed bug issues.

When all else fails, call (YOU) – those people really know what they are doing when it comes to bed bugs!


We are here to help!

Suspected Bed Bug Chemical Resistance Finally Proven

BedbugcutoutThey are now calling it the “Rise of the Super Bug” because of their resistance to chemical pesticide treatments driving home the fact that sprays used to kill bed bugs are not effective. It’s been known for some time that there are different “strains” of bed bugs in which scientists just announced they have tested four different strains against some of the most widely used and powerful chemicals we have to kill them.

Declining performance and treatment failures have lead scientists to study the effects and find evidence of developed tolerance to neonicotinoids. Scientists believe the overuse has led to this increased resistance. These neonicotinoids includes ◦Acetamiprid ◦Clothianidin ◦Dinotefuran ◦Nitenpyram ◦Thiocloprid ◦Thiamethoxam and ◦Imidacloprid, which is the most widely used of all.

Neonicotinoids have been a controversial topic for bees in the news for years, but now with proof of elevated levels of detoxifying enzymes developing within the bed bug, things are changing. The study shows the marketing and advertising of these products efficacy doesn’t match up with the true effectiveness which becomes a waste of people’s money.

The study, published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, was the first to confirm the resistance.

Assistant professor Troy Anderson, from Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences said: ‘While we all want a powerful tool to fight bed bug infestations, what we are using as a chemical intervention is not working as effectively it was designed and, in turn, people are spending a lot of money on products that aren’t working”. 

New Mexico State University Assistant Professor, Dr. Alvaro Romero added: ‘If resistance is detected, products with different modes of action need to be considered, along with the use of non-chemical methods.

Benefits vs. Risks

As we know with the use of any medicine or chemical, that without unquestionable verification of 100% safe we should avoid overuse. Having a background in contract manufacturing, I’ve been part of several clinical studies. In no study ever have I found 100% (anything less than that is ambiguous). Clinical studies take the majority of benefits and often those who manufacture use only those figures to focus their advertising to increase sales. People often ignore risks because the benefits are much greater.

Humans have a peculiar way of reading the back of a supplement bottle that says, “Take two daily”. But when seeing the supposed benefits they “think”, I want that so, to them more is better and take 6! Little do they pay attention to the fact that this particular element can produce serious side effects when used outside the labels instructions.

Rethink Tank

We all need to start thinking outside the box. The days of seeing a bug, and using hammers to kill them is changing.

Rethinking our resources and the wasting of them is important for all. How many thousands of dollars are wasted daily on treatments that don’t work? How many see one or two bugs and treat whole facilities? Financially challenged and low income who hasn’t the resources to use professionals turn to store bought products made with these chemicals. Are they wasting the little money they have to begin with?

Perhaps those who lived many years ago when bed bugs were a common pest and used non-toxic approaches and modes of action to rid their lives of bed bugs knew what they were doing. Routine inspections, cleaning of clutter, regular vacuuming and vigilance by all may just be the answer. Spring cleaning on a regular basis!

Maybe this could be the reason for so many calls from people who paid for treatment and thought the bed bugs were gone but the bugs mysteriously returned.

Are they refusing to die or can we always blame it on reintroduction?

Scientists are urging pest control professionals to “rethink” their approach. Stay aware of resistance issues with neonicotinoids, consider using combinations of other pesticides and consider the use of more non-chemical modes of action.

We are always here to help!

“Bed Bug Education will NEVER be as Expensive as Bed Bug Ignorance”

D Donovan


International Bed Bug Resource Authority







New Year – New Name – New Look for Ohio’s Lakewood Plant and Pest!

Lakewood OH Exterminating logoPeople with passion, focus, vision and drive are always pushing the envelope and growing towards their goals; and that is exactly what Shawn Payne, owner of Lakewood Plant, and Pest is doing.

As a trained horticulturist and forward thinker, Shawn spent half his lifetime providing exceptional services to all his clients, but in 2014, his vision grew. With the increased invasion of bed bugs attacking his community, he recognized the need for an experienced and reliable bed bug professional. Although he expressed change can be a challenge; protecting his community where he, his family and friends live is of great importance to him.

Lakewood, Ohio is home to several thousand, high turnover-rental properties, which easily have become breeding grounds for bed bugs. “It’s easy for bed bugs to thrive and spread in these environments and I feel that after nearly a decade of pest management experience with NASA Glenn Research Center, and my affiliation with the International Bed Bug Resource Authority that I have a lot to offer the community,” said Shawn.

Never Underestimate the Power of Collaboration

The idea of creating community connections and providing valuable education is still at the forefront of Shawn’s minds to create a positive change. He added, “Bed bugs are a significant pest problem that requires educational outreach. To address this learning curve our recent collaboration with the IBBRA has provided the materials we need so we can focus on what we do best, eliminate! In the years to come, we aim to be major players in the cause to help remove bed bugs from our community”.

With a lot of hard work and an inspiration to many, Shawn will always be there for others to consult and guide when he is needed.

Call 216-466-2486 or visit https://www.lakewoodexterminating.com


IBBRA Welcomes Siderat Pest Control in Sicily, Italy and Malta!

logoAlthough poorly understood, the echoes of bed bug suffers can be heard throughout the globe as the non-stop plague continues to grow. With bed bugs, there is no language or boundary barrier. They are bloodsuckers and their agenda is the same anywhere you should find them. Bed bugs don’t discriminate demographics, age, social economics, creed, race or religion – they are just – bed bugs.

Each year as the bed bug pandemic continues to affect more people globally, we find the need to grow a little bit more and reach out to find those in the industry that are eager to share and learn, become a part of an organized community, to grow and embrace the vision and mission of the IBBRA.

Our focus is to find those who see the importance of massive public awareness and education while helping others eliminate their problems. These trusted people are not pretentious, focus on complete solutions and are chosen by discerning consumers.

The IBBRA would like to acknowledge and welcome aboard Siderat Pest Control in Italy to address bed bug public awareness, and bring needed education to their country.

Established in 1998, Siderat Pest Control began as a family business treating for rats and standard household pests. In 2005, Monica Marchese, owner of Siderat received a call about a unique, “unrecognized” pest, which she quickly learned was the infamous bed bug.

Having never encountered a bed bug before, she began seriously studying the insect to understand what was necessary to combat them effectively. Since that day, from scarce encounters to monthly, then weekly and now daily calls, Monica and her team tackle some of the toughest bed bugs jobs in Sicily, and Malta.

When interviewing Monica, I asked how she went about eliminating bed bugs problem with little to no information about the bugs. She replied, “Our team experimented with different techniques and finally won over countless failures before perfecting our skills. It was a true learning curve for us because bed bugs are so different from any other insect we had encountered. Their cryptic nature and dispersal behavior was quite a challenge at first. We used the ecology of the bug as a parameter to guide us in achieving a successful, all stage of development kill ratio along with lots of education to prevent reoccurrences for our clients”.

She went on to say, “After a careful analysis of the infested environment, adding the bed bugs number one weakness (steam/heat), we have been able to achieve excellent results in the fight against them. It wasn’t hard to immediately figure out that this isn’t the kind of job that you can just spray and run; it takes time, focus and a concentrated effort by both us and our clients”

Monica and her team fit right in with the IBBRA because of the vision and passion to help people both emotionally and financially from the negative effects of bed bugs. She agrees that the first step in defeating bed bugs is education and came on board with the IBBRA to increase this knowledge.

Here is her most recent interview about the bed bug problem in Italy. She saw the need and wrote a bed bug awareness book, which IBBRA champions all the way!

In the next few months, both Monica and the IBBRA will be working closely together to make all IBBRA materials available in Italian, as well as providing this educational gateway to those in Italy and Malta.

Our global demographics include approximately seven billion people whom which all are susceptible to bed bugs entering their homes and businesses. With the help of interested professionals from countries globally, the IBBRA and their members certainly make a difference!

Take a moment, drop a line, congratulate Monica and welcome her to the team! info@siderat.it


Princess and the Pea, Mental Affliction and Bed Bugs

Edmund_Dulac_-_Princess_and_peaThe story begins with a prince who is having a difficult time finding a princess to marry. He always seemed to find something wrong with each woman he meets. One stormy night, soaked head to foot, a young woman claiming to be a princess, shows up at the princes castle seeking shelter. The prince’s mother tests her by placing a pea in the base of the bed, covered by 20 mattresses and 20 feather beds.

Certainly, a real princess would feel that!

In the morning, she was asked how she had slept. “Oh, very badly!” said she. “I have scarcely closed my eyes all night. Heaven only knows what was in the bed, but I was lying on something hard, so that I am black and blue all over my body. It’s horrible!” The prince, elated with joy, knew only a real princess would have the physical sensitivity to feel a pea through such a quantity of bedding, so the two are married.

So what in the world does this have to do with bed bugs you ask?

For analogy sake only…by an ironic twist of fate related to this individual’s own actions, bed bugs for some, are like that pea that caused the young princess to lie awake all night. Is it likely that she really felt that pea layered by 20 mattresses and 20 more feather beds, and had bruises? Not in a New York Bed Bug minute, but from my observations, many high-anxiety personality types demonstrate threat related responses induced by having bed bugs. The effect in response to the threat of bed bugs almost instantly puts their body and mind into an elevated physiological and emotional condition.

On the flip side, some people say they normally wouldn’t think twice about a bug, and are not easily threatened by much but with bed bugs it’s a different story all together. Failing to acknowledge or value the evidence regarding the psychological impact of bed bugs can be significant in concluding certain clients’ nightmares.

Dealing with Customers Suffering with #BedBugAfflictionDisorder

Bed bugs leave a lasting impression. Stories about people who after a successful treatment thinking there are still bugs are becoming quite common and can have even the best pest control scratching their heads in wonder. Don’t beat yourself up, it’s not you. I’ve given it a name #BedBugAfflictionDisorder

It can affect anyone, at any time. You can’t always figure it out, nor can you “fix” this, but being aware of the personality types gives you an opportunity to make suggestions to help them. You can’t feel so sorry that you do a treatment because of it either. That is against all the rules. If you can’t find the bug in question then what are you treating for?

I know of a pest control company that did three (3) full Vikane fumigations because a woman still “felt” she had bed bugs. Three (3) very expensive treatments mind you.

The Clandestine Biting of the Bed Bug Can Create a Tactile and Psychological Dimension that Leaves a Lasting Emotional Imprint

This following woman confessed she considered herself quite normal and never had an OCD episode or panic attack in her life until she dealt with a mild bed bug situation a year ago. Since then, bed bugs literally changed the way she now functions.

Her new paranoia of having bed bugs has led to such severe daily anxiety that she is no longer comfortable in her own home, bed, anywhere she goes or her own skin. She hasn’t slept through a full night in a year and feels her living space is unsanitary which has led her to compulsive cleaning behaviors. She strips her bed every morning and applies fresh clean sheets before she leaves for work. She covers her chair at work with plastic, wears clothes without pockets and shoes that can be thrown in the dryer.

Whenever she returns from shopping, a visit or from work, she undresses in the garage and places her clothing directly into the dryer. She then takes a scalding hot shower and feverishly scrubs every inch of her body with a loofa. She no longer dates for fear of meeting a man that has bed bugs and no longer goes on trips or stays in hotels.

Since her poignant experience, she now deals with severe bed bug induced posttraumatic stress that causes her to wake in a panic. She expressed, with her heart racing, trembling hands, grasping for air, her nightly ritual includes tearing her bed apart while combing over every square inch of her bed with a flashlight and magnifying glass in total terror of finding yet another bed bug.

She expressed how it has affected her overall well-being and her coping abilities have run thin and pleaded with me to help her. I am not a qualified psychiatrist nor am I trained to help deal with clinical emotional or mental problems, which I doubt many pest professionals are. Other than, offering her an optimistic and hopeful attitude with love and support from a friend, I asked her questions to help facilitate the removal of misbeliefs.

Many times, I try my best to reduce the risk through education to produce a positive change, and help them gain power over their feelings and the bed bug, but I feel a strong need for more community activities and involvement to help with disparities and inconsistencies of bed bug information. These fears and anxieties are destroying people’s innate ability to function in a normal way. Most of the time had these people understood bed bugs before they got them, they probably wouldn’t be so freaked out.

I wrote about a woman last week that moved out of an apartment complex even though it cost her all that she had in her savings to break her lease. She lived in, as she told me, an economically disadvantaged building and was sure the bed bugs would be back to “get her” in no time and moving away was the only thing that gave her any emotional relief despite going broke over them.

I just received yet another call from a lady who immediately stated, “I have serious OCD and you have to help me, am I doing this right, do you think I still have bed bugs, can I sit on the couch, if they bite me or my child will we get sick, will they move to my little girls room”. Many more questions came spilling out of her mouth all at once. [She was treated last week Wednesday for a bed bug found on her couch]

I realized that she was experiencing some intense emotions and hoped she would be receptive to my suggestibility. After a brief conversation, she said, “wow, I never thought about it that way”. I then validated her by letting her know that if she had any more concerns I am here for her. Rarely do I hear back and when I do; it is normally a thank you for helping.

The way it looks, there are lots of princesses out there (not necessarily all women either) that are significantly affected by bed bugs emotionally and all we can do is make sure they have facts to help them diminish their fears.

We are here to help! www.ibbra.org