Why Sellers Should Have a Pest Inspection Before Listing

Why Sellers Should Have a Pest Inspection Before Listing

Why Sellers Should Have a Pest Inspection Before Listing

Photo by Jesse Roberts

By The REALFX Group – Texas & Denise Donovan

Why Sellers Should Have a Pest Inspection Before Listing


Could you be living with a pest problem?


What happens when you pass the problem along to a potential buyer?


Homeowners want to get optimal value for their investment.


But this is less likely to happen if a pest issue has been unaddressed by a seller.


It can cause detours and delays during the home selling process.


Don’t surprise your buyers with a pest problem and potentially lose out on a sale!


Understand more about why early pest inspections prior to listing may be the best choice for sellers and potential buyers.


Significant Damage Hiding in a Home


Some pests can eat away at the structure of a home or hide in wall voids.


Termites can make meals of support beams and other wood structures, furniture and heirlooms.


Rodents can cause environmental degradation and cause severe damage to many parts of your home. [Attics, electrical, yards, storage areas and vehicles in garages].


Bed bugs can lie hidden in wall voids, behind baseboards or under carpet tacks.


Unfortunately, much of this damage isn’t visible to you.


This can lead to safety issues and decrease a home’s value.


This subjects the new buyer to potential financial outlay that may cause a lawsuit.


Sellers Tips


If your thinking about listing your home, here are some tips.


Have regular inspections and take care of pest problems when they present themselves.


This helps to avoid spending money on repairs after damage has occured.


Those who don’t, may find a costly problem during a home inspection.


This can cause you to accept a significant cut in the asking price.


Remember, that it is important for buyers and sellers to work together.


Addressing issues before a listing can make for less stress and fewer delays later on when it comes time to sell.


 Pest Inspections Just Makes Sense


Don’t allow a pest problem come back to “bite” you!


In some states, a seller may not be required by law to obtain a pest inspection.


However, depending upon the home’s condition a buyers lender might demand a pest report.


When discussing the market, a seller’s market makes it likely a buyer may waive home inspection contingencies to close on a home.


Buyer Beware


A pest inspection becomes more important in buyer’s market.


This is where there may be several offers pending.


If a pest inspection is not required or requested, a seller may choose to forgo the extra inspection.


For example, a clear pest report could become a selling point and a benefit for a buyer.


As is beneficial with other inspection reports, buyers will appreciate a clear pest report.


Serious pest problems can cost a pretty penny so do your due diligence.


Sellers have little control of the report when buyers initiate the pest inspection.


And in some areas, such as California, it becomes part of the public record.


Therefore, it is wise for sellers to have a pest inspection done before listing their homes.


The Well-Positioned Seller


Asking price is one of the important factors that may drive traffic and lead to multiple offers on a property.


It’s better to be aware of any pest problems that can deter potential buyers from a sale or reduce the value of a home.


Inspections are generally affordable and range from $50 to $200, depending on the location.


Learn more about how useful a pest inspection can be for sellers and speak with an agent for more information on local professionals today.


We’re always here to help!


The REALFX Group – Texas

Suspect Bed Bugs? Get Out That Steamer!

Suspect Bed Bugs? Get Out That Steamer!

Suspect Bed Bugs?

Get Out That Steamer!

High steam heat kills bed bugs and eggs.


And here you thought steamers were for cleaning only.


If you think you have bed bugs, get out that steamer! (Give them our Coupon code IBBRA for a discount)


Bed bugs don’t go away on their own.


The longer you have them, the greater the amount.


And with regular blood meals they’ll grow into even larger infestations.


They can reach exponential growth patterns and can make your life unbearable and environment uninhabitable.


Be Proactive


Know that bed bugs are everywhere and anywhere!


Don’t single yourself out, even the cleanest of people can get bed bugs.


And, clutter has a serious influence on the ability to get rid of them.


Stay ahead of bed bugs by steaming regularly.


How to Avoid an Infestation


Always check for signs of bed bug signs.


Common hiding places are, beds, couch, easy chair or areas where you sleep or rest.


Be aware of any bites. Don’t assume fleas or mosquitoes and check for bed bugs.


Change your sheets weekly. Examine your bed often for signs of bed bugs.


Especially if you are being bitten and don’t know the source.


Look for, live bed bugs in all stages of development, shed skins, blood smears, and fecal stains.


 Toxins in Our Bodies


A senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Rebecca Sutton, PhD, stated, “In terms of household cleaners, neither ingredients nor products must meet any sort of safety standard, nor is any testing data or notification required before bringing a product to market.”


That’s pretty scary if you think about it.


Cleaning products contain chemicals like: Phthalates – Perchloroethylene or “PERC” –  Sodium Hypochlorite – Ammonia -Triclosan – Chlorine – Quaternary Ammonium Compounds, or “QUATS” – 2-Butoxyethanol – Sodium Hydroxide – most of which are ‘hazardous to humans and domestic animals’.


The problems arise with repeated contact.


So, if your cleaning with that same product every week, monthly or yearly, the likelihood is that you will find those chemicals in your tissues, organs, blood or urine.


Many of these toxins are stored in our tissues creating, hormone disruption, asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, and neurotoxicity.


And we actually pay hundreds of dollars each year to poison ourselves and our environments with each bottle we buy.


We may not be able to avoid toxic chemicals altogether but we can reduce them significantly. And here’s how:


Why Steam?


Every living organism has a thermal death point.


Spores, viruses, bacteria, mold to insects, mammals and humans.


Pressurized steam is used to sterilize dental probes, and medical equipment for surgery, anesthesia and respiratory therapy.


Moist heat destroys microorganisms by the denaturation of enzymes and structural proteins.


Routine cleaning using chemicals on mops and rags absorb and hold in bacteria and viruses, cross-contaminate and smear bacteria from one area to another.


Even a concentration of 70 percent, ethyl alcohol has virtually no effect on bacterial spores.


It may smell good or look clean, but if you were to test the surface you would find all kinds of harmful microorganisms.


Benefits of Vapamore MR 100 Steamer      


The benefits of steam go beyond a clean, sanitized environment.             


  • Non-Toxic/Child/Pet/Senior/Health Benefits
  • Kills Bacteria/Viruses/Mold/Yeasts/Fungi
  • Infection Control
  • Destroys Bed Bugs, Eggs and other Inspects
  • Disinfects/Sanitizes
  • Neutralizes Allergens
  • Safe for Respiratory Issues
  • Leaves No Residual
  • Saves Water/Protects Environment
  • Saves You Money/No More Purchasing Chemicals
  • Easier on The Lungs and Hands Than Chemical Cleaning Products.
  • Cuts cleaning time in half!


We’ve tested many steamers over the past decade and have found one that stands behind their product, quality and warranty.


Rated best on the market for all purpose and bed bugs.


How Vapamore MR 100 Steamer Works


The unit has a 1,500-Watt heating element that heats water to high temperatures of 210-220F and generates a low-pressure output of steam.


This steam kills 99.99% of bacteria and doesn’t require the use of any harmful chemicals.


Only water and electricity are used.


Built to last!


Can be used for industrial, commercial and residential environments.


I’m amazed that hospitals, hotels, daycares, and senior care environments don’t use steam to clean daily.


There are a multitude of uses inside homes like:


Grout, tile, quartz, wood floors, carpet, upholstery, laminates, porcelain, granite, ceramic, bath tubs, toilets, sinks, ovens, water spots on shower doors and walls, blinds, fabrics, draperies, pet stains and many other surfaces.


There’s even an attachment to use for steam pressing your clothing!


And outside the home:


Bar-b-q’s, patio furniture, auto detail, concrete, weeds, spider nests, garage floors and so much more!


Did you know that the average family of 4 spends anywhere between $400 to 600 hundred dollars a year on cleaning products?


I personally own and highly recommend the Vapamore MR 100.


Since I purchased mine, I no longer use any chemicals to clean my home and save lots of money.


Learn How to Use A Vapamore MR 100 for Bed Bugs


If you’re going to use a Vapamore MR100 to treat for bed bugs, get “How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs on a Tight Budget”.


It’s only $4.99 in Kindle!


You will learn step by step, how to void spreading the bed bugs and learn the exact process used by professionals.


Get yours today, you’ll be glad you did! Use Coupon Code IBBRA


(I have no vested interest or financial reward by promoting this product)


We’re here to help!


www.ibbra.org 888-966-2332

What to Look for While Changing Your Sheets (Signs of Bed Bugs)

What to Look for While Changing Your Sheets (Signs of Bed Bugs)

What to Look for While Changing Your Sheets (Signs of Bed Bugs)


One of the most common Bed Bug Hotline calls we get are from people who say, “I never noticed anything on my sheets.”


But after weeks, and sometimes months of mysterious bites, they finally begin their search.


Bed bugs are most common in areas where we sleep or rest.


Survival of The Fittest


Food, environments and proper shelter is how most living organisms survive.


Most all species of insects have a certain nature and pattern.


It is through knowing their nature, that helps pest control develop ways of combating them and keeping them out of our homes.


Bees make hives. Ants create tunnels. They have particular habitats and food sources.


Of course, unless you are dealing with cockroaches who are omnivorous scavengers and can survive a multitude of environments.


Long term survival depends upon attaining basic nutritional essentials and shelter from outside dangers.


For bed bugs, to assure survival they usually take up shelter close to where they get their blood meal.


Bed bugs are drawn to the CO2 we breath when we exhale and warmth of our bodies.


During our sleeping or resting times, CO2 builds up in concentrated form and acts like a “dinner bell” to bed bugs.


The female finds her way to the food source and will deposit her eggs in the seams of the mattress or frame.


This way after they hatch they don’t have far to go to obtain a meal.


Instars or first hatched bed bugs are very small, have thin skin and need blood meals in order to grow to their next stage of development.


Knowing if You Have Bed Bugs in Your Environment Takes A Conscious Effort


Often, you’ll see online pictures of horrible infestations.


These pictures make people fearful and scared and they do some pretty crazy things.


Like throw away beds and furniture because they found one bug.


All they envision is thousands of bed bugs that causes them to freak out and toss everything.


These types of infestations have been around for great lengths of time.


How to Avoid an Infestation in Homes


Bed bugs take time to build into “infestation” levels.


Of course, unless you’ve brought home a completely “infested” item from a secondhand store or from a garage sale.


But normally, only one or two are introduced.


Some people begin experiencing bites.


If your one of those who are not allergic to bug bites, you’ll need to be even more conscientious.


  • Be aware of where you go and where you sit or sleep.
  • Vigilance is important when you have overnight guests.
  • Check items you bring into your home like, luggage from a trip, backpacks, computer bags if you’ve sat at a local library or coffee shop.
  • Check your clothing if you’ve visited a movie theater, restaurant booth or sat in an emergency waiting room or doctors’ clinic.


Bed bugs are found in places where people congregate.


Change your sheets weekly. Examine them first for any blood smears.


When changing them, roll them into the middle of your bed, folding the edges inwards before taking them to your laundry.


Carefully examine the edges of your mattress and boxsprings, looking for any sign of bed bugs. (bed bugs in all sizes, fecal stains, shed skins, blood smears).


I always suggest having mattress and boxsprings encasements.


Not only to keep bed bugs out of your mattress, (should you get them they can’t get in), but to keep your investment clean from sweat, spills and especially, dust mites.


They just protect your investment and keep it clean.


If you have a headboard, vacuum it thoroughly and check for any signs of bed bugs.


And check the frame.


So, if you’re experiencing bites, these are the common places where they hide.


Sleeping on the Couch and Guest Room Beds


Lots of people sleep on their couch.


They may fall asleep watching a movie or just prefer a cozy couch.


The one thing you must not do is move to your couch if you think you might have bed bugs in your bed.


They will follow you!


A big reason why bed bugs spread to other parts of their home.


If you have an overnight guest using your guest room, always check for signs of bed bugs after your guest leaves.


A guest can pick up a bed bug while traveling and leave it behind at your home.


Most of the time they don’t know they have one and it really isn’t their fault.


What to Do If You Suspect Bed Bugs


Finding bed bugs and eliminating them when they are first discovered prevents “infestations” from building.


The number one process I tell people about should they discover a bed bug or two, is the use of a steamer.


Insects of all sorts have a “thermal death point” which the steamer provides and no bug can survive the steam.


I’ve been using a steamer for over 6 years to clean my house and remove any bug that should find its way into my house.


Eliminating toxins chemicals that accompany cleaning products has made my home a whole lot cleaner.


I like the fact that the steamer also kills bacteria and other toxins and sanitizes my environment at the same time.


I never worry about my grandchildren playing in a bathtub that was washed down with some chemical.


Or playing on the floor washed with some chemical cleaner.


Step by Step

If you suspect bed bugs or if you just want to know the process of finding their hiding places and removing them safely, read

Hot to Get Rid of Bed Bugs on a Tight Budget”.


Many people can’t afford the services of a professional which can be quite expensive.


After thousands of Bed Bug Hotline calls requesting information on how to get rid of bed bugs, we wrote this book.


And of course, we had to make it affordable at $4.99 on Kindle


The book takes you through a step-by-step process from knowing the nature of the bed bug, to discovering their favorite hiding places to safe and proper elimination.


It especially explains what process DO NOT work and what not to do.


Also, if you have any questions, you can always reach out to us for answers at 888-966-2332


We are here to help! www.ibbra.org

My Life is Closed for Maintenance I Have Bed Bugs!

My Life is Closed for Maintenance I Have Bed Bugs!

My Life – Closed for Maintenance – I Have Bed Bugs!

Bed bugs are an unexpected nightmare that no one wants.
They can show up at the most inopportune time.
If you suspect bed bugs, you need to pay attention now.
Or you’ll be wearing a sign that says, “My Life – Closed for Maintenance – I Have Bed Bugs”.

Life Is Unpredictable

Stuff happens in life.
You can get a flat or be playing softball and a misdirected ball may break a window.
But unlike a flat tire or a broken window that are easy to fix in a day, bed bugs need time to end.
But bed bugs can show up or dropped off at any time, anywhere without you ever knowing.
Your time and energy need focusing.

Don’t Wait!

If you think or suspect bed bugs for any reason, stop what you are doing.
Focus on finding out whether you have them or not.
Meanwhile, you don’t want to have overnight guests or visitors that may put them at risk.
So take a time out.
And don’t play the “wait and see” game.
A single bite doesn’t always mean you have bed bugs.
But it is wise to investigate if the bites are coming from fleas or mosquitoes.
Bed bugs are not always easy to find should you have only one or two of them.
Their ability to hide supersedes your ability to find them.
And they are difficult for even a trained professional to find during this time.
After about a week after introduction, a scent has developed.
It would be wise to bring in a detection dog team to find their scent.
These trained dogs detect very small amounts of bed bugs.
Even down to a single bug or egg and can target the area where they are hiding.

Knee Jerk Reactions

So many people tend to think that if they throw away their bed, that bed bugs will be gone.
They’re called bed bugs for a reason.
They harbor in areas where we rest or sleep which are usually beds, couches or easy chairs.
It is not always necessary to get rid of your furniture because of bed bugs.
Especially when they are first introduced.

Using the Wrong Products

People tend to do is reach for anything that says bed bugs on the label at their local hardware store or online.
Using inferior products will create a whole new set of circumstances.
Chemical Facts:

Bed bugs have become resistant to most chemicals used for elimination.

How would you know if you are dealing with a resistant strain?
We can’t depend on chemicals – Concentrations of sometimes 1,000 times more is often needed – This would create a heavy toxic environment in our already toxic homes.
Bed bug bombs spread bed bugs and do not reach their hidden spaces where bed bugs live.
Most chemicals are “contact” killers. (sprayed on bug in order for the product to kill them).
To kill resistant bed bugs, it may need concentrations of 1,000 times more than normal.
Chemicals also leaves our environments toxic and makes some people ill.
Chemical Review:
  • Less Expensive Treatment
  • May offer Some Residual
  • Works in Conjunction with Other IPM Methods
  • Low Success Rates
  • Dependent on Client Involvement
  • Resistance Issues
  • Does not penetrate egg
  • Clutter Influences Effectiveness
  • Limits use of Canines (30 days)
  • Repeated Treatments Required
  • May Spread Bed Bugs
  • Some Items May Need Discarding
  • Requires Extensive Prep Work
  • Health Issues

Possible Added Costs

Heat Facts:
High Success Rates – Bed bugs, like any living organism, has a thermal death temperature.
Temperatures vary from 135°F to 180°F and success depends upon experience of operator.
Other factors for success:
Extent and length of Infestation
Treatment time
Previous heat treatments
  • Immediate Single Treatment Elimination
  • Non-toxic
  • Chemical Free
  • No Odors
  • No Resistance
  • Kills all Stages of Bed Bugs Including Eggs
  • Limited Discarding of Items
  • Least Preparation
  • Safe for People and Pets Immediately After Treatment
  • Sanitizes and Disinfects
  • Can be costly
  • Leaves no Residual

So, What Do You Do?

If you suspect bed bugs:

Find a bed bug. –  Find signs of bed bugs. –  Have a trained dog scent for bed bugs.

If confirmed, decide on professional or DIY yourself.
Weight the possibilities of chemical treatment versus heat treatment.
  • What works in your environment?
  • What’s affordable for you?
  • Do you have children, elderly or pets or a sensitive environment?
  • Are there any immune system problems, breathing issues, COPD or Asthma?
  • Is anyone allergic to chemicals?
Treatment choices are up to you.
Anyway, your life will be closed for a while until you get rid of the bed bugs.
Have no shame or hide the fact you have them.
They can happen to anyone.
www.ibbra.org 888-966-2332
What You Should Expect with a Professional Bed Bug Treatment

What You Should Expect with a Professional Bed Bug Treatment

What You Should Expect with a Professional Bed Bug Treatment


We are being flooded with calls from people saying, “I think we have bed bugs, what do we do?”


It’s understood that complete knowledge of this pest, combined with a cohesive partnership with YOU will provide the best elimination result and future protection you can expect.


The bed bugs resurgence has become a significant concern for our global society.


Successful elimination and control of this pest is extremely difficult and once breeding grounds have “established” in structures of multi-unit properties, presents even greater challenges.


As you will understand with this, each step of elimination should be clearly outlined and provide inclusions and exclusions pertaining to the size and length of the infestation, the number of units affected, the people involved, and the environment treated.


Before you begin your search on how to qualify a professional you’re probably full of questions on bed bugs and the process of elimination, and that’s a good thing!


You’ll want to be asking intelligent questions, lots of them!


And if you don’t get the answers you’re looking for – say “next”.


Remember, you can’t just “knock down” or kill a “few bed bugs” because if any bugs or eggs are left behind, you will start all over again in a short amount of time.


You need to be assured that once the company commits to your project they will follow it through until complete control is maintained.


Interview and search for a well-educated and experienced company that will start with coaching you first.


Develop a relationship as you would with any other professional (i.e. Car repair, builder, clergy, maintenance, doctor, and dentist)




During an inspection and treatment evaluation, your professional will identify the bug in question.


At this point, knowing the nature of the bed bug, the life cycles and their interaction with the environment, they will begin an inspection to evaluate the extent of the infestation.


Bed bugs in particular are cryptic in nature and are very hard to find in early stages.


This inspection may take some time depending upon your environment, how much clutter, how many people and who sleeps where.


In multi-unit properties, units with shared walls need inspecting as well.


During this time, they may ask a multitude of questions to discover the source of introduction.


Because they want success in their treatment, they will share “what not to do” to help limit bed bug activity spreading until treatment can start.


It is suggested that people keep their homes decluttered prior to getting bedbugs but this is not always the case.


Cluttered environments greatly reduce the efficacy of any treatment.


Once finished with a thorough inspection, they will design a multidisciplinary or integrated treatment protocol.


They will focus their treatment on your affordability, the extent of infestation, and structural environments.


Questions to Ask


  • Do they “specialize” in bed bug treatments?
  • Where did they get their training on bed bugs? Elimination training?
  • Is their complete staff trained in bed bugs?
  • How long have they been treating for bed bugs and how many treatments have they done?
  • What type of treatments and processes do they offer? (Heat, Chemical, Fumigation, Other?)
  • Which treatment is the most effective and why?
  • Which treatment would be best suited for your environment and why? (Children, elderly, sick, medical or mental situations, handicapped, pets, clutter or hoarder)
  • Do they supply educational materials on bed bugs?
  • Do you have to be involved in the treatment process and what is expected of you, your family, staff or tenants?
  • How many treatments will it take to get rid of your problem? (Be sure to fully understand the nature of this pest, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to completely solve the problem)
  • How much is this going to cost you? (When dealing with bed bug treatment it can be costly)
  • Do they offer or provide extended or extra services for preparation?
  • Do they offer a post treatment follow-up?
  • Do they have any referrals or previous clients you can speak to about their service?
  • Are there any “hidden or extra costs” outside the contract? (Removal, prep, additional products i.e. mattress encasements, monitors)
  • Do they have or have access to a detection dog team?
  • Do they have any reviews online that you can read? (Angie’s List, Yelp, LinkedIn, other associations?)
  • Do they offer a guarantee or warranty? (If so, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing control, prevention and managing skills are necessary)


Be Aware and Avoid



The number one biggest mistakes you can make is running to the store to buy up anything that says bed bugs on the label. Most of these products spread bed bugs and do not work.


  • Be aware of unlicensed advertisers “posing” as pest control taking advantage of bed bug victims. Avoid any person or company that does not or can’t show you a valid ID, company license and insurance
  • Avoid suspicious or unmarked cars or trucks (All dedicated service vehicles are clearly marked with the company’s name consistent with state laws)
  • Be aware of anyone who offers a treatment without confirming and “showing you evidence” (live bed bugs or signs of them).
  • Avoid any company that will commence treatment in multi-unit dwellings without complete authorization from owner/management.
  • Avoid “rotating door techs”. Having consistency will assure they fully understand every phase of your job.
  • Be aware of exterminators that offer “too good to be true” bargains.
  • Stay away from your cousins, sisters, boyfriend that “used” to be a pest technician many years ago!
  • Avoid “ads” promising complete removal in just one treatment on Craig’s List or other such sites
  • RUN from slick sales people with “urgency to treat” who sees one bug in a bag then hands you a contract for thousands of dollars.
  • Stay away from anyone telling you, you MUST throw away all your furniture! (exceptions)
  • Avoid lengthy contracts with all kinds of legal jargon that you don’t understand!


Proper and effective bed bug removal is a scientifically based and strategically designed methodology that may include different processes that varies from one environment to another.


Different settings affect decisions of treatments that may include:


  • Size and time infestation has been established
  • People’s vocations
  • Conditions (structures, age) of dwellings
  • Amount of furniture or items
  • Previous treatment methods used and much more.


Remember, the severity of the infestation will greatly influence the type of treatment and involvement.



For training and education materials please visit with one of our service providers in your area  http://ibbra.org/service-providers


or give us a call 1-888-966-2332 / 1-888-9-NOBEDBUGS

Learn About Bed Bugs in Libraries and Thrift Stores

Learn About Bed Bugs in Libraries and Thrift Stores

Learn About Bed Bugs in Libraries and Thrift Stores


Who doesn’t love to curl up with a good book?


Learn about bed bug in libraries and thrift stores!


Especially for free at your local library or at a deep discount from your local thrift store.


Libraries and thrift stores across the nation are starting to find bed bugs at alarming rates.


Some have even had to destroy rare and priceless books as a result.


For Libraries


Prepare in advance.


Don’t wait until someone finds one or complains.


Have your staff fully trained on bed bugs so they know what to look for and acknowledge their signs.


The International Bed Bug Resource Authority provides Bed Bug Lunch and Learns to educate your whole staff.


We have well-trained pest control partners that can come in and train your whole team with all the vital information you need to know about bed bugs in your environment.


Reach out to them at www.ibbra.org


They’ll teach you how to create a returned book intake procedure to help identify and destroy bed bugs before they can reach other areas of the library.



Unknowingly, people may have bed bugs and read in bed before falling asleep.


Bugs may find their way into the books and returned to the library.


Many infested books can be found in the book drop.


Unless each book is inspected, bed bugs can be placed back on shelves.


You’ll learn what to do and how to create an intake procedure that eliminates any possibility of bed bugs in these books.


Regular Scent Detection Inspections


Scent detection is a growing service that finds bed bugs before they can grow into infestations.


Having a bed bug scent detection dog team make a sweep through your library often will help find bed bugs before your clients do and help arrest the situation before an infestation can build.


Detection at the earliest stages will be of the most importance.


Have A Proactive Protocol in Place For “If” You Find Any Bed Bugs or Signs of Bed Bugs


You’ll learn how to prepare a Bed Bug file or database.


This will save you a headache in the future.


Document, the name of the book and author, the serial number or stock number, the date, the person who signed it out and returned it, how long it was gone from stock and the return condition.


Remember, bed bug eggs are very small and sticky and are not easy to see.


Have a 10X magnifying glass and strong LED light handy for inspection to help to find hitchhikers.


BOOKS GOING OUT –  As books, books on tape, CD’s and CD-ROM’s are checked out, have your trained staff take one more thorough inspection of the item.


Include an informative bookmark to bring awareness of bed bugs to clients.









This will help avoid the possibility of someone blaming you for taking home an infested item.


BOOK RETURN – (Used by libraries everywhere!) You never want to place a returned book back on the shelf without a through inspection.


In case there are bed bugs or eggs hiding in the books binding you can place all returned books into an affordable, portable ZappBug heater BEFORE returning books to shelves (assuring no bed bugs will find their way back to the bookshelves).

Its safe, non-harming and destroys bed bugs and their eggs.







Backpacks, Computer Bags, Phones, Coats, Purses, Etc.


Since bed bugs are hitchhikers, as our epidemic grows there is a great concern of people bringing bed bugs in from outside sources on their personal items and infesting library furniture.


Many times, people don’t even know they have them.


Nightly, have chairs steamed to get rid of any possible bed bugs.


The high heat of this steamer not only destroys bed bugs and their eggs, but sanitizes while killing bacteria and other pathogens and viruses.


Call us for a Coupon Code for a discount! 888-966-2332


Community Awareness


Consider holding a “Bed Bug Awareness” seminar on a monthly basis to share bed bug information with your community.


The more people made aware of bed bugs can help lower the incidence of bed bugs in your library.


Place our informative Bed Bug BOOKMARKS inside of each book that goes out; reminding people to keep their book in a self-sealing bag when not in use.


Reach out to us for Staff Training and Bed Bug Awareness Posters to place in and around the facility.  (Poster available in Spanish)


Teaching your patrons to understand bed bugs will help to avoid bed bugs in your  establishment while creating community awareness to benefit other establishments.


  • Consider employing our bed bug scent detection dog to inspect on a monthly basis
  • Consider having furniture inspected and steam cleaned regularly
  • Have posters throughout the library, printed articles available for the public to read and bookmarks to place into each book that goes out.


Working together towards a common goal will help make a difference!


EXAMPLE Library Bed Bug Notice

Our community library is a proud collection of memories which remain precious materials that provide opportunities for professional development, for training, education, entertainment and betterment for all who enter.

With the recent resurgence of bed bugs throughout the world, we have implemented a bed bug awareness program. Each of our materials is inspected for bed bugs before you check them out.

With respect, we ask you to be aware of where you place these materials at all times and place them in a sealed bag when not in use to protect against bed bugs or their eggs. Thank you for your cooperation.

To find out more about bed bugs, what they are and what you can do to avoid them, please attend our Bed Bugs and You, information seminar at our community center monthly.




NOTE: Buying from Amazon.com, E-Bay, Craigslist and other sites – Some people purchase used books, CD’s, CD-ROM’s and educational materials from the internet. In all cases, it is wise to thoroughly examine anything purchased online before taking it into your car, home or work.


Thrift Stores


Not everything in life is used up and thrown away.


Thrift stores can provide lots of value when you don’t want to pay for new.


Sometimes, families have lost a loved one and have extras, or they’re redecorating, moving or just bursting at the seams and have slightly or gently used items to donate.


Rummaging through these items can sometimes find you vintage treasures and other collectable items as well as provide work and support others.


Before you Shop


You don’t have to stop shopping for great deals; you just have to be careful of what you bring home.


Ask questions of the store manager or owner.


Find out if they have an “intake procedure” to check for and eliminate bed bugs before items are offered for sale.


Some stores have large commercial dryers for clothing or implement ZappBug Heat Rooms to run furniture and other items in before they release it to the sales floor insuring no bed bug hitchhikers.


Prevention Costs You Nothing!


There is nothing worse than grabbing up a terrific deal at a thrift store, bringing it home, and in a few weeks finding bed bugs infiltrating your home.


We know, we get calls all the time from people that didn’t check their items.


The treatment for bed bugs can cost a pretty penny and would certainly discount the fact that you “got a great deal” on the item you purchased.


Prevention will cost you nothing compared to the anguish of having bed bugs.


Reducing Bed Bug Risk Review

  • Clean up Clutter! (Bedbugs thrive in a cluttered environment)
  • Buy only at stores that have bed bug policies in place
  • Always check for signs of bed bug on any secondhand item
  • If you ever see signs or suspect bed bugs – implement a removal program immediately!
  • Have regular bed bug inspections throughout your home
  • Avoid untested self-treatment products – Always follow directions!
  • Heat any dryer safe items immediately
  • It isn’t necessary to throw away items, most everything is treatable
  • Share information you learned with friends and family members


We hope this has enlightened you about bed bugs in thrift stores and secondhand items.


You don’t need to stop shopping in these stores as every time you do provides work for someone but you do need to make sure you are not bringing home bed bugs.


Remember! The best form of bed bug control is Prevention


If you should have any questions or need help in any way regarding bed bugs and how to detect or eliminate, feel free to contact us. www.ibbra.org

Happy Shopping!


Staying Calm in the Midst of Bed Bug Chaos

Staying Calm in the Midst of Bed Bug Chaos

Staying calm in the midst of bed bug chaos is a challenge for many.


People read articles and posts on the internet and feel that their life is now doomed because they found a bed bug.


People feel lost, they are full of questions, doubts, fears, shame, and embarrassment.


Whether it’s bed bug or not, often it sends people into an all-consuming tailspin assuming the worst.


Upon these assumptions, people throw away their lives possessions.


Some people place things in storage.


People soak their homes with layers of pesticides, alcohols, dusts or essential oils.


And in some cases, some people move thinking they’ll leave them behind.


The mere thought of bed bugs, overruns any common sense and drives people to do things they would never do.


When these types of calls come into our hotline, I can always tell who’s been reading internet stories.


Most confess they hadn’t slept in days because they are up all night with flashlight in hand.


Where Do They Come From?


Some environments such as multi-unit living, are at higher risk than single households.


But then again, if you have a busy household with people coming and going, your risks can be higher.


People with vocations that serve others in their homes can be of great risk.


We’re All a Little Crazy at Times


Welcome to the world of humans.


Today’s world is full of information overload and isn’t easy.


Most of us feel a little crazy from time to time.


Bed bugs stress can make you feel like you are losing your mind.


Regardless of what signs are right in front of your face, some people remain in denial.


When Concerns Need Validation and Support


The story we make up in our mind influences the way we react to difficult times, loses and stresses.


Everyone reacts in a different way to accidents, deaths, loss of income and illnesses.


But, bed bugs are part of 900 thousand different kinds of living insects known (1) that we share this earth with.


Some people lose sleep because they “think” they saw a bed bug.


And doctors prescribe anxiety pills for stress relief, antidepressant medications and more.


Staying Calm in The Midst of Bed Bug Chaos


Step back, take a deep cleansing breath or two, so you can decide what course of action to take, if any.


Let go of self-sabotaging ideas and check the situation before reacting.


  • Do you have a reaction from food?
  • How about a new lotion or product?
  • Could the bites be from fleas or mosquitoes?
  • Could you have bed bugs?
  • Have you been outside? (park, fair, picnic)
  • Have you traveled recently?
  • Had traveling visitors?
  • Had an overnight guest?
  • Bought something from a secondhand store?
  • Do you take the bus, subway or train?
  • Have a high-risk vocation?
  • Work in high risk environments?
  • Have a friend that has bed bugs?
  • Kids that go to daycare or school?
  • Have a student come home from college?
  • Do you live in a multi-unit property with many other people?
  • Have you found any signs?


There are a multitude of places where bed bugs transfer so don’t think you are immune to them.


Anyone, at any time, can pick one up.

Bugs are Everywhere!


Our homes are not completely sealed from the outdoors.


Many insects and spiders live between our walls, attics and crawl spaces.


Most go completely unnoticed unless they cause noticeable damage to building materials.


Some can make their way into our homes and bite us or our pets or feed on food that we leave out.


Bed bugs hitchhike in on personal items.


One bed bug is not an infestation.


We don’t need to be afraid of them.


Bed bugs don’t jump.


Bed bugs don’t fly.


They don’t “stick” to your skin or hair, and they don’t move very fast.


But, we need to know how we get them, when they are present, how long they’ve been present.


And, do what it takes to prevent or get rid of them.


How Hard is it to Get Rid of Bed Bugs?


That all depends upon at what stage you discover them and if you’ve already sprayed or dusted or bombed.


The longer you have them, the more difficult they are to get rid of.


And you may have moved them to other places in your dwelling on articles or personal belongings.


If you discover them early it’s so much easier than if one were to allow infestations to build.


Infestations take time to build.


A single female bed bug can begin laying eggs that take 7 to 10 days to hatch.


It takes another (approx.) 21-39 days to grow through all stages of development.


You now have more breeding adults. [of course, with regular blood meals and proper temperatures and humidity].


A couple of these breeding cycles can yield a couple hundred or more.


Finding The Early


One the biggest problems most people have is not knowing when they or someone else introduced a bed bug.


Suppose you’ve returned from a trip and a bed bug hitchhiker found its way on to your luggage or an article of clothing.


You place your things in your room when you get home.


Before long, it crawls off only to find its way into your bed for a blood meal and good night’s rest.


It’s can be maddening when you’re bitten on a regular basis and you don’t know what’s biting you.


Most people assume mosquitoes or fleas at first.


Since they are familiar with those types of bugs, they don’t give it another thought.


The Problem Lies in Their Cryptic Nature


Even an experienced professional has a hard time finding bed bug when first introduced.


It’s like a needle in a haystack.


But that doesn’t mean, that an experienced bed bug professional can’t help you put the pieces together.


Be prepared to answer all kinds of questions.


A client told me she had a company come out 3-months ago to check for bed bugs.


They found nothing.


The bites continued.


Here it is 3 months later and she’s still getting bitten.


I asked her, “Did you call them in for another check-up within the past few months?”


She said, “No.”


BIG mistake!


Bring in the Dogs!


When bites continue and you can’t find bed bugs, bring in the dogs.


Canines are trained just like drug or bomb dogs.


They can find bed bugs where humans can’t and are well worth the money to find bed bugs early.


You can find these qualified teams on our web site at www.ibbra.org in the service provider section.


Or you can give us a call and we will find a qualified team near you if available.


Infestations Take Time


In a matter of a couple breeding cycles, you’ll begin to discover signs of them.


Infestations show fecal stains, clusters of shed skins and bed bugs in all stages that are not hard to miss.


Depending upon the amount of these found, a trained professional will be able to tell you approximately how long you’ve had.


So, What Do You Do if You Discover You Have Bed Bugs?


As with any insect or bug, the choice is up to you whether you go with a professional or attempt to do it yourself.


I always tell people if you’ve had bed bugs for more than a few months, call in a pro.


Because by then, the likelihood of you getting rid of them becomes less and less, every day.


You don’t know their nature, you don’t know where to look and you don’t understand the methods and process of getting rid of them.


Furthermore, by then, you’ve probably used all kinds of store bought pest control products that have spread them everywhere!


If you suspect you’ve just introduced them, you can always read, “How to get Rid of Bed Bugs on a Tight Budget.”


This book takes you by the hand and walks you through a simple process so it doesn’t build into infestation levels.


Affordability Issues


One of the most serious bed bug problems we have here in the United States is the lack of funds to afford a professional treatment.


Treating for bed bugs can be costly, and the salient point is, many people can’t afford to write a check for hundreds or thousands of dollars.


We get calls all the time from people asking if there is a service or resource to help with the cost of bed bug treatment.


Most of these people are on “limited incomes scarcely staying afloat on the fringes of society”.


Because bed bugs are not known vectors, the government doesn’t help with the bill and you’re on your own.


“Bed Bug Education Will Never be as Expensive as Bed Bug Ignorance” D. Donovan


Remember, bed bugs are only chaotic if you allow them to build into an infestation.


  • Infestations are preventable.
  • Learn all you can about bed bugs.
  • Share information you learn about bed bugs with friends, family and those at work.
  • Talk about bed bugs!
  • Avoid high risk places.
  • Be aware and careful of what you or anyone else brings into your home.
  • Be observant and preventative.
  • Get rid of, organize or clean up any clutter.
  • Check your beds, change your sheets on a regular basis, look for signs.
  • Use a steamer every time you clean. [bed bugs succumb to heat].
  • When returning home, when in doubt – change your clothing and put items into a dryer.
  • Things that can’t go into a dryer can be placed into a ZappBug


If you need an experienced professional https://ibbra.org/service-providers/


Or give us a call! 888-966-2332


If you suspect, can’t afford a pro and don’t know what to do “How to Get Rid of Bed Bug on a Tight Budget”.


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

Bed Bug Lessons for the Newbie Landlord -Part 2

Bed Bug Lessons for the Newbie Landlord -Part 2

Bed Bug Lessons for the Newbie Landlord – Part 2


Bed Bug infestations don’t happen overnight.


The average time from “introduction” of one female that lays eggs, to an early infestation level is approximately 9-12 weeks with regular blood meals, proper temperatures and humidity.


It’s always wise to address them as early as possible to avoid a full-fledged infestation.


If a tenant has bed bugs for a period of around 6 months, they’ve had the chance to go through many breeding cycles and begin their exponential growth.


Unlike other bugs, bed bugs are cryptic in nature and don’t hang out like other bugs do.


To begin with, and as a survival mechanism, they tend to stay close to where they can get regular blood meals.


That happens to be in beds or places where they have easy access to a blood meal such as easy chairs and recliners. [or other places where people tend to spend time resting]


They don’t want to be across the room in your desk or dresser drawers or closets. [unless you move them there].


The female likes to lay her eggs so that the miniscule, vulnerable baby doesn’t have far to go to reach its first meal.


Once disturbed, they will find other places to hide. [behind baseboards, wallboards, under carpet tack strips, window edges, floor boards]


So, its important to acknowledge first signs of bed bugs [bites, stains, cast skins], and deal with them before they have the chance to grow and spread.


How to Keep the Infestations from Spreading


What You Need to Do


Whether your doing-it-yourself or not, don’t attempt it without knowing what you are doing.


These are not your average bug.


First, call one of our experienced IBBRA bed bug experts.


They should be able to provide you our Layered Defense Strategy©.


This will cover both proactive and preventative protocols.


Not all pest control companies have this information or experience.


Second, make sure you have a plan in place.


Educate your management group, maintenance team and your tenants.


Don’t avoid talking about bed bugs.


Ignoring them will only make it worse.


Next, create a hierarchy within your organization.


Who does what, when and why.


Whenever you should get a complaint, always, always, always, have surrounding units inspected. [regardless of fear, guilt, shame or embarrassment]


Get over it! I cannot stress this more.


There is nothing shameful about someone picking up a bed bug hitchhiker.


Just like fleas, flies, mosquitoes, rats and cockroaches; they are a fact of life.


And, the #1 reason bed bugs spread is, treating a single unit. [without inspecting surrounding units]


Bed Bug Lawsuit Risks Are on the Rise


America’s landlords are experiencing huge lawsuits over:


  • Ignoring bed bug problems in their properties
  • Neglecting to completely rid the bed bug problem
  • Allowing tenants to move into already infested units
  • Tenants getting sick from pesticides


And, if you’re not doing regular inspections, how would you know if your units have bed bugs?


Absentee Landlords – Out of Sight – Out of Mind


Many property owners invest in properties in other states.


They hire management groups to maintain the property and collect rents.


These management groups get paid a percentage and must follow budgets.


If they stay in budget, at the end of the year, they get a bonus.


When bed bugs get out of hand, they can cost a pretty penny and carve into that budget.


We’ve seen many of these management groups cut corners by using a band-aid approach to stay in budget.


If you have a management group without a program in place, you risk bed bugs popping up all over the building.


And without further ado, a serious drain in your budget.


Band-aids Approaches Don’t Work for Bed Bugs!


If your management group lacks bed bug education, they can cause you plenty of problems.




  • Train and create a hierarchy
  • Put a prevention program in place
  • Have policies and procedures in place
  • And have REGULAR inspections!


Tenant Education


Your tenants are as human as you and their risk is no different than yours.


Handing a piece of paper with limited bed bug information will find its way unread, in the middle of the lease papers, tucked away in someone’s desk drawer.


Owners are not making it part of their protocols.


What smart landlords are doing is addressing bed bugs up front with their tenants.


Many landlords direct their tenants to read “Think like a Bed Bug” for bed bug awareness with their tenants. It’s FREE in Amazon Kindle.


New Tenants


Ask lots of questions:


  • Have you ever had bed bugs before?
  • How bad was the problem?
  • How long ago was the problem?
  • When is the last time you had your belongings checked for bed bugs?


Give all your tenant’s educational policy and procedures materials. Cover all aspects of bed bugs including risks and what NOT TO DO should they suspect them.


Take the shame and blame away from your tenants.


You will find they are more likely to not fear you and come to you with a problem before it gets out of hand.


In part 3, we will share a lesson well learned by a property owner and his bed bug experience.


We’re here to help! Bed Bug Hotline 888-966-2332




9th Annual IBBRA International Bed Bug Awareness April 2018

9th Annual IBBRA International Bed Bug Awareness April 2018

9th Annual IBBRA International Bed Bug Awareness April 2018

In March of 2009, the International Bed Bug Resource Authority (IBBRA), successfully launched and celebrated their first official Bed Bug Awareness which made a difference in many people’s lives.

Raising this type of awareness is a habit for us.

And we find it important every day throughout the year.

The Bed Bug Hotline targets bed bug education to encompass a host of different living styles, settings and human behaviors habits.

The volume and intensity of bed bug infestations, accompanied by the amount of people affected worldwide, is surging by hundreds and thousands each year.

Many are still not aware that they could ever get bed bugs.

We hope that this greater awareness and knowledge will lead to earlier detection.

Doing so, results in less financial, social and emotional suffering.

As part of our combined Bed Bug Task Force we explore the various issues surrounding bed bugs.

With this, we are confident and expecting to encourage and empower the creation of new laws, policies and procedures to serve our communities.

Our Purpose

  • Raise awareness and support efforts of others to educate people about bed bugs, including risk factors, prevention and early detection
  • Support, assist, provide for, and encourage better leadership on joint federal, state, and local levels
  • Enhance legislative initiatives, organization and workforce strategies to best serve our communities
  • Share the IBBRA proven standards, policies, procedures and unbiased bed bug addendums for low housing and multi-unit rented properties
  • Help address and respond appropriately with a responsibility action, to any issue or event of bed bug infestation negligence which could cause harm to the public’s health
  • Educate and inform people to ask questions, and be able to recognize proper treatment solutions vs. those that are inappropriate or dangerous
  • Assist schools, churches and other organizations with the IBBRA’s “Be Aware – Not Scare” fundraiser program and “Lunch and Learns”
  • Assist those who have accomplished significant and successful actions that minimize negative impacts of bed bugs throughout their community. Pay tribute to recipients that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental stewardship through outstanding leadership
  • Empower everyone by uniting the caring power of people worldwide
  • Support others’ awareness efforts with a unified voice

Talk about bed bugs!

Teach people what NOT TO DO and assist them towards safe, efficacious treatment options.

We can’t do this alone!

How you can help

We’re are reaching out to all that know about bed bugs, have experienced bed bugs, kill or play with bed bugs, detect bed bugs, teach about bed bugs or just plain hate bed bugs to speak up and talk about them!

Share your knowledge or come to us for help.

We invite you to help Raise Bed Bug Awareness and please Contact Us for more information about ways to get involved!

Thank you for your interest and time!

Denise Donovan


International Bed Bug Resource Authority

Bed Bug Lessons for the Newbie Landlord -Part 1

Bed Bug Lessons for the Newbie Landlord -Part 1

Bed Bug Lessons for the Newbie Landlord -Part 1


So, you’re the newbie property owner on the block.


Now what?


With great interest rates, a low-down payment and occupied units, you can realize a nice income.


Yet, there are new lessons for the newbie landlord that may drain that income if you’re not cautious.


Here’s some bed bug lessons for the newbie landlord.


Creating a Safe Habitable Environment


Most seasoned landlords understand the Implied Warranty of Habitability.


In order not to breach this warranty, you as a new owner’s responsibility under this warranty is:


  • Maintain the property as required by housing code
  • Make necessary repairs to keep it habitable
  • And make sure that it remains habitable during the term of the lease


Meaning, everything offered must be in working condition.


These things include:

  • Hot and cold running water
  • Working appliances
  • Working electricity
  • Heat in the winter
  • Locking doors and windows
  • Working toilets
  • Smoke detectors
  • And more…

Moreover, the property must be free of pests like rats, cockroaches and now, bed bugs.


Big Concerns – Bed Bugs


With tenants, aside from getting a bad one, you have big concerns –bed bugs.


Forget the blame game or trying to hold the tenant financially responsible and realize anyone can get bed bugs at any time.


Even YOU!


Pointing the finger will ALWAYS backfire on you.


And here’s why:


  • It creates great shame and embarrassment for your tenant
  • Tenants feel dirty and ostracized
  • Tenants hide the fact they have them and self-treat
  • It’s hard to “prove” beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are responsible [of course unless you have a program in place]


We have seen this happen time and time again.


Understand that your tenants will come and go.


But, the property will remain yours to maintain with or without tenants.


How would you know if?


  • A previous tenant had bed bugs and even they didn’t know it?

o Many people are not affected by their bites.

And unless you inspect the unit for bed bugs BEFORE your tenant moves out and BEFORE you rent to a new tenant, you will be responsible.

  • How do you know that one of your maintenance workers didn’t bring a bed bug into a tenant’s unit?

o Maintenance may visit many units daily.

If they are not trained to look for the signs of bed bugs, they could transport them on their personal clothing.

  • How do you know if an adjoining unit doesn’t have a serious infestation? And now they are moving through the structures?

o If you’re not doing at least quarterly inspections, bed bugs can build into “infestation” levels.

  • What if common areas have a bed bug problem?

They are often found in laundry rooms, reading rooms, cubicles or chairs in lounging areas.


How Bed Bugs Take Over Whole Buildings


Failure to prepare your building and educate your staff and tenants for bed bugs can get you in trouble.


There are hundreds of buildings across the nation that now have serious “structural” bed bug problems.


This is because they didn’t learn how to get rid of bed bugs properly and didn’t pay attention to what they were doing.


You may even have an uneducated pest control company that treats only one unit at a time and doesn’t inspect surrounding units.


Remember, it only takes one female bed bug to begin what potentially can take over a whole building.


Things That Will Get You in Trouble


A common bed bug “knee jerk” reaction for a landlord is to spray chemicals as a solution.


After all, chemicals are the least expensive way to go and saves on your budget.


Often times, this service is provided by the owner or maintenance people and not a professional.


What happens here is this:


You go online and look up, “how to get rid of bed bugs”.


And find a multitude of how to’s and a long list of chemicals.


Tenants needs to prepare their unit before you treat.


So, you find a prep sheet and ask your tenants to “prepare” their unit for a treatment.


Now, you can’t control how your tenant lives.


What is clean to one person, isn’t clean to another.


As an aside, hopefully, they are not hoarders or have lots of clutter.


Many of these lists contain things like, remove bedding and linens from bed, separate mattress from box springs AND place mattresses up against the wall.



FACT: Bed bugs do not like to be disturbed.


Once disturbed, they tend to move to find a quiet, undisturbed place to harbor.


FACT: Bed bugs have developed resistance to most commonly used chemicals.


  • You will never be able to take a census and ask the bed bugs to raise their hands if they are resistant to certain chemicals.
  • It becomes a process of “let’s see what works”.
  • If the bugs are not affected, or are resistant, they are forced to scatter away from the chemical.
  • This is why bed bug bombs don’t work. The product can’t reach areas where bed bugs hide.
  • Bed bugs are sensitive to chemicals smells, and causes them to move from the smells and hide even deeper.


FACT: Chemicals don’t kill the egg stage.


  • If there are any eggs hidden, eventually, they will hatch [in approximately 7 to 10 days] forcing yet another treatment to kill the instars.


FACT: Many people overuse chemicals.


  • There’s something about our human nature that thinks if “one is good – ten must be better”.
  • People tend to overuse insecticides causing layers upon layers that contributes to toxic environments.
  • There have been reports of tenants and in a couple of cases even pest control that overused a chemical and it leaked into a surrounding unit and caused harm to other occupants.
  • Seniors with suppressed immune systems, COPD and especially children and pets are sensitive to any chemicals.


So, initiate some policies against the use of any chemical spray by tenants in your units!


And if you’re really smart, leave it to the pros!


In part 2 we talk about how and why bed bugs spread so easily in multi-unit properties and how to keep infestations from spreading.


We’re here to help! Bed Bug Hotline 888-966-2332