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 of 85-95% 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!
A quick look online will yield thousands of complaints from people waking with bites when staying in a hotel. Fingers are hastily pointed in the direction of the hotelier blaming them for bed bugs and holding them responsible.
Because it is hard to identify “if” the bite was from a bed bug or know where the bed bug may have come from, travelers are extorting FREE nights and replacement of belongings from hotels. They expect that just because they have a bite mark, it was from the room they stayed in at the hotel.
Not always the case!
What I’d like to address today is facts about bed bugs that just might wake you up to a new reality.
People react to bites differently. Mosquito and fleabites are often mistaken as bed bug bites. What if your guest was out at a Bar-b-q that night and was bitten by mosquitoes? On the other hand, how about playing on a grass field and got a fleabite or chiggers?
Number one, hoteliers don’t bring bed bugs in their rooms, it just happens. Most of the time it is the guests bringing them in or a staff member can also contribute if they have them at home. Most of the larger hotels have housekeeping and maintenance staff looking for any signs of bed bugs while they are cleaning or repairing.
Unfortunately, because of the bed bugs size, cryptic nature and ability to hide in the most obscure hidden places, they might not always be recognized unless fecal or blood signs or cast skins are discovered.
After thousands of phone calls from these “victims”, I will show you examples of what the real truth could be.
#1 A guest may have bed bugs at home and because they are one of those who are not affected by the bites, they may not know they have them. In these cases, when packing, they may have packed away items that have bed bugs and not know it. When showing up at a hotel, a bed bug or two may crawl off their items and into the rooms. They check out and the room is then prepared for the next guest. The next guest may be bitten by the bed bug(s) the person the night before dropped off. (Who’s fault is it and how would one know?)
#2 People take different means and ways of traveling including planes, buses, taxis, subways, trains, rental cars, etc. What “if” one of those transportation vehicles housed bed bugs and one or two hitchhike a ride on their luggage or purse? Unknown to them, they now bring bed bug hitchhiker to the hotel room they are staying. (Who’s fault is it and how would one know?)
One and two are what we call “occurrences” and not “infestations. It can happen to anyone but still needs to be addressed properly and immediately.
This next example is more common that one would think and often found in absent owners and extended stay hotels.
# 3 Obvious bed bug infestations found in some hotels shows nothing but negligence on the part of the hoteliers management. This is when you peel back the sheets and find clusters of bed bugs, cast skins and fecal matter riddled along the edges of the mattresses and box springs.
Remember, bed bugs are on the foot or luggage of the next guest that enters the doors.
Hospitality and multi-unit groups pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly for bed bug remediation efforts and accept blame regardless of who brought them in. Because there is no “proof” of where the bed bugs came from, it is their dwelling and they must accommodate their guests in order to avoid a lawsuit or bad review. This greatly affects their ROI. Unfortunately, talking to some hotel management staff about the potential is like a tree falling in the woods. Only the smart ones fully understand bed bugs and the potentials.
We have worked with many hoteliers to assure they don’t give away the house just because someone blames them for a bite on their body. Having a strategy in place will stop people from extorting by seeing this reality. By setting up an effective bed bug elimination method, business owners can avoid the un-fixable damage to a business reputation caused by bed bugs.
So, before you go blaming anyone for giving you bed bugs – stop and think!
We show you how to prevent having to pay anything out and protect your guests from saying they brought bedbugs home from your establishment.
We are always here to help – give us a call and we’ll show you! 888-966-2332 www.ibbra.org
I had an interesting conversation with a pest control company today and when asking what their biggest obstacle was they replied, “Some people just can’t afford our services”. That isn’t all that uncommon if you asked around. He went on to say how hard it was for him to walk away when he sees how bad some of these situations are, especially when young children are involved.
I then asked what they do to help these people understand the long-term ramifications of not seeking treatment and he replied, “I really wish I could educate them more but time restraints, overhead and scheduling for those who can pay take up most of our time and we are booked weeks out in advance”.
In order to assist a client with step-by-step instructions to do their own is fruitless for the professional in so many ways. They just don’t have the time and can’t wrap their heads around taking time to help those who can’t afford treatments with no financial benefits. After all, your in business to make money and someone has to pay the bills.
No matter what is happening with professionals or those who can’t afford their services, the fact remains that, bed bugs are NOT GOING AWAY and will continue to grow throughout all our communities. There will always be plenty of work for the professionals but we need to help those who can’t afford their services.
HAVE A HEART!
You know the story, when people are on limited budgets, they run to their local store to buy up cans of three ($3) and five ($5) dollar sprays or anything that has bed bugs on the label that fits their budget. And if you were to speak with any of them, they honestly think they will do the trick. No need to go into detail why that is so bad because we all know that they don’t understand the bug their dealing with. Furthermore, most of the OTC sprays and bed bug bombs don’t work and only make matters worse by spreading them.
HOW CAN YOU HELP FINANCIALLY LIMITED FAMILES GET CONTROL OF THEIR BED BUGS
This won’t take any extra time, only costs a few buck (you can even sell them for a profit and make money)
Hand them the IBBRA’s Do-it-yourself book. Written in collaboration with several pest control companies, the book walks them through a thorough education about the bug first, and then takes them by the hand and shows them what to do step by step. Especially cool is, it teaches people what NOT to do to keep their family and environment safe.
We offer the book at cost to the pest control industry so those who truly want to help people can give it to the customers they normally walk away from or they can charge them the retail price on Amazon of $12.99 and make a few bucks. Either way, you will be helping someone and hopefully teaching them what NOT TO DO which may save someone from a health situation or burning their home down.
Will everyone solve his or her bed bug problem by reading this book? Some will – some won’t. Depending upon how long bed bugs have been in their dwelling and whether they are willing to do what it takes. Bed bugs, once established takes a lot of work and unless they did every step strategically and methodically, and if they miss a few or leave out any of the steps, they will have to start all over again.
For those who have the money but just don’t want to spend money I give them an option. I tell them, read the book in its entirety first so they understand what it entails. Then estimate the hours they anticipate to do the job completely – multiply the hours by their hourly wage – then make the decision – would they not be better off hiring a professional?
I had a woman call me two years ago who had a just over ten thousand square foot senior care facility with twenty rooms riddled with bed bugs. She had only been in business for a few years and was still in the red. She got an estimate of ten thousand dollars from pest control, which she could not afford.
I sent her our Do-it-Yourself book and warned her of how much work it was going to be but she had to follow each step carefully.
Six months later, I received a call from her thanking me and stating that they finally got ahead of the bed bugs, her whole staff is now completely aware and now has an intake procedure to ward off any new introductions the best they can.
We are always here to help!
Contact the IBBRA to order Do-it-Yourself for bed bugs. 888-966-2332
I often hear from pest control companies, how do I let people know that I do bed bugs?
Sure, you can leave it up to people to find you online or in the yellow pages (which we all know isn’t the best because there is so much competition).
So how would people know you can help them or specialize in bed bugs if you don’t tell them?
These posters were built with two things in mind.
One, to make people aware of the signs and symptoms of bed bugs, show them what they look like, where to look and have them acknowledge the fact that they might just have them. (for those not affected by bites)
The second reason, was for pest control to make an appearance, hand them a tool that helps clients best understand and know where to call if they should encounter bed bugs.
Having your contact information on one of the best visuals used in offices, gyms, schools, churches, hotels, and businesses is a no brainer for when someone is looking at the poster and finds your contact information on the bottom.
Previously only available to IBBRA members, are now available to all!
They come in packages of 200 – $1.00 each, flat shipping rate of $13.45
This inexpensive advertising couldn’t be more valuable to both you and your clients.
The posters are 11″ x 17″, full color, glossy with a perfect place on the bottom right to place a sticker, staple a business card or write your company contact information.
Write firstname.lastname@example.org to place your order or call 888-966-2332
Call an IBBRA member to order yours.
Help create massive public awareness across our nation.
We are here to help!
(Coming soon – Spanish version)