Bed bug infestations in the US are more prevalent than ever, and there are countless pest control companies that claim to offer bed bug treatments. Unfortunately for the customers, many of these companies have no real experience treating bed bugs and often fail at eliminating the bugs. For this reason many people turn to risky DIY methods, and become very suspicious of pest control companies. Here at IBBRA we have made it our mission to raise awareness about bed bugs, proper extermination methods and provide customers with a reliable place to find pest professionals that are experienced in bed bug elimination.
But if you own a bed bug or pest control company, you might be wondering how you can make your business stand out from all the “other guy’s” out there. The IBBRA wants all of our providers to have successful, thriving businesses, which is why we’ve put together a few tips to help your business become a “household name” in your community.
Tip #1: Don’t Cut Corners On Your Services
This tip applies toward every aspect of your business, but is especially important when it comes to the services you are offering your customers. Make sure that you are providing the best treatments and services and that every customer leaves knowing that their bed bug problem is over. To do this it is important that you use proven equipment and that your staff is properly trained.
IBBRA offers professional quality products that have been proven to kill bed bugs. For all your heat equipment needs, visit the IBBRA store and feel free to contact us with any questions. IBBRA also features providers that provider equipment and training services to help your business grow in the right directions. Search the provider map to find equipment and bed bug training providers.
Tip #2: Your Website is Essential
In today’s world, many consumers will not consider a company if they aren’t easily searched in Google or if their website is subpar. Your online presence is the first thing your customers will see from your business. A clean, easy to navigate website will make a good impression before you even talk to the customer. Make your website work for you by presenting your contact info and other information quickly and easily.
Don’t skimp on the branding either, make sure your logo and branding concepts are easily understood and memorable. Matching your online presence with your in-person branding will also make your business appear more professional and will leave a lasting impression with your customers. Professionally designed flyers, business cards and other branding pieces will help boost your appearance.
IBBRA can help you re-vamp or develop a brand new website for your company. IBBRA members have access to marketing materials, graphic design services and many other benefits to help start or grow your business. Call today for more information.
Tip #3: Advertise!
Advertising your business is a no-brainer. Utilize free advertising opportunities like social media, and choose paid advertising opportunities carefully. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to bring in new customers. Consider offering discounts and incentives to “tell your friends” about your company.
Always analyze your market and find out where they are looking for services before making a decision on advertising. Newspapers, Craigslist, Facebook ads, Yelp, and The Yellow Pages are all great options, but depending on your area there may be options that will be more effective than others.
Quality leads are very valuable for any business. That’s why IBBRA members get their business listed on our worldwide provider’s map. Customers know that IBBRA members are qualified professionals and will search the map for their area to find the best professionals near them.
Tip #4: Become A Figure In Your Community
Consumers want to do business with companies that care about their community. There are many ways to get your name out there in your community. Some ideas include: purchasing a booth at local home shows, have a float in your communities parades, sponsor sporting and school events, advertise on popular radio stations, the list goes on and on. The more people see your business name, the more likely they will be to call you when the need arises.
Need more business building tips? Become an IBBRA member and take advantage of all of the valuable tools that are offered to each provider. Contact us today for more information 1-888-966-2332.
A quick Google search will bring up hundreds, if not thousands of DIY methods to get rid of bed bugs. Many of these results haven’t been tested, and nearly all of them are unconfirmed and not backed by any science what-so-ever. These “old-wives-tale” methods could spread your bed bug problem to other rooms, making the problem much harder to treat, or they could cause major damage to you or your home due to fire, water damages or health risks.
Don’t fall for these hoax treatments!
Although there are many products on the shelf that claim to be effective against bed bugs, many are completely untested and ineffective. Foggers and bug bombs are one of those completely ineffective treatments in eliminating a bed bug infestation. In most cases where bug bombs have been used the infestation is spread out over multiple rooms or hidden inside walls and under carpeting. Bugs will try to move away from the treatment area to avoid the annoying fumes. This pushes them into places where they wouldn’t normally go, and makes future treatments much harder. Depending on what was used and when the treatments were applied, this DIY methods can also make professional heat and other treatments impossible or dangerous.
This DIY treatment is one of the top search results found online. The substance is easy to find at animal feed stores and hardware stores which makes this method a popular one for people to try. Diatomaceous earth works by dehydrating the bugs, however for bed bugs to be affected they must walk through the power multiple times to cover their body with the powder. Also, nymphs and eggs are not affected by this method at all since they are usually well hidden inside furniture or your mattress. Additionally, dust pesticides like Diatomaceous earth can harm humans and animals if breathed in. This makes K-9 inspections impossible and could affect the ability to treat with heat or chemicals, especially if not cleaned properly.
Like foggers and bug bombs, off-the-shelf pesticides may claim to kill bed bugs, but in most cases they are not properly tested and could be dangerous for your health. Most people know that pesticides are not safe to breath in. However that does not stop people from dumping them all of their bed and living areas in an effort to kill bed bugs. Not only is this very dangerous to you and your families health, it can also cause the bed bug infestation to spread, making your entire home inhabitable.
So what does work?
IBBRA encourages you to never perform a DIY bed bug treatment unless the method has been tried and approved by actual pest professionals. The most effective DIY treatment is rented bed bug heat equipment. RentBedBugHeaters.com and IBBRA are dedicated to help those that want to perform DIY treatments make smarter and more effective treatment decisions. Find a bed bug heater rental provider near you by searching our provider map. IBBRA also offers other DIY options though our online store where you can find many IBBRA approved heaters and heat treatment accessories available for purchase. All products sold in the IBBRA store have been tried and tested for effectiveness and quality!
Identifying bed bugs quickly and effectively a key aspect to a successful treatment. Every room where bed bugs are thriving will need to be treated carefully. Knowing exactly where bed bugs are hiding is very valuable knowledge and will give you or your customers peace of mind that treatments were correctly performed. The best way to achieve this is to hire a k-9 detection team to do a pre and post treatment inspections.
K-9 inspections have been performed for decades in crime investigations, drug bust, and bed bug treatment. Dogs have highly sensitive noses that can sniff out substances with high accuracy. Regardless of their tried and proven skills people still have questions and concerns about these services. Below we have shed some light on FAQs regarding bed bug K-9 inspections.
How much more effective is a k-9 team over regular pest technicians’ visual inspection?
Even the best, most highly trained technicians are only about 30% accurate while performing visual inspections. Humans can only inspect the areas they can easily see, which means that any bugs hidden inside furniture, walls, under carpets and are likely to go undetected.
K-9s, on the other hand, is up to 95% accurate. Dogs are trained to only find live bed bugs and eggs, plus they can detect bugs living even where they can’t be easily seen.
How long with the inspection take?
For a standard room, you can expect a K-9 inspection to take 3-5 minutes. For a human, that same room would take 20 minutes or more to complete. Experienced K-9s have been known to search an entire hotel (up to 200 rooms) in 1 day.
Will a K-9 inspection hold up as a scientific instrument in a legal case?
This is a widespread question from business owners and managers. Moreover, the answer is, Yes. Trained and certified bed bug detection dogs are considered a scientific instrument and their findings will hold up in a court of law. This could be the difference in owing thousands of dollars in settlements or walking away with a full wallet. Legal cases can put companies out of business but adding an extra layer of support with k-9 inspections has saved countless businesses from going under.
How do I find a K-9 Detection team in my area?
This is where IBBRA is here to help. We can help you find an experienced K-9 detection company near you. Search for “Certified K-9 Detection” near you at https://ibbra.org/service-providers/.
Above you will see pictures of what bed bugs look like, but do you know how to identify one hidden away in your home or personal belongings? As their name implies, bed bugs are commonly associated with areas where we sleep or relax. Bed bugs are not just in beds and can be found in dressers, chair cushions, sofas, behind electrical outlets, in folds of draperies, clocks, phones, shoes, cracks and crevices, under carpet tacks, around baseboards, picture frames, under the bed, in books, door hinges, light fixtures, in wheelchairs and in or under any clutter or objects near a bed or lounging area.
You must be extremely thorough during the inspection process and be sure not to rush through. BE CAREFUL NOT TO REMOVE anything from the premise you are inspecting. If anything is removed, it must be bagged and sealed correctly. During inspection avoid sitting, leaning or placing anything on beds or couches or chairs. Bed bugs may be in different stages during your investigation. Don’t be discouraged, in a short period you will be trained to look for sure telltale signs that improve your due diligence.
Tools that can make your search easier include a flashlight, a magnifying glass, a screwdriver (for disassembling items) and sealable plastics bags in several sizes.
Where to Search
Look on your bedspread, blanket, duvet, throw pillows (don’t forget teddy bears or any other stuffed animals or toys), or any other coverage you may have on your bed. Examine your sheets and pillowcases, too. Pull the bed out and away from the wall and remove the headboard. Carefully examine the headboard front and back for any signs of bed bugs.
MATTRESS AND BOX SPRINGS
Carefully examine the surfaces paying close attention to folds and depressions. Then move on to the piping (both upper and lower sides) around the edges of the mattress using the flashlight. If the mattress has buttons, examine them for any signs. Flip the mattress and examine the same on the other side. Sometimes they crawl into the mattress through grommets or tears and cuts.
Examine the box springs. On the back of the box spring is a fabric stapled in place that has to be removed. Bed bugs love to crawl inside the box spring between the staples. Carefully check for bed bugs where the material is folded under around the edges. Using a flathead screwdriver, remove the back material, then carefully examine the inside wood frame as well as outside using your flashlight.
Using the LED light and magnifying glass to look close in closets and dresser drawers, couches, loveseats, pullout beds, recliners and easy chairs, all other non-washable items, curtain, shutters and blinds, electrical items and outlets, animal bedding.
Don’t stop there; bed bugs can be found in nightstands, dressers, pictures on the wall, hanging lamps, bed trunks, bookcases, easy chairs, and clocks. You get the picture.
Once a person has to do a thorough inspection for bed bugs they soon realize that cleaning up clutter BEFORE you get bed bugs is the smart thing to do!
If you should discover bed bugs; plan on spending a lot of time doing laundry for all clothing and fabrics. You must be careful while transporting anything out from the infected room(s). Wash and dry these items on HOT and place them into sealed bags or sealed storage bins and set aside. Do not bring these back into the room you are treating. (You can use a garage, porch or basement). It isn’t necessary to wash all items. Items that are clean can be placed directly into a hot dryer for 40-55 minutes, bagged and set aside.
DON’T OVER PACK CLOTHING IN TUB OR DRYER – LOOSELY FIT SO ALL ITEMS GET HOT
In most cases, it is not necessary to dispose of furniture, before treatment. Depending on the size of the infestation, the condition, and age of the furniture, most infested furniture can be cleaned and treated. If you must discard anything, don’t do it without wrapping and marking it. In many cases, the money spent on replacing furniture might be better spent on professional treatment.
Whenever discarding items are sure to wrap, seal and mark items (Bed Bug Infested), before disposal. Someone’s trash is another’s treasure and can fall into the hands of someone who now brings bed bugs into their home spreading the infestation throughout the community.
ADDING NEW FURNITURE
If you decided to discard any furniture items and need replacement – do not replace anything until your treatment is 100% successful. You risk infesting your new furniture and having to start treatment all over again.
So you’re pretty sure you’ve got bed bugs? Why not kill those bugs yourself? Shop our DIY store or rent bed bug heaters from one of our certified bed bug heater rental professionals!
As you may be aware, bed bugs can affect anyone. Although they may not be picky insects, there are a few ways that you can prevent them from coming home with you. The experts at IBBRA have compiled the list below to help you prevent a bed bug infestation.
Bed Bug Prevention Tips
CLEAN UP THE CLUTTER!
Bed bugs are experts at hiding and finding them can present quite a challenge. Heavily cluttered dwellings create a million and one places for bed bugs to hide. If you have piles of boxes, newspapers, magazines, clothes, or just “stuff,” it’s time you clean it up. Doing this will make it easier to find them if you should ever get them.
BEDS AND LOUNGING AREAS
Change your bed linens regularly; check piping on mattresses and box springs for early signs. Vacuum couches, chairs and carpets regularly.
MAKING HOUSEHOLD REPAIRS
Take away as many possible harborages for bed bugs; Separations between baseboards, grout, seams of wallpaper, crown molding, door jams. Clear silicone fills these areas so bed bugs cannot enter. Consider replacing worn carpeting with tile; and because bed bugs travel along routes created by pipes, cables and electrical conduits, seal any openings where pipes, wires or other utilities come into your home.
BEST FURNITURE DESIGNS FOR BED BUGS
Consider modern clean-lined furniture which is less hospitable to bed bugs. The smoother and harder the furniture, the less likely that a bed bug would find a place to hide. Take into consideration the ease of decontamination should you get bed bugs. Would the finish stand up to treatments like hot steaming or scrubbing? Can cushions be removed or put through the dryer? This step is especially important for the hospitality industry.
MISCELLANEOUS PREVENTION POINTERS
- Avoid shopping at thrift stores, pawn shops, and Craig’s list. Be mindful of anything borrowed or given to you or discarded furniture or mattresses found at the curbside. Any of these items should be thoroughly inspected for bed bugs before bringing them into your home.
- Use a large plastic self-locking bag to contain items like computer bags, purses, jackets, backpacks, and lunch boxes when transporting them back and forth from work, school or places visited.
- Be sure to inspect all items a visitor may bring into your home or workplace. These include any out of town guest, maintenance and service people, delivery people, salesman, and social workers.
Need help getting rid of bed bugs? Contact one of our certified providers today!
Staying in The Bed Bug Game Long Enough to Succeed
Staying in The Bed Bug Game Long Enough to Succeed takes a well-planned out strategy.
People attempt bed bug removals using anything they can get their hands on.
After months of spraying, copious amounts of DE dusting, taping, CO2 traps, monitors, essential oils and throwing things out, they finally give up.
They’ve tried it all.
Unfortunately, by this time, new breeding grounds have grown and they’ve spread throughout their homes.
Insane failure rates!
Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
But that’s what people do every day with bed bugs.
It’s common that people assume a simple spraying and dusting here and there will get rid of bed bugs, but they couldn’t be more wrong.
Throw it All Away and Add it Up
What’s really sad, is tossing perfectly good furniture and items thinking they are getting rid of the problem with it.
I spoke to a young father yesterday who is working just to keep food on the table for his family; who out of sheer failure and frustration tossed all their beds and living room furniture.
He was almost in tears because he can’t financially replace any of those items and his family is now sleeping on the floor.
Because of limited funds, he had gone online and read about a bed bug spray and diatomaceous earth (DE).
For months, he reapplied the spray creating layers upon layers of toxins throughout his home and had piles of DE everywhere!
Each week he would find more bed bugs in different rooms until every room has signs of them.
It was then, out of sheer desperation he threw all their furniture out.
When the difficulty level of bed bugs becomes higher than expected, we tend to want to throw in the towel.
And guess what?
He is still dealing with bed bugs even after copious amounts of bed bug sprays and dusts.
What did he do wrong?
Do Your Homework and Make a Plan First
Suppose you were taking a road trip.
You wouldn’t just jump in the car and take off without knowing where you’re going or how to get there, would you?
Same thing goes for bed bugs.
You need a plan of attack.
Not just any plan, a plan that works.
Take a couple of hours to learn about the nature of this bug your ready to conquer.
Understanding your risks and where they hide will be the best thing you can do up front.
Set Yourself Some Clear Expectations
Whatever the reason you insist on doing this yourself, (money, principals, ego, whatever), you’d better figure out what you are willing to do and how long you are willing to do it for.
Because you might find yourself down a worm hole in a short time.
For those who can’t weather the storm, you’re better off leaving it to a professional upfront.
By reading articles online, you may not think this could be easy, but you certainly don’t know it can be extremely difficult if you don’t have facts.
You first need to evaluate the extent of bed bugs residing in your dwelling, how long they’ve been around and if you are subject to high risk situations.
Most Vulnerable Dwellings
Most at risk and vulnerable to bed bug infestations spreading are multi-unit properties and you may be reaping the bed bug freebies of someone else’s problems that shares a wall with you.
An occupant/renter should contact their landlord or property manager as soon as a bed bugs are suspected.
Bed bug infestations don’t just happen overnight.
Of course, unless you brought an infested item into your dwelling.
But normally, they take months to build.
Depending on the size of the infestation, when the amount of bed bugs exceeds available blood meals, they will travel to adjoining areas in search of blood.
This is especially true if a person that occupies an infested unit moves.
They begin to forage for a blood meal.
Early stage introductions of bed bugs are small and relatively simple to eliminate.
But as bed bug populations increase, the spread and control become more labor intensive, complex and more expensive.
Treatment in one unit with infested surrounding units will be fruitless in the long run as the bed bugs travel between the wall voids.
So, it is important that you speak to those in units around you and the landlord or property manager for complete organized elimination.
A popular problem today is landlords that either want to do it themselves or ask their renter not to talk to anyone else about it.
This is ridicules.
Hiding the fact that bed bugs are present (in life), is the number one BIGGEST mistake landlords do.
STOP HIDING and talk about them.
Educate your tenants, put policies and procedures in place, inspect on a regular basis.
Get them to come to you should they suspect a problem so you can handle it quickly.
This will help to avoid structure “infestations” in your building.
Reality Check – What Happens
Many times, landlords will treat only the one unit while hiding the fact that there are bed bugs in the building to other tenants.
The big problem here is that they just might be coming in from an adjacent unit and will be back in a short time.
Then, they BLAME the tenant which unit they just had treated if they should complain again.
And in essence they never really got rid of them to begin with, they just knocked them down in the unit and drove them into the walls.
Another problem is, they don’t want to pay for a complete inspection of surrounding units.
This next one is the biggie!
Attempting to hold tenants financially responsible.
Before long, the word will get out and tenants will not tell you they have them.
When doing so, a common reaction of the tenant is to run to their local store or online to find something so they can eliminate them.
Now they spread to surrounding units faster.
So, if you’re planning on doing any of these things, you might want to figure out how to stay in the game long enough to get rid of your problem.
The IBBRA has been helping property owners and managers for years combat bed bugs without stress and extreme spreading.
Reach out to any of our service providers by putting your zip code into our service map on our site at www.ibbra.org
They will show you a way you can combat your bed bug problems without draining your ROI and keep your buildings safe from infestations!