5 Common Bed Bug Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

Bed bugs can be a frustrating, expensive, and potentially dangerous problem to have.  There is so much false information online that many people make simple, but expensive and dangerous mistakes when treating for bed bugs.  IBBRA is here to help you stay informed with scientifically proven information and access to qualified professionals that can help you through your bed bug issue.

Here are the top 5 bed bug mistakes that you could easily avoid:

  1. Hiding bed bugs from your friends, family, and landlord
    Bed bugs can affect anyone and aren’t something to be ashamed of. If you get bed bugs, telling your family, friends, neighbors and landlord is essential to making sure the problem doesn’t spread.  It also gives you the chance to educate others about how easily bed bugs can be “picked up”.  Spread the word and protect yourself and those you care about by being open regarding any bed bug issues that may arise in your household.
  2. Sleeping in another room

Once you find out bed bugs have infested your bedroom, many people will opt to sleep on the couch or in another bedroom to avoid the bugs and potential bites.  While this may keep a few bites away, this is actually one of the leading cases that bed bugs spread to multiple rooms in your home.  Solve the problem quickly with heat and use caution when moving to other rooms. Take the proper sterilization steps to contain the bed bug problem.

  1. Forgetting to do follow-up inspections and treatments
    Once a treatment is complete and you aren’t receiving nightly bed bug bites, you may tend to forget about the problem altogether. By doing this you may be allowing bed bugs to continue to infest your home undetected.  Bed bugs eggs take 6-10 days to hatch, which means that your bed bug infestation could re-appear within a few weeks after a treatment.  Follow up treatments and inspections are especially important if a chemical treatment was applied.  The best way to kill all the bed bugs, even the eggs, is by hiring a professional to complete a heat treatment. Alternatively, you can rent bed bug heat equipment from certified providers here.
  2. Bring home used items without proper inspections
    Bringing home bed bugs can be very easy, especially if you recently were traveling or purchased used furniture or clothing. Bed bugs like to hide in upholstered furniture, and not just bedroom furniture.  You could bring home bed bugs in chairs, couches, clothing, and even books.  Always inspect any used items that come into your home.
  3. Off-the-shelf pesticides or un-safe heating methods
    There are countless pesticides out there that claim to be effective on bed bugs, but in actuality, they aren’t required to test their product on bed bugs. Likewise, news outlets are full of stories where homeowners burnt down their house while trying to heat the home using space heaters, a home furnace, the oven….ect.  Heat treatments should only be performed using professionality quality heaters that are made to kill bed bugs.  Chemical treatments should only be applied by professional pest control technicians that are trained to use high quality and powerful pesticides.

Don’t make these mistakes!  Call in a bed bug professional, rent bed bug heat equipment or purchase professional quality DIY equipment at https://ibbra.org/service-providers/

 

Public Places: Bed Bug Treatment Problems and How to Solve Them – Part 2

Public Places: Bed Bug Treatment Problems and How to Solve Them – Part 2

Last month we covered all the challenges of treating bed bugs in public places.  Today we will be talking about tips and tricks to help your next treatment be as successful as possible.  If you missed last month’s article, click here to check it out before continuing.

So what can be done in these challenging situations?

Public areas require trained, experienced bed bug professionals to assess the problem and come up with a treatment place specifically designed for each case.  Below are some things to consider when making or reviewing a treatment plan:

  1. Heat It Up: Heat treatments are one of the most versatile treatment options.  Heat can be used in nearly any enclosed area.  Heat is especially great in hotels, businesses, and transportation methods (buses, cars, planes…ect) because heat treatments don’t require that the entire building be shut down for treatment.  Heat treatments can be applied in any single room, without disturbing the rest of the building.  Heat treatments are also chemical-free, so in retail situations where there may be chemical sensitivity and odors that need to be avoided, heat might be the perfect solution.  Finally, heat is great because the treatment area can be completely treated in 24 hours (depending on the location).
    If you’re a Pest Control Pro and not yet offering heat treatments, IBBRA highly recommends that you educate yourself in the revolutionary heat treatment movement.  You can contact Convectex Bed Bug Heaters for equipment, training and more to help get your bed bug heat business started.
    If you’re a Hotel or Motel owner/manager, then IBBRA recommends that you check out our DIY heat treatment options and kill bed bugs yourself.
  2. Sniff It Out: Ensuring that the bugs are gone is KEY to every bed bug treatment.  Bed Bug K-9 detection teams are there for just that purpose, to ensure that the treatment was successful and the area is safe.  Partnering with or expanding your pest control business to include a k-9 detection team is not only great for your customers peace-of-mind, they can also be used as a defense in any legal battle resulting from a bed bug issue.  Bed Bug K-9s are over 90% accurate in most cases, making them the BEST way to ensure that your treatment was successful.
    Need a K-9 Inspection?  Want to partner with a K-9 Detection business to back-up your treatments?  Find a qualified team right here on the IBBRA website.  Click here to find a scent inspection company near you.
  3. Keep an Eye Out: The best way to treat a bed bug problem is before it happens.  Business owners should be watching for signs of bed bugs at all times.  This is especially true for hotels/motels, but can also be applied to office buildings and retail locations.  Public transportation businesses should have regular inspections, as well.  Catching a bed bug problem early will greatly reduce the amount of time the treatment takes!  Proactive business owners can also educate their employees on what to do if they spot a bed bug at work, on their commute or at home.
    Need help training your staff in the ins-and-outs of bed bug detection?  Read more about bed bugs and simple detection tips on the IBBRA blog.  Here are some articles to get you started:
    https://ibbra.org/best-diy-bed-bug-solutions/
    https://ibbra.org/bed-bug-prevention-tips/
    https://ibbra.org/how-to-prevent-bed-bugs-from-multiplying-if-you-cant-afford-a-professional/
    https://ibbra.org/the-pros-and-cons-of-bed-bug-treatment-options/
    Clean It Up:  Places with a lot of clutter make the perfect place for bed bugs to hide.  Keep your business or store clean and clear of clutter.  Keeping clutter down will also help any treatment efforts as well.
  4. Hire an Actual Pro: Don’t blindly take the word of someone, who sometimes does pest control work, for your bed bug treatment plan.  Get a real pro that treat bed bugs every day and is trained in treating public locations.
    Finding a professional that is an IBBRA member will ensure that you’re getting the best treatment options available, from someone who really cares about ending the bed bug war in America!  You can find an IBBRA pest control member here.  You can also hire a k-9 detection team OR purchase DIY treatment equipment to solve your bed bug problem yourself with the same equipment the pros are using!

 

 

Public Places: Bed Bug Treatment Problems and How to Solve Them – Part 1

Public Places: Bed Bug Treatment Problems and How to Solve Them – Part 1

Bed bugs are sure to strike fear into the hearts of many, regardless of where they are spotted.  The fact that they can spread so quickly and easily, PLUS at the rate that they reproduce, you could have an infestation on your hands before you even realize they are there at all.  It’s a known fact that bed bugs are commonly picked-up in public locations, but why is that?  Also, what makes those public locations so hard to treat?  What can you do, as a pest control professional, to better treat bed bugs in public spaces?  Alternatively, maybe you’re a business owner, how can you keep your business bed bug free?  We’ve got all those answers and more below!

What’s the problem?

When bed bugs are found outside residential homes, there are many more complications to their treatment.  Here are a few of those issues:

  1. Costly Closures: When bed bugs are spotted at a business, often it will require the entire building be closed for proper treatment.  This can be extremely costly for the company and may cause employees to take a mandatory vacation or unpaid time off.
  2. Tricky Spaces: Sometimes, the locations that bed bug decide to inhabit aren’t the easiest areas to treat.  Whether this means that bed bugs infested a bus, airplane, movie theater, hospital, clothing store, furniture store, thrift store or even an office building, each area has its challenges.  Each case must be examined, and a solution chosen on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Where is the problem?: Some locations, like airports and other public transportation, have so many people flowing through, that it can be challenging to identify where the problem exists and its origin. This makes proper treatment very difficult as the problem is always spreading. Likewise, it can be challenging to be sure that the problem is solved due to the widespread of bugs.
  4. Treatments Off the Table: Depending on the location, some treatments just won’t be possible.  Some retail locations won’t allow smelly chemicals to be spread all over their stock.  Chemical sensitivities are also a concern for all public locations, the last thing you want is for someone to have a life-threatening allergic reaction to your business.

Stay tuned for next month to see how IBBRA can help you navigate these tricky situations and for tips and tricks to solve bed bug problems in these areas.

3 DIY Bed Big Solutions that Never Work, And Why…

3 DIY Bed Big Solutions that Never Work, And Why…

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! 

Foggers/Bug Bombs

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.

 

Diatomaceous Earth

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.

 

Off-The-Shelf Pesticides

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!

Sniffing Out Bed Bugs

Sniffing Out Bed Bugs

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/.

Choosing the Right Bed Bug Professional

Choosing the Right Bed Bug Professional

When you’ve just found out that your home or business has been infested with bed bugs, there are probably a million thoughts and questions running through your head.  What do I do?  Who do I hire?  Where do I find the RIGHT pest professional? Should I try one of the DIY methods I found online?

IBBRA is here to help.  Below you will find everything you need to know or ask, before hiring a pest control company.

Questions to Ask
During your initial inspection or interview, the technician will not only be inspecting the area, devising a treatment plan and getting all necessary info but they will also giving you a chance to interview them.  You should ask any and all questions that come up.  Don’t be shy, your pest professional should be able to answer any and all questions easily.

  • First and foremost, what credentials does the company have, are they licensed and insured? Always ask to see their license and insurance. All pest professionals should hold liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment and “completed operations” coverage that covers for damages that occur or are discovered after the contractor leaves the premises.
  • Do they “specialize” in bed bug treatments? Ask how much experience they have and what methods were used?
  • What type of treatments and processes does the company offer? (Heat, Chemical, Fumigation, Other?) Which treatment option offers the most effective success ratio and why?
  • Which treatment would be best for your environment and why? (Children, elderly, sick, medical or mental situations, handicapped, pets, clutter level will all come into play)
  • Do you have to be involved in the treatment process and what is expected of you, your family, staff and/or tenants?
  • How many treatments will it take to get rid of your problem? (Be sure to fully understand the nature of the 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 or have access to a detection dog team?

Things to Be Aware of and Avoid

There are several red flags that might come up in your initial interview or conversation with a pest professional.  Trust your gut and get a second opinion if necessary. Here is a short list of things to avoid.

  • Avoid any person or company that does not or can’t show you a valid ID, company license and insurance.
  • Be aware of anyone who offers a treatment without confirming and “showing you evidence” of bed bugs or signs of them.
  • Be aware of exterminators that offer “too good to be true” bargains.
  • Stay away from anyone telling you, you MUST throw away all your furniture! (There may be exceptions for some furniture, but you should never be required to throw everything out)

Information You Should Have Ready For The Technician

To provide the most effective treatment possible, you will need to give your pest pro some background and additional info.  Be prepared to answer the following questions.  Remember, be honest and don’t be embarrassed.  Bed bugs can affect anyone and past failed treatment attempts shouldn’t be an embarrassment either.

Your pest professional will need to know:

  • When did you first notice the bed bug activity?
  • Have you been on any trips or vacations lately?
  • What is the current conditions (structures, age) of the dwellings?
  • Have you tried any previous treatment methods?
  • Are there any special concerns (health, environmental..ect) that they should be aware of?

scientific advisory board

The Pest Control Companies Responsibilities

As in any professional business, pest control is bound by business ethics and moral responsibility; and as professionals is expected to abide by them and provide the following:

You should be provided with well written/emailed educational materials on bed bugs that include realistic expectations, including warnings for impediments to the success of treatment (lack of client cooperation, reintroduction after treatment, etc.)

They should provide you with different preparation and instructions sheets required by the client or tenant dependent upon the service and treatment were chosen. (Dog inspections, preparation for heat or chemical and post-treatment instructions)

You should also be provided written agreements detailing the type of service, cost of service, fees for additional services if necessary, the time it will take, number of expected visits, estimated the success of the job and prevention tips)

What IBBRA Does For You

The IBBRA is dedicated to eliminating bed bugs by providing the most accurate educational materials, recognized product approval platform, and a network of trusted pest professionals. All of the pest professionals featured on the IBBRA website are required to uphold the most ethical business practices, remain current with all laws and regulations in their area, and be licensed and insured.  Use our provider map to find a professional near you.  You can navigate directly to their website for more info, or get their contact info right from their IBBRA listing.