5 Advantages of Bed Bug Detection Dogs You Need to Know

5 Advantages of Bed Bug Detection Dogs You Need to Know

Bed bugs are known for many things: they’re avid breeders, they feed on the blood of humans and animals, and they invoke a lot of stress when discovered! One thing they’re not usually associated with, however, is their elusive nature.

Bed bugs are nocturnal, which makes them extremely difficult to locate. It often takes someone waking up with bed bug bites for them to be discovered, and even more difficult to get rid of entirely.

It’s common for a business owner or resident to suspect an infestation, but be unable to see the bed bugs in action. Thankfully, trained dogs can sniff them out far more effectively. Here’s why scent detection canine teams are so effective:

 

1.    They detect infestations very quickly

In a world where time is money, it’s hardly ideal for a hotel owner to have to leave a room unused for the duration of a search, so the quicker the job is done, the better. Bed bug canines are extremely fast and efficient, effectively searching entire buildings in little time.

2.            A lot of money can be saved

With such strong scent detection, these highly trained detection dogs negate the need to pull up carpet, remove the baseboards or dismantle any furniture, which can cost a lot of money. Also, a bed bug canine team can detect one-bed bug as easily as it can identify an extreme infestation. This strong potential for early detection can save you from having to undergo the extensive treatment necessary for severe infestations.

3.            They can detect all life stages

Not only do properly trained canines alert when they smell live bed bugs, but they’ll also detect live bed bug eggs. This is extremely useful as the only technique that successfully detects all stages of live bed bug stages by their scents.

4.            They are highly accurate

In addition to being quick and thorough, these canines are also known for being meticulous in their searches. They have even been compared to bomb-sniffing dogs. They are trained to detect bed bugs through furniture and mattresses, and even from the other side of a wall.

5.            Your reputation will be protected

Due to the effectiveness of these canines and their training, they can actually be used in a court of law as a scientific instrument. Having been inspected, you’ll receive a certificate of inspection, which will greatly enhance your reputation if you’re a business owner.

 

If you’re concerned that your home or business may be subject to an infestation, we’re here to help you to find certified professionals in your area at the International Bed Bug Resource Authority. Whether you’re a homeowner with frequent visitors or hotel owner who wants to be sure that all rooms are free of bed bugs, we’ve got you covered. With over 50 independent service providers working with us, we’ll help you with your bed bug issues, once and for all. Click here to find a certified provider near you.

The Easy Guide to Choosing A Bed Bug Company

Choosing a pest control company, no matter what your pest problem, is critical.  But when it comes to bed bugs, it’s essential to make sure that the problem is solved quickly and done right the first time.  To ensure that you hire the right pest control pro, we’ve compiled a list of tips, tricks, and questions to ask to make sure you end up with the best pest control professional.

  1. What credentials do they have?  Check to make sure the company is licensed, insured.  All IBRBA certified members are licensed and insured according to the laws in their state.
  2. Make sure the company you choose specializes in bed bug treatments and can answer all your bed bug-related questions. You want your pest control company to be knowledgeable in the pest problem that you’re having.
  3. Find out what treatments they offer. Heat treatments are the most effective way to kill bed bugs, but there are several different ways that heat can be applied. Make sure you’re comfortable with the methods used by the company.  Follow up inspections and treatments may be necessary; make sure the company has a plan in place to ensure that the bugs are gone.
  4. Make sure that the pre and post requirements for prep and clean up are well outlined. A good pest control company should give you tasks to help make sure the treatments are successful and to help with the proper clean up of the area.  Make sure to ask questions if you don’t know or understand something.
  5. Check the cost. Obviously, the cost of the treatment is significant too.  Don’t forget to ask the price and go over what services will be performed for the agreed-upon price point. Don’t hire anyone until the price and services are well outlined!
  6. Get evidence of bed bug activity. A good pest control company should be able to show you proof of the bugs.  Whether that is a positive sign from a K-9 or live insects, you should also be shown evidence of where the bugs are active.
  7. Your pest control pro should ask you lots of questions. Make sure to answer truthfully and completely.  This will help them develop a treatment plan and know where to look for the bugs.

 

How IBBRA is helping:

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.

How to Clean Up A Bed Bug Infestation

Here at IBBRA we highly recommend heat treatments to end your bed bug problem.  Heat works quickly and effectively, which allows your home or business to be operational in no time; But what happens after the heat treatment is done?  There are still some cleanup procedures that you should follow before the bugs will be gone for good.

Bed Bug Clean-Up Tips

The first step in cleaning up after a bed bug infestation is to wipe down everything.  This tip is one of the more apparent tasks, so we won’t spend too much time here.  If you can wipe it down, do it!  Make sure you get front, back, inside, under, and anywhere you can reach.

Next, you should spend some time vacuuming everything.  This should be done carefully, and the vacuum bag or container should be emptied regularly and into separate garbage bags than your other trash.

Tips for Vacuuming the Treated Areas:

  • Floors – Vacuum the whole room thoroughly.
  • Carpet Edges – carefully lift carpet off the tack strips if possible. Using the nozzle or brush tool, slowly vacuum the perimeter of the room.
  • Mattress – using the nozzle attachment, run the vacuum along the upper and lower sides of the piping (seam) that surrounds the mattress using a slow back and forth systematic movements. Start at one end and work your way around the bed, making sure not to miss any area. Next, using the flat attachment, vacuum the sides of the mattress, including any possible grommets and stitching throughout. Flip the mattress and repeat on the other side.
  • Box springs – repeat all steps for cleaning your mattress. If your box springs have a dust cover, you may consider removing it and vacuuming inside the frame of the box spring.
  • Upholstered furniture – sweep all parts of the chair inside and out just like you did with the mattress and box spring. Remove each cushion and vacuum thoroughly.
  • Hard furniture – vacuum all areas inside and out.

 

If you have any items that you’d instead discard, it’s best to do this after the heat treatment, that way, the bugs have died before you discard the item.  This prevents further spread of your bed bug problem.  It’s still a good idea to use proper steps to discard items, though, even after the heat treatments.

The best way to discard these items is to wrap it completely. Most hardware stores carry plastic tarps used for painting. These can work well if you secure it properly, but you’ll need to use tape to secure it.  We have also found that Shrink Wrap often used by the furniture and moving industry works well for both coverage and ease of movement and handling. It has a particular “stretch” quality so that you can easily cover any exposed area of the item you are wrapping. After complete and careful wrapping of each item you are discarding, attach a sign or mark with BIG BOLD LETTERS – BED BUG INFESTED – BEFORE taking it to the dumpster or the curb. If you are calling in a disposal company to pick up the infested items, make sure to tell them what it is that they are picking up and that it is infested with bed bugs, and it is wrapped for safety.

 

Lastly, if you hired a professional to perform your heat treatment, then you should ask them for a recommendation for further cleanup.  Always follow your pest professional’s procedures and best practices to ensure that your treatment is successful and any warranties or guarantees stay in effect.

Need a professional?  Check out our provider list at https://ibbra.org/service-providers/.

Need more info about bed bugs?  Learn more at https://ibbra.org/faq/

How Should You (or Your Customers) Should Prep For A Heat Treatment

How Should You (or Your Customers) Should Prep For A Heat Treatment

It’s been established that heat treatments are the most effective and fastest way to kill bed bugs.  Scientists and pest professionals agree that heat treatments should be the preferred initial treatment in most bed bug cases.  Chemical treatment follow-ups or pre-treatments are also an option if performed by trained professionals.  Additionally, K-9 inspections are an effective pre and post-inspection technique to ensure that your heat treatments are successful.  But before you jump to perform a heat treatment, there are things that you can do to help make the process go a bit smoother and add to the success rate of your treatments.  These tips and tricks are perfect for DIY heat treatments or before your pest technician come to perform a professional treatment.

Always discuss pre and post-treatment preparation with your pest professional before you start your prep work!

Proper preparation is a mandatory requirement for your heat treatment to be effective. If you’ve hired a service technician, they should outline this in detail and provide instructions on what to do. Preparation is generally done by the resident, although in some cases, companies will offer preparation for an additional charge, or in some cases, the resident may be charged a penalty for not completing the preparation list. Be sure to speak to your service technician beforehand if you cannot complete the list.

Preparation involves providing access for pest control treatment as well as taking measures to ensure that bed bugs are destroyed or contained.

If a home is not properly prepared, successful elimination may be practically impossible.

SAMPLE PREPARATION LIST FOR HEAT TREATMENTS

______Items stored under the bed provide an infinite amount of bed bug hiding places. Be very careful and open all containers and slightly pull the bins from under the bed.  Air should be able to move inside and around the bins easily.

______ All furniture in the dwelling usually need to be pulled away from the baseboards and walls, and it is commonly asked that all furniture containing potential hiding crevices, such as bookshelves and desks, be opened or even emptied and left open for the exterminator to treat. Ask your technician what is necessary.

_____ Open all the drawers in any dressers, side tables, cabinets, or shelving. Make sure the items inside are loosely packed, and heat can permeate the items.

_____ Remove and properly discard cardboard boxes, shoe boxes, paper, and plastic bags, old newspapers, stacks of magazines, and similar items in all potentially infested rooms. Be sure to seal and mark them in plastic bags before removal. (Remember, bed bugs love clutter, it provides an infinite number of places for them, and those “cluttered” items might be where they are hiding)

_____ Unplug all electronics except major appliances.  Usually, it will be safe for electronics to remain in the treatment area but always check with your pest professional.

_____ Remove framed pictures and posters from the walls to avoid damages.  Lay them flat in the room.

_____ Vinyl or faux wood blinds may have a low heat tolerance; they may need removed and placed in a pile of other heat-sensitive items on a table.

_____ Remove items that may melt, like candles, deodorant, chocolate, and lipstick.

_____ Remove medications and perishable foods.

_____ Collect all aerosol cans, fire extinguishers, lighters, soda cans, and pressurized containers and remove them from the treatment area.

_____ Don’t bag up too many items!  Items in bags can be hard to treat.  Do not over-prepare!

____ Alert your pest professional of any sprinklers.  Heat can set off the sprinkler system, so the sprinkler heads need to be caped and protected.

 

For items and areas that cannot be treated, or may have been challenging to treat, there are several steps you can take to ensure that bed bugs aren’t hiding in those items.

  1. Always inspect heat-sensitive items carefully.  Small things that show signs of bed bug activity can be placed in a plastic bag and put in the freezer, or sprayed with professional chemicals to kill and bugs.
  2. Make sure you launder all bedding, stuffed animals, drapes, clothing, and other washable items to ensure that bed bugs aren’t still hiding there. Items should be dried on the hottest setting possible on your dryer.  Items should be secured in a plastic bag and tied in-order to transport to your laundry area.  This helps to avoid the spread of bed bugs to other areas of your home.
  3. After treatment, you should vacuum all areas around the bed and other furniture. Empty the vacuum bag or container into a trash bag that is tightly sealed.
  4. Make sure any discarded items are sealed in plastic and labeled as “Bed Bug Infested” before dropping in the garbage.

 

Always follow professional advice for ways you can prepare your room for a heat treatment or inspection.  Some professionals may have different requirements depending on the equipment used. 

Want to perform your own heat treatment?  Check out our heat equipment rental providers at https://ibbra.org/service-providers/.  You can find a professional rental location near you that offers equipment, professional add-on services and tutorials on how to perform your own heat treatments!

The History of Bed Bug Treatments 

Bed bugs have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years.  The treatment for these bloodsucking insects has changed and evolved through the years, from dangerous flammable substances to widely used pesticides.  The history of bed bug treatments is one that spans from the early 400 BC to present day where scientists, pest professionals and inventors have made great efforts to study and develop new treatment methods to eradicate bed bugs once and for all. 

 

Where Bed Bugs Originated 

It’s widely believed that the bed bugs we know today originated in the middle east.  Early bed bugs likely lived mostly in caves where they fed on bats.  Bed bugs, as we know today evolved from these initial “bat bugs” and move onto other warmblooded mammals, including humans.  The bed bug population spread by traveling as hitchhikers as we started to explore different parts of the world.  One of the first times that bed bugs were mentioned in history was in ancient Greece in early 400 BC.  Archeologists have even found fossilized bed bugs dating back around 3,500 years.  Aristotle even documented his theories as to how bed bugs could be used in medical practices.  He believed that bed bugs could be used as part of a cure for multiple ailments such as snake bites, ear infections and hysteria.  Those theories were proven unsuccessful pretty quickly though and people moved to try to find ways to get rid of the bloodsucking pests that could quickly overtake a home. 

 

The First Treatments 

Early bed bug treatments ranged from spreading pepper, various plants, and fungi in the affected areas to more drastic methods such as covering the infected areas with gasoline, kerosene or pork grease.  Many of these methods were extremely dangerous and resulted in fires and unexplained illnesses.  Eventually, bed bug issues were reduced with more advanced cleaning methods that included washing bed linens and de-cluttering homes.  Finally, around WWII bed bugs were almost completely eliminated in the US with the invention of pesticides such as DDT.   

Though these treatments were working well against bed bugs, after the war, many insecticides and pesticides were found to be dangerous to humans and their use was banned.  This led to a resurgence of bed bugs issues.  In the 21st century, many new chemical pesticide substances have been developed to kill bed bugs and other pests.  Many of these substances were very useful at first but slowly have become less effective over time.  Scientists have studied this resilience indepth and found the bed bugs can become resilient to many substances used to eradicate them.  This realization has led many to search for new treatment methods, both professionally and for DIY treatments. 

 

The New and Improved Treatment Methods 

At IBBRA, the highly experienced bed bug professionals have tried and tested many different treatment methods.  Through these tests and treatment experience, it has become abundantly clear that heat treatments are the most effective way to kill bed bugs.  The bugs do not have the ability to evolve a resistance to temperatures and heat treatments don’t pose any health risks to humans.  By partnering with Convectex.com, IBBRA can offer the highest quality bed bug heat equipment to professionals, business owners, and DIYers alike.  It is our mission to make bed bug treatments as simple and effective as possible, and one day, to be able to eliminate the bed bug population in the U.S once again.   

To shop our IBBRA approved products go to https://ibbra.org/shop/ 

Bed Bug Bites: The Comprehensive Guide

If you’ve ever woken up from a long night’s sleep, only to find welts on your face, hands, arms and legs then you know the feeling of the “bed bug panic”.  Questions often race through bed bug victims mind regarding the bites and the severity of their bed bug problem.  While unexplained bites can definitely mean that you’ve got a bed bug problem, those bites could be explained by other bugs or rashes as well.  To avoid confusion and panic, IBBRA has compiled everything you need to know about bed bug bites below.

Vampire Bugs…

Bed bugs are drawn by warm body temperature, the carbon dioxide you exhale and are known to feed on your blood while you’re sleeping. While they are known for feeding at night, bed bugs can feed at any time of the day or night, whether you’re sleeping or not, and will adjust their feeding times according to your schedule.

The bed bug bites by first grasping the exposed skin with their fore tarsi.  As the proboscis is extended forward and thrust into the capillaries of the skin (categorized as vessel feeders)  the bug injects anticoagulant and anesthetic to numb the area so you won’t feel the bite. Bed bugs will feed for several minutes before withdrawing the stylet bundle from the feeding position and retracting it back and folding the entire unit back under the head.  It takes between five to ten minutes for a bed bug to become completely engorged with blood.

 

Bites Feel Like…

While the act of biting is usually not felt, the effects of that bite are often quite irritating and painful.  Some people experience an allergic reaction to the protein found in the bed bug’s saliva.  Approximately 50% to 70% of people develop this allergic which can cause severe rashes or even blisters. A varying level of reaction can occur, usually beginning with small, flat or raised bumps, and red swollen, itchy skin. If scratched, the bite areas can become infected.  The saliva of the bed bug often contains active substances (hyaluronidase, kinins or proteases), which may cause different skin reactions including (erythema, wheal, vesicle, hemorrhagic nodule).

It’s important to remember that everyone reacts to bed bug bites differently.  Some people don’t react to bed bug bites at all. Even two people sharing the same bed can have completely different reactions to being bit by the same bug.

 

Secondary Effects…

The bitten areas of skin can also become subject to secondary bacterial infections.  It has also been reported that the affected skin can be more susceptible to eczema, cellulitis, and/or lymphangitis. An occasional systemic reaction can occur from a bed bug bite, and in some cases, if the bite reactions are intense, repetitive scratching will produce skin lesions that may be complicated by impetigo.

 

Bites Look Like…

The skin lesion produced by the bite of a bed bug resembles those caused by many other kinds of insects, such as mosquitoes, spiders and fleas. Therefore, bed bug bites can rarely be identified by the appearance of the bites alone.  This means that identification often requires the guilty insect to be  found and positively identified as a bed bug.

Most welts heal in a few days,  but there are cases where the wound may persist for several weeks to months. Usually, an anti-itching ointment will help easy irritation, but if bites become infected the  people should see their doctor right away.  To date, the bed bug has not been known to spread any human diseases.

Once the bed bugs have finished feeding, they scurry off quickly to return to their hiding place, sometimes dropping a portion of their last meal as fecal matter on the way as they continue to digest their fresh blood meal.  These droppings can also help identify bed bugs during an inspection.

 

 

 

 

What You Should Do…

If you have experienced unidentified bites, especially after traveling, you should do a full inspection of your bed for any signs of bed bugs.  For a quick guide to bed bug inspections, check out your bed bug inspection guide at https://ibbra.org/best-diy-bed-bug-solutions/.  Bed bug bites can be extremely irritating, painful, and potentially dangerous.  If you think you’re having an allergic reaction to bed bug bites, contact your doctor immediately.

If you suspect bed bugs at your home or business call in an IBBRA approved professional near you. You can find the best pros at https://ibbra.org/service-providers/