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Bed Bugs and You! Some Truth

There are plenty of Bed Bug myths out there, and these myths generally add to more panic and wasted time and money than is needed. So here is a quick article to bring some brief knowledge. Foremost, social, or economic status has nothing to do with bed bug activity. Weather rich or poor everyone has a chance of getting bed bugs. With that said, geographically, urban centers, universities, downtown areas and any urban spread with compact living environments are the most susceptible to infestations and outbreaks. Where ever lots of people are living in small areas. To facilitate this, these areas also have a large amount of second hand purchase and trade economies. Bed Bugs are extremely efficient hitch hikers and can hide in a crack no thicker than a business card. This makes them hard to detect until the infestation becomes large enough to be readily seen. So college students, second hand stores and yard sell patrons can purchase clothing or furniture that is infected and bring Bed Bugs right into their homes, stores or dorms. Bed Bugs have begun to drastically affect the hotel and property management industries. Busy hotels are very likely to have a regular Bed Bug occurrence. Depending on the hotel size and chain, most hotels have a regular Bed Bug protocol in effect. However, the majority do not. Some of our customers have brought home Bed Bugs from resorts, camp grounds, large hotel areas and even ski areas. Beg Bugs have no boarders.

Bed Bugs feed on the blood of mammals, similar to a mosquito. About 70% of people will react to a Bed Bug bite with small to moderate red bumps near the neck, chest and shoulder areas. These areas are popular because Bed Bugs are attracted to heat and carbon dioxide. This is one way to tell of an infestation, other ways include, small black spots on corners and base of mattress and/or box spring, or visually seeing them crawling during the night or while changing sheets. Bed Bugs are visible to the naked eye. Adults are reddish and about the size of an apple seed. If you suspect Bed Bugs or have seen them, DO NOT ATEMPT HOME REMEDIES and DO NOT TREAT FOR THEM YOURSELF!!!!!!!! I cannot stress that enough. We follow up so many home treatments, and all the tenant has done is scatter the Bed Bugs and make the infestation worse and harder to eliminate. Call a professional. However, eliminating Bed Bugs is a difficult task, one that is a finally tuned art and very labor intensive. About 98% of the pest control companies, including the big ones, do not do it correctly! About 30% of our Bed Bug business is from customers who have had no results, after using about 3 different companies and spending triple what it would have cost for us to come in and take care of it one time.

Treatments for Bed Bugs include heat and chemical. Both are extremely labor intensive and time consuming. Both rely heavily on tenant participation to prepare properly. If you hire a company to treat for Bed Bugs and they do not ask you or your tenants to prepare, then do not let them do the work! Also, any company offering a ‘freeze treatment’ is not to be trusted. That type of treatment is completely ineffective. Both heat and chemical are very effective at eliminating a Bed Bug Infestation. The decision between one and the other is determined by many variables. Variables such as unit location, sensitive fixtures, ability to move equipment, level of infestation, construction of home or unit and fire sprinkler systems. Cost is also a factor. A heat treatment is a primer service that allows for less preparation, whereas a chemical treatment requires lots of tenant preparation. Thus, a chemical treatment is less costly than a heat treatment.

Bug sniffing dogs! Lots of companies out there are utilizing Bed Bug sniffing dogs to quickly inspect for Bed Bugs. These are great tools for any property management or hotel owner to utilize regularly as part of a proactive Bed Bug program. Also, regular K9 inspections cut down on owner liability from tenants or customers complaining of Bed Bugs. However, there are a few tips when hiring a company to inspect with dogs. If the dogs get a hit in a room, ask that that item be removed from the room and the room re-inspected. That way you can isolate the source and do not have to treat an entire room. If the item cannot be removed, then ask the inspector to show you the activity. This will require added inspection that he or she should be more than happy to do. Try to find a company that sub-contracts their K9 inspections. Therefore there is no direct link between the K9 inspection and the company soliciting treatment.
Well, there are some quick facts about Bed Bugs and treatments. Don’t be afraid to go on vacation or camping or stay in a hotel. When you get home toss all of your dryable items in the dryer on high for about 40min per load. That will kill anything. We hope this was helpful and should you have any further questions, need an inspection or want to start a proactive program, contact us any time!!

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About the Author

Jason Baacke, Versa-Tech Pest Management
981 W. Arrow Highway #297
San Dimas, CA 91773

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