Sunday, April 29, 2007
Can you believe that in New York City in the past 3 months there has been 72 cases of bedbug problems in 43 schools! Right now the schools handle each case on a per case basis. Gianari's bill proposes into law that the schools in New York would be required to inform the parents of an infested school that there is a problem and offer information on prevention techniques. This goes hand in hand with a previous post of mine where i say that one of our best tools in the battle of bedbugs will be education and communication. We can't hide the problems and have to take action to inform the public! Silence is how the problem got out of hand int he first place!
Friday, April 27, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
In 2003 a motel chain was successfully sued for 382,000 dollars because of bed bugs. It can happen and if you Google bed bug lawsuits you will see that there are a whole lot more out there. SO how can you decrease your chances of being sued if you are a landlord or a motel/hotel manager?
- Train your employees on what to look for if it is brought to your attention that there are bed bugs in a unit. If your housekeeping or maintenance staff knows what to look for it will be better is you are proactive instead of reactive.
- Don't take a complaint from a tenant or guest lightly. Treat it with urgency and attention.
- Being proactive is important. Use mattress covers on your mattresses and box springs if you have a hotel/motel and maybe send out a flier to your tenants in an apartment building educating them on what to look for with regards to bed bugs and bed bug bites. It may spark a mass hysteria and you will need to inspect and investigate all calls, but at least you will be able to cross off the false alarms and maybe find units that really have the to get the ball rolling on eliminating the problem.
- Don't handle it yourself and don't let your tenants handle it. Call a professional. You can wind up infesting the entire building by treating the problem incorrectly!
- Don't delay. It will be expensive and time consuming to get treated but it will be cheaper that a lawsuit in the long run.
How do you know if you are getting bitten by bedbugs or fleas? Usually with flea bites the majority of the bites will be on the feet, ankle, and leg region. With bed bugs you are usually looking at bites on the torso and they may be clustered together in a line. Bed bug bites usually don't have a red area in the center of the bite like flea bites have. Bedbug bites are itchy and are commonly mistaken for flea bites. If you suspect you are being bitten by bedbugs it is important to go see your doctor to determine if they are and proceed from there. Here is a good resource to look at bites.
For a great resource for home owners to get rid of bed bugs and to learn more about these bugs..
For a great resource for home owners to get rid of bed bugs and to learn more about these bugs..
Saturday, April 21, 2007
With the resurgence of bedbugs becoming such a hot topic, it is clear to see why their is so many lawsuits being filed with regards to bed bugs and hotel rooms and apartment buildings. Over the next few weeks I will be researching bedbugs and lawsuits and offering insight into the laws affecting bed bug problems and what recourse people have in dealing with land lords and businesses that are not doing their part in eliminating problems in their buildings.
Friday, April 13, 2007
One of the strongest tools we are going to have against the bedbug epidemic we are experiencing is education. We as consumers need to educate ourselves on everything there is to know about bed bugs. We can't count on government, we can't count on our pest control companies, we have to count on ourselves. We need to know that when we travel and walk into a hotel room that you must first check the room over. You need to know where to look and what to do if you find them. You need to know how to know the difference between flea bites and bedbug bites. We need to know to check out children's schoolbags to make sure we are not bringing them into our home from school. We need to be aware of laundry mats and the possibility of bringing them home from there. We need to know that even new mattresses can be plagued, after all these companies usually pick up your old mattress and chances are they might have picked up a mattress that was infested at one time. Educate yourselves because knowledge is power.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Bedbugs hide in the smallest of areas. They will be found in the mattress areas in the creases and tufts of your bed. The cracks and crevices of the box spring. Your bed frame. End table. End table drawer. Table lamp. Alarm clocks. Under carpets. In areas as little as a screw head you will find them hiding. Hollow curtain rods. Popcorn ceiling nooks and crannies. Furniture. Closets. Luggage. Closet racks. Behind mirrors and picture frames. Behind peeling wallpaper. Behind the molding of your door frames and the wood trim of your walls. In keyholes. In electronic devices. In old boxes. The fact is. Bedbugs have more places to hide than we would ever expect to look
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
So just what should a bedbug service involve?
Let me start out by saying that if a pest control technician comes into your house and takes a half an hour to walk through your house and spray. Fire him or her! A bed bug will take most pest control operators at least a minimum of five hours or an entire day depending on the infestation. The PCO should first do a thorough inspection to determine that you, in fact, have bedbugs. Then the treatment should start with a consultation where he or she tells you what to do on your part. If you have a closet full of junk and drawers that can hardly close then the clutter needs to be under control. Next you should take most of your clothing and get them washed and/or dry cleaned and when you return keep them in separate bags or bins for a while. Then the PCO should start in one room at one corner and use a vacuum to suck up any live adults that they come across. Bedbugs get into everything and the PCO should take off the electrical plates for plugs ans switches. Drawers should be taken out and the drawers and the whole piece of furniture should be treated. Box spring and mattress needs to be treated. Curtain rods, behind pictures, behind walls. If there is a drop ceiling then above the drop ceiling. Carpets should be pulled back to treat the space between the tacking and the wall. Every inch needs to be treated in one way or another with a vacuum and insecticide. The process is very involved, very time consuming, and very expensive. Again...if your pest control company is in and out in a few minutes or only charges you 30 bucks to treat for bedbugs then I suggest you find someone who knows what they are doing. Getting rid of a bed bug infestation will be a team effort between you and your pest control company and it will take several follow up visits to to the job correctly. It is costly, but right now it is the only way to get the job done.
Monday, April 9, 2007
I won't lie to you. There are a truck load of do it yourself products on the market right now and all of them are marketing them as being able to rid you of your bedbugs. If it were as easy as going on the Internet and buying some product then the problem would be more contained and not such a big deal. The facts are that bed bugs infestations are being reported at alarming rates. The problem is increasing instead of decreasing, and no do it yourself product on the market is going to eliminate a problem as big as this is becoming. Having said that I won't dismiss them all together. I would have to guess that these products can help and be used as tools if they are applied properly and you are so inclined to do so. You can't expect the problem to go away because you sprinkled some dust in a corner because the bottled said BED BUG KILLER on it. Bedbug control is a very involved and detailed in it's application and there is no doubt you will need the assistance of professionals to help in the elimination of these pests. Until then I'm sure things like mattress covers, dusts, and contact killers that are labeled for bedbugs will assist in this process. Be sure to always read the label before applying any kind of chemical and use extreme caution around children, pets, and the elderly. Don't let the all natural label fool you either.
Thursday, April 5, 2007
It is often asked if fogging or "bombing" for bedbugs will get rid of them? The short answer is no. People often confuse fogging with fumigation and that is where the problem is. Fumigation penetrates the pours of everything killing everything that comes in contact with it. Fog is a space treatment that often times will not penetrate the areas that bedbugs hide. It will kill off the ones that are exposed to the fog in theory, but it will not eliminate or get rid of the problem outright.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Bedbugs are crafty critters. They get around by hitching a ride and it's just these mode of transportation that spreads them from place to place. It's because of this fact that school systems need to raise awareness about bedbugs and also make the parents aware of any bedbug problems that arise in their schools. The nurses need to know how to at least identify the signs of bedbug bites and when that is noticed they should let the parents know to keep an eye on their child's school bags and clothing. If a child whose home or apartment is infested with bed bugs brings a school bag to school and hangs it in his or her locker, those bed bugs will spread to other lockers and other students school bags! Lunchboxes that children carry to daycare and nursery school who put them in cubbys can spread them. Once the bedbugs are mobile and out in the open they will travel and the chance of bringing home bedbugs from school is a very real possibility. Check you bags!
- Bed Bug females lay between 200 - 500 eggs in her lifetime
- Eggs will hatch in 17 days under the right conditions
- Bedbugs can live 10 months or more without food!
- bed bug nymphs molt 6 times before adulthood
- Adult bedbugs will travel 15 -20 feet in any direction from their harborage nest
- Bedbugs have a sweet smell
- Their bites will itch
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Will a mattress cover help with bed bugs?
The point behind a mattress cover in regards to bedbugs is to eliminate all the cracks and crevices that are available for the bedbugs to hide in within a mattress and box spring. With an existing bedbug infestation the mattress cover would help to keep any new bedbugs from re-infesting your mattresses and box spring areas and any bedbugs that were missed in the treatment will die of starvation. So many people throw away their beds when a bedbug problem turns up and it becomes an even greater expense. A mattress cover is cheaper. They also help to keep the bed bugs out of other beds. For instance if you have one bedroom that is in bad shape, then along with covering that bed, you should also cover the beds in all the bedrooms to keep them from getting into these beds. Again, this is only a tool. Bedbugs get into every crack and crevice they can find, so this will only help with the bed. When you buy the mattress covers be sure to buy enough for both the mattress and the box spring. Seek the advice of a pest control operator if needed.
Monday, April 2, 2007
So should you be afraid to go on vacation this year for fear of bringing home bedbugs? Unfortunately it is a possibility to bring home bedbugs from a visit to a hotel room and it is very important to check your room thoroughly before proceeding to bring in your luggage. This is not being paranoid. Go in and look at the bed itself. Pull the mattress sheets off and look at the bare mattress. Now look in between the tufts and around the buttons for signs of live bugs. Check the cracks and crevices of the bed post and have a look around the end table and drawers. If you suspect bedbugs then simply ask for another room. If you feel safe then bring your luggage in. If you wake up the next morning and see any kind of red specks or smears or you are experiencing bite marks then the room almost definitely has bed bugs and you should proceed to speak with the management. Don't be to paranoid to the point of not enjoying your vacation, but use caution and common sense. Bedbugs have been found on cruise ships, airplanes, and the finest hotels. Don't think you are exempt from them. Check your room first.
So where do we stand right now with regards to the bed bug epidemic that is spreading across the country at an alarming rate? Not a whole lot. I can say that there are entomologists who are hard at work and back in the labs studying bedbugs and better ways to get these bugs under control. The problem is this, up until about 5-10 years ago, we hadn't heard that much if anything about bed bugs. They had successfully been licked. With world wide travel it seems, the bedbugs have been reintroduced back into our society. So far the pest control industry is finding resistance to the insecticides we have available. I'm not saying that every bedbug is immune to our chemicals, but there are strains of bedbugs that are showing resistance. The treatment method that should be followed is one of thoroughness. Work with your pest control person and be sure to follow his or her advice. If they ask you to clean all the junk from your closets and empty all your drawers or whatever the case might be. The do it. The pest control person is not trying to give you extra work, but it is a team effort to get any bit of control we are going to get. Until the scientists can get a better idea on how to treat bedbugs and what is going to successfully control the bed bugs then we are going to be playing a game of try this and that. We do know that vacuuming and mattress covers are working and they should be kept in the "tool box". Another thing that works is fumigation. Problem with this is that it is very expensive and isn't logical to use in every situation. Have no doubt that the battle will be won, but it will be a process of elimination to get there.
The Bedbug resource was started as a place for people who are being plagued by these horrible creatures to come and get insight, information and support. I am a licensed pest control operator who knows the horror stories first hand and know that this is only going to get worse before it gets better. I hope you can come away from this blog with a little more knowledge than what you came here with and I hope that each day gets better in your battle against bedbugs. Feel free to tell us your story via the comment section or via the email link.