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BedBugs and Treatment Options

Jan 11, 2011
Treatment for Bed Bugs

Offering Complete Bed Bug Treatment and Prevention Options for Residential and Commercial Dwellings.

Biology and Identification

Bed Bugs TreatmentBed bugs are small, nocturnal insects that feed exclusively off of the blood of hosts while they are sleeping or stationary for long periods of time. Bed bugs can range in size from 1 mm or 0.04”(nymphs) to 6 mm or ¼”(adults) and have six legs; they do not fly or jump. Adult bed bugs are similar in size and shape to an apple seed and would be easily visible if out in the open. Prior to feeding, their bodies are very flat, after they have fed, they become bloated and dark red (mahogany to rusty brown). Depending on the life-cycle stage, their colour varies from different shades of brown. Newly hatched nymphs look very much like adults however they are almost colorless and gain their reddish brown color as they mature. Bed bug eggs are whitish, pear-shaped and about the size of a pinhead, they would be hard to spot by an untrained eye. Unlike lice, bed bugs do not live on people but only visit them to feed. Bed bugs are most active at night, however if they are hungry enough, they will emerge to feed during the day. Their bite is similar to being bitten by a mosquito; it is painless and may result in a small, red, itchy bump. People commonly find out they have bed bugs when they notice bites on their skin. Bites are usually clustered in the same area, or in a row. They tend to welt and be very itchy, similar to flea or mosquito bites. Other telltale signs of bed bug bites may include dried blood spots on your sheets and/or mattress from crushed, just-fed bed bugs, or groupings of tiny black spots, which is bedbug fecal matter. You may also notice molted skins and eggshells where bed bugs hide. In severe cases, you may notice an offensive, sweet, musty odour from their scent glands.

The most accurate and easiest way to confirm or rule out if you have bed bugs is to have bed bug sniffing dogs complete an inspection in your home, apartment building or hotel.

During the day, bed bugs tend to hide close to where they feed; for example, where people sleep. Qualified bed bug sniffing dogs have the ability to smell in parts per trillion, enabling them to smell through walls, furniture, drawers that contain clothes, suitcases, box springs and mattresses.

Learn more about CARE Pest’s bed bug sniffing dogs.

Treatments

Residential Accounts Residential Accounts
All the products CARE Pest technicians use to treat for bed bugs are labeled for bed bug control . We use both residual and non-residual, or “on-contact” insecticides, these are applied by our IPM certified technicians in accordance to the label, using various types of equipment. We currently provide two types of treatments for bed bugs, our Gold Treatment and our Basic Treatment. The Gold Treatment consists of using a variety of insecticides as well as dry steam heat applications, whereas the basic treatment consists of solely chemical applications. At this time, no chemical products are available for use that will penetrate the shell of the bed bug eggs. As a solution to this, we have incorporated the use of dry steam as a part of our treatment process. Our portable dry steam machines have the ability to kill bed bugs and their eggs on-contact. In order to perform this area specific treatment, it is necessary to have the space inspected by our trained bed bug sniffing dogs beforehand. This application method is highly effective and is applied to all problematic furniture and areas as per the K9 inspection report. The Gold Treatment is completed with a vacuuming of all visible bed bug remnants, such as shells and eggs with a HEPA vacuum, as well as a follow-up K9 inspection, typically scheduled for 7-10 days after the treatment. For both the Basic Treatment and Gold Treatment, residuals will be applied to baseboards and inside walls through electrical cover plate openings, as well as any problematic furniture and areas. The benefit to residuals is that they provide, as the name implies, a residual on the surface they are applied to. Once the insects emerge from their hiding spots and cross the path of the residuals, the existing population will begin to wane. The non-residuals are applied to mattresses, armchairs, couches, etc. These insecticides kill on contact only, and dissipate within a short period of time.

Inspections

Bed BugsTechnician Visual Inspection: Inspecting for bed bugs with the human eye is only effective to a certain extent. Our technicians are trained to know where to look for signs of bed bug activity. However it can be challenging if the bugs are hiding inside a mattress, or behind baseboards, or in a closet full of clutter. K9 Inspections: Our beagles have the ability to detect all stages of the bed bug life cycle, including eggs, instars, adult and shell casings. The benefit our “K-9 Unit” has over human detection, is the fact that our dogs have the ability to smell in parts per trillion, enabling them to smell through walls, furniture, drawers that contain clothes, suitcases, box springs and mattresses. Compared with humans, canines are far more effective at detection. Regular Inspections: Ongoing bed bug extermination is crucial to maintaining a safe, pest-free environment. Bed bugs are very easily re-introduced into previously treated units, and easily introduced into spaces that have never had them. In apartments, dealing with bed bugs on a per unit basis is insufficient in solving the problem. The nature of bed bugs is such that they will travel great distances to get a blood meal, meaning that they can easily move from a neighboring unit (whether it be beside, below or above the problematic unit) to get to their food source. There is no way of knowing where they are hiding if we only treat on a reactive basis. Our solution to this problem is to implement preventative building “sweeps”. With an entire hotel or apartment building sweep, we have the ability to inspect every unit to see if there is a bed bug problem in that unit, which may otherwise have gone undetected. Once the sweep is complete, our K-9 unit will provide a detailed report on each room, illustrating where all the positive and negative alerts are. These reports are then passed on to our bed bug extermination team, making for a more strategic attack using fewer pesticides. Building sweeps also prove pro-activeness on the hotel or apartment building’s part in dealing with bed bugs. There are multiple cases where guests or tenants have sued for punitive and/or compensatory damages, however, if a hotel or landlord can prove due diligence on their part, it does make these cases more difficult to win.

Prevention

Bed bug activity has become increasingly evident worldwide, and city centers across Canada such as Vancouver are no exception. Although there is no magic formula to guarantee you won’t be affected, there are certain preventative measures you can take to prevent bringing bed bugs into your home. If you buy, pick up or are given any used furniture or household items, inspect it thoroughly before bringing it into your home. Do not take home furniture that has been discarded in the street. Also, if buying a new mattress, inquire if the delivery truck also picks up old mattresses; if they do, consider alternative options. Inspect along creases and folds in the mattresses, etc. and along crevices in furniture for shell casings and fecal matter, which will appear as tiny black dots or specks.

For more prevention tips, contact the CARE Pest team of licensed operators.

Training/Education: CARE Pest feels that education is half of the battle in managing bed bugs, which is why we offer in-house training for all of your housekeeping, engineering, resident and/or building management teams and all other appropriate staff in how to inspect, detect, report and act on a bed bug problem. We offer a PowerPoint presentation that discusses the biology, feeding habits, hiding spots and management strategies of bed bugs. In addition, we have multiple handouts and brochures that we can leave behind for your staff and/or building occupants. Additional Products: CARE Pest offers additional prevention products such as bed bug certified mattress and boxspring encasements and laundry bags. Encasements trap any existing bed bugs that might be inside the mattresses or box springs as well as prevent any new ones from entering and hiding in these areas. This will make your ongoing bed bug extermination easier. CARE Pest also provides water soluble laundry bags for purchase. The use of these bags helps to eliminate the risk of spreading bed bugs and/or their eggs into hallways, common laundry areas, and vehicles, etc.

CARE Pest & Wild Life Control is a leader in pest control, providing green options, innovative solutions, quality work and competitive pricing since 2000. Contact us for more information on treatment for bed bugs.


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