Treatment – Get rid of your bed bugs!
Bedbugs require a strategic approach when it comes to treatment. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as purchasing a can of aerosol and spraying your home in hopes that will solve the problem. In fact, bed bug treatments require thorough inspection, planning, education, preparation, strategic application(s), monitoring and follow-up if one hopes to rid their bed bug problem.
There are essentially five steps to a bedbug program, and the actual treatment stage is only one of the five steps. The five steps include inspection; planning; treatment; monitoring and follow-up.
Step 1: Inspection
Inspections for bedbugs are important for several reasons. First and foremost, we need to make sure we’re actually dealing with bedbugs. Many times, people get bites, rashes, welts or irritations and automatically associate the discomfort they’re experiencing with bed bugs. Other factors that cause reactions include flea bites, scabies, temperature / humidity variances, or allergic reactions to soaps (including body soaps or detergents) or fabrics. A proper inspection will identify if it is bed bugs that have infested your home, ensuring that you’re getting the proper treatment.
Inspections can come in two different forms, by humans or canines. Either can be enough to provide conclusive evidence that you have bed bugs, and ideally point out where their harbourage areas are.
There are all sorts of bed bug scent detection teams out in the industry, so it’s important to research and ensure the team your contracting to your home is properly trained. Our teams have been trained through the Association in North America called “NESDCA” (National Entomological Scent Detection Canine Association; www.nesdca.com) which certifies scent detection teams and assures that high standards of training and detection are met.
When there is confirmation of bedbugs in a room or a suite, it’s important to never assume that bed bugs are just contained in that one area. Rooms / suites above, beside and below the complaining suite(s) should be inspected as well. Many times, you will find that bed bugs have travelled beyond the one room or suite.
Step 2: Planning
Once an inspection’s been done all findings will be documented on an inspection report. A map or schematic of the room(s) / suite(s) will be drawn out, to help in the planning process. The inspection report would also identify the structural components throughout the home, so we can anticipate how bed bugs might be travelling or will travel once we treat (eg. common walls, pipe chases, electrical wires or bathroom exhausts) thus preventing the further spread of bedbugs.
The identification of all harbourage areas on the inspection report also helps the occupant in properly preparing the room(s) prior to treatment. Preparation sheets, notice of pesticide use (if applicable) and notice of entries (in multiple dwelling establishments) must be distributed to all affected parties in advance of the treatment. Proper preparation is equally as important as the treatment itself, however, often times preparations seem to be a step that are neglected or not taken seriously by occupants, creating an added challenge in bed bug elimination. It is also in the planning stage where recommendations for clutter removal would take place, as homes with large amounts of clutter become very challenging, if not impossible, to treat.
The plan for treatment should be communicated to the occupant, and if applicable, the landlord and/or property manager should be involved. The treatment plan would indicate the treatment procedure as well as the plan for monitoring and follow-up for treatment evaluation. It is in this stage of the bedbug treatment process that education of bed bug biology, behaviour and general facts about them are communicated to all affected parties. Educational material can be communicated in the form of literature, face to face meetings or in larger settings, such as presentations.
Step 3: Treatment
After the treatment plan has been accepted and the preparations have been done, you’re ready to have your home treated for bedbugs. There are several types of treatment techniques available in our industry; we utilize a combination of the tools available to us in our treatment procedure, which we refer to as our “IPM Treatment”. The tools we use in our IPM treatment procedure include:
Dusting – using an insecticide dust to create a barrier (identified in the planning stage as to where bedbugs are or might be travelling) around the perimeter of the room. Dust is applied in accordance with the label, and applied with approved application equipment by certified applicators.
Steaming – using a commercial grade steamer to dispense high temperature steam on live bedbugs and viable eggs.
HEPA Vacuuming – using a high efficiency particulate air vacuum to remove live / dead bed bugs, nymphs and skin castings.
Chemically Treating – using approved products for bed bug control, in accordance to the label by certified applicators with approved application equipment.
Recommendations / Prevention – any recommendations (eg. removal / disposal of infested furniture / items) would be indicated on our Service Reports. Prevention techniques include bed bug prevention tools such as mattress and box spring encasements; bed bug monitors and bed bug laundry bags.
Step 4: Monitoring
Our IPM treatment includes setting up passive bed bug monitors in your home, and would help us in determining if in fact, there are still bed bugs present after our treatment. Bed bug monitors (there are several different types, see the “Prevention” section for more details) are placed in strategic areas (such as behind beds, bedroom furniture, etc.) and are checked about one week after placement to see if there is still evidence of activity. Depending on which monitors in the suite catch bed bugs (if any), this helps in determining where to focus our follow-up treatments.
Step 5: Follow-Up
Our follow-up treatment does not include the use of any chemical applications, and focuses on the information provided to us by the occupants and bed bug monitors. If no activity is found or reported, a thorough inspection and further vacuuming of any bed bug evidence (eg. skin castings, dead bed bugs, etc.) would be done. If activity is found or reported, a treatment using a combination of steam and vacuum would be done. There is no further need for a chemical application as there is a perimeter barrier around your home, and residual applications throughout your home with approved products that would still be effective against bedbug control.
After the completion of the follow-up treatment, if there is no further evidence of activity, that would conclude our treatment. If there is evidence, another treatment plan would be communicated with the homeowner (or in some cases, landlord / property manager). The option to have an additional K9 scent detection is available as well for additional verification.
If you would like more information, please contact Care Pest Control at 604-432-9422.