How Do I Prepare for Bed Bug Treatment?

Written By: Admin

Archive For: October 2015

Category Name: bed bugs

Successful Bed Bug Treatment Starts with the Prep

So you’ve discovered bed bugs and you’ve called in the experts for treatment. You might think that your job is done and it’s time to let the professionals take over, but unfortunately that’s not the case. Just prior to bed bug treatment, residents and homeowners play a major role in ensuring that the process will be successful by properly preparing their house. Let’s take a look at some of these important steps residents must take.

Extreme De-cluttering

It is very important that the bed bug-fighting team has access to every corner, crack and crevice of your home. With this goal in mind, it’s time to de-clutter like you’ve never decluttered before. As with many steps in the home-preparing process, attention to detail is key to preventing re-infestation. Any unneeded junk, trash and clutter needs to be gathered, double-bagged and thrown away. Pull furniture back from walls, remove items like artwork and neatly gather excess, loose items (think those mysterious piles that gather at the bottom of the closet) so the pest control team has full access.

Go on a Fabric-Cleaning Frenzy

It’s time to grab any fabric that you can wash and do so on the hottest possible temperature settings. That means clothes, bedding, curtains, towels, stuffed animals and whatever else you can reasonably grab need to be gathered, washed and dried on high heat. Throw out any bags used to gather the items and double-bag the fabrics in new, clean plastic bags when they come out of the wash. You should also vacuum furniture that can’t be washed (like couches and chairs), along with floors and other surfaces. Once again, be detailed, and when you are done, double-bag the vacuum bag and get rid of it.

Don’t Spread the Bugs While Fighting Them

During this process of home prep, you might be tempted to move some belongings to your car or to a friend’s home, but think twice before doing so. If you accidently carry out a bed bug or two while moving things to temporary storage, you could reintroduce the insects when you bring the items back home, or your could spread bed bugs to the homes of others. Ask your pest management professional about any items that might need to be removed before treatment.

When we set up bed bug treatment, Pest Management, Inc. will provide you with all the details needed to properly prepare your home. If you have questions about the process or need information on bed bug treatment, give our helpful team a call today.

2 Children, Siblings, Are Dead After Illegal Bed Bug Insecticide is Used by Family

Written By: Admin

Archive For: March 2015

Category Name: bed bugs

Alberta, Canada

Two children are dead after their mother accidentally exposed the family to phosphine, a highly toxic insecticide.

The mother of five children illegally imported phosphine from Pakistan after a family vacation. She was attempting to combat a bed bug infestation in the apartment where the family lived. However, phosphine is not meant to be used in areas where humans live, work, or breathe.

About Phosphine

Phosphine is a colorless gas that can be manufactured in tablet form. In its pure form, phosphine is odorless. Depending on the additive, phosphine can have a slight smell of garlic or decaying fish.

When the tablets are moistened the gas is released. The toxicology and damage done to the nervous system of phosphine is comparable to that of sarin. Sarin is an illegal chemical weapon that is catagorized as a weapon of mass destruction. It may sound familiar as it was used in 2013 on civilians during the Syrian Civil War.

Phosphine is equally toxic to children and adults, but it is classified as a heavy gas. Meaning that the fumes sink, putting the fumes closer to the floor. Children tend to be closer to the floor. As a result, they are at greater risk of inhaling larger concentrations and quantities of phosphine. Additionally, children are generally more sensitive to their environments, thus increasing their risk factor.

Regulations in Canada and the USA

In Canada, phosphine is registered in the most toxic group of chemicals. In the USA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies phosphine as a Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP).

In both countries, pest companies use phosphine for fumigation purposes. However, phosphine fumigation is not allowed for any buildings used for human inhabitation. All structures must be ventilated afterwards. Additionally, all applicators must be licensed. They must have extensive, special training in the handling and use of phosphine.

Phosphine should never be used without proper training and supervision. The strict regulations are meant to help prevent the types of tragedies that happened in Alberta, Canada from happening.

This tragedy is unfortunately a crucial example of why you should consult an expert prior to any pest management treatments, especially do-it-yourself treatments. If you are planning on applying treatments yourself, make sure you research the treatment and all of its guidelines and regulations.

Treatment instructions for insecticides should be carefully followed and only be used according guidelines. Failure to follow guidelines can result in injury or death. If you aren’t sure, do not apply treatment! Contact a trained professional or refer to the EPA and CDC’s websites for additional information.

CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) has the original story, along with updates here.

Are Those Itchy Bites Caused by Bed Bugs?

Written By: Admin

Archive For: July 2014

Category Name: bed bugs

Bed bugs aren’t as uncommon as you might think. If you’re seeing signs you think might be caused by these pests, you could be right. Many people are unsure if their bites are caused by bed bugs because they’re not sure exactly what the signs of bed bugs are or where the pests came from.

Examining Bites

The first step in determining if you have a bed bug problem is to examine your bites. Look to see if you wake up with marks that you didn’t have before sleeping. Bed bug bites are usually small, inflamed, itchy red bumps with a dark red center. They are often clustered together and can sometimes cause reactions such as blisters and hives at the bite site. Other things to look for are red smears on your skin or on your sheets. This is a sign that they have been biting and feeding off of you.

Bed bugs don’t spread diseases, but their bites can be very itchy and irritated, making it difficult not to scratch them. The bite and itchiness will generally disappear in one to two weeks. You can use anti-itch creams to help reduce the irritation and to help the bite heal more quickly.

Inspecting Sleeping Areas

Next you should inspect areas where you sleep or rest. Beds, couches, futons, recliners and anywhere with dark crevices and seams should be thoroughly examined for signs of the pests.  Dead bugs and black or brown fecal stains are two common identifiers.

Also inspect for red streaks when you get up in the morning. This can be a sign that a bug has fed on you.  Areas between sheets, inside pillow cases, underneath sheets on the mattress and in the seams of your mattress itself are all good places to look. Be sure to check under pillow cushions and inside casings on cushions your furniture too. You should also inspect your carpet and curtains as well as any other fabrics in your house where bed bugs may be lurking.

Traveled Recently?

Bed bugs are pesky creatures that can easily find their way into your suitcase and follow you home from your destination. It isn’t uncommon for hotels to have untreated bed bug problems. Sometimes hotels refuse to acknowledge the problem, but more frequently they don’t realize they have an infestation until it’s very bad. Unknown to you, the tiny hitchhikers can climb into your suitcase and come home with you.

If you have traveled recently and are suddenly noticing symptoms like bites, stains and perhaps even dead bugs its possible that you may have bed bugs in your home.

Identifying a Bed Bug

Bed bugs are small, flat, oval shaped insects. They have six legs and no wings, therefore they rely on humans to carry them from place to place. They are a dark reddish brown color and are most active at night. They can be difficult to find and identify but if the signs are there and you find dead or live bed bugs in mattresses, furniture, curtains, carpets, and other fabrics then it’s time to call a professional exterminator to have the pests taken care of.

Bed bugs, while not dangerous, can be very invasive and annoying pests. Its always a good idea to call an expert as soon as you find signs of bed bugs. They can quickly come to your home to do an inspection and will advise you on the most effective way to get rid of the bugs before the problem gets worse.

How do people get bed bugs?

Written By: Admin

Archive For: November 2013

Category Name: bed bugs

Many people think you have to be dirty or have an unclean or cluttered living space to get bed bugs.  That is not true.  Bed bugs are becoming a big problem, and they don’t care how clean your house is.  As long as there are humans around for them to feed on at night, and places for them to hide during the day, they’re happy to take up residence anywhere.

Bed bugs are a much larger nuisance than many other types of pests for several reasons.  One of which is that they are resistant to many common pesticides.  Additionally, they don’t have to feed often so they can hide in the seams of your bed, behind your headboard, in your couch or behind light socket covers for several months.  By that time, any pesticide application for bed bugs may have worn off before they ever touched it.

What are common ways people get bed bugs?

Bed bugs can travel fast.  They are stealthy hitchhikers.  There are many ways they can make their way into your home:

1)      Bed Bugs While Traveling

If you stay in a spot where bed bugs are present and set your suitcase on the floor, they can crawl into your suitcase and come home with you.  For this reason, it’s important to never set your suitcase on a bed or the floor while traveling to prevent bed bugs.

2)      Bed Bugs in Public Places

Bed bugs can crawl into cuffs, pockets and seams of clothing.  When someone who has bed bugs in their home visits a movie theater, uses public transit or sit anywhere that provides a place for the bed bugs to hide, they can switch hiding spots and wait for their next host.

3)      Getting Bed Bugs From Used Clothes & Furniture

Hiding is one thing bed bugs are very good at.  It’s why they generally only come out at night and how they are so hard to detect.  Used clothing or furniture brought into your home can be a potential host for unwanted bed bugs.

4)      Your Neighbors Can Give You Bed Bugs

If you live in a multi-family property like an apartment or condominium, it’s possible to get bed bugs from your neighbors.  As the bedbugs reproduce, they travel in search of new food sources.  Traveling through floors and in ductwork between buildings, they can infest your apartment even if you didn’t bring them home yourself.

5)      Move Into Home With Bed Bugs

Sometimes people get tired of trying to deal with a bed bug infestation, so they move.  What they leave behind are bed bugs.  New occupants can’t see the hiding blood suckers which may be living in carpet along baseboards, behind light fixtures or in the walls.  Once new people move in, the bed bugs come out of hiding to feed.

Being educated about how bed bugs travel allows you to be proactive in preventing them from coming into your home.  Being careful when you travel, examining used clothing and furniture before bringing into your home and continually monitoring your home for signs of bed bugs are the best ways to prevent them from becoming a problem in your home.

If you spot a bed bug, have unexplained bites or notice small brown or red spots on your bedding, it’s important to contact a pest control company specializing in bed bugs as soon as possible to take care of the problem before it gets worse.

The Increasing Rate of Bed Bugs in Schools

Written By: Admin

Archive For: August 2013

Category Name: bed bugs

Bed bugs in your home are bad enough, but bed bugs in schools are a problem many don’t know about.  Nobody wants to even think about them but when you have bed bugs it’s difficult to think about anything else!  All you want to do is figure out how to get rid of them as quickly as possible.  A bed bug infestation isn’t the worst thing in the world that can happen to you, but they are very unpleasant and disruptive.  As kids head back to school it’s important to educate yourself about the issue of bed bugs in schools.

Why are Bed Bugs in Schools an Issue?

This is frequently an issue when students return to school in the fall.  Summer vacations means lots of traveling, and many people bring bed bugs home in their suitcases without even realizing it.  The bugs then make their way to college campuses by riding in moving boxes or to public and private schools in backpacks. The issue of bed bugs in schools has become such a big issue that many states have issued reports advising schools about how they should handle the bed bug issue.  For many schools, the bed bug problem is so bad that sometimes they long for the “good old days” of only having to worry about head lice.

Bed Bugs Aren’t Just a Problem for Hotels

Sadly, bed bugs have gone ‘mainstream’ and are now making their way into unexpected places, such as schools.  Bed bugs in schools are creating infestations that are commonplace in many school districts.  New York City is taking proactive steps to address their bed bug issues.  Things are so bad in some areas that schools have set up standards for how to deal with bed bugs.  They now have produced bed bug collection and testing kits and even have disposal protocols.  There are even lesson plans created to help students identify bed bugs.

An understanding of the lifestyle of a bed bug illustrates that none of this is really surprising.  Any place where people congregate, especially in large numbers and in close proximity, you can expect to have a potential bed bug problem.  College campuses are also having bed bug problems, so the problem isn’t impacting only students in kindergarten through twelfth grades.

What Attracts Bed Bugs to College Campuses?

One variable for the increase in bed bugs on college campuses is the time honored love of cheap secondhand furniture.  Like college students on a budget, bed bugs also happen to love a good used mattresses and/or comfy sofas with lots of places to hide.  Additionally, students travel frequently, and bed bugs love to hitch rides in suitcases and backpacks.

Just how determined and hearty are bed bugs?  At the University of Washington, librarians have begun to find bed bugs in books!  The problem in colleges is so bad that some officials plainly state that virtually all colleges have a bed bug problem in one way or another.

Bed bug bites can be very painful and irritating.  The fact that schools ranging from K-12 to colleges and universities have infestations with bed bugs is a real concern for parents.  Bed bugs can infest one’s home just as easily as they can infest a school.  Children can carry bed bugs home on their clothing and in their bags or backpacks.  Controlling bed bugs once you have them in your home can be difficult.

If you believe that you have a bed bug problem, don’t hesitate to take action.  The sooner you contact and begin working with a pest control professional experienced with bed bug eradication, the better off you and your family will be.