5 Advantages of Bed Bug Detection Dogs You Need to Know

5 Advantages of Bed Bug Detection Dogs You Need to Know

Bed bugs are known for many things: they’re avid breeders, they feed on the blood of humans and animals, and they invoke a lot of stress when discovered! One thing they’re not usually associated with, however, is their elusive nature.

Bed bugs are nocturnal, which makes them extremely difficult to locate. It often takes someone waking up with bed bug bites for them to be discovered, and even more difficult to get rid of entirely.

It’s common for a business owner or resident to suspect an infestation, but be unable to see the bed bugs in action. Thankfully, trained dogs can sniff them out far more effectively. Here’s why scent detection canine teams are so effective:


1.    They detect infestations very quickly

In a world where time is money, it’s hardly ideal for a hotel owner to have to leave a room unused for the duration of a search, so the quicker the job is done, the better. Bed bug canines are extremely fast and efficient, effectively searching entire buildings in little time.

2.            A lot of money can be saved

With such strong scent detection, these highly trained detection dogs negate the need to pull up carpet, remove the baseboards or dismantle any furniture, which can cost a lot of money. Also, a bed bug canine team can detect one-bed bug as easily as it can identify an extreme infestation. This strong potential for early detection can save you from having to undergo the extensive treatment necessary for severe infestations.

3.            They can detect all life stages

Not only do properly trained canines alert when they smell live bed bugs, but they’ll also detect live bed bug eggs. This is extremely useful as the only technique that successfully detects all stages of live bed bug stages by their scents.

4.            They are highly accurate

In addition to being quick and thorough, these canines are also known for being meticulous in their searches. They have even been compared to bomb-sniffing dogs. They are trained to detect bed bugs through furniture and mattresses, and even from the other side of a wall.

5.            Your reputation will be protected

Due to the effectiveness of these canines and their training, they can actually be used in a court of law as a scientific instrument. Having been inspected, you’ll receive a certificate of inspection, which will greatly enhance your reputation if you’re a business owner.


If you’re concerned that your home or business may be subject to an infestation, we’re here to help you to find certified professionals in your area at the International Bed Bug Resource Authority. Whether you’re a homeowner with frequent visitors or hotel owner who wants to be sure that all rooms are free of bed bugs, we’ve got you covered. With over 50 independent service providers working with us, we’ll help you with your bed bug issues, once and for all. Click here to find a certified provider near you.

Bed Bugs Making Headlines in 2020: Most Infested Cities & The Effects of Coronavirus Lockdown

Bed bugs are, unfortunately, a common problem in the US and all over the world, no matter how clean your home or hotel is. They spread easily in fabrics, and once they take hold require heat treatments to eradicate. They also cause us all to shudder when we think about them – something unseen climbing out of the mattress to suck your blood as you sleep? It sounds like something from a horror movie.


So, it’s no surprise that they often make headlines, and 2020, despite the lack of travel, is no different! Here’s some of the most notable news stories in the first half of 2020:


Bed Bugs Aren’t Attracted to Dirt, But They Can Make Your Home Dirtier  

In July an article by Robert Preidt in U.S. News shared new research from North Carolina State that showed that, while bed bugs aren’t attracted to dirty areas, they can make your home a dirtier place to be.


They found that bed bugs cause alterations in the composition of the dust within your home. The evidence showed that the microbiome of the household dust in bed bug infested homes was different to that found in non-bed bug infested homes.


Once the bed bugs had been eliminated, the household dust microbiomes started to transform back to how a microbiome would be in a non-infested home.  


Baltimore and Washington D.C. are the Most Infested Cities          

A January news article by USA Today reported that Baltimore, while topping the list of most-bed bug infested cities for three years, had been beaten by Washington D.C. for the duration of 2019. The other cities that took the top 5 spots were Chicago, Los Angeles, and Columbus.


Coronavirus May Have Reduced the Likelihood of Spreading Bed Bugs

A New York Times article in June reported that, if there’s one good thing to come out of coronavirus, it’s that the spread of bed bugs will have significantly reduced with the restrictions on travel. It remains to be seen if that will have an effect long term, since bed bugs can live without food for up to three months, but it’s likely the combination of empty beds and hotels using the time to improve their facilities will put at least a temporary damper on the bed bug population.  


Struggling with Bed Bugs?  

Getting bitten while you sleep is enough to tell you that you probably have bed bugs, but you should also look out for other signs such as fecal stains, cast skins, blood spots, and a peculiar odor. If you spot any of these indicators, don’t wait to take action.


If you are worried that you may have bed bugs, call in the professionals. We can help you to find an IBBRA-certified professional in your local area to help you to solve any bed bug problem you may be having. Visit our website to learn more about bed bugs and to find your certified pest professional who will be able to eliminate your bed bug infestation.

The Easy Guide to Choosing A Bed Bug Company

Choosing a pest control company, no matter what your pest problem, is critical.  But when it comes to bed bugs, it’s essential to make sure that the problem is solved quickly and done right the first time.  To ensure that you hire the right pest control pro, we’ve compiled a list of tips, tricks, and questions to ask to make sure you end up with the best pest control professional.

  1. What credentials do they have?  Check to make sure the company is licensed, insured.  All IBRBA certified members are licensed and insured according to the laws in their state.
  2. Make sure the company you choose specializes in bed bug treatments and can answer all your bed bug-related questions. You want your pest control company to be knowledgeable in the pest problem that you’re having.
  3. Find out what treatments they offer. Heat treatments are the most effective way to kill bed bugs, but there are several different ways that heat can be applied. Make sure you’re comfortable with the methods used by the company.  Follow up inspections and treatments may be necessary; make sure the company has a plan in place to ensure that the bugs are gone.
  4. Make sure that the pre and post requirements for prep and clean up are well outlined. A good pest control company should give you tasks to help make sure the treatments are successful and to help with the proper clean up of the area.  Make sure to ask questions if you don’t know or understand something.
  5. Check the cost. Obviously, the cost of the treatment is significant too.  Don’t forget to ask the price and go over what services will be performed for the agreed-upon price point. Don’t hire anyone until the price and services are well outlined!
  6. Get evidence of bed bug activity. A good pest control company should be able to show you proof of the bugs.  Whether that is a positive sign from a K-9 or live insects, you should also be shown evidence of where the bugs are active.
  7. Your pest control pro should ask you lots of questions. Make sure to answer truthfully and completely.  This will help them develop a treatment plan and know where to look for the bugs.


How IBBRA is helping:

The IBBRA is dedicated to eliminating bed bugs by providing the most accurate educational materials, recognized product approval platform, and a network of trusted pest professionals. All of the pest professionals featured on the IBBRA website are required to uphold the most ethical business practices, remain current with all laws and regulations in their area, and be licensed and insured.  Use our provider map to find a professional near you.  You can navigate directly to their website for more info, or get their contact info right from their IBBRA listing.

How to Clean Up A Bed Bug Infestation

Here at IBBRA we highly recommend heat treatments to end your bed bug problem.  Heat works quickly and effectively, which allows your home or business to be operational in no time; But what happens after the heat treatment is done?  There are still some cleanup procedures that you should follow before the bugs will be gone for good.

Bed Bug Clean-Up Tips

The first step in cleaning up after a bed bug infestation is to wipe down everything.  This tip is one of the more apparent tasks, so we won’t spend too much time here.  If you can wipe it down, do it!  Make sure you get front, back, inside, under, and anywhere you can reach.

Next, you should spend some time vacuuming everything.  This should be done carefully, and the vacuum bag or container should be emptied regularly and into separate garbage bags than your other trash.

Tips for Vacuuming the Treated Areas:

  • Floors – Vacuum the whole room thoroughly.
  • Carpet Edges – carefully lift carpet off the tack strips if possible. Using the nozzle or brush tool, slowly vacuum the perimeter of the room.
  • Mattress – using the nozzle attachment, run the vacuum along the upper and lower sides of the piping (seam) that surrounds the mattress using a slow back and forth systematic movements. Start at one end and work your way around the bed, making sure not to miss any area. Next, using the flat attachment, vacuum the sides of the mattress, including any possible grommets and stitching throughout. Flip the mattress and repeat on the other side.
  • Box springs – repeat all steps for cleaning your mattress. If your box springs have a dust cover, you may consider removing it and vacuuming inside the frame of the box spring.
  • Upholstered furniture – sweep all parts of the chair inside and out just like you did with the mattress and box spring. Remove each cushion and vacuum thoroughly.
  • Hard furniture – vacuum all areas inside and out.


If you have any items that you’d instead discard, it’s best to do this after the heat treatment, that way, the bugs have died before you discard the item.  This prevents further spread of your bed bug problem.  It’s still a good idea to use proper steps to discard items, though, even after the heat treatments.

The best way to discard these items is to wrap it completely. Most hardware stores carry plastic tarps used for painting. These can work well if you secure it properly, but you’ll need to use tape to secure it.  We have also found that Shrink Wrap often used by the furniture and moving industry works well for both coverage and ease of movement and handling. It has a particular “stretch” quality so that you can easily cover any exposed area of the item you are wrapping. After complete and careful wrapping of each item you are discarding, attach a sign or mark with BIG BOLD LETTERS – BED BUG INFESTED – BEFORE taking it to the dumpster or the curb. If you are calling in a disposal company to pick up the infested items, make sure to tell them what it is that they are picking up and that it is infested with bed bugs, and it is wrapped for safety.


Lastly, if you hired a professional to perform your heat treatment, then you should ask them for a recommendation for further cleanup.  Always follow your pest professional’s procedures and best practices to ensure that your treatment is successful and any warranties or guarantees stay in effect.

Need a professional?  Check out our provider list at https://ibbra.org/service-providers/.

Need more info about bed bugs?  Learn more at https://ibbra.org/faq/

How Should You (or Your Customers) Should Prep For A Heat Treatment

How Should You (or Your Customers) Should Prep For A Heat Treatment

It’s been established that heat treatments are the most effective and fastest way to kill bed bugs.  Scientists and pest professionals agree that heat treatments should be the preferred initial treatment in most bed bug cases.  Chemical treatment follow-ups or pre-treatments are also an option if performed by trained professionals.  Additionally, K-9 inspections are an effective pre and post-inspection technique to ensure that your heat treatments are successful.  But before you jump to perform a heat treatment, there are things that you can do to help make the process go a bit smoother and add to the success rate of your treatments.  These tips and tricks are perfect for DIY heat treatments or before your pest technician come to perform a professional treatment.

Always discuss pre and post-treatment preparation with your pest professional before you start your prep work!

Proper preparation is a mandatory requirement for your heat treatment to be effective. If you’ve hired a service technician, they should outline this in detail and provide instructions on what to do. Preparation is generally done by the resident, although in some cases, companies will offer preparation for an additional charge, or in some cases, the resident may be charged a penalty for not completing the preparation list. Be sure to speak to your service technician beforehand if you cannot complete the list.

Preparation involves providing access for pest control treatment as well as taking measures to ensure that bed bugs are destroyed or contained.

If a home is not properly prepared, successful elimination may be practically impossible.


______Items stored under the bed provide an infinite amount of bed bug hiding places. Be very careful and open all containers and slightly pull the bins from under the bed.  Air should be able to move inside and around the bins easily.

______ All furniture in the dwelling usually need to be pulled away from the baseboards and walls, and it is commonly asked that all furniture containing potential hiding crevices, such as bookshelves and desks, be opened or even emptied and left open for the exterminator to treat. Ask your technician what is necessary.

_____ Open all the drawers in any dressers, side tables, cabinets, or shelving. Make sure the items inside are loosely packed, and heat can permeate the items.

_____ Remove and properly discard cardboard boxes, shoe boxes, paper, and plastic bags, old newspapers, stacks of magazines, and similar items in all potentially infested rooms. Be sure to seal and mark them in plastic bags before removal. (Remember, bed bugs love clutter, it provides an infinite number of places for them, and those “cluttered” items might be where they are hiding)

_____ Unplug all electronics except major appliances.  Usually, it will be safe for electronics to remain in the treatment area but always check with your pest professional.

_____ Remove framed pictures and posters from the walls to avoid damages.  Lay them flat in the room.

_____ Vinyl or faux wood blinds may have a low heat tolerance; they may need removed and placed in a pile of other heat-sensitive items on a table.

_____ Remove items that may melt, like candles, deodorant, chocolate, and lipstick.

_____ Remove medications and perishable foods.

_____ Collect all aerosol cans, fire extinguishers, lighters, soda cans, and pressurized containers and remove them from the treatment area.

_____ Don’t bag up too many items!  Items in bags can be hard to treat.  Do not over-prepare!

____ Alert your pest professional of any sprinklers.  Heat can set off the sprinkler system, so the sprinkler heads need to be caped and protected.


For items and areas that cannot be treated, or may have been challenging to treat, there are several steps you can take to ensure that bed bugs aren’t hiding in those items.

  1. Always inspect heat-sensitive items carefully.  Small things that show signs of bed bug activity can be placed in a plastic bag and put in the freezer, or sprayed with professional chemicals to kill and bugs.
  2. Make sure you launder all bedding, stuffed animals, drapes, clothing, and other washable items to ensure that bed bugs aren’t still hiding there. Items should be dried on the hottest setting possible on your dryer.  Items should be secured in a plastic bag and tied in-order to transport to your laundry area.  This helps to avoid the spread of bed bugs to other areas of your home.
  3. After treatment, you should vacuum all areas around the bed and other furniture. Empty the vacuum bag or container into a trash bag that is tightly sealed.
  4. Make sure any discarded items are sealed in plastic and labeled as “Bed Bug Infested” before dropping in the garbage.


Always follow professional advice for ways you can prepare your room for a heat treatment or inspection.  Some professionals may have different requirements depending on the equipment used. 

Want to perform your own heat treatment?  Check out our heat equipment rental providers at https://ibbra.org/service-providers/.  You can find a professional rental location near you that offers equipment, professional add-on services and tutorials on how to perform your own heat treatments!

The History of Bed Bug Treatments 

Bed bugs have been around for hundreds and hundreds of years.  The treatment for these bloodsucking insects has changed and evolved through the years, from dangerous flammable substances to widely used pesticides.  The history of bed bug treatments is one that spans from the early 400 BC to present day where scientists, pest professionals and inventors have made great efforts to study and develop new treatment methods to eradicate bed bugs once and for all. 


Where Bed Bugs Originated 

It’s widely believed that the bed bugs we know today originated in the middle east.  Early bed bugs likely lived mostly in caves where they fed on bats.  Bed bugs, as we know today evolved from these initial “bat bugs” and move onto other warmblooded mammals, including humans.  The bed bug population spread by traveling as hitchhikers as we started to explore different parts of the world.  One of the first times that bed bugs were mentioned in history was in ancient Greece in early 400 BC.  Archeologists have even found fossilized bed bugs dating back around 3,500 years.  Aristotle even documented his theories as to how bed bugs could be used in medical practices.  He believed that bed bugs could be used as part of a cure for multiple ailments such as snake bites, ear infections and hysteria.  Those theories were proven unsuccessful pretty quickly though and people moved to try to find ways to get rid of the bloodsucking pests that could quickly overtake a home. 


The First Treatments 

Early bed bug treatments ranged from spreading pepper, various plants, and fungi in the affected areas to more drastic methods such as covering the infected areas with gasoline, kerosene or pork grease.  Many of these methods were extremely dangerous and resulted in fires and unexplained illnesses.  Eventually, bed bug issues were reduced with more advanced cleaning methods that included washing bed linens and de-cluttering homes.  Finally, around WWII bed bugs were almost completely eliminated in the US with the invention of pesticides such as DDT.   

Though these treatments were working well against bed bugs, after the war, many insecticides and pesticides were found to be dangerous to humans and their use was banned.  This led to a resurgence of bed bugs issues.  In the 21st century, many new chemical pesticide substances have been developed to kill bed bugs and other pests.  Many of these substances were very useful at first but slowly have become less effective over time.  Scientists have studied this resilience indepth and found the bed bugs can become resilient to many substances used to eradicate them.  This realization has led many to search for new treatment methods, both professionally and for DIY treatments. 


The New and Improved Treatment Methods 

At IBBRA, the highly experienced bed bug professionals have tried and tested many different treatment methods.  Through these tests and treatment experience, it has become abundantly clear that heat treatments are the most effective way to kill bed bugs.  The bugs do not have the ability to evolve a resistance to temperatures and heat treatments don’t pose any health risks to humans.  By partnering with Convectex.com, IBBRA can offer the highest quality bed bug heat equipment to professionals, business owners, and DIYers alike.  It is our mission to make bed bug treatments as simple and effective as possible, and one day, to be able to eliminate the bed bug population in the U.S once again.   

To shop our IBBRA approved products go to https://ibbra.org/shop/ 

Bed Bug Bites: The Comprehensive Guide

If you’ve ever woken up from a long night’s sleep, only to find welts on your face, hands, arms and legs then you know the feeling of the “bed bug panic”.  Questions often race through bed bug victims mind regarding the bites and the severity of their bed bug problem.  While unexplained bites can definitely mean that you’ve got a bed bug problem, those bites could be explained by other bugs or rashes as well.  To avoid confusion and panic, IBBRA has compiled everything you need to know about bed bug bites below.

Vampire Bugs…

Bed bugs are drawn by warm body temperature, the carbon dioxide you exhale and are known to feed on your blood while you’re sleeping. While they are known for feeding at night, bed bugs can feed at any time of the day or night, whether you’re sleeping or not, and will adjust their feeding times according to your schedule.

The bed bug bites by first grasping the exposed skin with their fore tarsi.  As the proboscis is extended forward and thrust into the capillaries of the skin (categorized as vessel feeders)  the bug injects anticoagulant and anesthetic to numb the area so you won’t feel the bite. Bed bugs will feed for several minutes before withdrawing the stylet bundle from the feeding position and retracting it back and folding the entire unit back under the head.  It takes between five to ten minutes for a bed bug to become completely engorged with blood.


Bites Feel Like…

While the act of biting is usually not felt, the effects of that bite are often quite irritating and painful.  Some people experience an allergic reaction to the protein found in the bed bug’s saliva.  Approximately 50% to 70% of people develop this allergic which can cause severe rashes or even blisters. A varying level of reaction can occur, usually beginning with small, flat or raised bumps, and red swollen, itchy skin. If scratched, the bite areas can become infected.  The saliva of the bed bug often contains active substances (hyaluronidase, kinins or proteases), which may cause different skin reactions including (erythema, wheal, vesicle, hemorrhagic nodule).

It’s important to remember that everyone reacts to bed bug bites differently.  Some people don’t react to bed bug bites at all. Even two people sharing the same bed can have completely different reactions to being bit by the same bug.


Secondary Effects…

The bitten areas of skin can also become subject to secondary bacterial infections.  It has also been reported that the affected skin can be more susceptible to eczema, cellulitis, and/or lymphangitis. An occasional systemic reaction can occur from a bed bug bite, and in some cases, if the bite reactions are intense, repetitive scratching will produce skin lesions that may be complicated by impetigo.


Bites Look Like…

The skin lesion produced by the bite of a bed bug resembles those caused by many other kinds of insects, such as mosquitoes, spiders and fleas. Therefore, bed bug bites can rarely be identified by the appearance of the bites alone.  This means that identification often requires the guilty insect to be  found and positively identified as a bed bug.

Most welts heal in a few days,  but there are cases where the wound may persist for several weeks to months. Usually, an anti-itching ointment will help easy irritation, but if bites become infected the  people should see their doctor right away.  To date, the bed bug has not been known to spread any human diseases.

Once the bed bugs have finished feeding, they scurry off quickly to return to their hiding place, sometimes dropping a portion of their last meal as fecal matter on the way as they continue to digest their fresh blood meal.  These droppings can also help identify bed bugs during an inspection.





What You Should Do…

If you have experienced unidentified bites, especially after traveling, you should do a full inspection of your bed for any signs of bed bugs.  For a quick guide to bed bug inspections, check out your bed bug inspection guide at https://ibbra.org/best-diy-bed-bug-solutions/.  Bed bug bites can be extremely irritating, painful, and potentially dangerous.  If you think you’re having an allergic reaction to bed bug bites, contact your doctor immediately.

If you suspect bed bugs at your home or business call in an IBBRA approved professional near you. You can find the best pros at https://ibbra.org/service-providers/

The Leading Cause Of Bed Bug Infestations Is…

The Leading Cause Of Bed Bug Infestations Is…

Bed bug issues may seem like they arise out of thin air.  One night you go to bed and wake up the next morning with strange bites.  Night after night, this occurs until suddenly you see a little bug scurry across the sheets, and you realize – It’s BED BUGS!  Or maybe you’re a hotel/motel owner/manager and a customer spotted bed bugs in their room.  The first thought for many people would be, “How did this happen?” and “Where did they come from?”.

The Top 3 Ways Bed Bugs Spread

#3 – Bed bugs love an old couch (or other “hand-me-down” items)

If you’ve recently been thrifting, yard sale shopping, or worse, picked up free furniture from the side of the road, and then randomly started seeing bed bugs everywhere, then you can pretty much assume that that new couch is the cause.  Usually, bed bug infestations take a while to grow to a size where you see live bugs scurrying across your bed.  The exception to this rule is when an already established infestation enters the home; this is 100% possibly by bringing in an infested piece of furniture.  Bed bugs can live in any type of item; Such as dressers, nightstands, upholstered chairs and sofas, clothing, mirrors/pictures and even books.  The larger the furniture the more places there are for bed bugs to hide.

#2 – Bed Bugs on a Field Trip

Traveling is one of the leading times when bed bugs are picked up.  Bed bugs love to hitchhike around by hiding in your clothes or on your personal items.  If you’ve been on a public bus, on the subway, in a taxi, flew in a plane, or used any other means of public transport, you are much more likely to pick up bed bugs.

#1 – The Notorious Bed Bug Hotel

This one is kind of a no-brainer.  Hotels and Motels are a perfect place for bed bugs.  Travelers will pick up bed bugs during transportation and bring them back to their hotel room where the bugs quickly get comfy in the bed or other furniture.  Bed bugs aren’t picky about where they stay; it could be in a 5-star resort or a $50/night room.


So how can I avoid a bed bug infestation?

All of the above infestations started because someone didn’t do an inspection.  Bed bugs inspections are critical in avoiding a bed bug infestation.  In many cases, a bed bug problem was avoidable if the person knew what and where to look for bed bugs before the problem occurred.  Here are some tips to help you perform easy and effective inspections.

To avoid getting bed bugs, you should:
1.  Never take in old furniture without an extremely thorough inspection.  Look inside, under and behind everything.  Remove drawers and look inside.  Look in upholstery seams and under and coverings (like the covering on the bottom side of a bed spring) and always check the seams and pocket linings in used clothing.

  1. Use hard case luggage to avoid giving bed bugs a place to “grab on” while traveling.
  2. Always keep your luggage on a luggage rack on in the bathtub. Never sit your bag on the hotel/motel bed!
  3. Do a quick visual inspection before you sit down on any public transportation. A small flashlight may be helpful to see in dark corners.  Pay attention to the sides, back corners, and seams where others may not look.
  4. Likewise, always inspect your hotel/motel room for signs of bed bugs. Obviously, check the bed and mattress, but don’t forget about the chairs and nightstands too. Bed bugs can hide anywhere!
  5. Inspect your own home regularly. While the issue may seem to have popped up out of nowhere, bed bug infestations take time to grow. A single bed bug brought home from any of the avenues listed above will take weeks to become an infestation. If you’re unfortunate enough to have brought home a female bed bug, it will start to lay eggs within 24 hours of establishing it’s home.  Each female bed bug can lay dozens of eggs at a time. Eggs take 7-10 days to hatch, and the newly hatched nymphs will begin feeding and growing immediately.  Every 21-39 days those bed bug babies will be full-grown adults and will start breeding and multiplying very quickly. In just six months that one female bed bug will turn into a full-blown infestation of over 30,000 descendants.


Want to know what to look for while doing your DIY inspections?  Check out our inspection guide, at https://ibbra.org/best-diy-bed-bug-solutions/

Have bed bugs and need a solution?  Contact a certified provider today at https://ibbra.org/service-providers/


Purchase your own DIY heat treatment equipment at https://ibbra.org/shop/


Customer Communication Tips for Bed Bug Professionals

Proper communication will set the tone for the correct expectations for any bed bug treatment.  Customers have high expectations for bed bug professionals now more than ever.  But how can you, as a pest professional, live up to those expectations.  The key is effective communication between the technician and the customer before the treatment even begins.

Communicating on the Job

Each job, customer, and treatment will be different, and effective communication will be essential to making sure that the client knows what expectations are valid.  Bed bugs are extremely resilient to some treatments, and depending on the size of the infestation the problem could take a few follow-up treatments and/or inspections to ensure that the problem is completely solved.    How you relay this information will vary depending on what type of account you’re dealing with.

In a single-family home, the likelihood of an infestation is lower in comparison to a hotel or apartment building.  This means that one heat treatment could be enough to completely eradicate the problem.

When dealing with a multi-family housing situation, you could be facing a chronic bed bug problem or an infestation that is moving from unit to unit after repeated failed treatments.  This can cause the treatment process to be more difficult, and your approach with the client will be different to make sure they have a realistic and informed view of the problem.

Communicating and Dispelling Myths

One of the first things you’ll need to assess and communicate to a new customer is how to react to a bed bug sighting.  Seeing a single bed bug or an unknown insect in your home does not mean that you have an infestation and doesn’t warrant an emergency.

Making a proper identification is the first step.  When possible, encourage customers to place any potential bed bugs in a plastic bag labeled with where and when it was spotted.  When the technician comes to do an initial inspection of this bag of “evidence” will help know where to look and ensure that you’re actually dealing with bed bugs and not another insect type.

Next, when treatment is deemed valid, make sure you are giving your customers realistic expectations for any pre-treatment prep.  Take into account whether the customer is physically able to reduce clutter or move items in preparation.  Also, give the customer clear instructions on what items should be moved, if any.  You may need to adapt your treatment plan for any special requirements of the client or the treatment area.

Give your customers real, proven information.  You would be amazed at the myths people will believe.  It may be a good idea to have a hand-out ready for customers to educate them about bed bugs and the treatment you will be providing.  Clearing up any false info could also help the customer realize where or when they picked up the bed bugs and how to avoid them in the future.

Key Points:

  • Bed bug treatments can be tricky, depending on the severity of the infestation and the location. Be upfront with your clients and provide realistic expectations for your treatment.
  • How you communicate this information will depend on what type of customer you’re working with. Residential and commercial clients have different needs and requirements.  Be aware of these expectations and address them in your initial meeting.
  • Make sure your expectations for prep and post-treatment clean-up are realistic.
  • Provide quality information to your clients and dispel any myths that they may believe.

The IBBRA website is full of useful information regarding bed bugs, treatment options, and more.  Check out our blog for up-to-date bed bug news and info.

If you have a bed bug problem, call one of the IBBRA certified bed bug treatment providers near you.  Search here: https://ibbra.org/service-providers/

5 Common Bed Bug Mistakes You Can Easily Avoid

Bed bugs can be a frustrating, expensive, and potentially dangerous problem to have.  There is so much false information online that many people make simple, but expensive and dangerous mistakes when treating for bed bugs.  IBBRA is here to help you stay informed with scientifically proven information and access to qualified professionals that can help you through your bed bug issue.

Here are the top 5 bed bug mistakes that you could easily avoid:

  1. Hiding bed bugs from your friends, family, and landlord
    Bed bugs can affect anyone and aren’t something to be ashamed of. If you get bed bugs, telling your family, friends, neighbors and landlord is essential to making sure the problem doesn’t spread.  It also gives you the chance to educate others about how easily bed bugs can be “picked up”.  Spread the word and protect yourself and those you care about by being open regarding any bed bug issues that may arise in your household.
  2. Sleeping in another room

Once you find out bed bugs have infested your bedroom, many people will opt to sleep on the couch or in another bedroom to avoid the bugs and potential bites.  While this may keep a few bites away, this is actually one of the leading cases that bed bugs spread to multiple rooms in your home.  Solve the problem quickly with heat and use caution when moving to other rooms. Take the proper sterilization steps to contain the bed bug problem.

  1. Forgetting to do follow-up inspections and treatments
    Once a treatment is complete and you aren’t receiving nightly bed bug bites, you may tend to forget about the problem altogether. By doing this you may be allowing bed bugs to continue to infest your home undetected.  Bed bugs eggs take 6-10 days to hatch, which means that your bed bug infestation could re-appear within a few weeks after a treatment.  Follow up treatments and inspections are especially important if a chemical treatment was applied.  The best way to kill all the bed bugs, even the eggs, is by hiring a professional to complete a heat treatment. Alternatively, you can rent bed bug heat equipment from certified providers here.
  2. Bring home used items without proper inspections
    Bringing home bed bugs can be very easy, especially if you recently were traveling or purchased used furniture or clothing. Bed bugs like to hide in upholstered furniture, and not just bedroom furniture.  You could bring home bed bugs in chairs, couches, clothing, and even books.  Always inspect any used items that come into your home.
  3. Off-the-shelf pesticides or un-safe heating methods
    There are countless pesticides out there that claim to be effective on bed bugs, but in actuality, they aren’t required to test their product on bed bugs. Likewise, news outlets are full of stories where homeowners burnt down their house while trying to heat the home using space heaters, a home furnace, the oven….ect.  Heat treatments should only be performed using professionality quality heaters that are made to kill bed bugs.  Chemical treatments should only be applied by professional pest control technicians that are trained to use high quality and powerful pesticides.

Don’t make these mistakes!  Call in a bed bug professional, rent bed bug heat equipment or purchase professional quality DIY equipment at https://ibbra.org/service-providers/