Posts Tagged ‘bedbugs’

Atlanta Bed Bug Exterminator

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Click the image below to learn about bed bug control.

Bedbug Questions and Answers

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

What do bedbugs look like?

They are brown, about a quarter of an inch in diameter, and look like an apple seed or a lentil.

Has there really been a resurgence in bedbugs in the U.S. and how do you know?

There HAS been an increase in bedbug infestations.  Pest control companies who received 1 or 2 bedbug calls a year are now reporting 1 to 2 each week.  According to 2010 research conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky, 95% of pest control companies report encountering a bed bug infestation in the past year. Prior to 2000, only 25% of pest control companies surveyed had encountered a bed bug infestation.

In addition, another survey by NPMA found that one in five Americans has had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel.

Where have you been finding the bedbugs?

These pests are not limited to any one specific type of environment.  Pest control companies have been reporting infestations in both single and multi-family housing, apartments, hotels, hospitals, college dormitories, public transportation, laundry facilities and even movie theaters.

What states have been affected?

Pest control companies have reported bed bug activity on a national scale.  Bedbugs are being found from the East to the West Coast; and everywhere in between. Every state has reported bedbug infestations.

Why are bedbugs so hard to treat?

Bedbugs should NOT be equated with filth or sanitation problems — in hotels or in homes, for that matter. Bedbugs are VERY elusive, transient and nocturnal pests. They are often found in other areas besides the bed, and they are hardy.  They can live for a year or more without eating and can withstand a wide range of temperatures from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bedbugs CAN be controlled with vigilance, constant inspection and treatment by professional pest control companies.

What can a consumer do to protect themselves from bedbug infestations?

To prevent bedbug infestations, consumers need to be vigilant in assessing their surroundings. When returning from a trip, check your luggage and clothing.  If you think you may have a bedbug infestation, contact a pest control professional.  This is not a pest that can be controlled with do-it-yourself measures.  To find a pest control professional in your area you can visit pestworld.org.

Why are bedbugs an issue for hotels, visitors, and homeowners?

Bedbugs leave itchy, bloody welts on human skin.  Adult bedbugs can live for a year without eating, making them especially hard to control.  Once inside a hotel or home, bedbugs spread rapidly from room to room – through pipes, in vacuum cleaners, on clothing and luggage.  In a hotel, bedbugs can even spread to neighboring rooms, since guests are may end up moving to another room.

Are bedbugs just in beds?

Bedbugs are not just in beds.  They can be in chair cushions, sofas, behind electrical outlets, cracks and crevices around baseboards, or even behind picture frames.  In other words, they can live pretty much anywhere.

How does one control bedbugs?

Any effective bedbug control strategy should start with a careful, thorough inspection by a pest control professional of all known and suspected spots where the bugs may be harboring.  This is not a pest that can be controlled effectively with do-it-yourself measures.  As they are discovered, the pest control professional will develop a treatment and control strategy with the customer depending on the extent of the infestation.

Thermal Remediation Bed Bug Control Services

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Bed Bugs in the Office

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Bed Bugs in the Office

Although bed bugs are typically thought to be a household pest, they can hitchhike with people to their places of employment. In fact, in a recent surveyby the NPMA, 17% of pest control professionals indicated that they have encountered bed bugs in office buildings. When surveyed a few years ago, less than 1% had found them in office buildings. Here are the NPMA’s tips to prevent bringing bed bugs home from the workplace:

  • Vacuum and clean all areas – including offices, hallways, lobbies, kitchens, storefronts and public bathrooms on a daily basis.
  • Regularly inspect all areas of business for signs of bed bugs infestations at work. Pay close attention to the seams of furniture and upholstery for telltale brownish or reddish spots. Also beware that these pests have been known to inhabit electrical sockets, surge protectors and behind picture frames.  Vigilance by all employees is key!
  • Eliminate clutter as best as possible – especially in storage areas as this provides excellent hiding spots for bed bugs in the office.
  • When unpacking new inventory or receiving shipments, carefully inspect all items and packaging for signs of bed bugs before bringing them into your business.
  • Encourage employees to report suspicions of bed bug activity immediately, and always contact a pest professional to investigate each claim.
  • Have a policy in place for employees who may suspect a bed bug infestation at home.  Many times, employees unknowingly bring these bed bugs into the office.  By having an open dialogue and official policy on these pest infestations, you may be able to help remove any concern of honest reporting.
  • If a bed bug infestation is found, work with a professional pest control company to treat the infestation and perform follow-up inspections.

College Students: Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Attention College Students: Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite

The ever-famous line ‘don’t let the bed bugs bite’ now has a newfound significance. According to data gathered by the National Pest Management Association and the University of Kentucky, bed bugs are biting more than ever before.

The study, which surveyed U.S. pest management professionals, found that bed bug encounters have become much more common in public places than the previous year. In fact, one of the most talked about statistics is that the numbers of professionals who treated college dorms increased to 54 percent, up from 35 percent in 2010.

Since bed bugs thrive in places where there are many people, college dorm rooms and off campus housing can provide a perfect environment for an infestation.

In order to prevent these creepy crawlers from ruining the upcoming semester, we recommend following these tips:

  • Fully inspect your suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially if you have traveled during the summer. Be sure that any clothes that may have been previously packed in the suitcase have been washed in hot water.
  • Before putting your sheets on your dormitory bed, inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for telltale stains or spots. Thoroughly inspect the entire room before unpacking, including behind the headboard and in sofas/chairs. If you see anything suspect, immediately contact a university facility manager.
  • If you are considering bringing “secondhand” furniture to campus, properly inspect it to ensure that a pest problem, such as bed bugs, is not the reason for its “secondhand” status. If you see anything suspect, do not bring it to your dorm, apartment or house.
  • Repeat these steps after every return trip to and from campus, whether it be for weekend get-aways, trips home and especially when returning from holiday and Spring Break.

Six Facts You Didn’t Know About Bed Bugs

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Six Facts You Didn’t Know About Bed Bugs

If you follow the news and have seen all the attention bed bugs have received in the past few years, you might think you know all there is to know about this pest: They feed on humans while they sleep, they cause itchy, red bumps and they are hard to get rid of! But these pesky insects have a lot of secrets that you might be surprised to learn.

1.    Bed bugs can live anywhere.

When most people think of bed bugs, they think of hotels. But the truth is, bed bugs can thrive in single-family homes, apartments, hospitals, college dorm rooms, office buildings, schools, buses, trains, movie theaters, retail stores and just about anywhere that humans are. In fact, according to the “Bugs without Borders” study, 89 percent of pest professionals report treating bed bug infestations in single-family homes, and 88 percent report treating bed bug infestations in apartments/condos. Respondents also report other common areas, with 67 percent treating bed bug infestations in hotels/motels, 35 percent in college dormitories, 9 percent on various modes of transportation, 5 percent in laundry facilities, and 4 percent in movie theatres.

2.    Bed bugs aren’t just city dwellers.

Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are not just in big cities or third-world countries. They are found in all 50 states. The “Bugs without Borders” survey found that 17 percent of pest control professionals report treating bed bugs in the Northeast; 20 percent in the Midwest; 20 percent in the South; and 19 percent in the West. However, the incidence of bed bugs is three times higher in urban areas than in rural areas due to factors such as larger population size, apartment living and increased mobility, which are conducive to the rapid spread and breeding of bed bugs.

3.    Bed bugs are hardy.

These pests can live for several months without a blood meal. This means they can linger in furniture, bags and suitcases for a long time until they are near a human host again. In addition, bed bugs can survive temperatures of nearly freezing to 122 degrees. Because of this, bed bugs are not a pest that can be treated with DIY measures. Professional pest control is the most effective way to treat an infestation.

4.   Bed bugs are smart.

As a survival instinct, bed bugs are elusive. They know to stay out of view during the daytime, hiding in mattress crevices, box springs, baseboards, behind electrical switchplates, in picture frames, and even behind wallpaper. But at nighttime, the carbon dioxide we exhale drawls them out of their hiding spots.

5.    Bed bugs are methodical.

Bed bugs have a predictable feeding pattern. Once a bed bug finds a host, it will usually feed three times, for 5 to 10 minutes each time. These three meals are often jokingly referred to as breakfast, lunch and dinner. But the three bite marks they leave behind – usually right in a row and on exposed skin on the chest, arms or legs – are telltale signs of a bed bug infestation.

6.    Bed bugs could have a degree in anesthesiology.

People often wonder why a biting bed bug doesn’t wake up its human host when it feeds. The answer is that bed bugs feed by inserting two hollow, beak-like feeding tubes into their host. The first tube injects the bug’s saliva, which contains anesthetics to numb the feeding area. The second tube draws blood. After feeding, they move to secluded places and hide for 5-10 days. During this time, they do not feed but instead digest their meal, mate and lay eggs.

If you have a bed bug infestation, don’t try to treat it alone. Instead, contact a licensed pest professional who is trained on the (unique, often sneaky) habits of bed bugs. They will be able to inspect your home and recommend an effective course of treatment.

Ky. woman tries to kill bedbugs, burns down apt.

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Ky. woman tries to kill bedbugs, burns down apt.

Bedbug infestations not uncommon at Middle Georgia hotels, apartments

Friday, April 27th, 2012
  • Tips for spotting and avoiding bedbugs• Pull back sheets on the bed and examine the edges of the mattress. Even if bugs aren’t visible, look for their shed skins and for brown or green spots that could indicate blood or spots of bedbug feces. Lift up the mattress and look at the box spring, too. If you see signs of bedbugs, do not sleep in the room.
    • Bedbug bites appear differently on different people, but a telltale pattern involves three bites close together.
    • Avoid bringing bedbugs home as hitchhikers by putting suitcases on metal luggage racks and keeping clothes and bags off the floor.
    • When you get home, wash all your clothes in very hot water and leave your luggage in the garage or somewhere with no carpet, away from your bedroom. If you have been exposed to bedbugs, vacuum your luggage or get rid of it.
    • Reduce clutter around your bed and vacuum well beneath it.
    • Mattress encasements are available that are meant to keep bedbugs from infesting a mattress.
    • Don’t pick up furniture you see sitting by the road or next to a trash bin. It may appear perfectly good, but there is probably a reason it was discarded. That reason could be bedbugs or fleas.

When Vinnie Orene Fennell got her first bedbug bite, she thought it was a mosquito bite. She didn’t think much of it.

Over the course of the next few days, she noticed more red spots on her arms but assumed it was some kind of light rash. Then one night she saw a little bug crawling on her bed at the Rodeway Inn on Eisenhower Parkway, where the Mobile, Ala., resident was staying while dealing with a legal matter in Macon.

“I went to flick it off and that thing burst and there was just a good quarter(-sized) area of blood, and I about fainted,” Fennell said.

She slept in the other bed that night, but when she checked herself the next morning she realized she had so many bites over her left side, she appeared to have measles. Finally it struck her: She had been a meal for bedbugs.

“It took a few minutes for me to wrap my mind around that sudden realization,” the 72-year-old Fennell wrote in a letter to the hotel chain. “Seriously, it was like someone telling me that people had been discovered on Mars. It was just that alien to me.”

Fennell is not the only visitor to Middle Georgia to encounter these blood suckers of yesteryear.

The 13 counties that make up the North Central Health District have had 38 verified bedbug complaints since the beginning of 2011, said Carla Coley, the district environmental health director.

Statewide, there were 132 verified complaints within the same period, but the true statewide number is almost certainly higher because of the way the records were searched and because they include only the 131 counties that use the same reporting system, Coley said.

Plus, the majority of bedbug infestations probably aren’t reported, Coley said.

“For every one where the public calls us, there are going to be five to 10 we’re not going to get,” she said.

As an example, a single pest control company, Knox Pest Control, has treated 20 to 40 bedbug infestations a year across Middle Georgia during the last couple of years, said John Lindhorst, district manager for the Macon location.

Coley said the majority of bedbug cases in the district have happened in Houston, Bibb and Baldwin counties.

The bugs seem to have arrived first in Houston County. “We began getting complaints there pretty heavily about three years ago, first in apartment complexes, then in hotels two years ago,” Coley said.

Sharon Pettit, environmental health specialist for Houston County, said the first case there was at the Swan Motel in Perry. A few Houston apartment complexes have also had bedbug problems since then, including one with numerous apartments, she said.

Pettit estimated her department investigates around 15 bedbug complaints a year, not all confirmed.

Only one confirmed Houston case has happened in the last six months, according to Health Department records. That was at Days Inn & Suites on Margie Drive. (The hotel guest who complained had 13 bites, but he praised management’s handling of the situation, and when health department officials arrived, the hotel had already broken down the furniture and called a pest control company to treat the room.)

Five bedbug complaints have been verified as legitimate by the Bibb County Health Department so far this year, said James Boecke, co-manager of environmental health for the Bibb County Health Department.

Health department documents show that besides Fennell’s Rodeway complaint, others were at the Macon Inn on Riverside Drive, Value Place on Harrison Road, Motel 6 on Riverside Drive, and Howard Johnson Inn on Cavalier Drive. The latter two are still in the process of treating the bedbugs. The rest have finished treatment and been cleared to rent rooms again, documents show.

Milledgeville had its first spate of bedbug problems in hotels last August and September, mostly due to a large volume of construction workers packing hotels as they worked on local projects, said Claire Edmonds, environmental health specialist in the Baldwin County Health Department. She said there were three or four confirmed cases at that time.

Edmonds also investigated a complaint in the last six months of bedbugs in toys at the local fair, but she found no evidence of the pests.

Bibb County Cooperative Extension has also advised some apartment residents on dealing with bedbugs in recent years, said Jan Baggarly, Bibb family and consumer sciences agent. She said UGA experts identified a bedbug specimen for an apartment resident last week.

Don’t let ‘em bite

Although bedbugs are blood-feeders, they don’t carry any known diseases, Coley said.

They are a public health nuisance rather than a public health threat, she said. But their bites are itchy, and some people are allergic to their saliva, which can leave welts.

Bedbugs are much harder to get rid of than roaches and other pests. They hide well, they can remain dormant without a meal for more than a year, and they aren’t harmed by many of the chemicals that kill roaches and other pests through ingestion.

“There is nothing at Home Depot, Lowe’s or Wal-Mart that will treat for bedbugs, no matter what the package says,” Pettit warned.

Like many people, Fennell thought of bedbugs as a pest of the past — or something found only in very dirty places. But expensive airport hotels have been hard hit by the hitchhikers, which have arrived from distant countries as the world’s population becomes ever more mobile.

John Lindhorst, Macon district manager for Knox Pest Control, said bedbugs were mostly eliminated in the United States in the 1930s using harsh chemicals like DDT that are no longer legal. But in recent years travelers from countries that never eradicated the bugs have brought them back.

“I don’t envy a facility that gets them,” Coley said. “Very high-end facilities have had issues with bedbugs. It doesn’t have to do with whether the facility is clean or not.”

Housekeeping workers who vacuum well under beds can help catch a bedbug problem before it worsens, Coley said, but she noted that the bugs can also hide in places that aren’t normally cleaned, such as underneath a headboard where it is attached to the wall.

Donna Cadwell, co-manager of environmental health for the Bibb County Health Department, said Georgia tourist accommodation rules and regulations put local health departments in charge of monitoring bedbug complaints at hotels.

In Bibb, a health department inspector checks for signs of bedbugs, including staining from blood or feces around the edges of the mattress or the shed exoskeletons of the bugs. In Houston County, the health department requires the hotel owner to hire a licensed pest control company to check for them.

Generally they must look for the bugs in the room that generated the complaint, plus any other rental room that shares a wall, floor or ceiling. If bedbugs are found, the hotel owner cannot rent the rooms out until they have been successfully treated by a licensed pest control company. Often this takes more than one treatment, Cadwell said.

There are two major types of treatment for bedbugs, said Lindhorst. One involves superheating a mattress or a whole room, which kills the bugs. Health department officials and pest control operators say they don’t know of anyone providing this type of treatment in Middle Georgia.

The more common approach here is to treat the bugs with a barrage of chemicals. Knox Pest Control generally does a seven-day treatment that includes five different treatment methods including fogging, chemical sprays, drilling holes in the walls to get chemical powder inside, and aerators that release a legal form of DDT.

Public health documents show treatment usually takes at least a month.

Cadwell said if hotel operators do not cooperate, the health department can ultimately have their operating permit revoked. But generally, hotel owners are highly motivated to rent rooms, and the prospect of losing income is enough to assure compliance, health department officials said.

What about apartments?

Individual health departments handle apartment calls differently. In Bibb County, many of those are referred to the Economic and Community Development Department, Cadwell said.

In Houston County, the county calls the apartment owner to notify him or her about the complaint and offer advice about how to get rid of the bugs. But health departments don’t have authority to force apartment owners to treat bedbug infestations. Some claim it’s the tenant’s responsibility.

The problem with that, Coley said, is that vermin move through walls to surrounding apartments.

The Houston County Health Department worked with county employees, pest control companies and the Georgia Department of Agriculture to develop an ordinance that would make pest control the responsibility of apartment owners or managers, Coley said.

It would be the first of its kind in the state. But the Houston County Commission hasn’t yet considered the measure.

Edmonds said Baldwin County had three bedbug complaints related to apartments in the last six months.

The growing incidence of the problem led Edmonds to hold a one-day conference on bedbug management in February, attended by about 75 people, including pest control companies, nursing homes, local colleges, Central State Prison, and the Macon Housing Authority, she said.

She also invited officials from local schools and day cares, which she said could become “depots” for bedbugs moving from one place to another.

Edmonds said she hopes what these professionals learned about identifying, treating, and limiting the spread of bedbugs could help Middle Georgia tenants and travelers in the future.

To contact writer S. Heather Duncan, call 744-4225.

Bug Busters USA is Turning Up the Heat on Bed Bugs

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Bug Busters USA is Turning Up the Heat on Bed Bugs

March 2012– Bug Busters USA is proud to announce that they are now offering Thermal Remediation® heat treatment service to the Southeast to battle insecticide-resistant bed bugs.

According to a recent survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky, 99% of pest management professionals have encountered bed bugs in the last year and the majority agrees that bed bugs are the most difficult pest to control.

Heat, a safe and environmentally friendly solution, has been found to be a highly effective tool in the pest control toolbox.  Research performed at the University of Minnesota has shown that temperatures above 122°F will result in the complete and immediate kill of the entire life cycle of the bed bug, from eggs to adults.

Bug Busters will be using heating equipment that is specifically designed to kill bed bugs and is UL approved for safety as an insect control device.  Thermal Remediation® electric bed bug heaters are placed within the space with a target temperature of 135°F for the controlled application of heat.  High temperature fans move the heated air into cracks and crevices or high infestation zones.  A wireless temperature monitoring system is used to ensure lethal temperatures are reached without damaging the space and its contents.

Bug Busters USA is family owned and operated and has been for over 25 years! Bug Busters is environmentally friendly, people friendly, and pet friendly! All of the materials utilized are EPA approved to be lowest possible levels of toxicity with the highest level of effectiveness.  Bug Busters has been on the forefront of the increasing bed bug problem nationwide and has made it a priority to be able to meet this new challenge in pest management and better serve the community.  Please visit www.bugbustersusa.com, “like” us on Facebook or follow us on our blog and Twitter for more information and other helpful pest tips and tricks.

About Thermal Remediation® from Temp-Air:

Since 1965, Temp-Air, Inc. has been a leading provider of temporary, portable heating, cooling, dehumidifying, and air filtration rental services to the U.S. construction industry.  Building on that expertise, Thermal RemediationÒ from Temp-Air was developed over 10 years ago using heat as a safe, effective, and environmentally friendly alternative to chemical pest control applications.  Today Thermal RemediationÒ equipment is used by pest control professionals, property managers, hotels, universities, and food storage and processing plants throughout North America for the treatment of bed bugs and stored product pests.

Temp-Air is a privately held company based in Burnsville, MN with 11 regional offices nationwide.  For more information visit www.ThermalRemediation.com.

 

Bed Bugs Found at Memphis Motel

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Bed Bugs Found at Memphis Motel

FAST FACTS:

  • Health inspectors found bed bugs at Motel 6.
  • Motel has at least 10 days to clean up.
  • Inspectors still have motel a 94/100 after finding critters.

(Memphis 3/1/2012) “I just woke up and just started itching, had red marks and stuff all over my arms,” says Barbara Taylor.

Taylor says it was so bad inside her room at the Motel 6 on South Pauline, she slept in the chair for the rest of the night.  She and her husband are in town for his cancer treatments at the VA.

“As soon as daylight broke, I got out of there.” Shortly after, Taylor visited the doctor and contacted the Memphis-Shelby County Health Department.

“We went to the room, checked it out and found bed bugs in the room,” says Health Department Environmental Sanitation Supervisor Otho Sawyer. The report dated February 29th shows inspectors found bed bugs in the mattress, at the top of the beds and behind the headboards.

Motel 6 was docked 4 points for what’s considered a critical violation, but still scored a 94 out of 100.   “It’s because we look for a number of things,” explains Sawyer.
Sawyer notes the motel got high marks in other areas. Previous inspection reports show a 97 and 89.   The motel has at least 10 days to clean up.
“If we go back and the violation’s not corrected, they know from the notice that we gave them their permit could be suspended,” Sawyer says.

Sawyer says in 2009 and 2010, the health department got 47 bed bug complaints and nearly half were valid. Even more reason for consumers to be their own inspectors.

“Pull the sheets back, check for blotches of blood, check, look in the cracks and crevices.”

Also, ask to see the entire inspection report. Sawyer says the narrative on the second page contains critical information that the inspectors witnessed, so consumers should read it, no matter the score.

We didn’t see a report at all in the front lobby of Motel 6. We also asked about the bed bugs.

“I don’t have any comment at this time,” says a woman who identified herself as the general manager.

However, Taylor, has something to say, “This is public notice that they need to clean up their act!”

WREG On Your Side Investigators contacted a press representative for Motel 6.  We have not heard back.  In the meantime, if you have a complaint regarding a sanitation issue at a hotel, contact the Health Department at 222-9200.