Category Archives: Bed Bug Tips
Every year, we open our homes to spend the holidays with close friends and family. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, millions of people travel by plane, train or automobile to spend time with their loved ones. But in addition to clean sheets and towels, holiday hosts should also prepare their homes for an unexpected visitor known to hitchhike with travelers: bed bugs.
With the 2011 Holiday Season officially upon us, BBFS thought we’d take a minute to share some Travel Tips to avoid the vampire hitchhikers and enjoy a Bed Bug FREE Holiday. With a little education, awareness and diligence you can be sure that aren’t bringing any unwanted guests home for the holidays.
Bed bugs cling to baggage, backpacks and clothing, and have been found on airplanes, in hotels and on buses. Travelers are easily susceptible to the pests without even knowing it. And once they are brought into a home, it can be extremely difficult and costly to get rid of them.
Traveling ( or Planes,Trains & Automobiles )
Unfortunately, with the increases in reported bed bug cases in major forms of transportation comes the realization that many of the business “road warriors” that frequent our more infested cities have assisted in the spread of the bed bugs this year. That means that if you are flying, renting a car or taking the train, you should take a few steps to protect yourself AND your luggage this holiday season.
- Take a Look: When getting to your assigned seat, your rental car or your train car, take the time to visually inspect any areas where you will be sitting, standing or laying down for an extended periods of time. Use a flashlight if possible to check creases, cracks and crevices for evidence of bed bugs such as stains, nymphs and/or shed cask skins.
- Watch your backside: Protect yourself by investing in some temporary seat covers which provide additional protection, can be cleaned and reused and which offer some peace of mind for the truly paranoid
- Bag It and Tag It: Protect your luggage by investing in some encasements for your bags or at least bring some plastic or ziploc bags to temporarily hold your bags while they are placed on the floors of planes, trains, buses or rental cars.
- Stop ‘Em at the Door: Bed Bugs biting you en route isn’t the problem, its bringing them home to setup shop at your place, your parents place or at a friends. The way to keep this from happening is with stringent preventive measures. Establish a “bed bug checkpoint” for all of your travel items. Don’t bring luggage or carry-ons inside your home, but empty them outside and wash clothes and anything else that’s washable. A hot dryer will also kill bedbugs, so dry anything you don’t want to wash. Keeping your luggage wrapped in plastic and in the trunk of a car in the sun will give some added protection and peace of mind.
Staying Abroad: ( Hotel Hell )
Prior to checking in, visit BedBugRegistry.com, to research past reports about your location. Understand that The Bed Bug Registry is a 100% user-generated site with little or no reporting management. As with anything on the web, it should be taken with a grain of salt (or in the case of Bed Bugs, a spoonful of DE). Contact hotel management before checking in, to find out their policies and procedures for handling bed bugs. Having a proactive prevention and maintenance plan in place is key to successful elimination.
Be aware and observant of your surroundings. Investigate all areas you plan on lying down, sitting or standing still in, for any extended period of time. This is important, since bed bugs are attracted to the heat and carbon dioxide your body produces.
Inspect rooms you are visiting:
- Use a flashlight to look for bugs or blood spots in corners, cracks and crevices
- Behind the headboard (lift off brackets on the wall)
- Along the seams, crevices and piping around the mattress
- Under the mattress pad and under the sheets
- Along the edges and underneath the box spring
- Around joints in bedside tables (including drawers) and pictures above the bed
Steps you can take:
- Never set luggage on the bed or floor
- When entering a foreign room, place luggage in the bathtub and do an inspection, then store luggage on racks set away from the wall or hang items up
- Bring your own hangers for items that will be pressed or hung up
- Visually inspect the ironing board PRIOR to using it, there have been reports of bed bugs on these items since they are often removed/cleaned with the hotel linens causing exposures.
- Put any suspect items in sealed plastic bags until you can heat treat them or have them professionally treated with Sulfuryl Flouride.
- Put everything you can into the dryer on HIGH (122 degrees minimum for 60 minutes)
Staying Home (ugh! The “in-law” are coming Home for the Holidays )
If you’re having guests at your house for the holidays, follow the tips below to help minimize the chance of bed bugs hitchhiking in on them.
- Before guests arrive, reduce clutter and vacuum floors, rugs and curtains.
- Also, encase every mattress, box spring and pillow with protectors that feature bed bug proof fabric and reinforced seams and zippers.
- Don’t allow anyone to wear shoes inside the home. Leave shoes outside, place them in sealed plastic bins or bags and/or heat treat them in the dryer.
- Keep a designated place where guests can keep their coats, purses, etc. and do not place belongings on couches, beds, etc.
- Have your home pre-treated by a referred pest control operator before the holidays for added protection.
We here at BBFS hope this information helps you have the best possible 2011 Holiday Season if your staying home and having guests, if your traveling for family/friends, or if you are simply getting away for some gourmet turkey fixings or winter wonderland fun. Help spread the word and share this blog and information with your closest friends & family. Happy Holidays from BBFS!
The next time that you travel, you might want to follow these tips:
Use a flashlight or UV light to inspect your hotel room for live bed bugs or evidence of activity such as fecal material, shed skins or bloodspots. If room is suspect, request a different room.
Using a business card and hand lens to examine the cracks and crevices around the mattress, bed frame, headboard (most will lift off the wall easily), carpet edges, picture frames, closets, nightstands, luggage racks and dressers to inspect for evidence.
Move the bed away from the wall or headboard if possible. The number one trouble spot in hotels is the headboard (if any). Number two are the picture frames directly above/behind the headboard area.
Don’t unpack leave your clothes in a closed suitcase, knapsack or zipped up clothing bag. You might want to tape the zipper or put it in a large clear plastic bag.
Keep your suitcase, etc. away from bed and don’t leave clothes laying about or in dresser drawers.
If traveling light, hang your clothing bag on the shower rod in the bathroom
Bag and Seal pajamas in a clear plastic bag and examine later.
Check yourself for bites or itching, although bed bug bites are not always immediately noticeable.
When you get home:
Unpack over a white sheet, directly launder washables in water over 140 degrees and then dry on high heat for an hour minimum. Dry cleaning is NOT as effective as previously thought, so save your money there… Consider a dry-vapor steam machine for yourself or a heating solution, such as a PackTite, Bed Bug Annihilator or BBFS’s Cimex SMART Cube.
Inspect and vacuum suitcases before putting them away. If you think you may have come into contact with pests you might consider having the items treated further off-site prior to unpacking at home.
Travel with large, clear plastic bags and enclose suitcase, clothing bag and all belongings (including what you are wearing prior to returning home (change in the car, driveway or garage) and seal with tape. Consider having items fumigated using Vikane gas fumigant, subjected to a controlled heat treatment of over 135 degrees for one hour minimum or treated with a topical, aerosol insecticide labeled for use on bed bugs.
Some additional information:
NYC.gov “Guide to Stop Bed Bugs in Hotels Safely” (PDF)
Sure, we’ve all heard the nursery rhyme, and we’ve all seen the pictures of rooms cluttered with bed bugs, their nasty skins and droppings, and read the news stories about bed bug infestations, their resistance to pesticides and how they are increasing to pandemic levels throughout the United States. But you are still thinking that you only have to worry about Bed Bugs at home and at Hotels right? RIGHT? Wrong. Here is a Travel Channel list of the Top 10 Bed Bug Infestation Spots (where you are most likely to be exposed and/or bring these little vampire hitchhikers home).
- Public Libraries
- Retail Stores
- Movie Theaters
- Planes, Trains and Buses
- Daycares, Schools and Colleges
- Places of Worship
- Business Offices
- Laundry Facilities
- Hospitals and Nursing Homes
- Consignment, Thrift and Rental Stores
In other news, Vikane (Sulfuryl Flouride) Fumigation is 100% effective against all life stages of the pesky bed bug, including the hard to control egg stage. One single fumigation treatment to a structure, a container or a moving/rental truck and/or its belongings can eradicate the source population, prevent any pesticide resistant generations from continuing to unnaturally evolve, and make future preventative measures (such as a defined Integrated Pest Management program) more successful. DOW Vikane Fumigation is the only 100% effective eradication method for all stages of bug infestation that leaves no detectable residue.
Bed Bug Fumigation Specialists (BBFS) is the industry leading Vikane Fumigation Treatment Service specializing in bed bugs, termites, clothes moths, powder post beetles and other pest infestations. With over 40 years of collective fumigation experience, BBFS is the company with the record you can count on. Our professionals have safely completed more than 50,000 fumigations in our history, including over 2500 successful bed bug eradications in NYC alone. BBFS is also a recipient of DOW AgroSciences Commitment to Excellence (CTE) award for safely administering Vikane for thousands of customers.
Recently, Habitat Magazine published an interesting article, written by Tom Soter, detailing how Pride Property Management is implementing a new move-in/move-out policy in their buildings to ensure that their for-sale units are free of bed bugs.
These days, Alex Kuffel treats the warning he first heard as a child very seriously: “We used to say, ‘Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.’ Bed bugs are a critical problem.”
We’ve all heard that before. We’ve also heard that boards and management must be proactive, and that they must wage an ongoing education campaign to be certain the residents know about bed bugs and how to cope with them. But Kuffel, president of Pride Property Management, is trying something that he thinks is fairly unusual: a move-in/move-out policy that meets the bed bug issue head on.
“A non-refundable $300 fee must… be given to the superintendent to have the apartment inspected by a certified bed bug inspector, for the presence of bed bugs within the apartment,” the April 2010 policy for the 120-unit Manhattan building says. “The apartment will be inspected prior to the move-in and then again after the residents’ contents have been moved into the apartment. In the event bed bugs are found after the resident moves into the apartment, the resident is solely responsible for all costs incurred with abating the bed bugs….” Read More Here
We at BBFS find this very interesting and encouraging, as we have been advocating Source Elimination as part of a larger Integrated Bed Bug Management Plan (IBBMP) since our inception in 2005. In order to successfully create and maintain a bed bug FREE environment in residences and corporate offices, property owners and managers must create a systematic process for 1.)removing existing infestations, 2.) establishing residual pest control treatment techniques and, 3.) practice preventative treatments for all incoming property (including: bedding, furniture, desks, clothing, electronics, etc.).
One way to create a Source Elimination step inside an IBBMP is to integrate fumigation using Vikane fumigant into your property’s delivery schedule. This can be accomplished by either requiring in-transit fumigation of vehicles/trucks OR use a Fume Cube on-site. For more information on creating a successful IBBMP program for yourself, contact BBFS at 877-9NO-ITCH or visit our website.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
They’re back and they’re bigger than ever: After a decades-long hiatus, bedbugs have made a creepy-crawly comeback in hotels, office buildings, department stores — you name it — all across the U.S. In fact, according to a recent poll conducted by the National Pest Management Association(www.pestworld.org), 95% of the pest control companies surveyed reported a bedbug infestation within the last year — up an astounding 70% from more than a decade ago.
The pesky critters can induce itchy, red welts and enough anxiety to make travelers wonder if they should stay home. Luckily, there are plenty of precautionary measures to reduce the risks of an encounter while on the road. Sleep better at night by following these expert tips from the NPMA, the American Hotel & Lodging Association(www.ahla.com), and the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (www.nysimp.cornell.edu).
With proper identification, a thorough room inspection, and careful packing and unpacking, you can stop worrying about sleeping tight — and letting the bedbugs bite.
What Do Bedbugs Look Like?
Wingless bedbugs range in size from 1 to 7 millimeters, are reddish brown, and flat and oval in shape. Fecal droppings (brown or black stains that look like pepper flakes), shed skins, and the tinier translucent eggs and nymphs (juveniles) are evidence of the live pest.
Pre-Trip Packing Tips
A hard-shelled suitcase has fewer folds and seams where bedbugs can hide. Pack your belongings — clothes, toiletries, shoes — in sealable plastic bags, and open only when accessing the items. Alternatively, consider wrapping your entire pack in a trash bag to stave off potential infestations during your travels.
Before Unpacking Your Luggage
Many travelers throw a suitcase on the bed or keep the bag zipped up on the floor in hopes of keeping out any wandering scourges. Instead, place your baggage — including any purses, backpacks, or camera bags — on a luggage rack or in the bathroom, where there are fewer nooks and crannies.
How to Inspect Your Hotel Room
Bedbugs like to lodge themselves into cracks, crevices, folds, and ruffles in areas frequently trafficked by humans. When you arrive, pull back the covers of the bed and inspect under the linens and pillows. Use a flashlight if necessary. Look in the seams and sides of the mattress, box spring, and frame, and then check behind the headboard. The majority of the pests away from the bed will be within close proximity: under and around nightstands and lamps, and in the pleats of upholstered furniture (a favored hideaway) and drapes. The bloodsuckers can also reside behind wall hangings, such as mirrors and paintings.
If You Suspect an Outbreak
Don’t take things into your own hands. If you squash one pest, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t others lurking in the crevices. Work with hotel management to find the best solution. When switching rooms, don’t accept one directly adjacent, above, or below the infested room, as bedbugs can easily hitch a ride to neighboring spaces via housekeeping carts, wall sockets, and luggage. Each property and brand has a different protocol regarding pest control. Many hotels will distribute bedbug fact sheets, assure proper treatment of affected areas, offer alternative accommodations, and launder your clothes for free. Unfortunately, sleep sacks can’t protect you from getting bitten; bedbugs can feed through the fabric or crawl through the opening of the sack as you snooze.
When You Get Home
Even just a few of these critters can start a full-blown infestation, should you inadvertently carry them back to your abode. Conduct a thorough inspection of your suitcase outdoors or in the garage, away from furniture and sleeping areas. If you live in an apartment, use your balcony, bathtub, or shower (bedbugs have a harder time crawling up smooth surfaces and are easier to spot against light colors). In the worst-case scenario, keep the suitcase out in the hallway. Pay special attention to pockets, linings, and seams. Then thoroughly vacuum or steam clean the bag before stowing it away. Wash all of your clothes — even those unworn — on a high-heat setting, and dry for at least 30 minutes. This will kill any previously undetected bugs.
Original Post (By Teri Rogers and Margot Slade): Read it HERE
If you are moving, you may be understandably concerned about picking up bed bugs in transit.
Yet whether out of cost worries, denial or ignorance, New York City moving and storage companies have been slow to adopt procedures that cut down the risk of in-truck transmission. So we were intrigued to hear that Moishe’s, the 30-year-old local moving company, recently announced a prevention program.
Among other things, the company has stopped wrapping furniture in blankets, which are an easy and obvious means of conveyance for bed bugs. Instead, furniture, mattresses and objects are wrapped in moving-quality, tear-resistant plastic bags sealed with heavy-duty tape. That diminishes the risk of picking up bugs from the truck and also the chance that bugs will wander into the truck from infested furniture. (No special precautions are taken with moving boxes, however.)
Moishe’s is also doing monthly canine inspections of each truck, and then fumigating trucks that come up positive.
So is this enough?
We asked entomologist and pest management expert Gil Bloom of Standard Pest Management in Queens. After calling up Moishe’s with a few questions of his own, he seemed reasonably satisfied.
“Unlike any other company that I know of, they apparently do have an organized, systemic way of addressing the issue,” said Bloom, recently named #1 bed bug warrior by NY Magazine and deeply involved in the city’s efforts to battle bed bugs.
If you’re really concerned, Bloom notes, Moishe will perform a canine inspection of your truck the day before for an extra fee.
For ultimate peace of mind–and for anyone moving away from a bed bug issue–get the truck fumigated with all of your belongings inside.
“That way you pretty much know you are safe from transporting anything,” says Bloom.
Bed bugs are back. Since 2000, bed bug infestations have risen 81 percent, according to The National Pest Management Association. This resurgence has consumers nationwide on high alert, seeking information on the pests and how they can protect themselves.
Gail Getty, a noted entomologist at the University of California Berkley, explains, “Bed bugs and their habits are actually very simple to understand. For the unassuming public, though, differentiating between fact and fiction is becoming ever so difficult with the amount of information available. Understanding the basics is the first line of defense a consumer has against the unwelcomed critters, which can take a toll both financially and emotionally on a victim.”
- Bed bugs can be found on bedside alarm clocks
- True: bed bugs have been known to fester in alarm clocks and other appliances and within dark crevices like coffee makers.
- Bed bugs like to hitch rides
- True: bed bugs can very easily be transferred in suitcases and on clothing, putting travelers at extra-high risk; Bedbugs do have primitive wings, but they cannot fly.
- Some people are not affected by bed bugs bites
- True: Some people do not have a physical reaction to bed bug bites and may be unaware that bed bugs are in their home until they actually see them, but everyone is at risk for having infestations as bed bugs do not discriminate based on socio-economic class.
- Bed bugs can live for many months without feeding
- True: Bed bugs can live for many months without feeding. That is why it is imperative to encase mattresses, box springs, and pillows with bed bug proof protectors like the entomologist tested Allergy Luxe® bed bug collection with Arm & Hammer™ odor neutralizing technology. Bedding encasements effectively trap bugs that are in and on your mattress and box spring and cut them off from their food source indefinitely.
- Insect foggers provide very little control of bed bugs and may even cause the bed bug population to disperse, making control more difficult
- True: Insect foggers do not effectively control bed bugs. Most insect foggers contain a flammable propellant and some have been associated with accidental fires. The best way to control bed bug problems is to contact a pest professional, who will help with vacuuming, and steaming, laundering belongings, sealing areas and gaps where bed bugs can hide and encasing mattresses, box springs, and pillows with bed bug proof protectors like the entomologist tested Allergy Luxe® collection with Arm & Hammer™ odor neutralizing technology.
- Bed bugs reproduce at alarming rates
- True: Depending on conditions, bed bugs can produce three or four generations in one year; a female can produce one to five eggs a day, which are as big as a pinhead and can hardly be seen.
- Bed bugs spread deadly diseases
- Wrong: Bed bugs do not transmit disease. Bed bug bites, however, can cause allergic reaction in some people similar to a mosquito bite. Frequent scratching of the bite marks or picking the scabs can cause infections. And people with severe and/or repeated infestations can feel anxious, worried or ashamed.
- Chemicals/pesticides will kill all bed bug stages.
- Wrong: It is difficult to kill all bed bugs with only a pesticide application. Successful treatment depends on an Integrated Pest Management approach to bed bug control which involves, vacuuming, and steaming, laundering belongings, sealing areas and gaps where bed bugs can hide, homeowner, tenant, manager education and encasing mattresses, box springs, and pillows with bed bug proof protectors like the entomologist tested Allergy Luxe® collection with Arm & Hammer™ odor neutralizing technology. Do not use home remedies such as kerosene.
- I can get rid of bed bugs by leaving my house empty for a few weeks.
- Wrong: Adult bed bugs can live as long as twelve months without a meal, so a long vacation won’t provide you with relief. The only way to deal with the problem is to treat it directly and monitor results over the long haul.
- Bed bugs feed off of dirt and other grime
- Wrong: Bed bugs feed on the blood of human beings and other animals such as dogs, cats, birds, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs and mice.
- Bed bugs are mostly found in beds OR found in shelters; only poor people or dirty people get them.
- Wrong: They’re found close to where they feed. Typically they’re found in a bed mattress, box spring, bed frames and around the bed. They’re also found in electric outlets, switches and behind pictures. Bed bugs can be found in hotels, motels, dormitories, apartments, condos, private homes, and even in public places, such as retail stores, movie theaters, businesses and offices. Anyone can get bed bugs.
- Bed bugs are too small to see with the naked eye
- Wrong: The adult is about the size of an apple seed. The eggs and baby or nymph is about 1 mm long, almost entirely white and difficult to see with the naked eye. The nymph turns red as it feeds and fills with blood, making them easier to see.
- Bed bugs come out only at night
- Wrong: It’s true that they are more active at night and in the early morning, but bed bugs sense the heat and carbon dioxide given off by humans and therefore may come out at any time of day.
- Bed bug bites are easily felt
- Wrong: You do not feel a bed bug biting because they inject their saliva first which contains an anesthetic, numbing chemical and an anti-clotting agent so your blood flows freely.
- Walking into a room that has bed bugs means you will get bed bugs
- Wrong: They spend 90% of their time hiding and are usually active at night. Bed bugs avoid light and do not like to be disturbed. So you will not necessarily walk away with bed bugs just by being in a room that has them.
- If you have bed bugs you need to throw away infested clothing and furniture
- Wrong: Clothing can be laundered to get rid of bed bugs. In most cases furniture can be treated and should only be discarded if there are no acceptable treatments that can rid them of bed bugs.
- It’s too cold where I live for bed bugs!
- Wrong: Even in the coldest climates bed bugs can still thrive. For starters, most bed bug infestations are located indoors. Bed bugs only need to be transported for short periods of time on clothing or luggage to find a new home to infest.
- Sleeping in a metal bed will protect you from bed bugs
- Wrong: Having a metal bed will not protect you from bed bugs. In some scenarios a metal bed may actually make it harder to detect a bed bug infestation because the hollow tubing of a metal bed is a great place for bed bugs to hide. The best way to prevent and control bed bug problems in beds is to encase mattresses, box springs, and pillows with bed bug proof protectors like the entomologist tested Allergy Luxe® collection with Arm & Hammer™ odor neutralizing technology.
- You can’t get bed bugs from your neighbor
- Wrong: Bed bug migration from one home or apartment to another is actually more common than most people think. In apartments or shared housing such as condos, the risk of migration is even higher. Bed bugs can travel through tiny cracks in the wall, through connected vents or spaces, or in the seams of floor boards or the edges of carpet. They have even been shown to travel out a front door, down the hall and into a neighboring apartment.
- Bed bug bites all look the same
- Wrong: They can be small and red or bigger like welts. Some people don’t react at all to a bed bug bite. It is almost impossible to diagnose a bed bug problem solely on the presence of bites on a human host.
SOURCE London Luxury LLC
See the original post here