Category Archives: Bed Bugs Florida
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)
Thinking about tackling that bed bug problem in your building by yourself? You might want to think again or at least get a second opinion before you pull the pin on that “bug bomb” in your hand. According to a recent report by the CDC and EPA, from 2003-2010 nearly 111 cases of illness and one fatality were attributed to insecticides used in targeting Bed Bugs (Cimex Lectularius). Here is a brief summary of the findings:
Bed bug populations and infestations are increasing in the United States and internationally (3,5). Bed bug infestations often are treated with insecticides, but insecticide resistance is a problem, and excessive use of insecticides or use of insecticides contrary to label directions can raise the potential for human toxicity. To assess the frequency of illness from insecticides used to control bed bugs, relevant cases from 2003–2010 were sought from the Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks (SENSOR)-Pesticides program and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH). Cases were identified in seven states: California, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Texas, and Washington. A total of 111 illnesses associated with bed bug–related insecticide use were identified; although 90 (81%) were low severity, one fatality occurred. Pyrethroids, pyrethrins, or both were implicated in 99 (89%) of the cases, including the fatality. The most common factors contributing to illness were excessive insecticide application, failure to wash or change pesticide-treated bedding, and inadequate notification of pesticide application. Although few cases of illnesses associated with insecticides used to control bed bugs have been reported, recommendations to prevent this problem from escalating include educating the public about effective bed bug management.
Although the number of acute illnesses from insecticides used to control bed bugs does not suggest a large public health burden, increases in bed bug populations that are resistant to commonly available insecticides might result in increased misuse of pesticides. Public health recommendations to prevent illnesses associated with insecticides used to control bed bugs include media campaigns to educate the public about bed bug–related issues, including nonchemical methods to control bed bugs, methods to prevent bed bug infestation (e.g., avoiding the purchase of used mattresses and box springs), and prudent use of effective insecticides (3). Persons who have a bed bug infestation should be encouraged to seek the services of a certified applicator who uses an IPM approach to avoid pesticide misuse. Persons applying insecticides should follow product instructions for safe and appropriate use. Insecticide labels that are easy to read and understand also can help prevent illnesses associated with bed bug control.
Many of the reported cases were do-it-yourselfers who misused the chemicals or used the wrong product. Most of the cases were in New York City, the apparent epicenter of the recent U.S. bed bug comeback. For more information on safely treating your bed bug problem, contact BBFS at 1-877-966-4824 (No-ITCH) or visit our EDUCATION section on the BBFS website!
SEATTLE, Sept. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Thousands of US travelers hoped that the bedbugs wouldn’t bite this summer but reports show that they did, at an outstanding rate. In the wake of the 2010 Bedbug Epidemic the number of bedbug reports for 2011 (January 1–September 1) shattered 2010 totals by more than 660%.
Since the beginning of the year reports of traveler encounters with bedbugs have trickled into Raveable.com, which compiles reports from users. Since 2010 the number of individual hotels with bedbugs has risen 250%, showing that bedbugs aren’t last year’s issue. Below are cities with the highest number of hotel bedbug reports in 2011 during the period January through September 1.
Rank City Name % Increase 2011/2010 ---- ---------------- -------------------- 1 Las Vegas 330% ---- ---------------- -------------------- 2 New York City 135% ---- ---------------- -------------------- 3 San Francisco 209% ---- ---------------- -------------------- 4 Orlando 317% ---- ---------------- -------------------- 5 Atlantic City 282% ---- ---------------- -------------------- 6 Chicago 207% ---- ---------------- -------------------- 7 Los Angeles 329% ---- ---------------- -------------------- 8 Washington, D.C. 192% ---- ---------------- -------------------- 9 Columbus 667% ---- ---------------- -------------------- 10 Anaheim 340% ---- ---------------- --------------------
“It is a groundbreaking year for bedbugs,” says Philip Vaughn, CEO of Kirkland hotel review website Raveable.com, who notes that some of the most popular summer destinations are the hardest hit by hotel bedbug infestations. Last September and October reeled in some of the highest numbers of bedbug reports. This fall is projected to be worse. As the bedbugs enjoy the late summer travel season, travelers can do nothing but arm themselves with information and hope that they will not become another statistic.
Travelers concerned about bed bugs can “look before they book” by checking out Raveable’s Bed Bugs in Hotels resource page, provides links to city-specific bedbug data and gives tips on how to stay safe during their stay.
About Raveable.com: Raveable is an award winning travel website, named Top Travel Website by Travel+Leisure. Raveable’s mission is to provide travelers with the most reliable, credible and up-to-date information to help them find a hotel that best suits their needs. Raveable analyzes and consolidates millions of traveler opinions and thousands of bedbug alerts, giving them the inside scoop on more than 160,000 hotels, resorts and bed & breakfasts worldwide. The company has been featured in MSNBC, the LA Times and other publications. To learn more go to: Raveable.com.
Copyright (C) 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved
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.
Once virtually eradicated in the United States, bed bugs have become America’s pest nightmare, especially here in the five boroughs of New York City. Bed bugs are the ultimate hitchhikers, no place is immune from them — homes, apartments, offices, hospitals, assisted living facilities and even five-star hotels. Bed Bugs hide in furniture, mattresses, box springs, bedding, clothing, fine art, musical instruments, books, electronics, computers, photo albums, jewelry boxes, office files, recliners, vinyl records, etc. and can spread from one location to another during a move.
For those individuals, families, students on the move between residences and do not wish to take bed bugs with them, BBFS offers a safe, clean, odorless, convenient, affordable and 100% effective Vikane fumigation service solution. ALL worldly belongings can be safely fumigated with Vikane gas in ONE SINGLE OVERNIGHT service to insure that any Bed Bugs and Bed Bug Eggs are eliminated before moving into a new home or apartment!
How Containerized Fumigation Service works:
- Client hires BBFS partner moving company to organize and move their personal items and delivers truck to BBFS secure facility for overnight fumigation service.
- A certified BBFS fumigation technician will administer and seal Vikane gas fumigant at secure facility overnight fumigation service.
- Moving Company returns following morning picking up truck to move client into new home bed bug free!
- Client contacts any of the major rental companies to rent a truck/van.
- Client contacts BBFS to schedule fumigation services (date/time, type/size of truck, location of fumigation service, pricing, etc.)
- Client loads personal items to be fumigated into rental truck/van and delivers truck/van to secure BBFS facility on scheduled date of service.
- A certified BBFS fumigation technician will administer and seal Vikane gas fumigant inside truck/van at secure facility for overnight fumigation service.
- Client returns to secure BBFS facility the following morning to move to new home bed bug free!
During a move is the perfect time to use Vikane® gas fumigant as Containerized Fumigation is proven to be 100% effective in a single treatment! Pest Control Professionals and their customers have relied on Vikane® gas fumigant for over 50 years to solve the toughest pest problems – drywood termites, wood-destroying organisms, bed bugs and more!
BBFS provides a “One Year Bed Bug Free” warranty with a certified K9 inspection of the clients new home prior to move in.
Find out more about how using Vikane® gas fumigant can eliminate bed bugs during your moves, contact Bed Bug Fumigation Specialists at 877-966-4824 today.
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.