Early detection and prompt, effective action is critical to prevent bed bugs from becoming established in homes and apartments. Once established, bed bugs are among the most difficult and expensive pests to control. Success demands aggressive action and perseverance in tracking down and eliminating every last bug. This document provides guidelines to help you recognize and deal with bed bug outbreaks and to minimize future bed bug problems
WHAT TO AVOID
- Do not “blame” or stigmatize those whom you suspect have brought in bed bugs.
- Do not try for control “on the cheap”. Successful control of bed bugs may require multiple visits by a professional pest management company, often employing a variety of control techniques. In apartments this may include inspections of, and sometimes service in, units adjacent to the infested one.
- Do not throw out beds, furniture, or personal possessions in order to get rid of bed bugs. Such measures can be costly and may not help control the problem.
- Do not simply move to solve bed bug problems.
- Do not try to control bed bugs without an experienced professional.
- In apartment buildings, do not ignore apartments adjacent to those with a bed bug problem.
- Apartment managers should not rent previously infested apartments until they are sure that the bed bugs have been eliminated and all evidence of bed bugs has been removed.
HOW TO BE PROACTIVE
- Apartment managers should develop a written “bed bug action plan” in advance of problems being identified. A plan should include specific procedures and responsibilities for responding to a bed bug incident, including:
- Responding to complaints.
- Coordinating response with a pest management professional.
- Getting residents to prepare properly for service, reducing the risk of bed bug spread to other areas, and cooperating with the pest management professional.
- Managing relocation requests.
- Make sure bed bug control service is provided by a qualified professional experienced with bed bugs.
- Educate yourself (or in apartments, critical staff) about:
- How to recognize bed bugs, and signs of infestations.
- How bed bugs are introduced and spread.
- The role of clutter and crowding in bed bug infestations.
- Cooperation and preparation for pest control.
- The need for thorough record keeping related to bed bugs.
- If bed bug problems are wide spread at a property, consider the following actions:
- A community-wide education program on bed bugs.
- Ongoing inspection and monitoring of common areas.
- Using a qualified canine scent detection team to check suspect building – in apartments this may require checking all units.
- Apartment managers should be prepared to communicate in a transparent fashion with current or prospective tenants about on-going or past bed bug problems
WHAT TO DO IF BED BUGS ARE SUSPECTED
- The areas should be checked promptly and a specimen collected , if possible, for identification by a pest management professional.
- Apartment managers should respond sympathetically to people reporting bed bug problems.
- Promptly contact a pest management professional experienced in bed bug control to confirm that bed bugs are present.
- In apartments, the inspection should include the unit in question, as well as units adjacent (with common walls), above and below, and directly across the hall.
- Schedule follow up inspections. Service properties as needed until there are no more bed bugs.
- Continue with follow-up inspections. In apartment buildings, follow-up inspections should continue on all infested and adjacent to infested units until the primary infestation is eliminated.
- Successful control usually requires multiple service visits
- Be sure to document all complaints, inspections, actions taken, follow-ups, etc.
HOW TO PREVENT BED BUGS
- Help prevent bed bugs by:
- Not using mattresses, beds, or other furniture that has been discarded, and by carefully inspecting used or reconditioned furniture.
- Reducing clutter, which provides hiding places for bed bugs making treatment difficult or impossible.
- Vacuuming and laundering bed linens and clothing on a regular schedule.
- Isolating beds by installing encasements on mattresses and box springs, pulling beds away from walls, and raising bed skirts so they do not touch the floor.
- Apartment Management can help prevent bed bugs by:
- Training all residents on bed bugs including what they look like, what their bites look like, importance of prompt reports to management if bed bugs are suspected, and ways to minimize the likelihood of bringing bed bugs into the building.
- Reducing bed bug hiding places by sealing cracks along baseboards and mouldings, around pipe chases, in floors, etc., and by removing or re-gluing peeling wallpaper, removing peeling paint, and fixing damage.
- Bagging and discarding belongings left behind by vacating tenants.
- Destroying or damaging infested beds and furniture that residents are discarding so that they cannot be reused by another resident.
- Scheduling regular inspections of apartments to detect bed bug infestations.
CONTACT PROPCO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT…
- How to prepare for the treatment/extermination of bed bugs
- How to handle the sanitization of clothing and bedding
- The nature of bed bug treatment
- The differences between non-chemical, chemical, and integrated methods
Bed Bug Monitors
We use the following bed bug monitors:
- Clear View Bed Bug Monitor
- BB ALERT® ACTIVE
- BB ALERT® PASSIVE
- Night Watch from BioSensory
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