Monthly Archives: February 2013

Check your apartment for bed bugs before you rent!

Speaker on upper wall with bed bugs

Speaker on upper wall

Even after working with bed bugs daily I am still surprised by their resiliency and the havoc bed bugs can inflict on unsuspecting people.  I sing it from the roof tops – be vigilant in your travels and your daily life – because bed bugs are coming to your world one way or the other.  Wouldn’t you rather have a great story of how you found them before they infested your life, rather than the story of how it took you time and money to get them out of your life?  Knowledge and vigilance pays with these insects.

The enclosed pictures are a great example of bed bugs ready for a new host.  This apartment was as the management companies call “ready to rent”.  It had been cleaned, painted and approved for a new renter.  We were asked to do a walk through before they released it.  The first photo show a window screen on the floor next to my ladder.  Nothing monumental here, I just wanted to give perspective for the next photo.  But notice the small little speaker on the upper part of the wall.

The second photo is a close up of the speaker.  I will challenge you to look at the speaker and tell me how many insects you can see.  You may need to zoom in to see the entirety of the population.  The mama is obvious, she is on the surface and is likely the only one that would have been seen by the untrained eye standing in the room.  Daddy is dead center inside the speaker.  The rest of the family – 16 insects in all are all over the speaker in nooks and crannies.  Check out the two bed bugs hiding in the screw hole!  Now that is creepy and all, but the kicker is the 21 eggs that are visible in the photo.  They are the white/clear iridescent tubes that are stuck inside the nooks.

Bed Bugs in Speaker

Bed Bugs in Speaker

All of these bed bugs were just waiting for their next meal to walk in the door.  Luckily for the new renter and the management company we were able to treat this apartment in one day and have it truly “ready to rent” now.

Take care when renting.  If you have the opportunity, have a certified bed bug detection dog check your apartment before you move in.  It is the best advice I can give.

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

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Why Are Bed Bugs in Our Libraries?

Bed bug eggs in book spine

Bed bug eggs in book spine

Growing up in a very rural town in upstate New York, one of the things I looked forward to the most were my almost weekly trips to the public library to pick up one or two new books, usually on animal training. Needless to say our family pets learned some nifty tricks along the way and even as I wrote this article, it made me laugh to think where my animal fascination has led me today.

It isn’t news to most of us by now that bed bugs have been showing up in our public and school libraries. It really is no surprise considering where most people choose to read, myself included, in bed or a nice cozy chair! This gives the little buggers the perfect opportunity to not only feed while you are sitting still but also to crawl off into their favorite hiding places.

But does this mean we need to steer clear? Of course not! Bed bug infestations are usually a matter of bad luck but there are plenty of things we can do to prevent the spread. More and more libraries are taking initiative by training their employees about bed bugs and taking steps to both prevent and treat for them when necessary. Next time you go, you can call ahead and ask them about their policy, then once there, put on your inspectors cap and take a peek at the spine (especially with hard covers) and between the pages of the books you plan to borrow for feces spots, skins and of course bugs. If there’s any question, bring it to the staff’s attention.

Alana, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

Fumigant sterilizers for bed bug control?

steridryWay back when I still made some use of my cosmetology license I remember hearing one of the girls recommend the use of a dry fumigant sterilizer to help her client treat the house for head lice. Recently, this idea has popped up again. While this product is normally used in the drawers and cabinets of salons as a means to kill the fungi and bacteria on their implements, many salons have stopped using them because their employees were getting sick from the fumes of the high levels of the well-known chemical, formaldehyde.

Now, there is plenty of great information available on the uses and dangers of formaldehyde as well as the many ways to treat for head lice so I won’t go into all that.

While this alternate use may or may not work and I can certainly imagine people eventually trying to use this product for bed bug treatment, my opinion on this is the same as that of many chemicals used for bed bugs: read the label, and do your research because with what we know and continue to learn about chemicals, overexposure to them is not the answer and may lead to health risks.  Ashley did a blog a while back that discussed foggers and thier results.

Alana, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

Our new bed bug specialist joins the bed bug control blog!

A quick introduction for our new blogging contributor.  Her name is Alana, and she is also a bed bug specialist! Alana works with my bed bug K9 Sade and is one of the members of our Red Coat team.  I look forward to her posts!

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

Bed Bug Sterilization – What does that mean?

Usually when people are asking for Bed Bug Sterilization they are referring to extermination.  Red Coat Services will exterminate your bed bugs quickly and effectively with full room heat.  RCS will also sterilize your home at the same time.

What many do not realize is that while bed bugs are not vectors of disease (per the CDC) they are indeed carriers of disease.  Which means that even though the pathogen is inside the bug, the bug cannot transmit it to you.  In general, we can assume that any blood borne pathogen that is carried by human blood exists inside the bed bug and often times their feces for an unknown period of time.  Some homeowners are concerned that there might be some kind of residual long-term concern with dead bed bugs and dried blood drops (feces) in their home.  This is understandable.  However, if you are utilizing full room heat remediation to exterminate your bed bug problem you are also sterilizing your home from those lasting pathogens.  You cannot say the same for chemical treatments.

So in summary, sterilization can be achieved by heat remediation/extermination.

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

Financing for Bed Bug Heat is HERE!

I am thrilled to announce that beginning in 2013 Red Coat Services is the first Bed Bug Control & Extermination company in Georgia to offer Financing for Bed Bug Extermination!

This is a critical aspect to our business of helping families.  It takes a long time and a tremendous effort to ensure the treatment is effective.  Man power and equipment make the cost of the treatment expensive.  99% is not enough, it must be 100% every time.This new program will allow individuals to pay for their treatment over 6 months without interest if it is paid in full in the first 6 months.  (I wont lie, it is subject to credit approval, but what isn’t today?) 

If you have been living with these insects because you don’t think you can afford a professional treatment, this is the moment you have been waiting for!  Give us a call and we will assist you through this.  Just think, you could be bed bug free very, very soon!

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

Bed Bugs on the Ceiling?

Bed Bugs on Ceiling

Bed Bugs on Ceiling

When inspecting a residence, rental or owned, and I find bed bugs on the ceiling or in the ceiling groves (the crack where the ceiling meets the wall) I can immediately assume the individual has been self treating with a bug bomb or over-the-counter pesticide.  What they may or may not realize is that they have forced the insects in to harder to reach places and made their problem worse.My next assumption is that the insects are now living in all the areas that people choose not to treat because they don’t want pesticide there.  This would include their clothes – both hanging and folded, electronics like computers, clocks, tv’s, as well as the ventilation system of their home.  I have personally seen a full harborage living vertically on a dress hung in a womans closet.  This means she was likely wearing the insects in her clothes and unknowingly transferring them to friends and family.  Most electronics in our lives are placed close to the bed on a frequent basis.  They are warm inside and offer a protective cover for the bed bugs.   If bed bugs get into a ventilation system then they can move between rooms all while hiding behind grates. These insects will live just about anywhere except on glass or porcelain.

Bed Bugs behind Window Blinds

Bed Bugs behind Window Blinds

Unfortunately for the person in this situation 100% extermination of the bed bug in their home is close to impossible without a full heat treatment or merely walking away from everything they own.  My recommendation is to make heat your first and only go-to for bed bug extermination.  It will not push bed bugs throughout your home and it will resolve the problem in one day.

May the heat be with you!

Ashley, Bed Bug Control Specialist