Category Archives: Heat

3 Biggest Bed Bug Myths Debunked @ BOMA

IMG_20170526_155559Red Coat attended the BOMA show for the first time last week. It was a great event and we met lots of new people!  Everyone loved meeting Sadie as she ran the bed bug carousel.  By the end of the day she was so exhausted she just laid down on top of the bugs!

Meeting new people in a new industry brought a few new questions and stories to the forefront.  There is a great deal of mis-information about bed bugs in the world today.  Here are the 3 most common myths we discussed with attendees:

1) “I don’t have BEDS on my property, so I’m good!”

Do not let the name confuse you. They will live on any surface excluding glass or porcelain.  In more “mature” bed bug markets, OFFICE infestations are the fastest growing area for bed bug finds and treatments.  They are coming to an office chair near you!  Are you ready?

2) “I thought they were microscopic!”

Oh no! The adult bed bug is about the size of an apple seed.  The babies are quite small and very often overlooked.  But these bugs are messy and leave behind clear feces markings and shed skins.  Yes, one bug can be hard to find, but more often the infestation is very evident.

3) “I didn’t know dogs can find bed bugs?”

Yes, Bed Bug Detection Dogs are working animals trained on the odor of the insects. They are the fastest, most effective tool in identifying the location of the infestation. The best dogs can clear 200-300 chairs and desks in 2 hours.

Don’t be mistaken, bed bugs are everywhere we go now.  Know the signs and how to protect yourself when in public!

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

 

Red Coat is Hiring Treatment Technicians

Bed Bug Heat Technician

Get in early with a fast growing pest control company (bed bug specialists) hiring bed bug treatment technicians.  Our proven treatment program is chemical free and utilizes electric heat to fully remediate bed bugs. Clients include residential, hospitality & multifamily industries as well as other pest control companies. Various levels and positions available.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Deliver heat remediation bed bug treatments throughout the Greater Atlanta area utilizing state of the art heating equipment
  • Inspect residential and commercial properties for bed bug infestations
  • Estimate bed bug remediation services

Desired Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:

  • Knowledge of multifamily and residential construction, electrical and plumbing
  • Knowledge of generators, heaters and basic electrical trouble shooting
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, be professional and present him/herself well
  • High attention to detail and be reliable
  • Prior experience in apartment maintenance or hotel engineering a plus

Training Requirements:

  • No pest control experience necessary, paid training provided during probationary period
  • Must successfully pass GA Registered Technician Pest Control Exam

Job Conditions:

  • Position is full time
  • Jobs range from 8-12 hours each and occur during week days
  • Work is physically demanding, on feet all day and must be able to move 50lbs without assistance

Job Requirements:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Must successfully pass background investigation and 10 panel drug test
  • Own reliable transportation

Compensation:

  • Hourly pay rate will range from $10/hr to $20/hr commensurate with experience and abilities
  • 5 paid holiday days annually, eligible to earn 10 days paid-time-off in first 12 months
  • Medical reimbursement provided after 3 months of employment
  • IRA & Profit Sharing program in year 3 of eligible employment
  • Red Coat Services is an Equal Opportunity Employer

To Apply:

Submit resume and cover letter to employment@redcoatservices.com or fax to 1-866-821-7684.  Only complete applications will be considered.

 

Bed Bug Legal Considerations for Hospitality

Bed Bug Standard of Care and Legal Considerations for Hospitality

The experts agree, if you don’t have a proactive bed bug prevention program, you won’t have a good defense in court.  After all, in our litigious society, it is only a matter of time before a situation arises and a guest files a bed bug complaint.  To manage it well, a few key items must be in place prior to the occurrence:

  • Well trained front desk staff on how to handle the situation
  • A relationship with a pest control company, that are experts in bed bugs and their removal, to get rid of them fast and effectively

However, if a problem does escalate to a lawsuit or formal claim it is imperative that the following was established BEFORE the incident in question:

  • The hotel has a proactive program in place that includes:
    1. Regular inspections of all rooms for bed bugs
    2. Written protocol that employees are trained on, tested on and it is followed
    3. Formal training for housekeeping on what to look for, where to look for evidence, and a reporting process of rooms of concern. Documentation that training and testing has all occurred for every employee.  The same applies for all maintenance, front desk and management staff.  Training needs to occur for all current and future staff.
  • Management must be fully aware of the status of their rooms. The hotel must keep excellent pest control records outlining every inspection and treatment performed in every room.
  • The hotel defines “infested room” as 1 live bed bug or 1 live bed bug egg. Rooms with known active issues are NEVER released to sales for booking.
  • Bed bug infestations are handled swiftly – no longer than 24 hours to inspect and 1 week to treat (generally accepted, not code). All active rooms have a full 360 degree inspection of the adjacent rooms to confirm that the infestation has not spread.
  • A chronic bed bug problem in a room calls for different treatment methods, than previously employed, to fully exterminate the infestation.
  • Rooms are re-inspected following treatment to confirm eradication of bed bugs
  • Treatments are performed by a fully trained and licensed professional pest control company. There is too much documented evidence that bed bugs are not a do-it-yourself pest. In-house treatments will represent an inadequate effort to exterminate.

The plaintiff’s lawyer will focus on the following areas in a bed bug lawsuit:

  • Negligence – Lack of Compliance to the International Property Maintenance Code (Section 309)
    1. Property kept free from pests
    2. Pests promptly removed
    3. Precautions put in place to prevent future infestations (proactive inspections)
  • Consumer Protection
    1. Misrepresentation/Fraud– property not fit for habitation
    2. Non-disclosure of a known problem
  • Battery – the hotel put something into motion that caused harm to a person’s body or neglected to stop something that caused physical harm to a guest.

Georgia Law contains the following ruling established in 1961:

The innkeeper has a duty to inspect and is liable for such injuries caused by defects as would be disclosed by a reasonable inspection. Johnson v. John Deere Plow Co., 214 Ga. 645, 647 (106 SE2d 901) Hillinghorst v. Heart of Atlanta Motel, 104 Ga. App. 731, 1961 Ga. App. LEXIS 784 (Ga. Ct. App., October 4, 1961, Decided ).

  • Because a massive infestation present in a hotel room can be disclosed if there is a reasonable inspection by hotel staff, Georgia law finds hotels liable for bedbug injuries to their hotel guests. By Williams Oinonen, LLC.

Once a guest has filed a claim, many hotels try to fight them.  However, the following are defenses that don’t typically protect the hotel:

  1. Ignorance – willful ignorance is usually considered knowledge of the problem, commonly referred to as the “Ostrich” defense (head in the sand)
    1. A subset of this defense is to “wash hands of the issue” and move blame to the pest control provider who did not fix the problem – “I hired a professional, it is his responsibility. I don’t know anything about pest control.”  The counter to this is: “You don’t know anything about plumbing either but you know when a faucet is leaking.” Management must have oversight over their pest control company.
  • Blame of consumer for problem – “they brought it in” – if there is ANY evidence in the room or adjacent rooms of an infestation or any of the rooms have a history of being infested, then consumer blame will be hard to prove
    1. However detailed records of past inspections will provide the needed history and proof of due diligence for a good defense

In the end, the challenge we face in the hospitality industry is that the “Standard of Care” for a hotel will ultimately be defined by a jury.  So in any bed bug case the Jury will ask the following:

“Bed bugs are a known issue in hotels, did this hotel do everything in its power (what was reasonable) to protect the consumer or did they cut corners?  If so, was it intentional or unintended?  Did the consumer suffer needlessly?”  The answers to these questions will determine the multiplier for punitive damages.

The best defense is to be proactive and detailed in your inspections, training, documentation and follow through.  If you would like to know more on how Red Coat can assist your property or ownership company with a proactive bed bug prevention program, please contact John Marratt at 404-665-3985 or jmarratt@redcoatservices.com.

DISCLOSURE: I am NOT an attorney nor do I position myself as such.  Our knowledge of bed bug law is through formal pest control training and the guidance of other vested parties.  We share this information with you as a professional courtesy, all information should be reviewed with your own legal advisers prior to acting upon it.

 

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

 

Bed Bug Success Stories – Episode 1

Our company, Red Coat Services, has been working with a variety of multifamily clients over the years.  They come to us exasperated by a constantly expanding bed bug problem.  Through frequent visibility and vigilance we have conquered the problem.  Here are their stories….(names have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty)

CLIENT XYZ

The client owned a 175 unit high end apartment complex with college student and young professional residents.  Property Management knew of 7 units that had bed bug problems in the past and had already been treated by another company.  When those treatments were not successful, management contracted with Red Coat to perform full property quarterly canine inspections and whole unit heat remediation for active infestations.

Red Coat’s initial canine inspection identified 27 of 175 (15%) units infested which was a significant increase over the 7 known units.  Whole unit heat treatments were completed for all active units.

The second quarterly inspection identified 5 new units infested (3%). The third quarterly inspection identified 1 unit infested (1%).  The fourth quarterly inspection identified ZERO infested units.

Management promptly sold the property following resolution of bed bug problem.

I hope this gives you inspiration.  A big problem is not the end of your reputation or your property.  Red Coat can fix it for you!

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

 

Hotels Receive Free Treatments for Bed Bugs with RED COAT COVERAGE!

TheBedBugAnswer-ShieldOnlyBeginning this month Red Coat Services launches RED COAT COVERAGE for the hospitality industry!  Just think, you get a proactive inspection program, all the savings of non-pesticide heat treatments, and no more surprise expenses.  Rooms are back on-line faster so you can put heads in beds!

Here are the details…

  • Markets: Georgia and South Carolina
  • Type of Properties: Hotels
  • Program:   Purchase quarterly bed bug K9 inspections for your whole hotel for the year and Red Coat will perform any and all your bed bug treatments for Free!
  • Payments: Pay across the 12 months – so you can make bed bug costs a P&L expense rather than a non-budgeted capital expense!

If you would like a RED COAT COVERAGE quote for your hotel, contact John at 404-665-3985 x333 or jmarratt@redcoatservices.com.  Don’t wait till your guests get bit.  Get ahead with RED COAT COVERAGE!

Killing Bed Bugs with A Washer and Dryer

If you are trying to treat your home or your belongings  that are infested with bed bugs, the dryer is your new best friend.  I always recommend drying the items first to kill the bed bugs, then washing and drying them as normal to get the dead bugs off the clothes.  Here is a bit of research provided by Pest West Environmental  on the effectiveness of washing and drying.  Note: always treat your clothing at temps high enough to kill eggs

May The Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

 

Treatment Method Temperature & Duration Control Level
Washing machine(non-biological detergent)3.2kg – 7lb Cool – 30oC / 86oF – 30 minute wash Did not kill egg stages
Hot – 60oC / 140oF – 30 minute wash Killed all life stages
Tumble Dry3.2kg – 7lb Cool dry – 30 minutes Did not kill all stages
Hot dry – 30 minutes – 40/45oC / 104/113oF Killed all stages
Cold Soak3.2kg – 7lb Cold water – 30 minutes Killed adults/nymphs only
Cold soak – 24 hours Killed adults/nymphs only
Dry cleaning (perchloroethylene) Killed all life stages
Freezing2.5kg – 5.5lb 2 hours at -17oC / -62.6oF (8 hours to get clothes and items to -17oC / -62.6oF, takes total 10 hours of treatment) Killed all life stages

The 3 Biggest Bed Bug Mistakes Made by Property Managers Today!

If you work in multifamily housing bed bugs are an old subject by now.  But as we have all come to realize, there are ways to win this war and then there is the slow financial drain that seems never ending.  I frequently get the question…”how do we stop this!?!”  So without pointing fingers or naming names I will give you the top three reasons your bed bug problem is never-ending:

1. You did not hit it hard enough and fast enough at its on-set

Do you remember the first time you got that bed bug call?  You did not know what they were, maybe even your pest guy couldn’t identify them.  So he “put something down to kill them” and went about his merry way.  Then a month later, you got the second call and then the rest is history.

Bed bugs require an expert that fully understands the insect and is dedicated to extermination, not just control.  An expert will not be inexpensive, but they will get the job done correctly the first time and will take every precaution to prevent spreading.  Think of it like your car, if you invest in a reliable car, you save money in the long run on maintenance.  If you go with the cheap option on the front end, you will pay much more in the long run to fix it.

Time is your enemy with bed bugs.  They reproduce exponentially and they love to travel for a good meal.  A fertilized female can create a 700 bug and 1000+ egg colony in under 90 days.  You have to be looking for bed bugs to catch them early enough to protect your other units.  Frequent bed bug K9 inspections are essential to staying in-front of the issue.  Then once you find it, treat the unit ASAP.

2. You are letting your pest control provider spread the insects with pesticide

EVERY pest control provider knows that bed bugs run from pesticides.  It is not a disputed fact anymore, it is common knowledge (that is why they recommend treating surrounding units that are not infested).  This is especially important in multifamily when every unit adjoins with others on either side or above and below.  If you want to stop the spreading find a provider that treats with heat and ONLY heat.

3. You are assuming your residents will comply with their part of the bargain.

Every resident must have a vested interest in the success of their bed bug treatment.  It is critical that they understand that an active infestation in their unit will cause others to suffer.  We always recommend the following:

  1. Have the resident physically SIGN OFF stating that they have received their treatment preparation sheet, they understand what to do, and that they agree to do it by the stated treatment date. Have financial penalties for non-compliance.
  2. Always include a bed bug addendum in your lease outlining penalties for lack of notification or self-treatment of bed bugs.

So what to do now?  You may be thinking…”I do some of these, but not all”.  Then get on it!  Hit it hard and fast with an expert who won’t spread bed bugs with pesticide and institute methods with your residents to ensure the success of the treatments.  It will cost you more up front, but not in the long run.  Think about it this way: If you won’t spend the funds to do it right the first time, what makes you think you will want to spend them for the second and a third time, and a fourth, (you get the picture).

 

May the Heat be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

$800K Bed Bug Suit!

Attention all Managers, Landlords, and Property Owners!

If you haven’t read this article already, you need to. The jury really nailed this guy and likely set a precedent for other cases similar in nature. The situation could EASILY have been avoided had he just called a bed bug specialist to begin with. At the very least, he would have saved a ton of money and a massive headache! Not to mention the fact that he could have very easily burned the entire place down performing his own “home heat treatment.”

One of the things we at Red Coat Services constantly harp on with those who manage/own properties is liability! It is critical to educate yourself as well as your staff on bed bug biology so you at least know what you’re dealing with. Additionally, work with your local bed bug specialist to get a plan in place, so when a problem does arise (and it will eventually), they can take care of it as soon as possible. Because as we all know, the longer an infestation sits, the worse it gets and the chance of spreading grows astronomically.

However, the responsibility doesn’t sit on the shoulders of managers/owners alone. It is also crucial for tenants to learn about these vicious little blood suckers and how to look for signs of an infestation. If there is any indication whatsoever, call your local bed bug specialist K9 team to come out and take a look so they may determine the severity and extent of an infestation, or just simply give you peace of mind.

Don’t let the bed bugs bite!

Alana, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

Bed Bug Killers are Hiring

Red Coat Services has just released that they are hiring part-time technicians for the season!  Bed bugs are back!  If you can get excited about killing bed bugs give them a ring!

Here is their posting on Monster:

Maintenance Technician

Fast growing company looking for RELIABLE technicians to assist with bed bug heat remediation jobs.  Immediate openings available! Work is “by the job” and successful candidates will be considered for a full-time position. Hours are weekdays, jobs are 9-15 hours each and physically demanding.

The qualified candidate for this opportunity will

* Be clean cut, dress well, and represent our business professionally

* Have a working knowledge of building construction, generators, electrical systems, and basic trouble shooting

* Have high attention to detail, be a good problem solver and a good communicator

* High School Diploma / GED

* Have transportation to and from job site

* Must have a clean MVR and willing to undergo a comprehensive background check

* Must sign a confidentiality statement and non-compete

* Must pass 10 panel drug test in first week of work

Previous hotel and apartment maintenance experience a plus.

Please email your experience & contact information to employment@redcoatservices.com

More information on the company may be found at http://www.redcoatservices.com

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

Bed Bug Extermination and Roaches

Roaches following a bed bug heatYou’ve heard the old joke, “What are the only things that could survive a nuclear bomb?”
The answer, “Cockroaches and a fruitcake. And the cockroaches would starve.”

All jokes aside though, would cockroaches really survive a nuclear bomb?
Scientists have found that cockroaches are remarkably resistant to radiation. It takes 125 times the deadly rate for humans before you’ll see them on their backs. But what about the 10,000 degree heat from the blast?

At 120 degrees, all stages of Bed Bugs die immediately, but I have personally seen roaches crawling over their dead cousins to get across the kitchen floor in the middle of a heat. Studies on the German cockroach, the most resistant of all, show that they can survive for up to 30 minutes in constant 120 degree heat. Considering how fast they are, which anyone who has tried to kill them can tell you, 30 minutes is plenty of time for them to get a safe distance from the heat.

The picture shows a whole family of Brown-banded and German cockroaches hiding out under the kitchen countertop after spending 4 HOURS in the heat. Obviously, they found a good place to hide. It’s a good thing bed bugs aren’t so resistant or we’d all be in serious trouble!

In conclusion, all insects have a thermal death point, but their behavior during the heat treatment process varies. The sad fact is, cockroaches are simply too fast, too resistant and too smart for the heat remediation process to be used as an effective killing tool against them.

Alana, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist