Bed Bug Epidemic Survey

NPMA Bed Bug

NPMA Bed Bug

Forget the Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List, it only tells you where a certain, specific pest control company is doing the most bed bug treatments and since any bed bug’s favorite hangout is at the buffet (ie. any place where humans spend a significant amount of time) it should come as no surprise that cities with high population and travel rates would also have more issues with bed bugs.

If you really want to learn about this epidemic, check out this survey from NPMA (National Pest Management Association).

Alana, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

Scent Detection Dogs vs Service Dogs

“Is he/she your service dog?” This is a question I hear surprisingly often while I’m out on a property working with Bed Bug Detection Canine, Sade. While I’m out working with Sade, at home, a rescued golden/labrador retriever mix named Dusty, is well on her way to becoming a Certified Service dog. With experience in both sides, I can personally speak to some of the similarities and differences between the two.

Service Dogs are a type of assistance dog specifically trained to help people with physical disabilities including visual or hearing impairment, mental disabilities such as PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), and medical alert for those suffering with diabetes, seizures, narcolepsy and even cancer.

Detection Dogs, or sniffer dogs, are trained to detect substances such as drugs, firearms, mold, currency and of course, bed bugs! Some prisons even have dogs trained to detect illicit cell phones in prisons.

Obviously, the main differences lay in their specific functions, what they’re looking for, actions they must perform and behavior (service dogs must be laid back and calm while you want to see a strong working drive in detection dogs), but little else differs.

Either dog can be bred for their specific purpose by organizations, private breeders or even selected from shelters and rescues. The training it takes to get them there is quite similar, taking six to twelve months either way for a completely certified working dog but the end result is the same, helping humans. Is it really any wonder they’re considered man’s best friend?

Alana, 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 Bugs on the Simpsons

Last weeks episode of the Simpsons brings bed bugs back, only to be toppled by a frog plague.  Enjoy!

The Broken Couch

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

Chicago’s Bed Bug Regulations Closer to Approval

Illinois getting closer to strict bed bug regulation for land lords.  This multiple iteration proposal keeps getting shut down, but it is only a matter of time.  Florida has already declared bed bugs a nuisance pest and requires action by the landlord.  Here is the article from the Chicago Tribune and their summary of the regulations:

“The proposal would declare bedbugs a public nuisance and require landlords of multi-unit buildings to hire licensed professionals to eradicate bedbugs in units where they are found. Landlords also must inspect neighboring units and, if bedbugs are found in those, provide additional extermination services.

The proposal also would bar landlords from renting units with active bedbug infestations. Failure to comply with provisions of the measure could result in fines of up to $500 a day for a first violation, $1,000 for a second and $2,000 for a third or subsequent violation.

To address concerns expressed by renters’ advocates, the proposed ordinance bars landlords from ending a lease, increasing rent, decreasing services or suing a tenant because a renter has reported a bedbug infestation. If landlords take such retaliatory action, they would have to pay the renter two months rent, other damages and legal fees.

Tenants, in turn, are required to report bedbug infestations within five days of discovering it and must cooperate with the landlord in efforts to eradicate the pests. But it was unclear what penalties they would face, other than being subject to a lengthy eviction process that could allow infestations to fester and grow.”

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

Bed Bug Mattress Covers for Hospitality – The True Cover Up

In theory, mattress covers sound like a good idea if you own or run a hotel.  But in practice, and without the marketing hype, the story is a bit different.
  1. The functional purpose of a mattress and box spring encasement is to keep bed bugs away from the person sleeping in the bed. The encasements for each are unique and should not be switched.
  2. If the room was previously infested it will cover up old unsightly stains (for the guest) and provide a “clean slate” for future pest control inspections.
  3. You can use them to protect your bedding investment before or after an infestation.  There is one called “protect a bed” – note, this does not mean “protect a guest”.

However:bed bug

  1. They can be a huge investment if you have lots and lots of beds.  Prices range from $20.00 for a vinyl box spring cover to $150 for really nice, fully lined mattress covers.  Inexpensive ones are not durable and once ripped they must be replaced.
  2. They do not and will not stop a bed bug infestation!  Bed bugs are brought in by your guest and can live anywhere in a room, not just the mattress.
  3. Savvy guests tend to suspect that a mattress cover means the room has been treated for bed bugs at some point in time.  It is a red flag.

I rarely recommend these products to hotel clients but there are situations that warrant them.   If you would like to explore the options for your establishment we are happy to help guide you in your purchase.

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

Avoid Bed Bug Hitchhikers this Spring

Adult Bed Bug

Adult Bed Bug

Spring is here and summer is soon to follow, bringing warmer weather and an increase in travel, of course resulting in a steady rise of bed bug incidents. While bed bugs remain active throughout the year, they do prefer warmer temperatures (around 78-80 degrees is preferable) and thusly become more active, meaning higher reproduction rates and shorter growth periods. This results in more bugs in a shorter period of time!When traveling on our spring and summer breaks, how can we possibly protect ourselves from bringing the little vampires home with us? Precautions can start before you make your hotel reservation. You can check travel websites to see what travelers have to say about the hotel, but even when you are satisfied that you have found a bed bug free hotel, there is no guarantee that this is actually the case. It is only a matter of time, so even hotels with shining recommendations will get them eventually.

We must keep in mind that the hotel wants to have bed bugs about as much as you do, so for everyone’s sake, we must educate ourselves, our family and our friends about the bed bug, signs, symptoms, and prevention techniques.

Once you (or your family) return home, check your suitcase outside if possible, or in the bathroom. Catch any bugs you see with a piece of tape then treat your items in the dryer on hot for a full cycle before washing and drying them again and call your local bed bug specialist. For larger items that cannot fit into the dryer, such as your suitcase, you can rent a steamer.

Safe travels and 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

Scientist tell us again that pesticides are not effective on bed bugs

Scientific Reports recently (3/14/13) published a new study on how bed bugs resist pesticides.  It is true scientific work, so it is not an easy read for those that want the bullets.  Here is what I can tell you…

  1. The study revealed that resistance-associated genes in the bed bug contribute to the slowing down of a toxin from reaching its target sites
  2. Most of this process occurs in the outer covering of the insect
  3. This process is unique to bed bugs
  4. Baits laced with insecticide are ineffective in bed bugs
  5. Contact to insecticides is the primary option of  exposure and the above facts tell us that it is ineffective

Therefore, the scientist have told us, once again, that pesticides are not effective against bed bugs.

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

Worth the Watch: Bed Bug Basics – 10 Tips to Protect Yourself

I have to say that Pest World has done a great job at this informative  video on how to protect yourself from bedbugs.  Funny and gives great information.

May the Heat be with You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist