Tag Archives: bed bug feces

Dangerous Bed Bug Sprays

By now most of us know about the negative effects of ingesting or absorbing chemicals through our skin and the havoc it can wreck on the ecosystem. But did anyone see this coming? The residents sure didn’t.  She used a lighter after spraying the house with bed bug spray and it caught fire!

Just one more reason to call an expert at the first sign of an infestation!

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are bed bug droppings?

Bed bugs eat mammal blood, bed bugs digest blood, bed bugs poop blood.  The black spots that are associated with bed bugs are literally their feces, which is blood.

Now to get into the details…

Their feces leaves their body as a liquid, it drops on to the surface that they are standing on and it then permeates that surface.  If the surface is a mattress then the mark will often create a spot or a  star shape in the fabric.  The liquid is moving along the threads creating the star.  On a hard surface it will adhere and create a slight raised surface once dry.  These black specks are not granular and loose. (Granular and loose is more likely flea dirt, yes also blood.)

If you suspect bed bug feces a few important steps should occur next.

  1. Take a wet paper towel and drag it across the spot.  If it is old blood it will create a bloody mark on the surface or the towel.
  2. Look around for live bed bugs, if they are living in a space long enough to poop there, it is highly likely you will find them close by.  In order to poop they must have fed recently.
  3. Catch one with a piece of clear tape and then fold over the tape over the bug.  This will create a nice coffin for the bug and will give you the ability to photograph it, show it to your pest professional, and then deal with the problem appropriately.

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist