Tag Archives: bed bug heat

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

 

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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

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

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

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