Tag Archives: bed bug

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!

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

What a Year!

I really had no idea how long ago I last posted here.  Our followers must of thought we disappeared!  Quite the opposite, we have been sooo busy!

Our company has experienced significant growth over the last two years.  We started from scratch in 2010 and have built an organization that supports 6 families (through employment) and helps thousands of people annually with their bed bug problems.

Now, I have more people to support the effort so hopefully more time to write.

May the Heat Be With You!

Ashley, Atlanta Bed Bug Control Specialist

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

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