Each year bed bugs affect millions of people in the U.S. Especially affected are Multi-family/multi-individual dwellings (“MODs”), including:
Hotels, Motels, Hostels, Boarding Houses
Shelters, Public Housing
Section 8 housing
Multi-family housing arrangements offer multiple opportunities for people to bring in new infestations. This poses an increased burden on residents, apartment and hotel owners and managers, and local, regional and national public health organizations.
Some important bed bug facts:
Bed bugs feed on human blood. You and your families are the targets. These insects are VERY efficient and effective at finding their next meal.
Bed bugs go through a number of stages from egg to adult (called “instars”) and they must have a blood meal between each stage.
Adult bed bugs can go for prolonged periods of time between blood meals.
Adult females can lay up to five to seven eggs per day and two hundred over their lifetime.
Bed bugs are very difficult to remove once they find a new home and infestations can grow quickly. Professional pest control companies often schedule several treatment visits to eradicate an infestation and use multipronged treatment programs to get full control. Low-priced treatments are likely to get low quality results.
NO ONE PRODUCT IS LIKELY TO STOP AN INFESTATION. Beware of the one-step solutions offered by some online companies.
There is no economic or social preference for bed bugs – they indiscriminately affect people around the country.
People and their luggage are a main mode of transport (or ‘vector’) for bed bugs. Multi-occupant dwellings and transient facilities including hotels, universities/colleges, nursing and assisted living facilities, and shelters are more likely to suffer from new infestations.
Although some states put the responsibility of treatment on the owners of these facilities, facility occupants should be aware that they can play a significant role in keeping bed bugs from their lives.
Some powerful tips include:
Regularly check your sleeping area, including mattress, box spring, headboard, bed frame and side tables for evidence of bed bugs, which includes: visible sight of the apple seed-sized reddish brown, flat oval bed bugs; blood staining typically found on sheets and bedding; sticky white eggs; fecal droppings or skin (casts) remnants; or, indications of bites.
Keep your room free of clutter. Bed bugs seek harborage in nooks and crannies – especially near the bed.
Keep alert for problems in neighboring rooms. Bed bugs will travel and those that escape a bed bug treatment in one room will frequently migrate to adjoining rooms.
Use an active mattress liner like ActiveGuard® to protect your mattress and box spring. Active mattress liners are the most effective type of mattress covers because they generally kill bed bugs within 72 hours; provide control of bed bugs for up to 2 years; and, can prevent newly introduced bed bugs from transitioning into a full blow infestation.
Do not acquire used mattresses and furniture from curbs and yard sales. This is one of the easiest ways of introducing bed bugs to your living area.
When traveling, inspect your living area when you arrive and keep your clothing in your suitcase. Remember, if a credit card can slip through a crack, so can a bed bug! Don't forget before leaving, check your suitcase and clothes once again for any bedbugs and/or eggs.
If you detect bed bugs avoid contact with the infested site and call your landlord, front desk staff or pest management professional immediately. It is important to address the situation as quickly as possible.
Carefully remove bedding, clothing and any other personal items and place these directly into a secure plastic bag. These items should be dried at the hottest possible setting for thirty minutes to kill any bed bugs or eggs.
Any items that will not tolerate heating should be bagged and carefully inspected frequently for any bed bug activity.
Although there are sprays and powders available that claim to kill bed bugs, be wary of fraudulent claims. Your best course of action to remediate the situation is to work with a reputable pest management professional with experience with bed bug control strategies. A variety of technologies are available including bed bug sniffing dogs proven to be highly effective at detection of low levels of bed bugs.
If your furniture is determined too infested to treat effectively, make certain that these items are securely bagged and visibly labeled before discarding.
While encasements are often recommended in bed bug treatment programs, their role is simply to: provide a barrier between mattress and/or box spring and the guest; make bed bug detection simpler for the pest management professional; and, preserve the capital expense of the bedding. While encasements may starve bed bugs to death, they must remain intact for periods approaching one year given their high incidence of ripping. As this is highly unlikely, encasements or any other bedding cover should not be placed over a mattress or box spring knowingly infested with bed bugs. Therefore, encasements should be used after the bedding is cleared of all bed bugs. Active mattress liners, like ActiveGuard®, kill bed bugs 24/7 continuously for two years and is the only product labeled to outlast the life-cycle of the bed bug; prevent and control infestations before they establish; and, continue to work for two years. These liners are intended to be used as the last step in an active infestation treatment program and placed on a mattress or box spring to kill any missed bed bugs, nymphs or eggs. In addition, ActiveGuard® may be used as an integral part of a pro-active preventative Integrated Pest Management Program.