Most interesting was their “tips” section:
If you think you have bedbugs, do not move your sleeping location. You may unintentionally move the bugs and start a new infestation.
* Try to catch the insect so you can show it to pest control. That will confirm you do indeed have bedbugs.
* Do not throw away furniture or linens before consulting with a professional.
* Be prepared for multiple treatments; there should be a 48-hour and a 15-day follow-up.
* When traveling, check the bed for bugs. When you get home, vacuuming your suitcase can help safeguard against transferring a bedbug.
This is the first I’ve heard a 48-hour and a 2-week follow-up recommended.
I’d love to hear from PCOs if this is common practice, and also what the PCO might do at the 2-day follow-up.
Of course, we know it often takes more than one 2-week follow-up (or 10-14 days, to be precise), if there is still any sign of bed bugs, their leavings, or bites.
There was also an interesting discussion in the article of the difficulty of eradicating bedbugs.
Homeowners may find bedbugs hard to treat on their own unless they know exactly where to look. [Steve] Warneke [of Orkin] related the difficulty of eliminating bedbugs.
“We treated this room and treated it very well. We even pulled the headboard off the bed — we were sure we got rid of the infestation,” Warneke said. Orkin Pest Control Services checked back on the home 48 hours later and found no foul signs. But within three weeks, their customers called back, complaining of bites.
Warneke decided to dismantle the expensive headboard into four pieces. First he removed the outer cloth and the inner foam. Then he pried apart the pieces of plywood on the inside. “It was like a sandwich of plywood,” he said. “I pried the glue apart. Inside, there were bedbugs. There was no way materials or steam could have gotten to them.”
Bedbugs can go almost a year without eating. And if people leave the home for a year?
“When they come back, boy, that bedbug is hungry,” Warneke said.
Perhaps Orkin is doing the 48-hour follow-up and then 2 weeks later; I also wonder what “foul signs” they might have found after 48 hours. In any case, I am glad to hear PCOs mention to the press how stealthy bed bugs can be. Because we often hear readers say, “the PCO inspected and saw nothing and would not treat,” and later hear of bed bug sightings in the same homes.
It certainly isn’t the PCO’s fault they can’t always find bed bugs right away or on a follow-up, but it’s worth remembering this does not necessarily mean the customer has another problem besides bed bugs, or that (in the case of follow-ups that turn up no evidence) they’re suffering some kind of lingering skin problems brought on by previous bites.
My hunch is that some of us are allergic enough to bed bugs to react to even a very small infestation, and that in the bed bug’s case, some homes offer such perfect hiding places that they are able to escape detection better than in other surroundings.
But as I always say, “there’s always poo.” If you have bed bugs, there will be something. It’s a matter of knowing what to look for, and looking very carefully. (And, if you’re a customer, not cleaning away all the evidence!)
Geggel also references Sean’s helpful Bed Bug Resource.