Bed bugs: what’s really working in bed bug treatment?

by nobugsonme on May 15, 2008 · 4 comments

in bed bug treatment, bed bugs, best practices

This article for bed bug pros from Pest Management Professional gives you some idea of what pros might consider the bed bug treatment best practices.

Author Paul Bello interviewed PCOs in various cities about their current bed bug treatment tactics, including Austin Frishman of AMF Pest Management Services in Boca Raton, Fla., who did many bed bug jobs forty or so years ago, and said of those times, “When I was a technician, we used cyanide egg gas pellets.” Do not try this at home, please.

“Bed bugs are not a simple problem to get rid of,” stresses Frishman. “They require knowledge and a willingness to work hard. As an industry, we are needed more now than ever.”

Ain’t that the truth.

The article offers these recommendations to professionals dealing with Sneaky Simes:

Bed Bug Management: Steps to Success

* Properly train your service technicians.
* Provide customers with written pre-treatment preparation instructions.
* Provide customers with a clearly written description of the scope of your services and reasonable expectations.
* Ensure your service agreement states what you intended.
* Provide your customers with viable prevention recommendations.
* Be thorough.
* Use all viable control means available.
* Use non-traditional control techniques, combined with insecticide treatments.
* Use suitable vacuums.
* Use suitable steamers.
* Use the best-available products at the appropriate label rates.
* Use mattress encasements.
* Follow up in a timely and adequate fashion.
* Consider getting additional help for problem bed bug accounts.

Part 2 is said to be “coming in April” but doesn’t seem to be available online yet.

Thanks to hopelessnomo for the tip!

1 parakeets May 16, 2008 at 7:41 pm

Thanks for posting this. Very interesting. I would add to the list that if treating a multi-unit building, it is important for the PCO to stress to the person hiring him (landlord or management company, for example) the need for building-wide disclosure and education.

The common practice when a unit in a multi-unit is being treated for bedbugs is to treat adjacent units but don’t even disclose to them (let alone the rest of the building) that the problem is bedbugs. I know this. I’m in such a building.

As far as I know, only San Francisco has laws about disclosure. If it isn’t something landlords have to do, they might not, so it is imperative that the PCO teaches this. Of course if a landlord doesn’t want to tell other tenants (they might move out or freak out), then he might not want to hire a PCO firm that wants him to do that.

2 Gypsy May 22, 2008 at 6:25 pm

Alberta has laws too. I phoned my PCO today to retrieve information my manager neglected to leave for me (how bad the infestation was, what to do for second round of treatment).

They said by law, they are not allowed to reveal information. Then they said to contact my manager, who originally told me to call the PCO in the first place. No one seems to want to take responsibility. Given the one suite that is next to me is under construction, I doubt the other suites next to me have been properly prepared for treatment.

3 hopelessnomo July 6, 2008 at 5:49 pm

Part 2 of this article series is now available online and it’s quite the read.

4 OnceBitten July 7, 2008 at 6:07 pm

As the President of an HOA in Northern VA, I can tell you that we found bed bugs in 16 of our 25 buildings (so far). In one, all but 2 condos needed to be treated. Once bed bugs establish themselves, they travel quickly through the walls. We (I) printed out and sent alerts to EVERYONE in the Association. Education is POWER. Our manager got lots of calls from people who had been living with bed bugs for months, unwilling to admit they had a problem! Once they heard that someone else had a problem, they were very free with the info. People were coming into the office and showing their bites — the staff was pretty freaked out by it. We did not experience an exodus of tenants and homeowners. I think they appreciated our aggressive stance on the problem. We treated the entire building — whether or not the unit showed infestation. The homeowners paid the $200 (a bargain price in our area) for treatment that involved 3 visits. So I encourage you — even if the management can’t post notices — YOU can!!! That’s what I did. Management said they’d have to look into the legality of posting a notice. I had notices of my own up the very next day. Management can make that call when they SLEEP with the bed bugs.

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