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A Poll for the Pest Control Specialists on the Site

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  1. BugParanoid

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Jun 4 2009 14:38:35
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    I thought a poll of some people in the bedbug pest control community on their personal experiences with bbs might come in handy to posters. Other Posters feel free to add to poll questions as we go along....

    Here we go....

    1. What percentage of homes/apts in major cities do you think are infested? (feel free to note city you work in for reference)
    2. What percentage of hotels in major cities do you think have infestations?(feel free to note city you work in for reference)
    3. In your experience, what was the average length of time a client had bbs before realizing and seeking treatment?
    4. What is the most common sign or symptom that leads people to contact you thinking they have bb?
    5. In what percentageof inspection cases (which did have bbs):
    a) Did you not find any live bugs?
    b) Did you not find any live bugs or cast skins?
    c) That you did not even find fecal matter or blood?
    6. What percentage of the time have you inspected a home and been wrong? (say within a few weeks discover they do indeed have bugs and need treatment?) And what is your detection/inspection method entail? This question is not to insult but more to guage how accurately a low level infestation could be detected.
    5. Have you ever gone through the entire treatment of a home without finding a live bug? What about not finding cast skins?
    6. In your opinion what is the best treatment method? (Heat, vikane, other pesticides?)

    That's all I could think of for now, feel free to add to them. I look forward to the response from the pest control experts!

  2. EffeCi

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Thu Jun 4 2009 17:39:48
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    Let's go...

    1 - between 10 and 15% (I'm from Milano, Italy)
    2 - between 10 and 15%
    3 - 3 months
    4 - bites and live specimens
    5 - a) 0 b) 0 c) 0
    6 - thank's God, it never happened. I make inspections simply using a little maglite, a inspecting tool (modified cutter) and my (super)trained eyes... the trick in detecting bedbugs is "thinking" like a BB...

    Hey... there are two 5 and two 6 in your poll...

    well...
    2nd 5 - No, I'm not so crazy
    2nd 6 - It depends on circumstances

    Bye
    Franco

  3. persona-non-bugga

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Jun 5 2009 9:32:16
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    wow. This is a pretty cool survey. Hope other pros participate.

  4. ActionK9

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Jun 5 2009 11:10:30
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    wish i could SEE the poll, this site is beginning to really irritate me. Has such amazing potential but acts different on each PC i use.

  5. ActionK9

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Jun 5 2009 15:28:14
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    1: NYC 5-7%
    2: NYC 10-12% infested (more than 5 cases at once) 60% at least 1 case.
    3: 1-2 Months may have been more a few years back, but the the public is slowly getting informed.
    4: physical evidence (casings, fecal matter, live or dead bugs)
    5: 0% across the board.. if an infestation is present, there will be signs.
    6: Sort of a trick question, in a hotel or multi-unit, a clean sweep one day could mean little the next because of the influx in guests. I use K-9's and this increases accuracy to well above 90%. I believe the human accuracy is around 30%

  6. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Jun 5 2009 15:55:10
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    ActionK9 - 4 hours ago  » 
    wish i could SEE the poll, this site is beginning to really irritate me.

    Action K9 if you have issues with SEEING posts, it is a browser issue. Please email me at nobugs [at] bedbugger [dot] com and we can discuss solutions. Everyone is not seeing what you are seeing. If you can download Firefox and use it, please do so. Lots of sites do not look right on old versions of IE6, old AOL, etc.

    I started and run the site but am "not an expert."
  7. DougSummersMS

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Jun 5 2009 15:55:16
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    Action K9

    Drop an email to NoBugs if you are having tech issues viewing the page.

    I use Firefox & haven't been having any problems... but I see others with IE seem to be having periodic issues.

  8. Nobugsonme

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Jun 5 2009 16:01:50
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    It seems to be old versions of IE (5 and 6) and old versions of AOL.

  9. BugParanoid

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Jun 5 2009 20:37:59
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    Persona - Thanks for the compliment I hope more of the PCOs on the site post too. I am interested at what they have to say.

    K9 Action - In your opinion Why do you say human detection is 30% - Is it because a lot of PCOs don't do a thorough inspection or because even with a thorough human inspection by a good PCO can miss them?

  10. BugParanoid

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Fri Jun 5 2009 20:42:31
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    Oh, I thought of one more question to add - i think it's #9 (I know i messed up the numbers before - feel free to call the 2nd 5 and 6 - 7&8). Anyways....

    Question 9: What percentage of the time do you get called to do an inspection and it turns out a false alarm and they do not have bb? And if it wasn't bb, did you find any other culprit on the premises?

  11. BBcoukHome

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jun 8 2009 14:24:39
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    OK I can get my teeth into this today, I have not had time to do it justice until now:

    1. What percentage of homes/apts in major cities do you think are infested? (feel free to note city you work in for reference)

    Statistically calculated I get to about 0.2% based on the known total number of homes in London (2001 census) and the reported number of BB cases obtained under the London BB survey weighted to assume commercial PCO work. This is as a total if you assume all homes can suffer equally.

    However in some pockets we find infestation rates as high as 15%-75% on a given street or building and in some cases with 100% exposure within the last 5 years.

    The overall headline number is interesting but the pockets and key neighbourhoods are extremely alarming and a social disgrace to have allowed to get to this stage.

    2. What percentage of hotels in major cities do you think have infestations?(feel free to note city you work in for reference)

    I have seen some hotels as much as 100% infested and very few that only had the one room they knew about if they had more than 10 rooms. I work on an estimate of 1% to 5% and am never too far wrong. It all depends on the profile of the guests and the turnover of the hotel.

    I think this is an accurate number for major cities in Europe and North America although international connection hubs are also hard hit. Its more accurate to look at the issue in terms of guest nights and exposure events than room numbers.


    3. In your experience, what was the average length of time a client had bbs before realizing and seeking treatment?

    Bite responders tend to contact in the first few weeks if they have not had misleading medical advice. The next group to take action are the one responders either as mixed houses or family homes. They are different patterns and can vary between 2 months and 9 months. The last group are the non responders who will wait till someone else points the problem out repeatedly and that can take 3 months to 3 years to happen.

    4. What is the most common sign or symptom that leads people to contact you thinking they have bb?

    The most common reported are bites although they are the least accurate, this is because they are a sign that has a greater urgency than others. After that it tends to be those with a good home cleaning and inspection routine who may find some signs or a sample to identify.

    5. In what percentage of inspection cases (which did have bbs):

    a) Did you not find any live bugs?5%

    We do not focus on this as a primary inspection target, its difficult to explain but inspection and treatment are too different processes and I prefer to confirm rather than disturb. When I know they are there I prefer to leave the room as is till I start to treat.

    b) Did you not find any live bugs or cast skins?3%

    We are strict followers of the no signs no treatment philosophy and have been known to find a single cast skin at the back of a drawer in a bed that the person swears was vacuumed the night before. Yes its often like looking for a needle in a haystack but if you pay for an inspection it should be thorough until the point of confirming and then the focus needs to be on how to treat the rest rather than looking to see how bad it is.

    c) That you did not even find fecal matter or blood?<1%

    If I could not even find a single faecal trace and there had been more than one or two bites I would exhaust all other possibilities before treating as bed bugs. I sometimes use the total number of bite events as a guide to how much material to look for. Yes its hard to find on or two faecal traces from one or two bites but if you are talking 20 plus bites per night for several weeks then you are actually searching for a few square feet of faecal material by the time it has gone on for a few months. Now even in a cluttered location that's a hard quantity to hide.

    6. What percentage of the time have you inspected a home and been wrong? (say within a few weeks discover they do indeed have bugs and need treatment?)

    I can only recall one or two occasions and at least one involved a very mild case of one or two bed bugs that had only just come back from a trip a few days earlier. We now take extra steps to check bags in such situations and have actually had a significant increase in the number of people dropping by on the way back from holiday. We have even installed a showering facility to help deal with some bird mite cases we have helped decon possessions for.


    And what is your detection/inspection method entail? This question is not to insult but more to guage how accurately a low level infestation could be detected.

    It would take 20 or 30 pages to type the full action plan because it starts on the surface and only stops when you are 150% certain they are there or not. If you want the short version look out for the bed bug beware book which has a step by step guide to homes and hotel room inspection. The 20 or 30 pages will be a chapter in Encyclopedia Cimectica when its finished.

    5. Have you ever gone through the entire treatment of a home without finding a live bug? What about not finding cast skins?

    No because I will not treat without confirmation its a rule we don't shift on. We even turn away clients because they insist that we agree to spray all rooms before inspection. Is that not like being asked to do a job blindfolded or being asked to pay for your meal out before eating it (OK it may work for fast food but does it live up to the flavour and image on the poster).

    6. In your opinion what is the best treatment method? (Heat, vikane, other pesticides?)

    Call me old school but you would lump my methodologies into the pesticide camp but I am only there by the tip of my toes. I consider chemical control to be one of the last steps in the process but all the others really do depend upon what you find when you inspect. I do not treat the same way in a property that is a fresh light infestation as I would in a property that was treated 3 or 4 times by another company and the infestation pattern was different.

    Its simply not a one size fits all and works the same way type of job. If it was as simple and following a set procedure then with all due respect anyone with a reasonable IQ could do it. Looking for a reason why some of us have such high success rates and tend to be a little secretive of our methods well its because its not one procedure its the experience of knowing what to do in which situations and how to deal with things in a sensible and logical order.

    I don't think I have ever had two identical jobs.

    Good questions though.

    David Cain
    Bed Bugs Limited

  12. bedbugsbad

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jun 8 2009 15:15:15
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    Thanks to all the "Pro's" who are reponding to this thread. It gives everybody on the site and the media, if they cared to look, an overview that would not easily be able to get otherwise. The information is invaluble.

  13. KillerQueen

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Mon Jun 8 2009 22:05:12
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    BugParanoid - 3 days ago  » 
    Persona - Thanks for the compliment I hope more of the PCOs on the site post too. I am interested at what they have to say.
    K9 Action - In your opinion Why do you say human detection is 30% - Is it because a lot of PCOs don't do a thorough inspection or because even with a thorough human inspection by a good PCO can miss them?

    I'm better then any K9 .... they can't open up a box spring and look inside 100% of the time! =)
    If I was 30% .. I would work at Home Depot .. selling lawn furniture!

  14. badbadbedbugs

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    Posted 10 years ago
    Sat Sep 12 2009 18:26:22
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    this is a very interesting thread....especially because we just had a PCO visit us on Thursday who inspected for 30 min. (in a 1400 sq. ft home) and said we had no signs but treated anyway...we are wondering what's up. I have been bitten many many times...


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