Bed bugs occur world-wide and bridge all economic and social strata. Bed bug infestations in North America have become much more common over the past 10 years. Adult bed bugs are brown to reddish-brown, approximately 3/16-inch long, 1/8-inch wide, broadly oval, and flat. Immature bed bugs (nymphs) are tiny and appear translucent or pale in color. The eggs are pearly white in color and only 1 mm in length, thus they can be very difficult to detect with the naked eye. Inspections for bed bugs include looking for live bugs, shed exoskeletons and characteristic black stains created by fecal droppings. These insects feed exclusively on blood however there has been no evidence to suggest that bed bugs transmit any diseases.
Bed bugs do not enter homes from the natural outdoor environment; instead they must be introduced into the home from a previously infested environment. This can occur by picking them up during travel, bringing them in on rented or used furniture, introduction by guests or visitors, or other means. Often the exact source of the infestation is unknown. Once in the home bed bugs will seek small, protected areas to hide. Although called bed bugs, they can live in almost any area of the home such as beds, couches, picture frames, night stands, wall voids, under carpeting, or virtually any available small crack or crevice. However, they will most likely try to live very close to where people sleep. Only highly trained professionals can correctly identify and treat all of these potential harborages. Bed bugs are nocturnal insects and therefore usually hide during the day and are most active at night when they leave their harborages to seek a blood meal. Bed bug bites are essentially painless and often go unnoticed while the bugs are feeding. Bed bugs mature quickly, lay hundreds of eggs, and can live almost a year. Therefore, infestations can grow rapidly and persist indefinitely until proper corrective actions are taken.
Bed bugs can be extremely difficult to detect. Proper diagnosis requires highly trained professionals.
Bed bug services are very labor intensive, rely heavily on the careful use of residual pesticides and should only be conducted by highly trained professionals. Proper service requires that ALL possible harborages are treated. This usually requires the complete cooperation of the customer to access all areas that need to be treated.
One service WILL NOT eliminate bed bugs. A typical bed bug management program consists of an intensive initial service followed by a number of follow up visits over a period of several months. These follow up visits are necessary to ensure a maximum level of control. In rare cases, total elimination of bed bugs may not be possible through our regular program. We will work with customers to design custom treatments to give the best control possible.
Our Professional Bed Bug Management service includes the following steps:
1. Provide a thorough inspection to confirm the presence or absence of bed bugs.
2. Provide education and training on how to reduce the likelihood of bed bug infestations and how to recognize bed bug infestations if they do arise.
3. Reactionary Treatments: We provide services to control current bed bug infestations.
4. Proactive Treatments: We provide services to help prevent an infestation from occurring or prevent a current infestation from spreading to uninfested areas.
WHAT IF BED BUGS ARE NOT FOUND? Occasionally, clients complain of being bitten by bed bugs but no bed bugs are found. Bed bugs are extremely adept at hiding. Despite our experience and expertise, we are not always able to confirm the presence of bed bugs. Just because bed bugs are not found that does not mean that they are not present. Therefore, we do not want to do nothing. In addition, we do not want to subject you to the expense of a complete bed bug program if there are no bed bugs. In this case, Our company can provide a basic service at a reduced cost. This service will not eliminate a bed bug infestation but it may drive bed bugs out so that you or we may be able to secure a sample at a later date. Once bed bugs are confirmed we can institute the full bed bug program. If bed bugs are not found, but you still believe you are being bitten, Our company can provide a Biting Insect Program to look for other possible biting pests.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER SERVICE IS PERFORMED: You are very likely to continue seeing bed bugs following the initial treatment. In fact you may experience an increase in activity and see more bugs than you did before the treatment was made. With each service you should see fewer and fewer bugs. Bed bugs are capable of getting into many environments that are inaccessible for treatment. For example they may be located under carpeting, between or beneath floor boards, behind baseboards and crown molding, beneath window frames or door frames just to name a few. Bed bugs will also continue to exist in much greater numbers in environments that are crowded with personal belongings. Items stored underneath beds, closets that are filled, stacks of papers, boxes filled with items, are a few examples of the type of conditions that will allow these insects to survive for longer periods of time in greater numbers. Repeat visits will be necessary to achieve a high level of control. The extent to which populations can be reduced and the speed in which populations are reduced is dependent on a variety of factors.
WHEN TO PLACE A SERVICE CALL: Normally, service calls are not needed for our bed bug program. It is very likely that bed bugs will continue to be seen following service. Our pest management professionals will recommend extra services if they are needed. You should call if bed bugs are found in an area that was not previously treated or if the problem gets significantly worse. Each time you request any additional services you will be subject to an additional charge. In lieu of service calls we encourage client feedback through our Bed Bug Follow Up Surveys. You may communicate the status of the program with us through these surveys. These surveys will be provided directly to homeowners or to the management office of apartment complexes.
RECOMMENDATIONS: DO NOT throw out bed or other furniture. This can spread the problem and new items will likely become infested anyway. DO NOT change where you sleep. The bed bugs will follow and this will only spread the problem. Kill or vacuum any live bed bugs that are seen. Discard vacuum bag immediately afterwards by placing it in a sealed plastic bag and disposing of it in a trash receptacle outdoors. Launder bed linens regularly in a hot water cycle (140° F or hotter) and/or a hot dry cycle. Cover the mattress and box spring with Protect-A-Bed Bug Lock™ mattress and box spring encasements to prevent infestation of the bed. · Pull beds away from the wall so the bed and wall do not contact each other. Inspect mattress, box spring, bed frame and headboard frequently (once per week is ideal) and remove live bugs with a vacuum (be sure to seal the vacuum bag in a plastic bag and discard it outdoors, vacuums can become infested by bed bugs, it may be a good idea to tell the service technician where the vacuum is kept).Eliminate cluttered/crowded conditions (piles of clothing, boxes filled with personal items, crowded closets etc). The more crowded and/or cluttered the more difficult to achieve control. Do not store items underneath beds.
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