Bed Bugs? Not in MY home...
So you think bed bugs are a myth that mom told you before bedtime to scare you right? You remember the old saying, "Goodnight, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite!"
Well I am sorry to say bed bugs are not mythical they very real, and they are taking over. One reason they are so prevalent is because no one likes to talk about them so friends, family, neighbors and even service workers are at a very high risk of picking them up and taking them home. Then, when they get to their new residence, there is not much that kills them except very proven methods such as Thermal Remediation.
Chemicals are ineffective in so many ways but the two biggest factors are location of the eggs and the bed bug ability to become chemically resistant. Spreading bed bugs is easy, getting rid of them can be hard and expensive which means one thing, they aren't going anywhere anytime soon!
I recently had a customer tell me that as a former pest control guy some 25 years ago, he'd never heard of a bed bug job let alone having to inspect for one. That is because they were largely eradicated up to about the mid 1980's until now. DDT and other chemicals were very effective at killing these little vampires but are now banned by the EPA. Flight and travel to countries that have always had bed bugs now have free range to travel with you and believe me, they don't need a ticket!
Well you say, "I can't get these things, my house is clean!" or, "I am not a poor person!" or "I don't go places where beg bugs live!"
Ahem!!! I am sorry did you say you couldn't get bed bugs because you are clean, or not poor, or you don't frequent THOOOSE kind of places?
One of my treatments was a Five Star hotel / Bed and Breakfast. Hmmm
Here's the truth, if you are ALIVE and you have BLOOD running through your veins...you can be a perfect target for bed bugs. They eat blood. They come out at night and suck your blood while you sleep. Sometimes just while you are awake but are laying still long enough! It doesn't matter if you are clean or dirty, rich or poor, black or white, Asian, Indian, African, Russian (ethnicity doesn't matter either). If you are ALIVE, they want you!!!
Do you go out of your house? If the answer is "yes" which for 99.99% of us it is, then you can pick these things up. They can be in restaurants, movie theaters, cars, friends and families homes, hospitals and probably just about any place you might go! All it takes is one pregnant female to latch on to shoe or piece of clothing and hitchhike back to your home. That one female will be pregnant her entire life and will lay up to 5 eggs per day so one bed bug equals thousands to perhaps millions in just a matter of months.
It is often that even close family members will not mention their "problem" with bed bugs until it is too late. I have performed several bed bug treatments on active infestations that included several families and different homes because they didn't want the family stigma of having bugs. Then during a family get together, they get to share much more than quality time together! Each family member picks up a bug or two and there you go, multiple infestations and thousands of $$$ later they realize someone should have said something.
So if family members don't say anything to each other, how do strangers coming into the home fare out? If you are in a service position, you are even more at risk to bring them home. People just aren't likely to say anything about because of the negative view they might receive. If the plumber, or cable guy or electrician comes in to a home infested with bed bugs they would likely never know it. Crawling and kneeling on carpet, working inside walls, or just walking in and sitting on the couch to talk about the service can lead to guess what? That's right! BED BUGS!!!
Another way bed bugs get into your home through furniture. Yes even new furniture is suspect because who knows if they were in an infested area or even brought back by a customer who had them in their home. Used furniture is often high on the list when customers tell me where they think they got them from. I believe, that when I installed my own carpet years ago, the new carpet rolls had bugs and that is how my own infestation started. Who knows for sure but when you got them, it doesn't matter at that point where they came from!
Protocol is super important...
My protocol for inspecting and even for actively treating a home is to keep clear of brushing up against furniture or kneeling directly on carpet and especially sitting down anywhere inside a know or even a suspected infestation. A known active infestation and forget about it! I tell my customers, "please do not feel embarrassed or offended, but I prefer to stand for now". I am in this knee deep all the time so I have a very high chance of bringing one home. And remember, all it takes is ONE bed bug and BAM!!! bed bugs again.
I will never forget when I didn't follow my own protocol and sat down on a couch chair for only 5 minutes while discussing treatment with a customer. In that short amount of time I received 5 bites on my wrists. I was so mad! Not at the customer mind you but at myself and definitely at the bed bugs. I was so over zealous while treating this home because I had gotten bit there and that hadn't happened in years! Never again I said.
Then my protocol after treatments, and after inspections for sure, I make a V-Line to the dryer. I strip every piece of clothing off including the shoes and they go in for 30 minutes, max heat. This is what you have to do...period.
How easy is it to get bed bugs you ask? Well let's go over this again...
1. if you are ALIVE and have BLOOD, they like you.
2. if you go out of your home, they like you.
3. if you have people come in to your home, they like you.
4. if you sit, stand, kneel, brush up against, touch furniture, carpet or clothing that might contain a bed bug or an egg, they like you.
5. if you bring in used or even sometimes new furniture, they like you.
Who is at risk? You are!
So what is the solution? We do Thermal Remediation of the entire home. Heating to 140 degrees for a minimum of 4 hours. This permeates the walls, cracks, crevices and everywhere bed bug will hide or lay eggs and kills them...ALL...every time! We have the prescription for bed bugs and that is Total Shield LLC.