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Bed Bugs Are Back – Here's What To Do To Make sure You Don't Suffer

Short story

Bed bugs have been documented as pests of the 17th century and introduced to this country by early colonists. They were common in the United States before World War II, after which the widespread use of synthetic insecticides such as DDT significantly reduced their numbers. Improvements in household and personal cleanliness as well as increased regulation of the used furniture market also likely contributed to their reduced pest status.

Over the last decade bedbugs have begun to return to the United States. The widespread use of baits rather than insecticidal sprays to combat ants and cockroaches is a factor involved in their return. International travel and commerce are thought to facilitate the distribution of these hitchhikers because eggs, young and old bed bugs are easily transported in luggage, clothes, linens and furniture. Bed bugs can infect planes, ships, trains and buses. The most common are bed bugs in high-occupancy dwellings, such as hotels, motels, hostels, hostels, shelters, apartment complexes, homes and prisons. Such infections are not usually a reflection of poor hygiene or poor housekeeping.

The new old threat

What are the risks? As insects go, bed bugs are more technically unpleasant than dangerous and have not been shown to be capable of transmitting the disease from person to person. Unfortunately, this fact does nothing to reduce the potentially huge negative impact on those affected. Even in cases of mild contagion, bitten people can get numerous bites for several nights before determining what causes them. Depending on the sensitivity of an individual, the effect of these bites can range from small red dots to large pits that are itchy and can be irritated and become infected by scratching.

How Big Is The Rise? Quantifying this resumption is difficult, there is no national database to store information and understand that people and businesses are openly sharing their experiences … Would you stay at a hotel that admits to a bed bug problem? The available data does not look good. Nationwide; there was a 19% increase in bed bugs during the 18-month period from summer 2003 to winter 2004, according to a March 2005 study by Pest Control Technology.

New York has attracted considerable attention in recent years. Although there are no official reports of bed bugs in New York, pest control experts and scientists say the city is in the midst of a serious outbreak. Tom Nimitz, who has led Better Pest Management in Brooklyn for 35 years, said he has been called to more than 500 bed bugs in the last two years, which is more than one or two cases in one year.

New York was also the focus of national media attention in 2003, when a Mexican businessman filed a lawsuit against the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel after he and a friend allegedly suffered multiple bites of bedbugs on their torso, arms and necks while staying at the property. , which overlooks Central Park, Helmsley Enterprises Inc., the hotel's owner, settled the suit quietly in 2004. Terminating confirmation of bed bugs was a problem, Howard Rubenstein, a spokesman for the company, said the hotel had no problems with bed bugs after the lawsuit. ,

The scale of the problem in New York may be further qualified by the efforts of New York City Council member Gail Brewer. In May 2005, Brewer council member introduced legislation that would make a big profit in the city's fight against growing bed bug infestation. In addition to the ban on the sale of reclaimed mattresses, Brewer's legislation will create a special Bed Bug group responsible for monitoring the scope of this dynamic problem and developing long-term policy solutions needed to limit the spread of this infection.

"Bed bugs are already a huge threat to New Yorkers and have real potential to be a threat to the city's economy," Brewer said. Yes, well, but what about me? Within the United States, pest control companies have reported increasing activity of bed bugs nationwide. Orkin, one of the largest and most experienced pest control companies, reports that it has dealt with bed bugs in 47 states and estimates a 25-30% increase in bed bug infestation over the next four to five years. Even without definitive data on the growth of bedbugs, one thing is certain. If your business involves transient people, furniture or lodging, you will have to deal with this problem at some point – and probably sooner rather than later.

Do I already have them and how do I find out? Although the bedbugs are small, about 1/5 of an inch long about the size of a ladybug, they can be easily seen with the naked eye. They are wingless, oval and flattened in appearance and crawl at a constant speed. They are rust red or mahogany in color. Nymphs (young) appear to be identical to adults, except for their smaller size and lighter, yellowish white color. The eggs are white and about 1/32 inch long. The newly hatched bugs are almost colorless.

Bed bugs are active at night as they leave their daily resting place in cracks and crevices to search for human blood. By checking your bed linen in the middle of the night, you have the best opportunity to find bed bugs on the go. Bed bug bites are usually two or three in a row and blood stains are often deposited on the blood. Any cracks or crevices nearby can serve as a day shelter for bed bugs. Look for bedspreads under folds in mattresses, seams, and between pads and slats. In the presence of a large number of bed bugs, they give off a distinctive pungent odor. Multiple dark faecal spots on or near fissures are another indication of bed bug infestation.

Dealing with them

As with most pest problems, the goal is to act swiftly and be diligent. Enroll in the services of a reputable pest control specialist with experience dealing specifically with bed bugs. According to Stoy Hedges, BCE, Terminix Maintenance Manager, "Terminix has seen a significant increase in bed bugs over the past few years, with bugs appearing in single-family homes. This insect is difficult to control and requires the expertise of an experienced pest control company. "Treatment usually involves the following steps:

1. Complete a thorough inspection of the areas suspected of being infected. This should include furniture, linens, personal effects, and the surrounding area. 1. Complete and thorough inspection of contaminated areas. This should include furniture, linens, personal effects and surrounding structures.

2. Treatment of all contaminated areas and objects.

3. The application of IGRs (insect growth regulators), which are residual chemicals that help reduce the risk of further infection.

4. Follow-up checks and treatment, if necessary.

Although this procedure looks pretty basic and similar to what you might expect for other insect pests, the difference really comes when you work directly with the client.

The gross factor. The "gross" factor is extremely high with this issue. If comments like these aren't enough to convince you, "I'm repulsed, I'm horrible, and I'm disgusted," said a three-year-old mother who lives in a great building in Jackson Heights, Queens, where bedbugs are spread across 26 apartments, fast surfing on the web should do it, with high-dollar cases becoming more common.

Policies, procedures and responsibilities

Liability is a primary concern in lawsuits over $ 20 million. Although you may not be able to stop being sued, you can certainly go a long way to protecting yourself by dealing with problems in an educated and consistent manner.

1. Developing and maintaining a comprehensive company policy. At a minimum, this policy should clearly outline your company's position in terms of problem, training, responsibilities and customer relationships.

2. Develop and maintain short and well thought out procedures that address your most likely scenarios. Although each situation you deal with will be different, knowing what to do in the most common situations will give you a baseline.

3. Train your staff. Best policies and procedures mean nothing unless they are common knowledge and common practice. Deep training and rigorous application send a strong message to both customers and employees. This message is: "We are dealing with this problem and you are part of the solution."