Got Bed Bug Plans This Holiday Season?

12/2/2014


bed bug found on a topeka resident

Do you own a hotel, motel or residential apartment building? If you do, you have no doubt been hearing more and more about bed bugs. Ten years ago this bug wasn't even on the radar of most managers, but in recent years it has taken the forefront. This is not surprising with BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) reporting 1 out of every 10 members surveyed said they had dealt with bed bugs in the past year. Of course, this number is higher for urban centers, and higher for certain cities. But anyone who owns or manages a building needs to be aware of this threat and have a plan in place, especially for the holidays when bed bugs hitch rides with travelers.

Some managers report horror stories of residents watching a report on bed bugs or finding do-it-yourself information on the internet and implementing that information with disastrous results. So, let's take a look at the residential perspective first.

If you live in an apartment building, or are intending to stay in a hotel/motel over the holidays, these tips will help you.

  1. Bed bugs are tiny brown seed-like insects that eat blood. They do not transmit disease, but the anticoagulant they inject in the skin can cause a significant rash. If you see this rash, contact your building manager immediately.

  2. At home or when traveling, always keep an eye out for the signs of bed bugs: tiny blood stains on the sheets, black sticky, fecal residue on the edges or corners of a mattress, and bug activity on the backboard or furniture in the room. Use a flashlight when searching a room. If bed bugs have had a recent feeding, they can be quite large and bloated.

  3. Never leave dirty clothes lying on the floor. Wash and dry your clothes on the hottest temperature. And keep things clean.

  4. If you find bed bugs, don't take matters into your own hands, especially if you live in an apartment complex with other residents. There are many bad things that can happen.

As an owner or manager of a building, here are a few tips to help you get your plan started.

  1. Build awareness. Knowledge is the biggest defense against bed bugs.

  2. Let your residents and guests know that you have a plan and that you will respond to bed bugs immediately.

  3. Be proactive and respond quickly. This is a reputation builder. The last thing you need is to have a guest go off half cocked and start leaving bed bug reports all over the internet.

  4. Consult a pest control company that uses modern Integrated Pest Management methods to prevent these bugs. Don't wait until you need an extermination. Seal your business from bed bugs before they become a problem.

Bed bugs are a touchy subject, but if you demonstrate that you are proactive, you will build the right reputation with your residents or guests. Get your plan in place before the holiday traveling and protect your business from bed bugs.




 

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