Holistic Bed Bug Management: Why IPM Works Against Bed Bugs

The options for treating for bed bugs in commercial facilities faced with the unpleasant reality of having to roust these unwanted pests from a hotel room, office cubicle or an 15th floor apartment or condo are numerous. From spot treatments using traditional pesticides to heat treatments to vacuuming and cleaning, the options run the gamut.

Sprague Pest Solutions offers these options to its clients but firmly believes effective bed bug management starts and ends with a tried and true, but often overlooked, approach – integrated pest management (IPM). IPM for bed bugs or any other pest from ants to rodents, is a holistic approach that considers multiple factors – population size, facility type, unique environmental conditions, client considerations, data analysis – before a treatment program is prescribed. Performing a quick assessment and starting a treatment program before the right questions are asked and all the variables considered, will not yield the desired long-term results clients demand.

Sprague’s science-based IPM approach allows the company’s licensed inspectors and service technicians to identify the true root cause(s) of the bed bug infestation and create a customized treatment plan that accounts for the client’s specific needs, timeline and budget, and eliminates the bed bug problem permanently – not a short-term fix.

IPM-driven methods such as vacuuming, cleaning, steaming and the installation of pitfall traps on the legs of bed frames and other furniture are staples of Sprague’s bed bug service protocols.

Staying informed of the latest bed bug research also contributes to the development of an effective treatment program.

For example, recent research has shown that bed bug nymphs will hide inside the shed skins of adult bed bugs and will not come contact the pesticide that is targeting them.

While Sprague does use targeted pesticide applications and heat treatments as warranted by the size and intensity of the infestation or due to client preferences to achieve an initial knockdown, it has found traditional IPM methods to be most effective approach to bed bug management over the long-term.

Knowing the Difference Between A Bed Bug Introduction and Infestation

Bed bugs can be introduced into commercial facilities by employees, guests or vendors in a backpack, briefcase, luggage, box or personal item. For property and facility managers it is important to know the difference between a bed bug introduction vs. a bed bug infestation.

A bed bug introduction (casual or continual) occurs when a single or a few bed bugs are unknowingly  introduced an employee, guest or vendor. An example of a casual introduction could be when a vendor arrives for a consultation and a suspicious insect is seen crawling on their clothes or backpack.

A continual introduction could take place in a shared office space or cubicles where an employee that has bed bugs at home continues the cycle of introduction on clothes, bags, etc.

A bed big infestation is a result of bed bugs feeding, growing, and reproducing on a chair in an office, locker room, vehicle, etc. as a result of a “continual” introduction.

It is important to know that all is not lost if someone finds a bed bug in your facility. Most bed bug sightings are an introduction, not a full-blown infestation.

If you are proactive and act quickly, you are more likely able to contain and eliminate the problem to the room or area where the bed bug was located. The longer you wait, the higher the likelihood that your infestation will spread to other rooms.

If you receive a bed bug complaint from a resident, guest or employee, gather the following information and share it with the technician servicing your facility. The more information you provide, the better.

  • Who saw or reported it?
  • What did they see?
  • Where was it seen? (on a desk, on a person, on the floor, in lobby or waiting room, in a workstation, etc.)
  • When was it seen? (an hour ago, yesterday, a week ago)
  • How often and how many were seen (or trapped)?

Since bed bugs are not a DIY pest, alerting Sprague or your pest management service provider will allow the proper steps to be taken to identify and eliminate the threat in a timely manner.

Hotels & Resorts, Bed Bugs