Summer’s Here and Bed Bugs Are Back in Business

The presence of bed bugs in a business or apartment or condo building, even if it is an isolated incident, combined with the power of social media, can wreak havoc on an establishment’s reputation, cause stress for both employees and residents, and have negative financial repercussions (i.e. unrentable units).

According to research from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), summer is peak season for bed bug activity. And even though offices, hotels, retail stores and other commercial facilities have been closed or had reduced hours due to the pandemic, it is important to remember that bed bugs are still present as they can survive months without feeding.

In multi-unit housing complexes, the threat of bed bugs has remained constant during the shutdown as residents have sheltered in place and pest management professionals have had reduced access for inspections and treatments.

Since bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers they can easily be transported in backpack or article of bedding or clothing between home and office or vice versa. The same goes for multi-unit housing complexes as residents return to work.

June 7-13 is Bed Bug Awareness Week and Sprague Pest Solutions wants to raise awareness about the threat bed bugs present to commercial facilities.

Bed bug infestations sneak up without warning, invading and disrupting even the most well-run business. What types of non-residential commercial facilities are most susceptible to bed bug infestations?

  • Nursing Homes
  • College Dorms
  • Office Buildings
  • Schools/Daycare Facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Medical Offices

What Not to Do When You Suspect Bed Bugs

In non-residential commercial facilities such as office buildings and retail stores where inactive, sleeping human hosts are not readily available, bed bugs tend to wander around randomly looking for unsuspecting targets.

Even though bed bug populations in these settings tend to be low, they will slowly grow in numbers (mainly by reintroduction in personal belongings and clothing) and will become a widespread issue before anyone realizes it.

Besides work cubicles, common sites for bed bugs include under raised floors, inside room dividers, behind cove moldings, and anywhere workers congregate such as around copy machines, lunch areas, lounges and meeting rooms.

When faced with a possible bed bug issue property and office/store managers should avoid the following:

  • Do not try to hide information about the bed bug problem from employees.
  • Do not “blame” or stigmatize workers whom you suspect have brought in the bed bugs.
  • Do not try for control “on the cheap.” To successfully control bed bugs once they are widespread in an office setting requires intensive monitoring and service over many months. Call a pest management professional.

The best plan to deal with bed bugs is to be prepared. Develop a written “bed bug action plan” in advance of problems being identified with specific procedures and responsibilities for responding to a bed bug incident.

Work to educate employees and maintenance staff about:

  • The risk of moving bed bugs from home to office, from office to home, from office to office.
  • Basic bed bug biology and habits.
  • How to recognize bed bugs, their signs, and their bites.
  • The actions they can take to reduce the risk of spreading bed bugs.

The experts at Sprague can assist you prepare your bed bug management plan and help educate employees and residents.

Bed Bug Prevention Tips

How can facility and property managers prevent bed bugs from becoming an issue? We offer the following tips to help keep bed bugs at bay:

  • Vacuum and clean all surface areas including offices, hallways, lobbies, break rooms, storefronts and restrooms daily.
  • Train employees and tenants/residents to notice the signs of bed bugs as they go about their daily duties and activities. Pay close attention to the seams of furniture, mattresses, drapes and upholstery for telltale brownish or reddish spots.
  • Bed bugs have also been known to infest electrical sockets, surge protectors and behind picture frames. Be vigilant in spotting possible signs of bed bugs. Employees and tenants/residents are an important part of the management process.
  • Eliminate clutter – especially in storage areas – which provides ideal harborage for bed bugs.
  • Carefully inspect all items and packaging when unpacking new inventory or receiving shipments for signs of bed bugs. Encourage employees/residents to do the same with their groceries or when returning from their travels.
  • If someone reports bed bugs, the area should be checked immediately and the bug collected, if possible, for identification by your pest management service provider.

The Sprague Bed Bug Advantage

  • No preparation is required with our bed bug services. Go ahead and stay focused on reopening and running your business.
  • Sprague’s highly trained human and canine inspectors will identify the root cause of your bed bug infestation and deploy the appropriate resources to eliminate it.
  • Sprague uses the latest bed bug management technology including heat treatments, targeted pesticide applications and preventive treatments.
Categories:
Insights, Bed Bugs