Remind Your Customers of the Importance of Early Detection
It’s Bed Bug Awareness Week! The campaign taking place this week of June 4-10, 2017 is led each year by the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA). The goal is simple: spread consumer awareness about protecting against bed bugs. This well-timed campaign kicks off at the start of the busy summer travel season, a prime time to come into contact with the dreaded bed bug.
As those of us who work in the industry understand, early detection of bed bugs is key to prompt control. The market certainly doesn’t lack in bed bug monitors or devices to detect bed bugs early. Most are great products but often time’s price, aesthetics or some other reason will cause resistance on the part of the customer. Perhaps the key to monitoring is this: keep it simple.
Having been out on a lot of bed bug jobs and doing my own field research I am convinced that installing glue monitors in sleeping areas is an excellent means in which we can detect bed bugs early. While it may seem overly simple, it truly is a versatile piece that can be placed nearly anywhere, is reasonably priced and most importantly, it is effective. And beyond just finding bed bugs, of course, glue boards are going to catch a lot of other pests should they be present. They offer peace of mind to homeowners who have concerns or are at high risk of an infestation.
Multi-unit housing offers our industry an excellent opportunity to start a proactive bed bug monitoring program. Multi-unit housing is certainly at high-risk for a bed bug infestation as bed bugs, being as thin as a credit card, can easily slip between cracks and crevices in the walls and infest neighboring units. Recently a new law is forcing landlords in New York City to disclose if their building has bed bugs. It is possible for other cities across the nation to follow suit.
While landlords may not want to or may not be able to consider high-priced bed bug monitoring programs, a simple one that includes the installation of glue monitors such as our BDS 2.0 or Slider seems realistic. Glue monitors are simple and affordable and they give peace of mind to not only residents but also to landlords and property managers who can do something to make an effort to monitor for pests that may affect their residents.
When installing glue monitors into a bedroom it is ideal to place them near the sleeping area. We know that bed bugs, in general, live as close to their food source as possible. When considering placement around a sleeping area consider this: a person’s head gives off the most body heat and bed bugs are attracted to heat and CO2 among other things. This makes behind the headboard or the head of the bed a prime location to monitor in many instances.
If you have an existing infestation in one unit consider utilizing standard monitors such as our 100i, 288i or even our 72TB on neighboring unit floors.
You may want to decide if you will be the prime person to check monitors or if you will have landlords or residents keep an eye on them. Regardless of who reports hits be sure to remind your accounts that one of the biggest reasons for continued or ongoing infestations are DIY remedies. When residents become aware of a problem they often try to take matters into their own hands with products that may not be suited or labeled for bedbugs. Home remedies are often used with potentially serious harmful results. Spraying chemicals without a thorough understanding of the behavior of bed bugs can not only be dangerous but often results in the bed bugs dispersing throughout the room or house.
Bed bugs are simply not a DIY pest.
Ed Dolshun is Vice President of Business Development for Atlantic Paste & Glue Company located in Bayonne, NJ