If you have not heard — bed bugs are making a comeback. Bed bugs are wreaking havoc on hotels, apartment complexes, and anywhere else where people congregate. I have even been told that 75% of all of the hotels in Las Vegas are infested with bed bugs – I don’t know if that is true or not – but with the influx of people entering and exiting that city daily, it would not surprise me, since bed bugs are the ultimate hitchhiker. Unlike roaches or other varmits, bed bugs are attracted to people – not dirty living conditions, so you can have a perfectly clean apartment that still may be infested with bed bugs. In the past very strong chemicals (DDT) kept the bed bug population at bay, but with many pesticides now outlawed, bed bugs have made a comeback, much to the dismay of the rental community.
The pesky bed bug has appeared at more than a few of my client’s rental complexes and trsut me when I tell you they are expensive and difficult to indicate. The best way to eliminate bed bugs is to prevent them from even showing up in the first place. But prevention is difficult since they hitch rides on furniture, clothing and other personal belongings.
Whereas, bed bugs used to be the specialty of exterminators who would spray chemicals around the infested rooms to kill them and their eggs, there are now other contractors that have entered the field. There are bed bug sniffing dogs that can be rented to sniff around your rental unit and alert you to any possible infestation and other companies that are killing bed bugs by different means then chemicals – such as heat treatment.
Because of the huge increase of bed bugs being found in rental housing lately, the AASEW’s June membership meeting included a presentation on this “itchy” subject by AASEW business member, Giertsen Company of Wisconsin. Giertsen Co. is primarily a remediation company (wind, water and fire damage) however they have learned that the heating equipmen that is used to dry out a water damages property also can be used to kill the pesky bed bug.
Below is the PowerPoint presentation that Patrick Meyer of Giertsen Co. shared with the AASEW on June 21, 2010.
The old saying that my parents would tell me prior to going to bed when I was a kid — “Don’t let the bed bugs bite” — has a whole new context for me after viewing this presentation.