New Handler!

Ben the Bed Bug Dog has a permanent handler! Ben or Bennie as we call him around the office has a new love. Tamara Coulter was a detection dog handler in the military and she and her family just moved down here to Georgia from Kansas. She has had Ben for 1 week and he is doing great! He is working very steady and is doing a great job !

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How To Keep From Bringing Bed Bugs Home

How To Keep From Bringing Bed Bugs Home!

I get asked all the time. Don’t you worry about bringing bed bugs home with you? The answer is YES.
My wife is actually more concerned than I am. I try to make sure when I am doing a treatment that I don’t sprawl out over the bed or rub up against the infested area until we have the heat up to temp. 122 degrees.
We take that bottom screen off of the box springs and instead of ripping it off we cut it with a razor knife to keep from flinging the bed bug eggs and nymphs on us. But it could still happen. (Don’t tell my wife)

When I get home from doing a treatment I strip down in the garage and take my clothes straight to the dryer and dry them for about 20 minutes.. This will kill all stages of bed bugs. (As long as your dryer has a good heat element).  Below is a picture of all stages of bed bugs. The eggs and nymphs are so very tiny. The adults are about the size of a tick.

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Consumers and Bed Bugs

As we go along the bed bug road I have seen that most consumers really don’t know very much about bed bugs. There is a lot of information online about them but some consumers don’t seem to do their homework. They should know one thing for sure. In most cases it is not their fault they are infested. They also seem to think that they are related to unsanitary or unclean situations. This is not true. They are little hitch-hikers that have an amazing ability to spread. When you travel there is a good chance of picking them up in hotel rooms or condos. There are hotel managers that do a pretty good job of being proactive about them however there are some that do very little to cure their problem. I went to one hotel that told me he had several infested rooms. He showed me 2 of them and at 2 oclock in the afternoon live adult bed bugs were crawling up and down the walls. He had about 15 rooms out of 70 that were infested. When given the price for treatment I thought he was going to have a stroke. He said he would just shut those rooms down because he didn’t need them right now anyway. He doesn’t understand that by blocking those rooms off he is just going to spread the infestation. If he understood how bed bugs work he wouldn’t do that. Or maybe he just doesn’t care. He will end up treating 50 rooms and of course that will be a lot more money to pay out. To be honest I feel sorry for the hotel industry in a way because they can do little to prevent someone bringing them in. With litigation going around they absolutely must be proactive to eliminate legal headaches. What have you found out there? Are you finding the hotels managers to be hiding their head in the sand?

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Treat Before You Heat! New information about bed bug treatments.

bed setup bedbugs savannnah
Bed Setup for Thermal Heat Treatment – Savannah

For pest management professionals battling bed bug infestations, there’s a new protocol in
town. University of Florida researchers havefound applying insecticides before heat treating increases
bed bug mortality. While conventional wisdom says apply insecticidesafter heat treatment because high temperatures will degrade products, a three-month research project sponsored by Bayer found that heat treatments actually enhance insecticidal activity and make pesticides more
readily accessible to bed bugs.
Here’s what the researchers learned:
In most cases, insecticides “worked better after heattreatment than before,” said University of Florida Entomologist Dr. Phil Koehler, who led the study. This was “counterintuitive”
as he thought products would break down “rather than become more active” when exposed to extreme heat.
In the study, Koehler and University of Florida Associate Research Scientist Roberto Pereira treated wood panels with one of four liquid and four dust insecticides, and then heated he panels for eight hours
tat 140°F. The heated panels were then returned to room temperature and bed bugs were placed
on them for a two-hour period. The pests were transferred to a container and their mortality
was monitored at various intervals. The process was repeated four times for each panel.
Koehler said the heat likely drew the liquid insecticide out of the porous surface
 of the unpainted wood, making it more accessible to the insects. Although the liquid dried
when exposed to heat, it left behind a chemical residue sufficient to kill the bed bugs.
Heating “activated the chemical and we got better mortality afterheating,
so there’s a benefit to putting it out before you heat treat as opposed to afterward,” Koehler said.
All liquid and dust productstested in the University of Florida study performed well in terms of
efficacy. Pesticides don’t degrade significantly until temperatures top
300°C/572°F, which is a far cry from the 140°F reached during a typical
bed bug heat treatment. Heat treatment doesn’t change the active
ingredients’ crystalline structure, nor does it affect product volatility,
said Bayer Field Development Representative John Paige. “It results in better bioavailability,” he said.
Treating first also helps prevent new infestations or re-infestation of the account.
As bed bugs move into cooler cracks and crevices to escape rising temperatures,
they come in contact with insecticide applied in those areas, thereby enhancing
control. This helps stop the bed bugs, which are nearly as mobile as cockroaches,
from moving through walls and infesting surrounding apartments or hotel rooms, a
common problem in the industry, according to Koehler.
“Bed bugs, from the standpoint of trying to survive, will move away from hot
spaces and try to get to cool spaces,” heaid. “What you can do is kill them on
their way out of a room and prevent them from spreading to the next unit” by ensuring
they encounter insecticide residues in wall voids, cracks and crevices, etc., when
attempting to find relief from the rising temperatures.
Bayer sponsored the study to address PMPs’ concerns about heat treatment driving
bed bugs into new spaces and to determine whether high temperatures would
destroy pre-heat insecticide applications. “We had to answer that (question) with research,”
Paige said. The University of Florida study showed that in most cases, insecticides “worked
better after heat treatment than before,”Koehler observed. “I think it’s going to
change the way the pest control industry does heat treatments. It’s quite definitive
what people should be doing

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