Stopping a Silent Scourge: Bed Bug Control in Group Housing

Stopping a Silent Scourge: Bed Bug Control in Group Housing

Bed bugs in any facility are hard to control, but group housing makes it especially challenging. Contributing factors can include building age, mental health issues of residents, rotating staff and budget restrictions, as well as the many challenges of bed bug biology. “There is no magic bullet, but you can overcome a bed bug infestation, and come out the better for it,” says Mike Deutsch, B.C.E., of Arrow Exterminating Company, Inc. in Lynbrook, New York. “You need the right pest management partner, a holistic approach and, above all, patience.” Deutsch should know; he’s a board certified entomologist and has been fighting pests in the New York area for 40 years. Recently, he and the Arrow team helped a group home of mentally challenged adults overcome a severe bed bug infestation. The facility had bed bugs in more than half its 20 rooms, plus the common areas. Here’s how they did it: Training and education “Educating staff is essential,” says Deutsch, who provides hour-long training sessions to all levels of staff, from housekeeping to management. “Not only can they be the first line of defense in terms of identification but they can help correct behaviors that might be contributing to re-infestation.” Weekly laundering of sheets on high; inspecting bags brought into the building and removing clutter around beds is helpful. Also, mattress encasements like those from Protect-a-Bed® and CleanBrands prevent bed bugs from getting deep inside mattress and box springs where they can be difficult to remove. Inspection Deutsch and his technicians start with the beds, inspecting the mattress seams, folds and grommets and inside the box springs and bed...
Gary Geiger:  Florida Bed Bug Buster

Gary Geiger: Florida Bed Bug Buster

Bed bugs exploded in central Florida several years ago and quickly became the focal point for one Florida business — Geiger’s Pest Services, in St. Petersburg. “We did 11 bed bug jobs in 2011 – and last year it rose to 175 jobs,” notes owner Gary Geiger. “I have 15 technicians, and four of them now specialize in bed bug work.” “Generally, when I get a bed bug call, the problem is already severe,” says Geiger. “The trigger point is 30 days – by then, you’ve almost reached critical mass. More than likely the homeowners have fogged or treated on their own, which makes the problem worse. It irritates the bugs and now they’re in the nooks and crannies, hiding out. So they’re not as easy to find.”A few months ago, Geiger started using Verifi® bed bug detectors from FMC Professional Solutions as part of his bed bug protocol. As the first devices to provide up to 90 days of active detection, Verifi detectors employ three attractants to lure bed bugs. After 90 days, attractants can be replaced and detection can continue. “What I’ve learned is that everyone has post-traumatic stress syndrome with bed bugs,” explains Geiger. “This happens because of the expense, the disruption, the shame, the sleepless nights – you name it! Verifi helps with all that – it helps give my customers peace of mind.”Now, when he finishes a bed bug job, Geiger also installs Verifi units. “We place them near the beds or wherever the bed bug activity was,” he adds. “They are very easy to inspect, which is a beautiful thing. The homeowner wakes...
Pest Professionals Choose Verifi for Bed Bug Detection

Pest Professionals Choose Verifi for Bed Bug Detection

Focusing on commercial pest management has fueled Bingham’s Professional Pest Management Inc.’s growth over the past few years. In fact, business for the Florida firm is up 28% this year — and bed bug detection and management is a big part of that growth. “Bed bugs are the new German cockroach for our commercial customers,” says Brian Hawkins, president of the St. Petersburg company. “I don’t think we will ever eliminate them in settings such as multi-unit housing complexes. With all the common areas they have and the number of people coming and going, bed bugs will continue to be a problem.” After first making an appearance in central Florida in 2010, bed bugs now represent between 8 – 12% of the company’s business, adds Hawkins. Overall, the firm divides its business among pest control (24%), termite work (20%) and fumigation (20%). Renewals account for the remaining 36%. Though Hawkins favors fumigation treatments to manage bed bugs for his residential customers, he realizes it isn’t practical in commercial settings. “One of our customers is a 14-story apartment complex,” says Hawkins, who owns the business with his cousin Bob Bingham. “If we fumigated that place, 144 residents would have to leave the building. It’s just not cost-effective.” So Hawkins turns to control products and a program approach to manage bed bugs for his commercial accounts. But detecting bed bugs and following-up are often tricky. “We’ve eliminated bed bugs in these multi-unit housing facilities for six months to a year – and then they popped up again!” he said. “We were looking for a way to continuously monitor so we could...
Bed Bug Detection in America’s Heartland

Bed Bug Detection in America’s Heartland

The fact that Exodus Pest Management is in Iowa, not New York City, does not mean the firm’s bed bug work is any less challenging. “Bed bug work accounted for about 85 percent of our business this past winter and spring,’” says owner Beau Thornburg, who started the pest management company two years ago in Clinton, Iowa. Thornburg sees bed bug detection and management as a big opportunity. When his previous employer did not actively pursue bed bug detection jobs, Thornburg did his own research, took classes and attended several bed bug seminars, eventually branching out on his own. With three fulltime technicians, Exodus Pest Management handles general household pests and light commercial work, such as hotels, coffee shops, bars and apartment complexes. “We’ve handled bed bug jobs in Davenport, Cedar Rapids, and Moline, Illinois this past year,” adds Thornburg. “Our company has a flexible approach. It’s not a one-size fits all program. We don’t do whole house treatments or use dogs. We employ mechanical methods, chemical treatments, tons of education and steamers. We don’t rely on anything as a stand-alone.” Verifi® Bed Bug Detectors Confirm Results Thornburg has, however, settled on one thing as part of his bed bug program: the Verifi® bed bug detector. After completing a bed bug treatment, Exodus technicians wait two weeks and put the detectors in place to confirm results. “The Verifi bed bug detectors are phenomenal!” raves Thornburg. “We field trialed the units for several months before adding them to our program. During that time, we did everything we could to make them fail, but they didn’t. We put them a distance...
By Popular Demand: Verifi® Bed Bug Detectors Are Available in a Four-Pack

By Popular Demand: Verifi® Bed Bug Detectors Are Available in a Four-Pack

PMPs asked and FMC delivered! A new four-pack option for the Verifi® bed bug detector is now widely available. The new packaging allows pest management professionals to order smaller quantities of the detectors through authorized FMC agents throughout the U.S. and through authorized distributors in Canada. The original 12-pack is still available as well. The new four-pack contains the following: Four holsters Four cores Four CO2 booster packs Four lures One lure activation tool Four zip-ties We will maintain the same per-unit price for the new packaging. The Verifi bed bug detector is the first bed bug detection tool to provide continuous detection of bed bugs for up to 90 days at a time in a small, easy-to-use device. A pest management professional can quickly and easily install the device for year-round monitoring in homes, multi-housing units, hotels, offices, schools and other places where bed bugs may be a problem. To place an order, please contact your FMC Market Specialist or FMC Sales Agent. For more information on the Verifi bed bug detector, visit www.verifibedbug.com or follow @FMCbedbug on...
Back Plates for Verifi® Bed Bug Detectors Are Here

Back Plates for Verifi® Bed Bug Detectors Are Here

You told us you needed a new option for installing Verifi® bed bug detectors, and we listened. Now, you can install the bed bug detectors securely while still servicing them easily. The Verifi back plate is an alternative option to the self-adhesive sticker and can be installed easily on walls using a drill and four provided screws. Once the plate is installed, the activated Verifi bed bug detector slides in place for monitoring, inspection or reactivation. The back plate employs the same texture as the Verifi devices, so bed bugs can easily climb to the pitfall. “We’re planning to use the back plates in the group homes where we continually monitor with Verifi,” said Mike Deutsch, BCE of Arrow Exterminating in Long Island, NY. “That way we won’t have to worry about the residents moving the devices, and we’ll always know where to find them.” The Verifi bed bug detector back plate is available in packages of 12 through pest management distribution channels. For more information, visit www.verifibedbug.com or contact your FMC Market...