Managing bed bugs in multi-family housing, hospitality and single family homes
Managing Bed Bugs: Multi-Family & Hospitality
Special steps and considerations need to be taken to manage bed bugs with the hospitality and multi-family housing industry.
- Work with you pest control professional to develop a written plan and protocols for dealing with bed bugs.
Educate yourself and your staff on bed bug biology, dynamics of infestations and how to identify bed bug signs. The HALT! Bed Bugs™ site is a great resource for information.
- Take the time to communicate with your management team and key departments (maintenance staff, house keeping, regional managers, etc.) about managing bed bug situations to set expectations.
- Schedule intial and ongoing inspections, document inspections and treatments, and do not miss follow up treatments.
- As part of your protocol, develop instructions on how to prepare for pre- and post-bed bug treatments (see Preparation Sheets) and define a way to enforce those steps.
- Make sure residents understand how to prepare for treatments. This may require a translator if your residents do not speak English.
- As part of your protocol, develop a procedure for inspecting furniture and other items at move in and, in the event of infestation, control points and procedures for discarding infested items.
- Create rules for residents regarding clutter and sanitary conditions and schedule regular inspections of units to ensure those rules are adhered to.
- Create a contract to be signed by management, residents and other appropriate individuals in the event that an infestation is identified and treatment is required. This contract should bind all parties to actively participate in the process and follow through on all pre- and post-treatment procedures and follow up treatments.
- Find out if your pest control service provider has a technicians who are certified and trained in the management of bed bug infestations.
Managing Bed Bugs: Single Family Homes
Bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) are transported and dispersed in luggage, bedding and other items such as bedroom and used or second hand furniture. Once transported to a dwelling, bed bugs typically live in cracks and crevices in the bedroom and feed on people during the night time. Bed bugs are great hitchhikers, so travelers should take special precautions as bed bugs can be brought home after crawling into luggage and clothing. For the same reasons, if you’re having visitors to your home or apartment, there are some steps you should follow.
- During travel, before you check into a hotel, see if you can identify bed bugs signs – check into the mattress. Carefully remove the sheets and examine the head section of the bed, look at the seams of the mattress as well as both sides of the head board. If you see any small insects or stains in either of these locations, there are probably bed bugs.
- Bringing your favorite pillow along on your travels may increase the chances the pillow becoming infested with bed bugs and the transport of bed bugs back to your home. If you have a favorite pillow, make sure it is encased in a bed bug proof sealed pillow case.
- Remember not to place your luggage next to the bed during travels. Find a location as far from the head of the bed as possible and store your luggage in this location. This same principal applies to portable radios and other items that could conceal bed bugs.
- If you do see bed bugs or think you have been bitten by bed bugs during your travel, it is extremely important to report this incident to the hotel or apartment management so other unsuspecting individuals don’t meet the same fate. If you are bitten by bed bugs during your travels, whether in a hotel, private residence or on public transportation, it is not likely that you will bring these bed bugs home if you follow the steps outlined here. In many cases the itches from bites are delayed until the next day and you may incorrectly assume that you have transported bed bugs. Since bed bugs bite at night and hide by day, just entering an infested area during the day is not cause for alarm.
- Do not bring mattresses, bed frames, or other bedroom, used or second hand furniture into your home unless you are confident that bed bugs are not hiding in cracks and crevices and that the furniture comes from a reputable source. Unfortunately many pieces of furniture and clothing from good will type retailers are not fumigated or properly cleaned before being sold.
- If you have visitors that are coming to stay with you, ask them not to bring along personal pillows and bedroom furniture. If you have any special concerns, ask them first about bed bugs to make sure they don’t accidentally bring them into your home.