Home / Bed Bug Awareness Part 3 – When Waging War on Bed Bugs, A Swift Victory Is Essential

Monthly Archives: April 2014

Bed Bug Awareness Part 3 – When Waging War on Bed Bugs, A Swift Victory Is Essential

As we wrap up Bed Bug Awareness Week, let us show you how to detect bed bugs early. Early awareness of the presence of your enemy, the bed bug, can mean the difference between a swift victory and a prolonged war. As Sun Tzu taught us, a prolonged war will exhaust your strength and resources. And so we bring you Part 3, the final in our Bed Bug Awareness Week series, to teach you the art of early detection of bed bugs.  

According to the National Pest Management Association, bed bugs lay one to five eggs in a day and more than 500 in a lifetime! With rapid reproduction rates like these, they can quickly infest a home or business once introduced. A prolonged war with this formidable foe can mean emotional stress, high expense and even loss of property for the homeowner or loss of business for the business owner. Therefore, early detection of bed bugs is critical to avoid a long, drawn out battle with these blood suckers.

One of the biggest problems when it comes to an infestation is that the bed bugs go undetected until the infestation is wide spread. This makes treatment and eventual control that much more difficult to attain. But fear not fierce warriors, you can detect an infestation before it gets out of control. Regular inspection of top bed bug hiding areas is helpful to early detection, but utilizing an ongoing monitor can be even more effective. We can arm you with the weapons to tip you off to an infestation!

Much like a moat protects a castle, a bed bug detection system can be your first line of defense against bed bugs. We built ours by simulating conditions bed bugs consider an ideal hiding place: tight, dark tunneling with rough, woody material. When placed in areas of the room known to be bed bug hiding spots you significantly increase your chances that bed bugs will be detected early, allowing you to take steps to stop these blood sucking pests before a full blow infestation establishes. Learn more about our BBEDS Bedbug Early Detection System as well as the Slider Bedbug & Insect Trap Monitor on our website.

Suggested PlacementUnderstanding where bed bugs hide is really the key to early detection. Utilize the Suggested Placement key (found to the left) to either regularly inspect for bed bugs on your own or to place detection devices, such as ours, that can aid in early detection and monitoring for bed bugs. As Sun Tzu once said, “In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns.” Win the war on bed bugs by quickly identifying an infestation and avoiding a long, drawn out battle. Should an infestation be detected in your home, we highly suggest that you work along with a pest professional to gain control. Bed bugs are one of the most difficult pest to treat.

Bed Bug Awareness Part 2 – 5 Steps to Prevent a Bed Bug Infestation While Traveling

During Bed Bug Awareness Week, the National Pest Management Industry works hard to educate the public on the threat of bed bugs. Bed bugs can be unknowingly picked up just about everywhere and so Part 2 of our Bed Bug Awareness series focuses on the advice of Sun Tzu to Plan Carefully, because preventing an infestation in the first place is your best course of action.

InspectionMany routine activities put us at high risk of encountering this dangerous foe, the bed bug. Riding public transportation, going to a movie theatre, having a child return from college or a boarding school and even just living in a multi-family housing unit can put us at high risk for an invasion of bed bugs. But, an overnight stay in a hotel is probably one of the most common ways that you can pick up and then introduce bed bugs into your home. As Sun Tzu suggests in the Art of War, Laying Plans is a critical step to winning the war. Plan ahead before you travel with these five steps to prevent bringing home bed bugs on your next trip:

  1. Fully inspect your hotel room before moving in. Don’t unpack, in fact, we suggest placing your luggage and personal belongings into the bath tub until you perform an inspection. The bath tub is a very unhospitable place for bed bugs so it will be safe there. Unfortunately, all hotels are vulnerable to a bed bug infestation so plan well to protect yourself when traveling. Bring along a good flashlight and utilize our inspection key shown above to inspect for evidence of bed bugs. If you find bed bugs, immediately request a new hotel room.
  2. Before leaving the hotel, inspect your luggage and clothing carefully. Remember, bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and will hide themselves inside of your belongings and return home with you.
  3. Upon returning home wash and dry all clothing that you brought along on your trip at the highest temperature possible to kill bed bugs in all stages.
  4. Do not return your luggage to your bedroom. Leave the luggage in your garage or some other area of your home far from your sleeping area.
  5. Do regular checks of your sheets, mattress and box spring when changing your bedding. Catching a bed bug infestation early is the key to quick control and minimizing the pain and great expense that goes along with an infestation.

A bonus tip for travelers: monitor your luggage for bed bugs before and after traveling to ensure you uncover the enemy, the bed bug. Catchmaster suggests placing several Slider Bed Bug & Insect Monitors inside of your luggage to detect the presence of bed bugs. Incorporating a monitor into your luggage can give you added protection as well as peace of mind that you are taking precautions against bed bugs.

Bed Bug Awareness Part 1 – Know Your Enemy to Win the War on Bed Bugs

It’s Bed Bug Awareness Week! Why would the National Pest Management Association want to dedicate an entire week to bed bug awareness? It’s simple. Bed bugs are a BIG problem and as Sun Tzu suggested, you must “know your enemy” to win the war. And so, in the spirit of awareness and knowledge of our enemy, the bed bug, Know Your Enemy to Win the War on Bed Bugs is the first in a 3-part blog series on Bed Bug Awareness.

SunTzu-CatchmasterBed bugs are a difficult enemy to defend oneself against, they are extremely small in size and yet visible to the naked eye. They have mysterious and nocturnal tendencies, making them very difficult to detect. However, do not allow their size to fool you, the bed bug is a dangerous foe that can compromise your peace of mind, your mental well-being, your belongings and certainly your pocket book if they infest your home.

Bed bugs can be picked up without you even realizing it. They are skilled hitchhikers and can infest your luggage or even crawl onto your clothes or person and come home with you. Just one pregnant bed bug can unleash a vicious battle between you and a full-blown bed bug infestation, with your bedroom as the battlefield.

Bed bugs do not discriminate and will just as easily infest a cheap motel as they will a five-star resort. They hide in extremely small cracks and crevices, mostly near our sleeping areas, but may infest any room of your home. If you live in an apartment or other multi-unit housing facility, bed bugs can enter your room through cracks and crevices if they have already infested an adjoining room. You are at high risk of an infestation if you: travel regularly, live in a city where you use public transportation, have a child that lives at college and returns home or one that goes back and forth to a boarding school, live in a multi-unit dwelling or have had an infestation in the past.

But don’t despair, you can be the victor in the war against bed bugs. Knowing your enemy and keeping a watchful eye out for not just the bed bugs themselves, but rather signs of an infestation is the key. And, here are the two key signs that your enemy may be inside of your home:

  1. Unexplained red, itchy bites on any one person living in your residence. Understand that one person can have a reaction to the bites while another shows no symptoms.
  2. Finding blood, bug casings, white sesame seed sized sticky eggs or crushed bugs on your sheets, mattress or in any sleeping area of your home.

If you have concerns about a possible bed bug infestation, we highly recommend you work together with a pest professional to win the war. Bed bugs are very difficult to treat on your own and the longer this enemy persists the worse your infestation will get.

Our final word of advice is this: he who monitors will be most victorious in the war against bed bugs. Monitoring for bed bugs will uncover an infestation early on and allow you to quickly take action to stop the enemy. Catchmaster offers two weapons in your war against bed bugs: BBEDS Bedbug Early Detection System and Slider Bed Bug & Insect Monitor. Incorporating these into your home can uncover the enemy early and help you to wage a successful war against the bed bug.

Signs That Mice Have Escaped the Winter Inside of Your Home

MouseinhousewLogoThe polar vortex sent us running for cover indoors this past winter as frigid temperatures gripped a large portion of the United States. And, rodents were no different. Pest professionals reported an increase in calls for indoor rodent infestations and rodents were even being reported as infesting cars on the Upper West Side. So, how would you know if a rodent infestation was happening inside of your home? We put together a list of the top signs that you’re not alone, rodents have moved in:

  1. What’s that noise? Scampering, scratching and other noises in walls, ceilings or even floors could be that of a mouse or mice. Mice are nocturnal so sounds are most often heard during the evening hours when they are in search of food. But don’t rely on noise alone to uncover a mouse problem. Mice are very tiny creatures and can live among us comfortably and quietly.
  2. Discovering droppings. Mice eat frequently and defecate frequently. In fact, the average house mouse produces between 40 and 100 droppings per day! The problem is those droppings can carry disease and spread those germs throughout your home as they move about leaving urine and droppings in their tracks. Mice travel along base boards and corners to navigate a room and this is where you will likely find droppings, particularly in out of the way areas of the home. Droppings look like small, dark grains of rice with pointed ends and are brown in color.
  3. Noticing chew or gnaw marks around the home. Mice are constantly gnawing as their teeth are always growing. They gnaw their way through walls to create openings, they gnaw on woodwork and may even create a fire hazard around the home as they gnaw on electrical wiring.
  4. What’s that smell? Heavy mice infestations leave a telltale musky odor in the air. If you are noticing a room or area of your home with a distinct odor, consider inspecting for mice.
  5. Discovering a nest. Mice build nests out of warm and fuzzy materials such as twine or cotton. They are typically built in out of the way areas within the home and can be found under the hood of your car. Although the nest itself may be difficult to identify as that of a mouse you can typically find nearby droppings to confirm your suspicions.
  6. Who was in the pantry? Discovering chewed through food products in the pantry can tip you off to a mouse infestation. Again, look for nearby droppings to help you identify whether or not the culprit is a mouse.
  7. Inspecting your monitors. The best proactive way to know if you have a mouse or mice inside of your home is to strategically place glue board monitors and glue trap monitors throughout your home. Hair, droppings or a trapped mouse on the glue board or tray will confirm that you have an infestation and prompt you to take further action.

For more information about monitoring for mice and other pests around the home visit our blog and the glue board products on our website.