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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.


Tips for Monitoring Pests in Your Home

Do it yourself pest control monitoring made easy!

Whether you have a current pest infestation, believe you just got one under control or want to monitor to see what pests may be in and around your home, glueboard monitors can help.  These small non-toxic, cardboard trays can be strategically placed in inconspicuous areas of your home to see what pests are present.  Let’s take a look at suggested placement for glueboard monitors to simply monitor your home for pests.
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Beyond Clean: Revealing the Secret to a Pest-Free Home

Your home is cleaned regularly, either by you or a professional cleaning service. And yet, in between the regular vacuuming you notice in those out of the way corners of your home the cobwebs, the occasional spider and some other evidence that you have pests in your home. It’s frustrating and disconcerting since you are just not sure where they are coming from, why they are there and, most importantly, how do you stop them.
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