Tag Archives: monitor for bed bugs

Bring Back Memories, Not Bed Bugs, from This Summer Vacation

nobedbugs - canstockphoto7094848Schools are getting out for the summer and families across the country are looking forward to summer vacations. Whether you get the chance to take a week off and go somewhere exotic or can only spare a Saturday night away from home, vacations allow us all to unwind, relax, and refresh. Unfortunately, all of the relaxation benefits we reap from our vacations can disappear in an instant if we are unfortunate enough to bring bed bugs back home with us. There are two very important components to keeping bed bugs out of your home; the first is prevention, the second is monitoring.

Although bed bugs have long been associated with seedy motels, that is no longer the case. Bed bugs are now being found everywhere from upscale hotels to resorts. It is no longer possible to prevent getting bed bugs by simply lodging somewhere expensive.

There are some important prevention tips you can follow to avoid bringing bed bugs home from vacation. One is to pack, keep, and bring your clothes home in sealed plastic bags. Upon returning home put the dirty clothes directly from the plastic bags into the washer. Set the washer at the highest temperature the clothes will allow and wash and dry the clothing. The plastic bags should be disposed of outside so that no bugs will find their way into your home. Never return your luggage to your bedroom or sleeping area. Instead store it away in an attic or basement.

Some of your habits while in a hotel can also help you to avoid bed bugs. Never place your suitcase directly on the bed. The best place to put your bag is on a suitcase rack, wooden dresser or other hard surface. Bed bugs prefer soft surfaces like fabrics so avoid storing luggage on or near bedding, carpeting, curtains, etc. Do not keep your shoes under the bed.

No matter what you do to prevent bringing bed bugs home from your vacation, after you have been away it is a good idea to monitor your house for bed bugs. You can do this by inspecting your mattress, box spring and bedding for bed bugs. Look for small (typically the size of a small grain of rice) rust-colored, wingless insects that are relatively flat and oval in shape. Many people think they look similar to a flat apple seed. If you find one, you may have bed bugs. It is also important to look for small dark spots (blood stains) often described as looking like sprinkled pepper. If you notice dark blood stain spots or bug casings in or around your bedding, mattress or box spring areas there is a possibility that they are either solid feces, eggs, shed skin, or blood blots from a bed bug. Unfortunately, it is sometimes hard for untrained eyes to identify bed bugs in their home. Unexplained small itchy welts on someone’s body are another sign of bed bugs. This is an allergic reaction to the bed bug bites. It is important to note that two people can sleep in the same bed and both be bitten but just one have this itchy allergic reaction.

A more convenient and time effective way to monitor your house is with bed bug monitors. Catchmaster’s® BBEDS™ (Bedbug Early Detection System) and the Slider™ bed bug monitor are designed to detect bed bugs early, before an infestation sets in. Unlike having to check many different places, you simply place the BBEDS between your mattress and box spring and check the monitors when you change your bedding (typically weekly). The monitor was designed to create an attractive harborage area for bed bugs and the pest will get stuck to its adhesive pad when they enter it. Taking this simple step to monitor your home and sleeping area for bed bugs can alert you early on to a bed bug infestation and decrease the likelihood and severity of a future infestation if you take action promptly.

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.