There are various types of inspections that one could perform in order to check for the presence of bed bugs. A visual inspection can include a flashlight to inspect dark places, like in hotels. Scent detection is another method in which dogs are used to tell you which specific areas need to be treated. The National Entomology Scent Detection Canine Association (NESDCA) is a licensed organization made up of teams of animal handlers and dogs who are trained for pest control purposes.
There are various treatment options, recommended by NYS IPM and by pest control organizations.
- Non-Chemical methods:
Thermal Remediation: The lethal temperature for bed bugs is 118 degrees.
Vacuum- Difficult to get the eggs off, but will reduce the egg population you have.
Steam- Fairly reliable method but the machine you use must emit steam evenly and continuously.Cryonite / C02 Freezing
- Chemical methods:
Chemical / pesticide treatment
Fumigation with Vikane Gas
The key to preventing the spread of bed bugs is to know what they look like, where they can be picked up, and how to inspect and protect yourself. It may not be possible to avoid picking up a bed bug in your daily life. This is because although bed bugs are not everywhere, they could be anywhere, and are usually hidden out of sight. Similar to flu prevention, each of us has an obligation to know enough and take precautions. Know what bed bugs look like. Understand that only a mated adult female bed bug can create an infestation. Although they can bite, the other life stages are dead ends. Adult females are visible, so learn how to inspect your belongings and clothing, including your purse, book bags, coat, shoes and even your pants. Focus on the seams of each item, carefully looking for a stray bed bug. Know, also, if you are in a bed bug prone area.
Some additional precautions for everyday life:
- Know if it’s a possibility that you have been exposed. For example, visiting nurses attend to many people during their workdays. They should be especially alert to bed bugs.
- Check your hotel or dormitory room bed carefully. Look for bugs and the signs of infestation. If you find something, let management know and insist on moving to another room.
- Avoid buying or scavenging used furniture, if possible. If you must go with used furniture, carefully inspect each item with a good flashlight.
- If there’s a chance you’ve encountered bed bugs you will want to avoid bringing them home. When you get home, prepare to place all your clothing, coat, shoes, and bags into a plastic bag that is sealed until all items are placed into a hot dryer for 30 minutes.
Did you know that bed bugs also feed on pets?