Over the last few years, bed bugs have unfortunately become a popular nuisance for businesses. While the consumer is quick to think “hotels” when hearing “bed bugs,” there are more industries than just the hospitality industry that are at risk of experiencing these pests.
Bed bugs are also known as hitchhiker bugs due to their abilities to attach to clothing, luggage and backpacks. Upon arrival, cracks and gaps throughout businesses become hiding places until it’s time for a full infestation. Because bed bugs feed on blood, industries with high human traffic are naturally more vulnerable to a bed bug infestation. This puts businesses like retail stores, transportation vehicles such as planes or trains, nursing homes, hospitals, movie theatres and more at risk.
Detecting Bed Bugs in your Business
Bed bugs can go months without a meal. This makes detecting an infestation difficult. In addition, female bed bugs can lay anywhere from 4 to 5 eggs a day, growing an infestation rapidly. A proactive way to identify a potential bed bug infestation is to watch for the following signs:
- Red and reddish brown spots on fabric, bedding and upholstery
- Molted bed bug skins and bed bug eggs
- A heavy infestation comes with a sweet smell
- Noticing red, itchy bite marks on legs and arms
If either of these signs are present, it’s a good idea to call a professional bed bug exterminator to identify the infestation and take the necessary steps to eliminate it.
Hospitals and Bed Bugs
The reputation of healthcare facilities is critical, which is why it’s important to be aware of unwanted guests. Bed bugs infestations are relatively uncommon in hospitals due to the stringent cleaning standards, but a small-scale invasion is possible. One of the most common ways for bed bugs to enter a hospital is through the emergency room. This is because patients go right from a potentially infested home, into an ambulance, and then right into a hospital bed. Bed bugs have also been found in inpatient rooms, because patients staying longer will be more likely to have more visitors and personal belongings on-site. The longer an infested item stays on-site, the greater the chance that bed bugs will climb off them and become established.
Retail Stores and Bed Bugs
Similar to hospitals, retail stores have people coming in and out all the time, bringing in or wearing personal belongings that may serve as a bed bug’s ride in. Clothing stores, in particular, can be at risk because bed bugs lay eggs on fabric. Once the eggs hatch, the grown bed bugs can travel from the clothes to employees and guests as they are coming in and trying on clothes.
Property Management and Bed Bugs
Did you know that apartment complexes actually beat out hotels when it comes to reported bed bug findings? It’s much easier for hotels to diligently perform regular bed bug inspections since the staff has access to every room. Because this is a barrier for property managers, it’s important that they define their responsibilities to tenants should an infestation occur for protection against complaints.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Though do-it-yourself options are available, they are rarely effective. The knowledge and experience that comes from hiring a professional for bed bug removal will address your problem properly the first time. Wil-Kil has one of the most advanced bed bug management programs in the country and understands the range of industries that may be impacted. Our staff is trained to search high and low for bed bugs and know the places they are most commonly found.
Wil-Kil is also one of the first companies in Wisconsin to use scent detection dogs to help identify bed bug infestations. Using dogs is extremely cost effective when you have multiple rooms or an area with a large square footage that needs to be inspected. It can also cut the time down immensely since our dogs can discover a bed bug problem within minutes due to their high level of training and sensitive sense of smell.
Protect your business from bed bugs by partnering with Wil-Kil today. Please feel free to give us a call for more information.