As consumers, we immediately think “hotels” when it comes to bed bugs. If a friend told you they had bed bugs, for instance, your first question might be if they stayed in a hotel recently. However, bed bugs are hitchhiking pests and can be picked up in more places than we think – including retail stores, transportation vehicles such as planes or trains, nursing homes, hospitals and more. This means that more than just hotel owners should be concerned about bed bugs.
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 are known to access healthcare facilities in a variety of ways. It can happen when a patient is picked up right from their home in an emergency vehicle, from a patients’ personal clothing and belongings that enter the facility, and from people who are just visiting. If it wasn’t obvious already, people and personal belonging are the key components when it comes to bed bug infestations, and why it concerns more than just hotels.
Retail Stores and Bed Bugs
Retail stores are also affected by bed bugs. Just like a hospital, 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, are 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. Property managers should also work with a pest professional when units are vacated to inspect for bed bugs and keep documentation of the move-in condition.
How do I know if my business has bed bugs?
Naturally, we’d like to catch a bed bug problem before a customer comes and complains. The most crucial step in identifying a bed bug issue is to perform frequent inspections. This can be done on a regular basis by your staff and/or a pest management provider. During your inspections, focus on areas that commonly have personal belongings (i.e. a hospital room, changing room or elevator), or areas where customers rest (i.e. chairs and benches). You may see a live bed bug (about the size and shape of an apple seed), find eggs, or notice reddish browns stains on fabric. Bed bugs aren’t always easy to find because they are expert hiders, so it will likely take quite a while to do a proper investigation. This is why many business owners will recruit a pest professional for additional assistance with inspections.
Professional Bed Bug Inspections
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 to use 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.
You can learn more about our bed bug services, or just give us a call for more information.