Effective Eco-friendly Methods for Treating Bed Bug Infestations
By Frank Meek International Technical & Training Director, Orkin, LLC | May 19, 2010
I shouldn't have been surprised when I awoke to find little itchy raised bumps on my ankles and tiny drops of blood on the sheets. Bed bugs had ordered room service and I was the main course.
Then I recalled the odor in the room the night before: obnoxiously sweet, sugar-syrupy. That smell should have tipped me off to a bedbug infestation. With experience in the residential and commercial pest control industry for sixteen years, rest assured I've studied bed bugs. However, until this overnight stay that turned into a field trip, I hadn't received my bed-certification in the subject.
Just like head lice, bed bugs can happen to the nicest people. The Latin name is appropriately Hannibal Lecter-like. Cimex Lectularius. A brownish-red, tiny blood-sucking insect that preys on humans, pets, birds, bats and other animals. While these parasites have been around since the dawn of man, widespread pesticide usage all but relegated bed bugs to nursery rhymes and Dickensian novels.
However, many of the pesticides used to treat them in the past are now not available. As a result, bed bugs are making a comeback. In fact, they may be appearing in a hotel room near you.
Since about 1999, pest control companies have been reporting a sizeable increase in the number of calls for treating bedbug infestations. New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Miami and Orlando are just a few of the cities experiencing bed bugs in hotels, apartments and single-family homes. While common opinion has been that bed bugs are a result of poor sanitation and low socio-economic conditions, these reports run counter to those myths. The majority of the hotel facilities have been mid- to up-scale, with a mix of business and tourist guests.
Check for specks of dried blood and fecal matter around and under the mattress tags and seams.
The Hotel Business Review articles are free to read on a weekly basis, but you must purchase a subscription to access
our library archives. We have more than 5000 best practice articles on hotel management and operations, so our
knowledge bank is an excellent investment! Subscribe today and access the articles in our archives.