BED BUG MANAGEMENT: WHY CONTROLING BED BUGS ARE SO CHALLENGING?

In this post/article, we will discuss on one of the crucial part in bed bugs management that will give us an idea as why after so many years of discovery, we still fighting and struggling to defeat this tiny little creature.

Bed bug management is rarely easy and usually ranked as one of the toughest pest to deal with by pest management professional. So, it is possible for us to eradicate bed bug from an infested sites?

The answer is YES.

The critical success factors are:

  1. Getting cooperation and commitment from resident and site management- especially in reducing clutter
  2. Understanding bed bugs behaviour and taking an integrated approach to their control
  3. Allowing sufficient time to do the job properly to eliminate the infestation and regularly follow up

Bed Bugs management can be a challenge for the following reasons?

  1. As bed bugs are small, they are difficult to detect in the early stage of infestation.
  2. Monitoring devices are not always effective in trapping bed bugs.
  3. Bed Bugs are easily spread so an infestation may reoccur or disperse to another locations
  4. Bed bugs are xetremely difficult to locate, remove and control.
  5. Bed bugs can survive unfavorable conditions for a long time by remaining inactive.
  6. Inadequate knowledge on how to effectively control bed bugs
  7. Getting the appropriate level of coorporation from site managers and residents are often difficult.

As bed bugs are small, they are difficult to detect in the early stage of infestation.

Let’s take a look of all these challenges.

  • The 1st nymph instar is as small as 1.5mm.
  • Their behaviour of feeding mainly at night and hiding during the day make them difficult to be noticed.

In situations of high risk of bed bugs, it is best to recommend a preventive approach to bed bugs management to minmise chances of bed bug colony becoming established.

Bayer E Learning

Monitoring devices are not always effective in trapping bed bugs

  1. Pest management professionals need to inspect and monitor populations of pest like bed bugs. Unfortunately not all gadgets or equipments that we used are effective enough to help us identifying or pin point all harbourage site.
  2. Same goes to visual detection. It can be a risky approach as this requires a good knowledge of bed bug behaviour and sufficient time to identify all the harbouraging sites.

when inspecting for bed bugs, use a combination of thorough visual inspection together with appropriately placed monitoring devices

Bayer E Learning

Bed Bug are easily spread so an infestation may reoccur or disperse to another locations

  1. Bed bug can be re-introduced into a treated home or room by infested luggage or furniture.
  2. In apartments and hotels, scientific studies has proven bed bugs are capable of moving from one unit to others. That is why hotels all over the world are struggling to get rid of bed bug. It is absolutely nightmare.

Inform customers to inspect incoming furniture and luggage, take preventive measures in high risk situations, and treat adjoining rooms and premises where possible..

Bayer E Learning

Bed bugs are xetremely difficult to locate, remove and control.

  1. Conventional insecticides have limitations in being able to penetrate bed bugg egg capsule.
  2. Beg bugg eggs are usually laid in crack & crevices that are not always associated with sleeping areas, making them difficult to find and to remove.
  3. The eggs are cemented to the surface, making them difficult to remove by vacuming and normal cleaning.

take sufficient care to inspect, treat cracks and crevices. Conduct inspection on high risk area regularly and take preventive approach

Bayer Learning Lab

Bed bugs can survive unfavorable conditions for a long time by remaining inactive.

  1. Bed bug do not feed everyday, and after a blood meal they stay inactive in their harborages for 1-2 weeks before the next blood meal. They just like a Dracula.
  2. Bed bugs are well known to be able to survive for months without food or in cold conditions such as in a vacant house or room until the next victim moves in.

it is a good idea to keep up prevention and control methods in previously infested situations, and do not ignore area such as storage where people may not be present so often.

Bayer Learning Lab

Inadequate knowledge on how to effectively control bed bugs

  1. In Malaysia, most of the technicians don’t deal with bed bug everyday. Unless you are stationed in Hotel, chances for your technicians to deal with bed bug problem everyday is very high. They may not have sufficient knowledge and experience on how to control bed bug in all situation.
  2. Due to growing importance and sensitivity of bed bugs, it is necessary to organise specific training on beg bug management for technician, to equip them with the latest knowledge. Normally, we can invite an expert from chemical supplier such as Bayer and BASF to give us comprehensive training.

it is a good idea to keep up-to-date with the latest news on bed bug management- there is a lot of information out there.

Bayer Learning Lab

Getting the appropriate level of coorporation from site managers and residents are often difficult.

One of the common reason why bed bug treatment fail is due to bad habits, or poor understanding of the customer including:

  • Not helping by giving an appropriate access for inspection and tretament e.g cupboards, mattress and head boards of the bed etc.
  • leaving clothing out that bed bugs can easily infest
  • Not washing sheets, soft toys, cleaning curtains and furniture
  • Allowing a lot of clutter providing good harbourages
  • Not repairing cracks and crevices
  • Not inspecting luggage and second hand furniture coming into the house

Summary

  • We travel a alot every year. Locally and internationally. This is one of the more resons that contribute to high infestation of bed bug around the globe.
  • They are small and great survivos enabling them to survive and spread easily.
  • Prevention is the key to managing bed bug and the householder and facility manager has a big role to play here
  • An important part of the pest management professional’s job is to educate the customers on how they can prevent bed bugs from infesting premises and spreading further.
  • Bed bugs can be challenging to control, so an integrated approach is required.

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