Bed bugs usually travel from place to place by hitching a ride with humans. Since we tend to be rather mobile, bed bugs can easily find their way to your home or business. Certain types of businesses are more likely to encounter bed bug infestations, but everyone is potentially at risk. We have treated hotels/motels, multi-family housing (apartments and condos), nursing homes, university dorms, public schools, military bases, firehouses (and rescue trucks), and hospitals, among others.
If you think about situations such as these, you can see how easily bed bugs can move from place to place:
- A home health care worker treats an individual whose house is infested and returns home without recognizing that he or she is carrying bed bugs. Now the nurse’s car and house are at risk of infestation.
- Rescue workers pick up a person who has collapsed at home without noticing the person’s clothing carries bed bugs. The rescue vehicle, fire station and individual medic’s homes are now at potential risk.
- A couple whose house is infested attends church, not realizing that bed bugs have hitched onto her purse and his dress shoes. The bugs may drop off and look for another warm host, continuing the cycle.
There have been many cases reported in the news around the globe, from a hotel so badly infested in India that the owners decided to just shut it down, to reports of ongoing challenges with ambulances in Hawaii. There was even a case a few years ago where two international flights were grounded until the planes could be treated for bed bugs.
While there is no evidence that bed bugs transmit any diseases and their bites are not venomous (though some people may have allergic reactions), these bugs have quickly become a worldwide problem once again. Bed bugs were essentially eradicated back in the mid-twentieth century with the use of strong insecticides. Unfortunately, these chemicals were found to cause environmental issues and were banned. Bed bugs have made a steady comeback, spreading quickly in part because our society is so mobile. People who use many of the reduced-strength over-the-counter products to treat bed bugs themselves are, in many cases, worsening the problem when the bugs build up resistance to the chemicals.
So if you own or manage a business, what should you do?
It is virtually impossible to prevent bed bugs from entering your establishment. The best thing you can do is train your employees on what to look for as an indicator of a potential bed bug problem and teach them the steps they should take if they find an issue with bed bugs or other types of pests. As soon as you find any indication of an infestation, contact a pest professional. They will send either trained inspectors and/or bed bug dogs (K-9 inspectors!) to confirm and treat the problem. Delaying will only make it more difficult to get rid of the bed bugs.
Commercial Bed Bug Training
If you have a business that is at increased risk of exposure to bed bugs, Clegg’s offers periodic bed bug classes to train your employees on how to deal with these determined pests. The session covers identifying bed bugs as well as action steps to take if the bugs are discovered. If you would like to learn more, please contact us via email or call 1-888-672-5344.
To learn more about bed bugs, read our recent articles:
Bed Bugs FAQ (includes information on how to identify an infestation)
Avoiding Bed Bugs While Traveling (great for businesses with employees who travel frequently)
Bed Bug Heat Treatments (the most efficient way to get rid of these pests)
If you suspect you may have a bed bug problem, contact Clegg’s today to schedule an appointment to have your premises checked. Waiting will only allow an existing bed bug infestation to get worse and cause the problem to spread. If you have questions about bed bugs, feel free to give us a call at 1-888-MR-CLEGG.