Bed Bug Service
Before We Start
The number 1 step in all bed bug services is to get you to stop trying to fix it yourself. You will not be able to fix this problem without extensive knowledge of bed bug biology, product knowledge and a ton of experience. I don’t care if you even went on the internet and bought “professional” stuff, if you don’t know how to use it it is worthless. Bug Bombs don’t work. Every time, and I do mean EVERY TIME I am called in for bed bugs where the customer has been treating it they complicated the situation by creating resistance and spreading them to new areas. This ends up costing you more money to fix on top of what you spent trying to do it yourself. Even if you don’t hire Phoenix or anyone else, STOP TREATING! I don’t care what the internet told you or your friends told you on Facebook. Please trust me on this. Now that we have that out of the way let’s talk about how to fix it.
There is no silver bullet
When treating for bed bugs it is very important to understand that there is no magical silver bullet that will fix your problem. A multi-tiered approach hitting them from several different angles is best. We do this by using different modes of action. Modes of action are the way a treatment kills the bed bug. Fully encasing the mattresses and box-springs physically takes a large chunk of the population out of the equation immediately. These encasements are high quality, soft, tightly woven fabric that prevents entry, exit, and bite through. They are not plastic urine protectors and will not make noise when you get in and out of bed. Pitfall traps are used under or next to the legs of the bed to capture and remove bed bugs as they come to feed or leave the bed to explore your home. Both of these devises can be used long after elimination to monitor for future problems.
The frequency of the treatments is extremely important due to the gestation of the bed bug. Eggs hatch in 6-10 days so because the eggs are very hard to kill we treat every 2 weeks to break the cycle. This eliminates the adults before they have a chance to lay more eggs. Treatment will continue every 2 weeks until you have not seen any since the last trip and we cannot find any during our inspection and treatment. When this happens we deem it “Control” and set one more treatment for 2 weeks. At that point if everything is still good to go it is deemed “Elimination”. Every time we come no matter what stage you are in a treatment is performed. This way you get 2 treatments over a month after we suspect the problem is gone. At this point we bring in our K9 scent detection teams to verify elimination. This offers you several layers of protection to assure you they are gone.
Bed Bugs in the Walls
Bed bugs almost always nest close to the food source which unfortunately is you. Sometimes this means getting into the cracks in your walls or between the baseboards and floor. We remove switch plates and outlet covers to gain access to inside the wall. Dust products are best used in these areas to spread as far as possible and can have several modes of action. The first is physically eroding the exoskeleton and 2nd is desiccation. Loosing precious moisture by damaging their armor also leaves them more susceptible to the other products making them more effective. Dust is also applied inside the box-springs encasement because this is a favorite place for them to hide due to all the cracks and crevices created by the frame.
Spot treatment and Crack & Crevice
The next step is liquid treatment where we rotate the product used each 2 week service. This is because there are several strains that are resistant to certain products and the only way to know is DNA testing which is way too expensive. There is a method to the madness though. The first product we use is a Natural product designed to erode the exoskeleton of the bed bug which is 2-3 times thicker than normal. This is their armor against anything we use so starting off by compromising this allows all the other products to be more effective. This product also allows us to treat in areas legally not allowed by the traditional products. The EPA classifies this product as GRAS 25b which means “generally regarded as safe.” The trade-off is a strong odor similar to pine but will dissipate quickly. The remaining rotation of products have varying modes of action attacking the different life systems of the bed bug including attacking their ability to molt and effectively reproduce among others. There is a plethora of science and biology that goes into the product choices that I won’t bore you with.
K9 bed bug scent detection
After elimination, treatments stop and we bring in the dogs to verify the bed bugs are truly gone. They have an amazing sense of smell and can distinguish between a live and dead bed bug. Read more about the amazing K9 team at 1st Defense HERE. Each bed bug estimate comes with 1 K9 visit. Sometimes we use them in the middle of the process to aid us in difficult situations. This is not an exact science and the handler has to learn how to read each dog and their individual personalities.
The Ugly Truth
Eliminating bed bugs is a complicated and sometimes lengthy process but rest assured, we have never run into one we could not fix. The bad news is that no amount of treatment can prevent you from walking a bed bug in the door and starting a whole new infestation. Being vigilant about what you do and where you go is paramount to making sure you don’t have to go through this nightmare ever again.
Phoenix Pest Control serves Knox and Blount counties in East Tennessee.
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