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Friday, September 27, 2013

Hiring a pest control company to treat bed bug problem - what to do

When one decides to hire a company to treat his bed bug problem, he MUST find a right company that would deliver its promise of eliminating bed bugs.

Why would he pay several hundreds or several thousands dollars if a company cannot remove bed bugs for him?

By the end of the professional bed bug treatments, and one still lives with bed bugs, it might be a failed bed bug control. He needs to find another company with better reputation and experiences in eliminating bed bugs.

This could be a vicious cycle.

Find the best and the most reliable company with the following features.
- pest control license
- experiences with bed bugs
- trained for bed bugs
- (optional) staff entomologist
- pest management association membership (preferred)
- reputation
- quality
- time table/ schedule of their treatment, inspection, and confirmation of clearance
- multiple treatment options
- provide inspection report
- provide treatment report and result

recognition of bed bugs - outreach PDF on how to recognize bed bugs

recognition and biology of bed bugs: what they look lik

This is an outreach handout on bed bugs.

prevention of bed bugs

Prevention of bed bug infestation. An outreach handout by Jung Kim

inspection of bed bugs

Inspection of bed bugs.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Five steps to get rid of bed bugs; this is a simplified version

Today I talked with a lady who lives in Gastonia, NC. She and her friends had about a year-long bed bug problem. They have been using something from W-mart and bug bombs. DO NOT USE bug bombs, because they have very limited effects on bed bugs that are hiding.

Can you get rid of bed bugs in five steps?


It depends on how serious your bed bug problem is. Make sure that you confirm your bed bug infestation (check this how to confirm it). This solution does not apply to other insects or imaginary insects or their bites.

DO NOT THROW AWAY FURNITURE. (unless it is already worn and its time for a replacement)

Let's say you have a bed bug problem less than three months.

This means that it is likely that you have a couple hundreds bed bugs (their population grow exponentially, just like any other insects).

There is a possible solution for you.

Follow this five steps.

Step One.
Determine which room has the heaviest infestation. Also determine where they are hiding.

Step Two.
Install encasements.
You can use any kinds you like. These encasements are complete cover of mattress and box spring. You MUST use a set, one for mattress and another one for box spring.
You MUST install them for all beds.
Additional comments:
* remove and store headboard
* use a metal bed frame
* remove and store wood bed frame

Step Three.
Install passive monitoring traps.
These traps go under the legs of bed frame.

Step Four.
Keep the bed frame away from the wall (about 1 foot). This is for an easy inspection in the future. Also this will keep any bed bug crawling on your bed.

Step Five.
Use a clothe dryer to treat all your washable items.

Your bed SHOULD be bed bug free. You should not get any additional bed bug bites at night.

More steps are needed if you have a recliner or a couch.

*** Heavy bed bug infestation would not work with this protocol. Broken encasement would not work or functional for bed bugs.

Dos and don'ts on bed bugs (Pictures)

Here are pictures of "Don't"s on bed bugs.

A brief list:
Prevent structural infestation of bed bugs.
Do not buy used furniture without a proper inspection.
Do not pick up furniture from a dumpster or curbside.
Do not overuse or misuse chemicals/ pesticides.
Do not throw away your furniture because of bed bugs (if possible to treat/ control bed bugs in them).

Bed bug prevention - don't have a structural bed bug infestation.

Bed bug prevention - don't have a structural bed bug infestation (an electronic outlet with bed bugs).

Bed bug prevention - don't pick up furniture with a possible bed bug infestation.

Bed bug prevention - don't allow your furniture to be infested with bed bugs.

Bed bug prevention - don't sleep on the floor when you have a bed bug infestation.

Bed bug prevention - don't buy used furniture if it has  a bed bug infestation.

Bed bug prevention - don't buy used furniture if it has  a bed bug infestation.

Bed bug prevention - don't leave your furniture with  a bed bug infestation.

Bed bug prevention - don't overuse or misuse any kinds of pesticides (strictly follow the label instruction).

Bed bug prevention - don't overuse or misuse any kinds of pesticides (strictly follow the label instruction)

Bed bug prevention - don't leave your furniture with  a bed bug infestation.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

NCDA&CS posted a blog on a bed bug toptic: Travelers can take extra steps to sleep tight and not let the bedbugs bite

Title: Travelers can take extra steps to sleep tight and not let the bedbugs bite

By Heather

Heather and I worked together to suggest "how to prevent bed bugs during travel" for North Carolinian during this Labor Day. 

She wrote an excellent article on the "In the Field" blog that shares inside information about the people and programs of the NCDA&CS. Here is the link: bed bug prevention during travel

During the Labor Day travel, here is a short synopsis of what you need to do for preventing bites from ugly bed bugs.

1. Ask the hotel front desk about their possible bed bug issues
2. Do your own inspection for bed bugs (You need a nice LED flashlight)
3. Avoid rooms with signs of bed bug infestation
4. Do extra steps of treatment (before you leave the hotel) if you believe you had encountered bed bugs (had bites or collected a sample of actual bed bugs)
5. If you think you brought bed bugs home with you after the trip, you may need to consult a professional pest control company or an exterminator, at the minimum for an inspection, and possibly for a treatment. You confirm your infestation with bed bugs or signs of bed bugs (not by bites on you).

If you believe you encounter bed bugs in a hotel room, switch your room right away to another one (I do not believe you need to change hotels). You can report a bed bug incident to a County Health Department.

Unless you have other complicated medical issues, you may not need to visit a doctor (however, this is up to you whether you want to visit a doctor or not).

You can find more information on 

You can visit reliable websites for further bed bug information. Here are the best three in North Carolina.

1. This website,
2. Sleep Products, SPSS, NCDA&CS

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My Rule TWO for bed bugs: Out-of-service for two weeks

Rule TWO: Room stays out-of-service for two weeks

Environmental health specialists ask me questions on how long a hotel room should remain out-of-service when an active bed bug infestation is found. This would be my personal opinion (a rather aggressive approach in achieving a bed bug eradication).

I heard some pest control companies allow hotel managers to check their guests into the treated rooms the very next day after their chemical bed bug control. This practice should be avoided, when possible. If rooms were chemically treated and allowed to check out the next day, I believe that the company may not understand bed bug biology completely, or underestimates the chemical resistance of bed bugs. I am not sure how long it takes to kill bed bugs hiding in their nest. I believe it depends on product kinds and types; however, I do not believe it can be killed less than 24 hours (in a single day).

Rule TWO is directly related to Rule ONE.

Because of possibly hiding bed bugs, eggs, and immatures, one should not allow anybody to stay in a room with known and active infestation of bed bugs (even after some chemical treatments or in the process of treating bed bugs). It is a common sense that normal bed bug treatments take about 2 - 3 treatments, sometimes even more. These treatment should have about two-week interval (of course you must follow the label instruction of the products that you use).

If someone claims he or she can treat bed bugs with one chemical treatment, it could be too good to be true. If it is extremely low infestation with limited dispersal of bed bugs, it can be done.

Heat treatments are known to be effective immediately. Yet, heat treatments should be closely monitored and controlled to achieve target temperatures and enough length of time to control/ eradicate all the bed bugs in the controlled environment. Properly and adequately done by heat, rooms can be back in-service.

Only reliable and experienced company with heat treatment can eradicate bed bugs. I believe that it is not heat machine or tools, but trained technicians who can destroy bed bugs and their nests.

A renter moved out leaving an extremely heavy bed bug infestation and a landlord asked for help.

This property was infested with bed bugs, fleas, and cockroaches. A renter stayed in the property for two years, and left it behind with most of their furniture, personal belongings, and thousands of insects.

Three different treatments need to done? I am not sure.
1. bed bugs
2. cockroaches
3. fleas

I am not sure about lethal thermal points for cockroaches and fleas.

Bed bugs start to die if a temperature is higher than 112 F. They die quickly if the temperature is higher than 120 F.

Here are some pictures and conditions of building structure when you have an extreme infestation (see below). I have seen worse cases than this.

Bed bug infested structure in a single-dwelling house (window frame).

Bed bug infested structure in a single-dwelling house (window frame).

Bed bug infested structure in a single-dwelling house (baseboard).

Bed bug infested structure in a single-dwelling house (baseboard).

Bed bug infested structure in a single-dwelling house (window frame).

Bed bug infested structure in a single-dwelling house (window frame).

Bed bug infested structure in a single-dwelling house (baseboard).
Bed bug infested structure in a single-dwelling house (window frame).

Bed bug infested structure in a single-dwelling house (electronic outlet).

Bed bug infested structure in a single-dwelling house (side frame).

Bed bugs booming in Wilmington

On WECT, this is an article done by Ben Powell.

Here is a link for it.
Bed bugs booming in Wilmington

If you want to learn more about bed bug basics, please visit the hyperlinks.

what to look for bed bugs

what they look like

treatment options

how to hire an exterminator

How to hire the best exterminator in your area to control your bed bugs

It may not be easy for you to learn how to hire the best exterminator in your area to control your bed bugs.

I already have two articles on hiring a pest control company for bed bugs. This would be the third one.

Here is a brief synopsis. This is a general guideline.

Ask questions regarding the followings, if you would.

1 bed bug education material
2. preparation for bed bug treatment and inspection
3. inspection for bed bugs
4. bed bug treatment methods
5. confirmation of bed bug eradication
6. warranty after bed bug treatment

Of course, you would ask for their pest control license, cost, and contract.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A dialysis center can experience bed bug problems?

A dialysis center can experience bed bug problems because of their vising patients who sometimes deal with bed bugs at home. There is a possibility other innocent patients may receive bed bugs from the center (even though it is very hard to identify the source of bed bug introduction or prove how it came about).  

This could happen in any states with dialysis center.

Here is one case happened in North Carolina.

Letter details bed bug problem at Charlotte dialysis center

My recommendations for the center (in brief)
Develop a bed bug policy
Develop a protocol what to do (including who to contact)
Hire a professional pest control company for the center (to inspect and to treat, if a bed bug infestation is found)
Develop education materiel for patients and staff
Focus on staff protection and training

My recommendations for patients (in short)
Hire a professional exterminator
Inspect your home and confirm your bed bug infestation
Notice that sometimes it could be a false alarm
Notice that it may not be YOU (who brought bed bugs)
If your infestation is proven, work diligently to limit the spread of bed bug in your home.
Use encasements
Use passive monitoring traps
Use laundry dryer
Use lots of plastic bags
Do not use any unproven methods to treat bed bugs, such as some natural products from online, or some bug bombs (If you do, you need to know how and why)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What to do when you discovered bed bugs after you checked in a hotel

What would you do when you discover bed bugs in your hotel room?

A caller today told me that she found bed bugs in her room. I asked her how she knew the insects were bed bugs. She suspected bed bugs; therefore, she used her smartphone to look up for bed bugs. Actually she used iPhone and her iPad to search such information.

She killed some bed bugs and collected some. It was late (10 PM), so she did not see a  manager to change her room. That was a BIG mistake. She brought her samples, and a manager changed her room next morning (8 AM).

Why would you stay in a room when you found bed bugs? Please do not stay there. If it is a confirmed bed bug infestation, DO NOT stay over night in the room. This may increase a chance for you to bring bed bugs home.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Youtube is not helping me!!! Bed bug information on Youtube DOES NOT deliver helpful information.

Many bed bug Youtube clips are erroneous. What can I do???

Only fraction of Youtbue clips on bed bugs are actually helping someone who suffers from bed bugs. Majority of Youtube clips on bed bugs ARE NOT informative and helpful at all. I understand this which may be inevitable because there are still a huge gap of knowledge for bed bugs.

Youtube bed bug clips contain:
incorrect information
sales pitch of their products
misleading information
not helpful, but dangerous information on how to get rid of bed bugs
help you only to waste your time, energy, and resource
some partial information, so rendering it incorrect
completely unscientific/pseudo experiments

This certainly does not help me. Unfortunately, I do not have enough time to correct all these mistakes that other people made. I do not want to target or follow them to see what kinds additional mistakes they are going to make in the future. They may be upset with me if I follow their online tracks. No needs for that.

It would be a good idea for me to broadcast bed bug related Youtube clips for the general public. It takes time, money, labor, and a lot of thinking and planning.

This would be a future project that I plan to make it happen for people who needs accurate and reliable bed bug information.

I need titles for these future bed bug Youtube clips.If you have an idea, please email me at

Meanwhile, I put together all GOOD/ BEST bed bug Youtube clips on my Youtube channel.

Link for bed bug clips in Youtube playlist.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Moving into a new apartment? Ask about bed bug issues, if they have any.

One of my friends is getting married. He is going to move into a new apartment in Maryland. According to him, it is a high-rise building with fancy options and upgrades.

Well, knowing how much bed bugs are prevalent, I advised him to ask a "bed bug question".

Ask a question if your new unit or apartment complex has any previous bed bug infestations.

Bed bug problem would not be everywhere; yet, you want to know if the building or the apartment complex you are moving in has any issue with bed bugs.

Two reasons why you MUST know bed bug history or treatment record of your unit or your building that you plan to live.

1. With proven and active bed bug infestation, you may have to move out again. That's right. You may not be able to live in there. Moving out again is time consuming.

2. You may not able to get rid of them by yourself. DIY may not be effective. You or somebody need to hire a professionals. This can be expensive.