Why Are Bed Bugs So Difficult to Control?

Bed bugs are becoming a challenge to maintain, and that’s putting it leniently. The reasons are numerous:

Bed Bugs – Unusual biology and habits

Bed bugs feed for the most part during the night, and hide during the day. They are not only existent in beds, but also in furniture, cracks and crevices, wall voids, under carpets, on drapes, in clothing, etc. Bed bugs travel up to twenty feet to feed, and occasionally much further. They can go for months between feedings, and can be reintroduced into a treated home or apartment unit in luggage, used beds or bedding, secondhand furniture, or clothing. They can also correspondingly drift from one room or apartment unit to the next through pipe and wiring runs and in wall and ceiling voids, comparably as cockroaches move.

Bed Bugs – Inadequate technician training on bed bugs

Many pest control technicians do not understand bed bug biology and habits. They don’t recognize where to search for bed bugs, they don’t spend enough time inspecting and treating, and they don’t realize the need for following-up on inspections and retreats.

Bed Bugs – Unrealistic Expectations by Property Managers

The majority of apartment managers and property managers do not understand the complexity of bed bug control. They just tell their “exterminators” to get rid of them. They often refuse to commit to the cleaning and operational changes crucial to get control. They are often reluctant to pay the price necessary, in terms of dollars and effort, to achieve control.

Bed Bugs – Lack of Cooperation from Residents

The number #1 reason that retreats are not as effective for bed bugs in homes and apartments is because of the lack of cooperation of residents on the initial treatment visit.  Resident cooperation with the pest control company is a must.   Because technicians couldn’t have the kind of access to the surroundings and home furnishings as they needed, treatments for bed bugs are not as effective.   It’s important that residents follow several important instructions in order to make the most of the initial application.  Usually residents will need to strip their beds of all blankets and sheets, completely empty all closets, dressers, and nightstands, wash all clothing and linens and place them inside plastic bags or bins in the living room, and then vacuum before service.  In the fight against difficult to remove bed bugs these steps may seem extreme to some.  However, to eradicate bed bugs from all clothes and possessions it is necessary to give technicians total access to the surroundings to insure more effective treatment.

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