The Facts on Bed Bugs

The old-time expression “don’t let the bed bugs bite” has taken on a new meaning recently as these unwanted guests can hitchhike their way into your home from hotel rooms, rented houses & condos, families’ houses, and college dorms.

bed bugs

What Are Bed Bugs And What Do They Look Like?

Bed bugs, a classic travel pest, are small parasitic insects that feed on human blood. Bed bugs are tiny, oval, brown and wingless insects approximately 1/4” to 3/8” long (5-9 mm). As their name implies, these bloodsuckers make their homes in beds, but also in couches, clothing and seats of airplanes and trains. They crawl out of crevices to feed on blood and these painless attacks generally go undetected until a reaction to the bites appears or evidence of bed bugs is found in the bedding.bed bugs

What Can I Do To Protect Myself?

When checking into a hotel room, apartment or house, you can perform a simple bed bug inspection of the space.

  1. Pull pillows and sheets down about 1/3 of the way from the top of the bed and look for reddish-brown or black spots on the sheets near the bed’s headboard. You may not see the actual bugs themselves but they do leave a trail of spots.bed bugs
  2. Look for spots on mattresses, pillows, headboards and walls behind headboards.
  3. Check the inside of dresser drawers for insects and black spots.
  4. Contact a pest services company immediately if you’ve found any signs of bed bugs during your inspection.

If I Suspect Bed Bugs In A Room, What Should I Do?

  1. Isolate the items that have been infested from other items in your living space.bed bugs
  2. Put clothing and other heat tolerant items in a clothes dryer for a minimum of 40 minutes – the heat will eliminate bed bugs.
  3. After thoroughly heating the items, wash as normal.
  4. Contact Massey Services for a free bed bug inspection of your home.

How To Perform a Bed Bug Inspection

As part of bed bug awareness week, we wanted to share a few tips of how to perform a bed bug inspection when you check in to your hotel room.

  • Pull pillows and sheets down about 1/3 of the way from the top of the bed and look for reddish-brown or blackBed Bug spots on the sheets near the bed’s headboard.  You may not see the actual bugs themselves but they do leave a trail of spots.
  • Look for spots on mattresses, pillows, headboards and walls behind headboards.
  • Check the inside of dresser drawers for insects and black spots.
  • Contact Guest Services immediately if you’ve found any signs of bed bugs during your inspection. 

If you suspect you were in a hotel room with bed bugs, once you return home, take the following steps with your travel items:

  • Isolate the items in your travel bags from other items in your home – the garage is a great place.
  • Put clothing and other heat tolerant items into your dryer for a minimum of 20 minutes – the heat will eliminate bed bugs.
  • After thoroughly heating the items, wash as normal.
  • Check all luggage before storing it away.  Vacuum out luggage and clean the exterior surface.

Remember, bed bugs don’t discriminate between motels and 5 star resort hotels.  They are hitchhikers that attach themselves to luggage and clothing and travel wherever they are taken.

When welcoming family and friends into your home who have been staying in hotels or on a cruise ship, be aware that bed bugs may have hitched a ride with them. After your guests leave, carefully inspect guest rooms for any signs of bed bugs.  Wash all bed linens as soon as possible.

If you suspect you may have bed bugs, contact us for a free inspection.

 

The Origin of Pest Management

In the most recent issue of PCT magazine, Dr. Jerome Goddard shared a history lesson on the humble beginnings of the pest management industry.  A small excerpt of this article discusses the origins of pest management that we found very interesting.

“Organized, purposeful pest control probably had its origins during the early Middle Ages (500-1100 A.D.) as a result of people trying to get rid of rats.  A few chemicals and plant extracts were known to kill rats during that time, but people tried all sorts of other methods as well.

There are historical records of people using the names of saints and various religious incantations to try to drive rats out of cities and towns across Europe.  There are also reports of people “rhyming” them to death or using bagpipes to drive them away.  Sometime between the 11th and 14th centuries, the position of “apothecary” arose, and these people specialized in all sorts of medicines and poisons.

Modern day barbers are also ancestors of pest control personnel.  The profession of barber-surgeon was originally a branch of medicine and they were often assigned to armies during wars to perform battle surgeries.  Even today, the red and white barber pole represents the blood and bandages originally associated with barber-surgeons.  Eventually, during the 14th century, an official Guild of Barber-Surgeons was formed which, through time, enacted increasingly stricter educational and professional standards, eventually leading surgery to a more respectable profession.  The barbers were thus left behind to shave men, cut or dye hair, and dispense nostrums and ratbane, among other activities.

During the Middle Ages, the ratsbane seller was a street and market vendor who sold a variety of chemicals and rodent traps.  A little later, this developed into a profession called the “rat catcher.”

By the early 18th century, rat catchers of Europe had become highly specialized and used a variety of pest control methods such as traps, chemicals and terrier dogs trained to find and kill rats.  The first official pest control company was H. Tiffin and Son Ltd. in London, which had its beginnings in 1690.  This company promoted rat and bed bug control using methods and chemical compounds they invented.  Their trademark was “Bug Destroyers to Her Majesty and the Royal Family.”

Vermin exterminators eventually emigrated to the United States from about 1840 to 1930, carrying with them the knowledge of pests and pesticides.”

Click here for the full story on this History Lesson of the Pest Management Industry.

Avoid Bed Bugs this Holiday Season

As many of us either head out of town or have out of town guests staying with us this Thanksgiving, no one wants to worry about bed bugs. Bed bugs can be difficult to avoid because they are considered hitchhikers, traveling from place to place by attaching themselves to luggage or clothing.

As you prepare to head out of town or welcome guests into your home, here are a few useful tips about bed bugs:

  1. Bed bugs are tiny, oval, brown and wingless insects approximately 1/4″ to 3/8″ long (5-9mm).
  2. Bed bugs are frequently found in hotels.  They travel by hitching rides with unsuspecting guests by crawling into clothing and luggage.  All hotels are susceptible to bed bugs – from motels to five star hotels.
  3. When checking into a hotel room, there are few simple steps you can take to perform a bed bug inspection.
    1. Pull pillows and sheets down about 1/3 of the way from the top of the bed and look for reddish-brown or black spots on the sheets near the bed’s headboard.  You may not see the actual bugs themselves but they do leave a trail of spots.
    2. Look for spots on mattresses, pillows, headboards and walls behind headboards.
    3. Check the inside of dresser drawers for insects and black spots.
    4. Contact Guest Services immediately if you’ve found any signs of bed bugs during your inspection! 
  4. If you suspect you were in a room that had bed bugs, take the following steps when you return home:
    1. Isolate the items in your travel bags from other items in your home – the garage is a great place.
    2. Put clothing and other heat tolerant items into your dryer for a minimum of 20 minutes – the heat will eliminate the bed bugs.
    3. After thoroughly heating the items, wash as normal.
    4. Check all luggage before storing it away.  Vacuum out luggage and clean the exterior surface.
  5. If guests are staying in your home, be aware that bed bugs may have hitched a ride with them.  After your guests leave, carefully inspect guest rooms for any signs of bed bugs.  Wash all bed linens as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or would like a free inspection for bed bugs in your home, please give us a call or schedule a free inspection online!

Bed Bugs and Anemia?

This past Monday the University of Florida released details on their bed bug study to the Journal of Medical Entomology, stating that bed bugs do have the potential to cause massive blood loss. In the study, they found that uncontrolled populations of bed bugs can reach harmful levels for humans in three to eight months. The study also demonstrated that bed bugs feeding on a one-year child can have harmful effects when feeding daily in as short of a time as 11 weeks. Obviously this covers an extended period of time, but it is very easy for bed bugs to infest your home and remain there until they are eradicated.

While you typically hear stories about bed bugs attacking victims in hotels, bed bugs are considered hitchhikers and will travel home with you after a hotel stay by attaching themselves to your luggage. Out of town visitors can also bring bed bugs into your home through their travels.

So what do you look for to determine if you may be dealing with a bed bug infestation? Bed bugs are tiny, oval, brown and wingless insects approximately 1/4″ to 3/8″ long. Their eggs are white, oval and about 1mm in length.
You can do a simple bed bug inspection by performing the following tasks:

  • Pull pillows and sheets down about 1/3 of the way from the top of the bed and look for reddish-brown or black spots on the sheets near the bed’s headboard.  You may not see the actual bugs themselves but they do leave a trail of spots.
  • Look for spots on mattresses, pillows, headboards and walls behind headboards.
  • Check the inside of dresser drawers for insects and black spots.

Corrective services for bed bug infestations require professional treatment to be eliminated so if you do suspect you have an infestation, contact a pest professional immediately for a free inspection.

Avoid Bed Bugs this Labor Day Weekend

They’re in our beds. They’re in our hotels. And now, they’re even in our police cars!
Bed bugs are extremely difficult to avoid these days and you’re constantly seeing them in the headlines. What’s worse, staying in a four star resort with the finest amenities and the highest standards of cleanliness doesn’t make you exempt from spending the night with these invasive critters. Police in New York State found that out, and they were simply riding around in their own cars!
If you’re heading out of town this Labor Day weekend, don’t let bed bugs damper your plans. The trick to a happy vacation – find them first before they make a home in your 400 thread-count sheets! Here are a few tips to help you prevent bed bugs from ruining your weekend plans:

  1. Keep your suitcase elevated on a dresser or closet shelf.  Prior to inspecting your room for bed bugs, you can also put your bags on the tile floor in the bathroom or in the bathtub.  Bed bugs like cracks, crevices and cozy places.  It is rare to see them crawling across a tile floor.
  2. If you can, pack a small flashlight in your carry-on luggage.  Bed bugs tend to hide in dark places and a flashlight will help you find their hiding places.
  3. To begin your inspection, start with the bed.  Pull back the covers and pillow cases and look for any reddish-brown or black spots on the sheets, pillows and mattress.  You may not see the actual bugs themselves but they do leave a trail of spots.
  4. Look around the headboard and the space between the mattress and the box spring, the box of the bed and bed frame.
  5. Check upholstered chairs, recliners and sofas – these are the most likely areas for bed bugs.  Make sure to examine along seams, skirts and folds of fabric.
  6. Finally, check the inside of dresser drawers and nightstands for insects and reddish-brown or black spots.

If you don’t find evidence of bed bugs during your search, let the long weekend fun begin, but be cautious!  Bed bugs can travel from room to room and therefore, tourist to tourist.  When returning home, be sure to inspect luggage and clothing that you brought on vacation with you for any signs of these pests.

Bed bugs can be hard to detect, but if you suspect these pests have invaded your home or commercial property, call the pest experts at Massey Services (1-888-2MASSEY) today for a free pest inspection. We use forced-air heaters to kill bed bugs in all stages of development from egg to adult, plus the contents of the room are typically not damaged.

Bed Bug Inspection and Elimination Tips

It’s almost Memorial Day weekend and reports are showing more people will be hitting the road this year over previous years. But before you head out of town and check into a hotel, make sure you know what to look for when it comes to bed bugs. Here are a few tips you can follow so you’re not bringing unwanted guests back home with you!

Upon checking into your hotel room, perform these simple steps to ensure there are no signs of bed bugs:

    1. Pull the pillows and sheets down about 1/3 of the way from the top of the bed and look for reddish-brown or black spots on the sheets near the bed’s headboard.  You may not see the actual bugs themselves but they do leave a trail of spots.

  1. Look for spots on mattresses, pillows, headboards and walls behind headboards.
  2. Check the inside of dresser drawers for insects and black spots.

If you see anything suspicious during your inspection, be sure to contact Guest Services immediately and request a new room.

If you suspect you may have been in a hotel room that had bed bugs, take the following steps when you return home:

  1. Isolate items in your travel bags from other items in your home – the garage is a great place to do this!
  2. Put clothing and other heat tolerant items into your dryer for a minimum of 20 minutes – the heat will eliminate bed bugs.
  3. After thoroughly heating the items, wash as normal.
  4. Check all luggage before storing it away.  Vacuum out luggage and clean the exterior surface.

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us!  Safe & happy travels!

Bed Bugs and Holiday Travel

The holidays are upon us and many of us are packing up and traveling to spend time with family and friends or hosting the festivities at your own home.
But as our travel plans get closer, we continue to see more and more in the news about bed bugs. So how can you prevent bed bugs from ruining your holiday plans?

Here are a few commonly asked questions about bed bugs that may help as you’re checking into a hotel or having guests stay over.

What do bed bugs look like?
Bed bugs are tiny, oval, brown and wingless insects approximately
1/4” to 3/8” long (5-9 mm).

Is there really a huge outbreak?
Bed bugs have made a comeback in the United States over the last
few years. The largest outbreaks have been reported in large
cities with high rates of tourism.

Where are bed bugs typically found?
Bed bugs are most frequently found in hotels. They travel by
hitching rides with unsuspecting guests by crawling into clothing
and luggage. All hotels are susceptible to bed bugs – from motels to
five star hotels.

What can I do to protect myself?
When checking into a hotel room or after visiting guests have left your
home, you can perform a simple bed bug inspection of the room.
1) Pull pillows & sheets down about 1/3 of the way from the top of the
bed and look for reddish-brown or black spots on the sheets near the
bed’s headboard. You may not see the actual bugs themselves but they
do leave a trail of spots.
2) Look for spots on mattresses, pillows, headboards and walls behind
headboards.
3) Check the inside of dresser drawers for insects & black spots.
Contact Guest Services immediately if you’ve found any signs
of bed bugs during your inspection.

If I suspect I was in a room with bed bugs, what should I do
when I return home?

1) Isolate the items in your travel bags from other items in your home –
the garage is a great place.
2) Put clothing and other heat tolerant items into your dryer for a minimum of 20 minutes – the heat will eliminate bed bugs.
3) After thoroughly heating the items, wash as normal.
4) Check all luggage before storing it away. Vacuum out luggage and
clean the exterior surface.

What if I have guests staying in my home?
When welcoming family and friends into your home who have been
staying in hotels or on a cruise ship, be aware that bed bugs may have
hitched a ride with them. After your guests leave, carefully inspect guest
rooms for any signs of bed bugs. Wash all bed linens as soon as possible.

The Challenges with Bed Bugs

It’s no secret that bed bugs are a hot topic of conversation.  They have become a nuisance everywhere, not only in hotels but in restaurants, movie theaters and even stores!  Even more concerning is the virtual ineffectiveness using traditional means of eliminating bed bug infestations.

That’s because bed bugs are becoming resistant to the pesticides that have been used to treat them.  Massey Services began to understand that this was occurring and so five years ago, we began testing alternative treatments to eliminate bed bugs and developed our bed bug heat remediation program.

This treatment completely eliminates entire populations of bed bugs – from egg to adult.  The process uses forced air heaters to raise the temperature in bed bug infested areas, killing bed bugs at all stages of their development.  These heaters, in conjunction with an integrated pest management approach to pest elimination, have proven to be significantly more effective than other methods of bed bug control.

Our bed bug heat remediation treatment was recently patented as well!

Massey Receives Patent for Bed Bug Treatment

About five years ago, as bed bugs continued to make a resurgence in the United States, we recognized there was a need for a different type of bed bug treatment that would eliminate bed bugs at all stages of life. We began testing several treatment types and found that heat was very successful at doing this. So we partnered with a company that specialized in heat and the bed bug heat remediation process was born.
This process is not only effective but also very efficient. It requires that hotel rooms be off market for only 48 hours, compared to what can be weeks when using a liquid treatment. Not only that, you don’t have to destroy the contents of the room because the heat will eliminate all bed bugs – no matter where they are hiding.
Earlier this year, it was announced that we were receiving a patent for our heat remediation treatment and we couldn’t be more proud! This is just another example of our commitment to innovation, which allows us to provide outstanding results for our customers!

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