Scheduling a NYC Bed Bug Inspection
In the war on bed bugs being waged across New York, the first line of defense is with a bed bug inspection. Indeed, inspection companies have never been busier as they help homeowners and businesses discern if they have a bed bug problem and, if so, pinpoint the exact locations of bed bugs within a property for effective and thorough extermination. In order to get the most from a bed bug inspection, here are three key considerations.
- Know when to schedule a bed bug inspection: It is best to know that you are 100% sure you have bed bugs before seeking treatment options. Otherwise, it will cost you a time, money, and stress if it turns out you mistook a bug or a bite for that of a bed bug. Know the telltale signs to look for and also consider collecting evidence that you can compare to pictures that are readily available online of bed bugs and their eggs, shedding, and feces. This will help you decide whether it is actually the time to schedule an expert inspection.
- Research what type of bed bug inspection you need: While you may want to use a human inspector for your potential bed bug problem, you can also select from a bed bug dog inspection company if they are available in your area. Bed bug dogs are proven to be incredibly adept with detection given their keen sense of smell and ability to quickly cover a large area. So, if you have a hotel, apartment complex, school, or other large area, you might want to consider scheduling with this type of bed bug inspection service. Albeit potentially more expensive, the ability to work fast and accurately makes this a good investment that may actually save you money in the long run. Of course, if you want that same type of reassurance and only have a house or condo to cover, a bed bug dog can still be utilized to proffer utmost peace of mind.
- Plan to reschedule a bed bug inspection in the future: Once you have an inspection and go through treatment, you cannot assume your bed bug problem is gone for good. It’s is best to plan for a regular re-inspection every few months. Most services offer reduced rates for re-inspection, including bed bug dog inspection companies.
One point of note: when you schedule an inspection, be sure to make it as easy for inspectors as possible by cleaning up any clutter and removing bedding as much as possible. You may also want to pull furniture away from the walls so that cracks and crevices can be examined. This will facilitate the inspection process and hopefully cover all the areas where bed bugs could be hiding.
- Step 1: Look for Telltale Signs: These include small black spots, shed bed bug skins and egg shells, live bed bugs, and bloody or rusty stains on sheets, mattresses, bedding, walls, or upholstered furniture. Other signs include a musty odor that can be sweet or somewhat offensive. Bites on skin, especially when little time has been spent outdoors, may also be indicative of bed bugs. If you are not sure what bed bugs look like, be sure to look them up online and use these pictures as tools when checking for the aforementioned signs.
- Step 2: Uncover All Their Potential Hiding Places: Despite wanting to visit with you for your blood, bed bugs really prefer to hide. Use a flashlight and magnifying glass, if necessary, to inspect all the potential hiding spots, including mattresses and box springs, bedding, upholstered furniture, bed frames, window and door frames, cracks and crevices, carpet tack strips, baseboards, behind outlet and switch plates, drapery, smoke detectors, thermostats, loose wallpaper and molding and wall junctions.
- Step 3: Call in the Dogs: Relying on a visual inspection will not get the job done – especially when you’re fairly certain you have a bed bug problem. Before hiring any one bed bug extermination company, first consider using a company that relies on man’s best friend to effectively and more accurately sniff out all of the areas bed bugs are hiding – whether or not they can be seen with the naked eye.
- Step 4: Start the Treatment Process: There is a wide range of home treatments to use, and the best strategy may be to use a combination of solutions, such as a bed bug monitoring device, mattress liners, heat and steam and sprays. Depending on the type of room or amount of space that you must treat, your options will vary.
- Step 5: Don’t Stop Inspecting: Even if it appears that the bed bug treatment worked and you don’t see the signs of the insects doesn’t mean they won’t return – or that there weren’t a few hiding in the walls waiting to make their move. Be sure to check monthly or as regularly as possible to ensure that they have not returned and so it will not become another infestation.
If you suspect there might be a problem or you’ve dealt with bed bugs in the past, don’t assume they will just go away on their own – because they won’t; if anything, the problem will just get worse. So, start immediately on checking and continue to check before, during, and after treatment.
Why Do You A Regular Bed Bug Inspection?
An article in Crain’s New York Business noted some key reasons:
Experts said that the city’s education efforts—and people’s anxiety levels—have paid off. The city set up a bedbug website that provides information on how to prevent, recognize and treat infestations. HPD has developed new training programs for its inspectors to help them better detect the insects. In November, HPD unleashed its latest weapons, Mickey and Nemo, two bedbug-sniffing beagles. Meanwhile, the state passed a law in 2010 that requires landlords to disclose any prior bedbug infestations in their buildings.
Another article that appeared in the Lexington Clipper-Herald provided numerous tips for bed bug infestations of which a regular bed bug inspection a key piece of advice. This included regular inspections at home and around typical hiding spots for bed bugs, including pet beds, mattresses, bedding, and bags. Advice also included regularly inspecting your hotel room and luggage during and after the trip. Even when shopping or going to the gym or school, it is best to regularly inspect your belongings for signs of bed bugs.
Professional or DIY Regular Bed Bug Inspection?
While one route is to utilize a professional bed bug inspection company, especially those employing highly accurate bed bug dogs, you may choose to go it alone. You can conduct your own inspection of your home by using a flashlight and magnifying glass in search of tell-tale signs like dark red or brown spots on bedding and mattresses that indicate bed bug feces. You can also shine the flashlight on crevices and cracks in mattress and box spring folds, baseboards, outlets, smoke alarms and other key hiding spots. However, if you are the operator of a large hotel or apartment building, it may be best to go with a bed bug dog company that can quickly cover a large area with a high level of accuracy. Even for homeowners, while you may not find visual signs the insects may be lurking in areas not accessible to the naked eye.
Regular bed bug inspections can be monthly if you do them yourself or on a quarterly basis if hiring a professional and undertaking the inspection for a business. Of course, this is only a recommendation and not a proven timeline for effectiveness. Regular vigilance does pay off in terms of a lower infestation rate and is one of the best lines of defenses for addressing the current national problem.
4 Signs It’s Time for a Bed Bug Inspection
- One bed bug: A recent discovery in an elementary school of just one single bed bug wisely prompted an entire inspection as well as a treatment strategy that included spraying the whole campus to try and exterminate any others that might be hiding out in other classrooms. Even just one bed bug spotted means there are many, many more around or not far behind as these insects multiply quickly through short reproductive cycles.
- Bed bug waste: One news source on identifying signs of bed bugs stated that bed bug waste, which appears as small red-brown stains, is a classic way to signal the need for further inspection. The article quoted a source, saying, “You look at the seams, and if the seams have little, tiny spots — usually that’s a by-product of bed bugs.” It is important to thoroughly inspect all upholstery and bedding for these signs.
- Bed bug bites: A recent Scientific American story noted the importance of understanding what a bed bug bite looks like and then doing something about it if there are apparent signs that one or more individuals at a property have been bitten. The problem is that not everyone has a reaction to bed bugs, as the article stated, “Thirty percent of people or more don’t react to bed bug bites at all, and the elderly are less reactive than the rest of the population.”
- Bed bug odor: The same Scientific American article explained why, despite being somewhat challenging to detect, this is an important sign to look for and certainly justifies an inspection: “Like many species of bugs, bed bugs release odors called alarm pheromones. When a group of bed bugs gets disturbed, you may get a whiff of that odor, which is similar to the odor stink bugs give off. At higher concentrations the odor is unpleasant. Some people say at low concentrations it’s a pleasant smell—like coriander. In fact, older literature refers to the bed bug as the coriander bug.”
Why It Pays to Have a Bed Bug Inspection NYC
You’ll know you need an inspection if you see bed bugs, their eggs, or their feces. At that point, they’re well established, and an inspection will be the only way you can be sure to locate them all for removal.
But even before you see visible evidence of bed bugs, inspections are a smart preventative measure. Many landlords, homeowners, and business owners regularly conduct bed bug inspections for reasons such as:
- To check for bed bugs if you have bites you can’t explain. Bed bug bites are easy to confuse with other insect bites, so you may think you’ve been bitten by bed bugs but can’t be sure. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean it’s not a bed bug, so an inspection is the only way to be sure.
- To ensure that no one in the home or business is ever bitten by a bed bug. Routine inspections can catch bed bugs before they bother you. Bed bugs can cause severe itching, and can lead to allergic complications for some people.
- To keep from helping to spread bed bugs. Imagine how bad you would feel if someone visited your home or business and left with bed bug stowaways that then infest their home. And if your home or business is infested, you or anyone else who lives or works there can unwittingly carry them into other locations. Bed bug inspections can give you the peace of mind that you won’t cause problems for anyone else.
- To provide evidence to renters or home buyers that a home is free of bed bugs. Smart renters or homebuyers will ask for evidence of a recent bed bug inspection. And landlords can protect against possible renter lawsuits with regular inspections.
5 Facts About Bed Bug Inspection
Visual inspections do not necessarily work: That’s because bed bugs travel and lodge themselves in nooks and crannies of furniture that make it very difficult to spot when visually searching a room, its contents, and certainly an entire house or building. The naked eye may miss many of these hiding spots, and such visual inspections are especially challenging in large buildings with hundreds of rooms as was the case in a large housing facility in Alabama cited in one recent news report.
You may need to undertake more than one bed bug inspection: Due to the fact that bed bugs like to hide in hard-to-spot places, it’s advisable to conduct more than one inspection and continue to do these even after using comprehensive bed bug treatment solutions. The aforementioned housing facility noted that, although they did numerous treatments, they knew that they would have to continue doing inspections to ensure that the treatments did exterminate all bed bugs and eggs on the premises.
Bed bug dog inspections provide a more comprehensive search: A recent article in the Bay Weekly reported the high success rate of bed bug dogs as an ideal inspection tool for finding the insects. The article noted, “Scent dogs are 98 percent effective in finding the bugs while the human success rate is 50 percent. Dixie learned 20 different commands and trained in cars, boats and theaters, as well as homes and hotels. She can cover 120 rooms in one day.”
Don’t assume a bed bug inspection is enough to make them go away: As the same article explained, an inspection is only the first part of what can be a very time and resource-intensive job to rid a property of bed bugs. Fully eradicating bed bug will involve a lot of work, including taking furniture and bedding apart, removing and washing linens, drapery and other upholstered items, and utilizing various types of treatments.
You can conduct your own bed bug inspection if you know what to look for: The same article went on to note that much of an inspection process can be done by you rather than a professional as long as you know what the bothersome bugs looks like and where they are likely to be hiding. The article pointed to many signs of bed bugs and also listed places to look for them. This may be one way to save money or avoid many of the scams that have popped up in light of the public’s paranoia about potential infestations.
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