Bed bugs can be found in all 50 states, and they are on the rise—but that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do to help protect your business from an infestation. Successful bed bug control starts with understanding the warning signs and taking the necessary steps to stop infestations before they get out of hand.
What are bed bugs?
Bed bugs are small insects about the size of an apple seed that feed on the blood of animals or humans. With an average lifespan of a year, they are prolific breeders, and a single female can lay hundreds of eggs in her lifetime. Bedbugs are attracted to warmth, moisture and the carbon dioxide released from warm-blooded animals. Since bed bugs are primarily nocturnal and feed at night when people are asleep or resting, an infestation can go unnoticed for a long period of time—unless you know what to look for.
Bed bugs are often found in box springs, headboards, and bed frames, but can be present in all types of furniture including office chairs, couches in a restaurant or the seats in a movie theatre. People can transport bed bugs from one location to another without knowing it.
Signs of a bed bug infestation include:
- Eggs: small and pearly white in color.
- Live bugs: Quick moving, anywhere from 1 mm to ¼" in size and light to dark brown in color.
- Cast skins: As they molt, bed bugs will leave cast skins.
- Spotting: Black or red stains left on fabrics after bed bugs have digested blood and excreted feces.
It can take 5-7 weeks from egg to adult, but bed bugs can mature in as little 35 days. This makes bed bug treatment difficult without the help of a professional—especially if you also have a business to run.
How to get rid of bed bugs
If you've spotted a bed bug infestation, you should immediately take steps to slow down the spread. Start by cleaning up clutter and quarantining affected mattresses or furniture. Next, it's time to call in a professional like Terminix Commercial for an assessment. Our experts can recommend and facilitate the right treatments which could include include physical removal (vacuum), thermal remediation (steam), and more conventional means like the judicious use of insecticides, liquids, aerosols and dusts. Depending on the severity of the infestation, you may need to be prepared to replace furniture, mattresses, linens and other items to ensure all bugs and eggs are eliminated.
As a long-term strategy, we recommend approaching bed bug prevention as an ongoing process and investment in your business. Terminix Commercial's Bed Bug Monitoring Program can ensure proactive protection against infestation and provide support for early bed bug detection and customized treatment plans.
Find out more about our Commercial Bed Bug Treatment services.
Why is bed bug monitoring important for businesses?
Since they often “hitchhike" on clothing, luggage, and other personal belongings, bed bugs spread quickly and indiscriminately. They can be found in all types of businesses and become an especially serious problem for hotels and office spaces. The best defense against bed bugs is constant monitoring for early detection so you're ready to tackle the problem.
Bed bugs can affect businesses in many ways, including:
- Harm your reputation: A report of bed bugs, either in an online review or by word of mouth, can spread quickly and prevent new customers from visiting your business.
- Financial loss: A damaged reputation will affect your bottom line and make it difficult to attract business and start rebuilding.
- Business shutdowns: Treating a bed bug infestation can mean closing to ensure the problem is dealt with as conclusively as possible. It may take multiple treatments to fully get rid of bed bugs and feel confident enough to open again.
Whether you have a bed bug problem or want to learn more about bed bug monitoring, call us at 877.837.6464 to schedule service or request a free estimate.