Bed bugs are a nightmare and can affect anyone, anywhere, anytime. And for landlords, bed bugs can become a legal issue and a liability as well. The issue is taking notice of the early signs of bed bugs being in the property. Ideally, if a tenant is suffering from a bed bug infestation, he should sort it out before he moves out of the property for a number of reasons.
1- so the tenants stop suffering
2- so they do not take infested belongings to their next home
3- so they do not leave bed bug behind and put their deposit at risk
But what if the time frame is not right. It happen often enough that tenants wants to move because of the bed bugs, and will not stay another night in. In other instances, tenants move out after the first visits, and the treatment is not yet complete and there is still residual activity. Sometimes, the tenants get evicted, or leave without a word.
The catch is that a landlord cannot knowingly rent an infested flat to unsuspecting tenants. The issue is that the traditional chemical bedbug treatment requires people sleeping to drag them out of their hiding place. As and when people are sleeping, a build up of CO2 triggers a signal and the bed bugs that need feeding come out to feed. In the process they would walk on the pesticides that will ultimately kill them.
In the absence of tenants, most of the bed bugs would stay put and they can survive 6 months without feeding. So no amount of chemical treatment will kill 100% of them if there are no tenants sleeping. At best you will have reduced dramatically the level of infestations, but as the new tenants move in, they will get bitten right away and you will be back to square one having wasted time and money on a strategy that was doomed from the start.
The only strategy that can eradicate a bed bug infestation from an empty flat is heat. The bed bug heat treatment will heat up not only the bed and mattress but the walls and floors, killing all stage of the bed bugs. Once it is completed, we can then spray the full area to ensure no residual activity is allowed to remain. From there, the new tenants can very much move in the very next day. It would only be a matter of replacing everything in place and tidy up a little.
The bed bug heat treatment is also the best approach to deal with a suspected infestation for a hotel room. If taken early you may not even need to do a full heat treatment, but instead use the cimix eradicator steamer, and spray. If effect you would loose 1 or 2 night only that the room would have to stay off line. We had come across a number of hotel managers who refused to consider the heat treatment option and would have new guest staying in the rooms right away.
And in some occasion what we found was a strong level of bed bug infestation. It is incredible that such a problem would be overlooked to such an extent, and so many guests exposed to it. Clearly such an extreme situation could lead to disrepute. But it could lead to some sort of litigations for lack of due diligence. What I argue, is that it definitely show the shortcoming of the hotel management and reporting system.
The house keeping is key to identify any issue in a bedroom. After all they make the beds and handle the mattress. It takes very little training to recognise the signs of bed bugs. And when any incidence is being reported, the hotel management should take rapid actions and contact their pest control provider right away.
At inoculand pest control, we go beyond just treating. We want to solve the issue and prevent any detrimental implications to the clients and their customers. Exposing new tenants or new guest to an existing bed bug infestation can put a risk your livelihood and have serious implication. Sometimes doing the right thing is the only way forward, otherwise you instead of saving money on a cheaper alternative, you end up wasting money on a weaker alternative.