Industry News

Tackle bed bugs by seeking the source

Dr. Austin Frishman, Ph.D.

The resurgence of bed bugs has presented a fairly recent problem for the pest management industry, meaning we’ve had to quickly learn what works and what doesn’t. Though our tools and knowledge have improved, there are still times when things are missed. Here are a few out-of-the-ordinary bed bug encounters to remind you to think outside of the box when it comes to bed bugs.

The pet pig

The source of one couple’s infestation was their pot-bellied pig’s sleeping basket. The infestation was so bad that when the pig would crawl into bed with them, the bed bugs would hitch a ride with him. Animals are often the culprits when it comes to hidden harborage sites.

Backpacks and computer cases

A school issued each student an iPad® and case, which they took home every evening and brought back to school the next day. At the end of the school year, the iPad was returned to the school and left in storage until the start of the next year. Almost 20% of the iPad cases ended up containing bed bugs. Despite treating for bed bugs on-site, the school is likely to wind up with the same problem once the items go back home with the students.

The man with the wooden leg

A pest management professional (PMP) was treating the bedroom of a man with a wooden leg, but couldn’t get rid of the infestation. It turned out the man was taking his wooden leg off at night and placing it near the bed. In the morning, he would put it back on and head to work. The bed bugs hid inside the hollow leg, came out at night to feed and then crawled back into the leg before dawn. Thus, the PMP was missing the source.

Don’t skip apartments

There are plenty of people who don’t like letting others into their apartments. You need to be persistent and treat every apartment in a complex, otherwise bed bugs can survive in a particular unit and spread to others once the treatment has ended.

Bed bugs are pests that can require some creativity and thought to overcome. However, taking the time to detect the source can help you in the long run and be the difference between eliminating a population and costly callbacks.


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