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There is an overwhelming amount of information on how best to detect and monitor bed bugs - in and amongst the mix of DIY solutions, suggestions from friends, myths and urban legends, a clear solution can be difficult to find.
Entomologists, pest control experts and homeowners all agree on one though - bed bugs are unique and cannot be managed through typical pest control measures. These parasitic insects are incredibly small and can fit into cracks as thin as a credit card - miss two of these expert hiders and you’ll have a brand new infestation on your hands.
The most important - and ironically, the most difficult - step in eliminating bed bugs is detection. It is crucial to correctly identify these blood-feeding pests, but adult bed bugs are typically only a few millimeters in length and width. Other stages of the bed bug life cycle (eggs and nymphs) are microscopic and virtually invisible to the naked eye.
Bed bug eggs hatch and nymphs mature with each blood meal, developing into fully-grown adults in months. These adults go on to reproduce and form new colonies; left undetected and untreated, the infestations spread at rapid pace, making sleep a recurring nightmare for the humans they share a bed with.
At Western Exterminator, we use multiple detection methods to ensure a comprehensive bed bug inspection. Here we look at the mix of complementary methods we use to find, and consequently, eliminate bed bugs:
1. Visual bed bug inspection - Despite the fact that bed bugs are difficult to see with the naked eye, trained bed bug specialists can find evidence of bed bugs through experience, expertise and looking for signs such as:
2. Passive bed bug detection devices - One approach to bed bug detection employs the use of passive devices - detector devices set up in areas where bed bugs may be hiding. The term ‘passive’ refers to the fact that these devices do not attempt to attract bed bugs; rather, they are placed in locations such as under the legs of bed frames and upholstered furniture to intercept, capture and kill bed bugs as they travel to sleeping and resting areas.
3. Active bed bug detection devices - Unlike passive devices, active bed bug detection devices actively lure bed bugs using attractants such as carbon dioxide, heat and other chemicals. They are placed in locations of suspected activity to entice bed bugs from hiding places and provide evidence of a bed bug infestation.
4. Canine scent detection - Due to a dog’s keen sense of smell, a trained canine can detect the presence of bed bugs by the odors given off by live bed bugs and viable eggs, hidden in places which might be missed during a visual inspection.
1. Proven and trusted - Because of their keen sense of smell, dogs are able to locate everything from weapons and drugs, to missing persons, cancer and yes, bed bugs.
2. Speed and accuracy - Ultimately means cost savings - A dog has more than 220 million olfactory receptors in its nose, and a trained bed bug dog is looking for just one smell - bed bugs. These pests are quite secretive by nature and they are impressively flat, so bed bugs can hide nearly anywhere - in walls, in mattress seams - often in places no human could reasonably see them. It can take up to an hour for a human inspector to properly search just one bedroom for bed bugs. A dog can clear the same room in a matter of minutes with far more accuracy.
3. Cutting-edge technology - The "nose" is cutting-edge technology and scientifically-proven to be the most accurate inspection tool that can detect and pinpoint sources of bedbugs - critical information for lowering costs of eradicating this parasitic insect.
4. Greater peace of mind - Our dogs are trained to work by being rewarded with play, not food. You can rest easy if our dog doesn't find bed bugs and know your money is well spent if it does. If the dog finds bed bugs, Western Exterminator can then begin the process of eliminating the infestation.
Bed bug inspection costs can vary depending on the circumstances of your specific situation, so it’s best to reach out to us to set up an appointment to speak to a trained bed bug specialist before you decide on the next course of action.
Scheduled inspections take an average of 1 to 1.5 hours to complete, depending on the size and intricacy of your property. Here is what you can expect to take place during a scheduled bed bug inspection:
Pre-inspection - Before your bed bug inspection, one of our licensed inspectors will discuss your concerns, any particular needs you may have and provide a thorough description of what the inspection will involve.
During the inspection - The inspector will examine the areas of suspected bed bug activity, most commonly in the seams of the mattress, bed and upholstery. Using specialist tools, the inspector will look for signs of bed bugs such as excrement, fecal spots, egg shells and shed skins. As we move through your home, don’t shy away from asking questions. At Western Exterminator, our specialists are always able and willing to explain what we are doing and why we are doing it.
Post inspection - When the bed bug inspection is complete, you will receive a report which describes the findings - whether or not bed bug activity was discovered, areas of concern and damages made (if any). Recommendations and an estimate for treatment and follow-up will also be provided in the report for you to decide the best course of action.
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