Maggie had a great training session yesterday. We were inspecting a room where a training aid (live bugs) had been hidden behind a painting that was above the couch.
That’s a pretty difficult situation because you wouldn’t think to check for bugs behind a painting or a picture, but when it’s located above a couch or a bed it’s a common place to find the bugs, so we’re training Maggie to check there when she she’s that kind of set up.
As soon as we entered the room she had the scent and tracked it to the couch, and followed the scent up the wall to the painting, and she bumped the painting with her nose and the painting moved, which scared her. This is great because it should teach her she doesn’t need to put her nose on item to smell the bugs, and with certain items, like a painting or a picture, she shouldn’t, and that picture moving like it did taught her that better than we ever could.
So what she did next, because she was still a little spooked, was she gave me a strange alert with a half sit, which really amounted to her squatting, not sitting, and looking back at me hoping that would be good enough… It wasn’t. I withheld the reward she was hoping for, and she jumped down off the couch and started searching the rest of the room hoping she could find the scent somewhere else and she wouldn’t have to be so close to that scary painting. She searched the entire room and to her chagrin, didn’t find any more scent, so she tried alerting somewhere else where she remembered she had found the training aid in the past, hoping that would work. Of course it did not, I told her to keep searching. She tried that one more time just to make sure she couldn’t get away with it, before jumping back up onto the couch and alerting properly, and getting her reward.
Sometimes being so smart can make it harder to train a dog, but in this case yesterday, she was learning important lessons all on her own, which is the best way for her to learn them.
While you’re checking your home for bed bug infestations, it’s important that you also inspect your vehicle periodically for the little buggers. Full Story on the Burlington Record.
That means you need to be vigilant about what you put in your vehicle. Think twice about stowing yard sale items, for example, especially if they’re full of the nooks and crannies where bedbugs love to hide. Hop online to familiarize yourself with what bedbugs look like — and how to spot their bites and other evidence they leave behind when they head back into their lairs.
“They crawl onto your luggage and lay eggs — and they glue them on; those eggs are not going to fall off,” said White. “And always brush off the outside of your suitcase before you put it in the car.”
Prevention is a lot better than the cure. That’s because two of the three most effective methods for getting rid of bedbugs aren’t really suitable for use on automobiles. That leaves fumigation, which uses gases to permeate bug-ridden areas. “We take an auto, tarp it to make it airtight and insert gas at a certain rate until it kills the eggs and bedbugs,” said White. “The gas breaks down in air and won’t hurt people when it disperses. And it’s more environmentally friendly.
“The drawback is, it’s the more expensive option — about $1,000 to $1,200 per vehicle. So the real secret is not to get bedbugs in the first place.”
If you’ve had bed bugs in your auto or RV in the past, or if you think you may have them there now, or if you’ve had them in your home and just want some peace of mind, I’ll be happy to check your autos with Maggie to make sure there are none there, and if they are there, let you know where the infestation is.
The tiny, blood-sucking pests are light brown, and the adults are slightly less than a quarter of an inch long. They love to make their homes in mattresses, bedding and furniture. They most often feed on people at night while their victims sleep. The bugs don’t transmit disease, but their bites leave itchy white and red welts. They’re also adept at hitching rides in clothing and suitcases.
The problem is getting worse. A recent survey of pest control operators funded by the National Pest Management Association showed the problem is intensifying, especially in the South.
There’s really nothing available over the counter to tackle the problem because every bug has to be sprayed directly, and no pesticides are very good at killing the eggs, so reinfestation is common.
To help ensure you don’t bring any home from your next stay at a hotel, follow these travel tips:
• Inspect your hotel room when you arrive. Check mattress seams and folds. Look for blood spots the size of a pencil point. Check behind the headboard as well. They can even lurk in a picture frame or in a popcorn ceiling.
• If you see signs of bed bugs, demand another room, and inspect that one as well.
•- In the room, keep your suitcases away from furniture and walls until you finish your inspection. Keep your suitcase closed overnight and inside tightly sealed plastic garbage bags when you’re not using them. Keep your shoes and socks inside the plastic bag while you sleep. Bedbugs are attracted to the odor of feet.
• When packing to leave, check your clothing and luggage for signs of the small insects. Check seams and folds carefully.
• Back at home, immediately wash all your laundry from the trip in hot water, then machine dry on the highest setting for at least 20 minutes. Even if you don’t wash, putting possibly infested items into the dryer on high heat will kill bed bugs. Even dry-cleanable clothing can be put in driers if you don’t wet it first.
Read more at the Seattle Times
If you think you may have bed bugs, Maggie and I will find those bed bugs for you. To schedule a time for me to inspect your home for bedbugs, call me at (408) 389-4225 or email me at email@example.com. Maggie and I will be happy to provide you some peace of mind.
A county spokeswoman says the homeowner in the southern New Jersey town of Woodbury was using a space heater, a hair dryer and a heat gun Tuesday to try to eradicate the pests in a second-floor bedroom. The combination sparked a fire. Full story on CBSNews.
A woman in Kentucky also burned down her apartment trying to eradicate bed bugs. Full story on CBSNews.
Please do not try to rid your home of bed bugs by heating it up or using any kind of flammable liquid. Leave it to the professionals. If you must do it yourself, stick with bed bug traps. There’s no sense burning down your home to kill the bugs!
Lawsuits for bed bug inspections are on the rise. A tenant in Maryland was recently awarded $800,000 in a lawsuit over bed bugs. Full Story on Baltimore Sun.
The claim was that when the resident moved into the vacant apartment, it was already infested with bed bugs. Through the course of the remediation, she ended up having to get rid of much of her property, and because she was able to prove to the court the rental owner/manager knew about the problem and failed to address it, she received a huge pay day.
Your tenant doesn’t have to get such a large judgement to ruin your whole day, and doesn’t necessarily have to prove you knew about the infestation to get a smaller judgement that doesn’t include punitive damages.
Inspecting your vacancies in between residents moving out and new residents moving in can save you money, and a huge headache. Make sure you document your inspections and the results and maintain those records for several years after the tenancy terminates.
Using a K9 detection team for bed bug inspections makes the process much easier, much faster, and you’re much more likely to find the bugs if they are there. Having a dog team check a home will really give your tenants the peace of mind they deserve.
Email or call me to schedule an inspection of your next vacancy! It’s a great preventive medicine.
The county needs to implement a pest control plan at that property that not only involves spraying for bugs, but a K9 inspection after the treatment to measure how successful the treatment was, and re-treat as necessary. Once they get on top of the problem, they need to establish a prevantive maintenance schedule where they have a K9 team inspect a percentage of apartments each month/quarter and treat the problems that are found, and recheck and retreat as necessary.
If they are aggressive about solving this problem, if they use a K9 team to locate bugs, and if they follow a preventative maintenance program to continually check and recheck for bugs, they can get handle on this problem so the residents can enjoy their homes. If they do not do that, they will never get the problem under control, no matter how many times they simply “spray” the property.