Bed Bug Program
Have you found a bed bug? If so, we can help. Although infestations are common and treatable, they are serious. Residents and patients who’ve been exposed to bedbugs (or think they’ve been exposed) can become stressed, sleep-deprived, depressed, or suffer from delusional parasitosis.
First Illinois Systems has years of experience in eradicating bed bugs. We use a comprehensive, least-toxic program.
Bed bugs are cryptic, but we know where to look.
- Inspect visually for bed bugs and their signs, such as excrement.
- Identify them. Live or dead specimens are “proof positive,” as are eggs, skins, and blood spots
- Install active monitors (attracting bed bugs with CO2) and passive monitors (e.g., Climb-upTM interceptors)
- Ask dogs to help. Canines are trained to sniff out all life stages of bed bugs, even the eggs
- Encase mattresses, box springs, and other items that might contain bed bugs so they can’t get in or out. Bed bugs are incapable of chewing or clawing through even a very thin coating of sealant or an unbroken layer of paper or cloth, like a mattress encasement.
- Seal cracks to reduce bed bug habitats.
Bed bugs have a thick exoskeleton and can be resistant to certain chemicals. They’re not easily controlled by insecticides alone. After assessing your situation, First Illinois Systems might
- vacuum and recommend effective laundering procedures
- subcontract with companies that provide heat remediation for entire structures and oxygen removal, depending on the situation
- bring in a portable chamber to heat affected furniture and smaller items, or
- treat cracks where bed bugs hide, not the whole room. We use a variety of products, including low-toxic and natural products. When we need to use a pesticide, we’ll do so with the utmost concern for your safety.
Eradication of bed bugs is typically not a “one and done” proposition. Your facility will need some or all of the following: repeated inspections, cleaning, monitoring, exclusion, heat treatment, and pinpoint use of pesticides. Here’s how First Illinois Systems helps prevent introductions from multiplying into large, established populations:
- Follow-up inspections
- Comprehensive reports
We’ll treat you with respect. Give us a call so we can consult about your problem.
I.D. and bites
An unfed, adult bed bug is about the size of a lentil: broadly oval and brown to reddish-brown. If fed, it’s like a reddish apple seed (1/4 inch long). Bed bugs are covered with short, golden-colored hairs and are attracted to carbon dioxide and warmth: you!
Bed bugs are primarily nocturnal, but will seek hosts and feed in full daylight when hungry. They consume only blood, usually from a bird or mammal, and mature by molting five times (from nymph to adult). They need a blood meal before each molt and they can survive for months without feeding.
The flat body of a bed bug allows it to fit into small spaces. Experts at hiding (and hitchhiking!), bed bugs tuck into seams of mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, cracks, behind wallpaper, in suitcases and bags, and within clutter near the bed. In an infested bedroom, 70% of bedbugs will be found in the mattress, box spring, and head board; most others will usually be within five feet of the bed or other sleeping areas.
When adult bed bugs and large nymphs feed, they will void remains of earlier blood meals, producing rusty or tarry spots that can be seen on bed sheets and in and near their hiding places.
Bed bugs emit a musty sweet odor that becomes noticeable when infestations are heavy.
Photo caption: Bed bug bites can resemble mosquito and flea bites, appearing as individual raised, inflamed, reddish welts on the skin that may itch for several days. Many people, however, are asymptomatic after being bitten. The Centers for Disease Control have not found evidence that bed bugs transmit any disease agents.
If you’ve seen bed bugs
If you find bed bugs or their signs in your facility, don’t panic. They’re not life threatening, but act promptly because a small bed bug population is less expensive to control than a widespread population. You should
- call management, nursing, or a social service provider immediately
- follow the instructions given to you
- save any insect (live or dead) and evidence (cast skins, eggs) in a closed container for identification
- document the location
- inform administrators / housekeeping personnel /nurses
- inform your pest control service
- begin isolation procedures
Prevent the spread
How can you prevent the spread of bed bugs?
- Do not use pesticides on your own. “Bug bombs” are not effective against bed bugs.
- Wash clothing and bedding in hot (140˚F) water; dry them on the hottest setting (30 minutes of heat kills bugs and their eggs)
- Use barriers such as mattress and box spring encasements, drawer liners, and suitcase encasements.
- Store clothes and other items in plastic bags or tightly sealed containers
- Vacuum and clean
- Invest in a steam cleaner. Steam treatments can quickly eliminate live bugs and their eggs from the seams of mattresses and other cloth items. The steam emission tip must be about an inch from the surface being steamed. If the tip is too far away, the steam may not be hot enough to kill all the bed bugs and eggs that it contacts. (Use steamers safely! They can burn you and damage fabrics and some wood finishes.)
- Reduce clutter and contain belongings
- Encourage everyone to report suspected cases of bed bugs.
We will assist you with an additional in-depth, step-by-step program designed for your specific situation.
Don’t welcome bed bugs into your facility!
First Illinois Systems can help design an education program:
- Replicable training
- New employee orientation
- In-person live presentations