17April

A MUST READ: NPMA Recommendations on Bed Bug Treatments and Risks

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The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) is the trade association for companies in the pest control industry, including Bell Environmental Services.  In 2012 the NPMA issued its updated “Best Management Practices for Bed Bugs.”

We highlight this now because bed bugs are more prevalent in warm weather and consumer do and should research the best method to solve their bed bug problems without the prospect of collateral damage to their homes.  Physical methods should be used as a primary tool before chemical solutions are used, if chemicals are used at all. Below is the section discussing the different physical methods that pest control companies can use for bed bug elimination. We bring you this section UNEDITED, but do highlight in RED the different risk factors to people and premises that the NPMA cited. We note the absence of risk factors about Freezing. Freezing kills bugs on contact, and does not have a residual- and is the basis of Bell Environmental’s InstantFreeze program.

National Pest Management Association Best Management Practices for Bed Bugs

Consumer Edition, Published January 2012

11. Integrated Pest Management and Methods of Control

11.3.2. Steam Treatment

11.3.2.1. Steam can kill all stages of bed bugs when temperatures reach critical levels as outlined in Appendix B 11.3.2.2. The use of a commercial‐grade “dry steam” unit can be a useful tool for bed bug control.

11.3.2.3. When steaming, follow these procedures:

11.3.2.3.1. Place the steamer head in direct contact with the surface.

11.3.2.3.2. Move the head slowly across the surface (about 1 foot every 10‐15 seconds).

11.3.2.3.3. Apply steam treatments to areas where live bed bugs or eggs have been observed and critical areas where bed bugs are suspected.

11.3.2.3.4. Pull out furniture drawers and steam inside, then turn over and steam underneath.

11.3.2.3.5. Steam potential harborage sites where you see bed bug fecal material.

11.3.2.4. When in doubt about the risk of heat or moisture damage, first steam an inconspicuous area and then check for damage. Avoid steaming heat‐sensitive items such as:

11.3.2.4.1. Leather, acrylic, vinyl, linen

11.3.2.4.2. Painted surfaces

11.3.2.4.3. Finished wood, laminated wood, or simulated wood veneers

11.3.2.4.4. Plastic

11.3.2.4.5. Wallpaper and other glued surfaces

11.3.2.4.6. Electronics

11.3.3. Heat Treatments

11.3.3.1. Heat treatment can be used to treat and control bed bugs in:

11.3.3.1.1. A whole structure.

11.3.3.1.2. An apartment unit, a room, or a portion of a room.

11.3.3.1.3. A compartment containing furniture and possessions.

11.3.3.2. Heat treatments typically have a higher tolerance for cluttered environments than traditional pesticide applications

11.3.3.3. When conducting whole room heat treatment ensure that the equipment has the capacity to raise and hold the temperature in the treated area to a bed bug lethal level.

11.3.3.3.1. Ensure, through the use of heat sensors, that bed bug harborage areas are raised to a lethal temperature and held for a sufficient period of time to kill all bed bugs and eggs.

11.3.3.3.2. Because some areas are insulated, or slower to heat, sensors should be placed in areas that ensure that the core temperature of the treated item reaches lethal levels for a sufficient period of time.

11.3.3.3.3. Recommended temperature and exposure periods are provided in Appendix B.

11.3.3.4. Heat treatment can be limited by these factors:

11.3.3.4.1. Insulated areas where it is difficult to raise the temperature to levels sufficient to achieve complete kill.

11.3.3.4.2. Poor air flow in a room or container resulting in cool spots.

11.3.3.4.3. Poorly insulated rooms or containers during cold weather

11.3.3.4.4. Construction features that may contribute to heat loss or insulated cold spots.

11.3.3.4.5. The possible ability of bed bugs to move out of heated areas in whole room treatments.

11.3.3.4.6. Potential heat damage to certain materials, including the risk of activating automatic fire suppression systems (sprinklers). Care should be taken to safeguard these materials and systems.

11.3.3.5. For whole room heat treatment, the preventive use of insecticide in walls and under carpet edges, prior to treatment, may complement treatment by killing bugs attempting to move away from the heat.

11.3.3.6. Containerized heat treatment can be used to supplement traditional bed bug service by killing bed bugs and eggs in items that are difficult to treat by using other methods.

11.3.5. Cold “Freeze” Treatments

11.3.5.1. Freeze treatments use extreme low temperatures to kill bed bugs and eggs on contact.

11.3.5.2. Freeze treatments can be applied to most surfaces and so may be beneficial in treating bed bug‐infested items that otherwise are difficult to treat including toys, plastics, books, and other items.

11.3.5.3. This technology leaves no residual and is used primarily for killing bed bugs and eggs on contact.

We encourage you to see the full protocol here:

 

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