Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Bedbugs: Preparation and surveillance are key

June 25, 2012

MEMPHIS, TN — With the growth in bedbug populations across the U.S., businesses continue to represent 70 percent of Terminix''s bedbug customers versus 30 percent for residential customers, according to a press release.

While some locations are more susceptible to infestation than others, bedbugs are transferred by people: The more people traffic a location has, the more it is at risk, the release stated.

For office buildings, the high volumes of traffic create a special challenge, as do personal items brought from home; many areas can harbor bedbugs, including cubicles, employee lockers, break rooms and electronic equipment, the release noted.

"Discovery of suspected infestations or bedbug activity often comes via complaints from visitors or employees. It''s important for facility managers to develop an action plan in advance with their staff," said Paul Curtis, director of service quality for Terminix.

According to the release, suggestions for developing an action plan include:

• Train and educate all staff members on how to look for signs of infestation and what to do if bedbug activity is found
• Conduct regular inspections of vulnerable areas and train employees to self-check
• Train staff to handle visitor and employee concerns related to bedbugs sympathetically, professionally and according to company policy.

"Bedbugs continue to plague many U.S. cities and towns, and they are able to hitchhike on any item and be carried into any home or building," said Stoy Hedges, an entomologist with Terminix.

"While major metropolitan areas are most at risk, it is important to note that bedbugs have been spotted in cities and towns across the country," Hedges added.

Click here to read the complete release.