Are the Bed Bugs “Out of Control!” Consider Fumigation for Bed Bugs

When a bed bug infestation is simply “out of control” and human factors further render the problem impossible to solve, the question arises: Should I fumigate the entire building for bed bugs?

What is considered an “out of control” bed bug problem requiring fumigation?

Often this happens in a multi-family building, when the problem is ignored for too long. It is extremely difficult to coordinate the comings and goings of just one family, to insure that the family is fully prepared and actually carries out instructions comprehensively. Then it is equally important that the pest control company does an equally comprehensive bed bug treatment. But imagine trying to coordinate 100 families! When multiple units are bed bug infested and they are scattered around the various floors, the usual recommendation is to conduct a treatment of the entire building. This can be done without fumigation, but the insanity and cost associated with coordinating the occupants of a heavily infested building often leads to the conclusion that the fumigation is required. Though multi-families buildings are highlighted here, similar problems occur in other residential, commercial and institutional structures. Additionally, bed bugs are experts at locating the most obscure hiding places. Fumigation is forgiving in the sense that when done properly, you can be sure that all the bed bugs within the zone being fumigated will die. This is not true of other methods.

Is bed bug fumigation just like termite fumigation?

No. Dow AgroSciences provides a bed bug fumigation packing checklist for occupants (see the last of three pages) as well as guidelines for pest control professionals guiding occupants through the fumigation process. Reading this document helps the prospective customer understand one clear distinction between preparing for bed bug fumigation vs. termite fumigation. For a bed bug infestation, it is important to leave the unit with virtually nothing except the clothing on your back! (There are some exceptions). Termites love wood and stay in it, except when swarming, but bed bugs will follow you outside and follow you back inside. Based on the situation, container fumigation is often recommended for belongings that must be removed, yet handled in such a way as to be sure they are fully treated. Here is a moving company that has partnered with a fumigator to conduct a business in container fumigation. Not everyone is so fortunate to be able to work with responsible landlords. Sometimes tenants are often left on their own to find fumigation containers to fit their needs. Fumigation for bed bugs is done in a manner very similar to a termite fumigation. Some clients may even like the idea that not only bed bugs will be eradicated, but that they are killing termites and any other pest “with one stone.” But the rule of thumb is that the fumigator will need to use three times the normal dose of gas used in termite fumigation. This is simply what is required to kill bed bugs in all its’ life-cycle phases, including the bed bug egg. You can expect that the cost of the fumigation will be quite a bit higher than the same fumigation for termites because of the need to utilize so much more gas.

Does anything need to be done after the fumigation? Is that all there is to it?

Ironically, even after the fumigation is complete, it is still important to provide a room by room bed bug treatment with some form of “residual pesticide” to manage the probability that even one tenant will soon re-infest the building. This cost is above and beyond the cost of the fumigation, but will probably not need to be so severe as the fumigation should have eliminated the current infestation. Finally, don’t neglect to address the human factors that originally contributed to the bed bug infestation. We recommend that you conduct a comprehensive study of human traffic patterns. Where have the residents or occupants been? Why was your facility more susceptible to a serious infestation that the next guys building? Can anything be done in the way of guidelines, procedures or screening to help prevent a new bed bug infestation. Call today at 1-800-986-1006 for help with a bed bug infestation. You’re also welcome to complete the form below and a caring Hearts Pest Management representative will contact you shortly.
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