Preventing Bed Bugs From Spreading In Apartments & Hotels

Bed Bug

Bed Bug (Photo Credit)

In 12 months, 1 bed bug can turn into 38,000,000 bed bugs in an optimal growth environment. That is assuming that only 38,000,000 of the original 234,000,000 eggs laid by her and her offspring will hatch and reach maturity. This spells big trouble for commercial properties such as hotels and apartments who want to quickly prevent the spreading of bed bugs within their facilities.

Once a bed bug is hatched, it can easily travel from room to room under baseboards and through small cracks and crevices. Not only can it easily move from room to room, it can survive more than two years without ever feeding in a dormant stage.

If a bed bug problem develops and remains untreated in hotels or multifamily dwellings, bed bugs can infect the entire building and cost many thousands of dollars to treat. Stricter environmental laws have reduced the use of chemicals that are very effective at controlling bed bugs. Unfortunately, bed bugs have built a tolerance to many bed bug pesticides currently being used to treat them.

So, if a bed bug problem develops within a building the only effective treatment available to the owners is a combination of heat and pesticide. Bed bugs cannot withstand heat greater than 130 degrees. A hotel or apartment complex that has to treat multiple units can easily spend tens of thousands of dollars.

Ted Lieb, Active Pest Control’s technical director and quality control manager, highlighted the need for a preemptive bed bug treatment using a product that is not a pesticide but it is known to repel and contain bed bugs.

“Preemptively creating barriers between hotel rooms and apartment units is more cost effective than heat treating multiple rooms. Its not a matter of ‘if’ you are going to get bed bugs, its a matter of when in those types of environments(hotels and apartments)” – Ted Lieb

Bed Bug Containment

Diatoms are a type of hard shelled algae that lives in the water. Its life cycle is about six days. After it dies it floats to the lake bottom. Over many thousands of years billions of these microscopic shells created large deposits that are mined and used for multiple purposes.

Diatoms
Diatoms Photo Credit

Silica dust is a similar substance that has been used in the fight against bed bugs. Diatoms and Silica Dust are extremely abrasive and can act as a repellent for bed bugs. Inserting these substances into the wall void under baseboards can serve as a containment mechanism preventing bed bugs from spreading throughout the building or from room to room. It also controls bed bug eggs and larva in the wall voids.

The diatoms actually cause the exoskeleton of the bed bug to break apart and if completely immersed the bed bug could die from dehydration. Bed bugs will not typically cross through a layer of diatoms.

Including diatoms or silica dust as a part of a pre-treatment or treatment for bed bugs could help control bed bugs long term. Especially since heat treatments do not provide a lasting defense against bed bugs.

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