Staying Bed Bug Free While Working In Healthcare.

Nearly everyone can relate to a nurse, doctor or social worker making a difference in a friend or a loved one’s life. So many of us, at one time or another, have relied on direct care workers to assist a loved one as a result of a social, emotional or health-related issue. While we would be at a loss without all of those hardworking professionals, they too find themselves in times of need. Healthcare professionals from across the country having been battling issues on a new front — how they can continue to directly serve those in need, without putting themselves at risk — the newest of which being bedbugs.

Many direct care workers don’t realize that bedbugs are more likely to be found in buildings such as nursing homes and hospitals, where many occupants sleep or where there is a frequent turnover rate. When direct care workers meet with clients in facilities such as hospitals, adult living facilities and apartment buildings, they are at a higher risk for picking up a bedbug.

As a direct care worker, it’s important to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of bedbugs. In the past several years, I have provided seminars to many in direct care fields about how to effectively continue working, while also taking steps to minimize their bedbug exposure.

Here are some helpful tips to follow to maintain a bedbug barrier while on the job:

First and foremost, spray your car, clothing, accessories, etc., with a bedbug barrier treatment like Pronto Plus household spray to help create a barrier
Bring only what is necessary with you to appointments
Keep items in large ziplock bags or sealed containers while in the possibly infected area
Keep certain clothing for use only in clients’ homes, in a sealed container in your car, preferably your trunk
Wear clothing that will allow you to easily identify whether an insect is on you
Avoid wearing accessories, especially scarves and carrying handbags
Avoid coming in contact with upholstered furniture, beds or walls
If you are meeting at a client’s home, try to utilize the kitchen area, if possible. In most cases, bedbugs are rarely found in kitchens.
Keep the car clear of clutter, inspect it frequently and vacuum weekly
At the end of the day, undress on a hard surface floor rather than on carpet if you suspect bedbugs are on your clothing
When you arrive home, change in a bathroom or an area that you can utilize each day to minimize walking through your entire home before removing work clothing
If clients come to you, have a separate meeting space that you vacuum and regularly treat with a bedbug barrier spray
While there are no cure-alls for staying 100 percent bedbug free, there are steps to take to stay educated and aware to feel a little bit better about protecting yourself and your family while serving those in need.

Michael Colongione is a spokesperson for Pronto Plus, manufactured by Insight Pharmaceuticals. The advice and opinions he expresses in this article are his own.

If you should have any questions, or even a tip you would like to share with me, you can find me on Twitter @GotchaBedBugs or on Facebook.com/GotchaBedBugInspectors. Always remember that staying educated is the key to bedbug prevention.

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It's Bedbug Awareness Month (via SBWire)

“Happy bedbug awareness month!” I bet you never thought anyone would be uttering those words to you. Merrick, NY — (SBWIRE) — 05/10/2013 — Well, the month of September is upon us and with that comes a month of education, education, and some more education. At my company, Gotcha Bed Bug Inspectors…


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Found a Bug In Your Bed? What You Need To Know and what you need to do RIGHT NOW.

You found a bed bug?  What do you think you should do first?  The answer might surprise you.  So many calls come in from clients who wake up in the middle of the night and have found a creepy crawly surprise in their bed.  Truth is, throwing out your unexpected visitor is exactly the WRONG thing to do.   Keep in mind the following if you find yourself in this all to familiar situation.

1.  Take a deep breath…………….. Ok, NOW let’s get to business.

 

2.  Don’t sleep in another room. Try to sleep in your room so that you don’t spread any insects into the other areas of your home (that is if they aren’t already there).

 

3. Finding an insect in your bed might not be optimal but it is a good indication that you might have a problem.  If it is a Bed Bug it is better to find out as soon as possible.  Finding out early can save you BIG and also can determine if you keep furniture and other items within your home.

4.  Don’t lose site of the insect and either catch it in something or crab it with a tissue and crush it ever so lightly (if you must). Keeping a specimen for a Technician can mean the difference between  a K9 Bed Bug Dog inspection or a Technician inspection.

5. Please don’t spray any pesticides.   If you do need to have a Bed Bug Dog inspection it will effect the canines sense of smell.  It also could be harmful to the canine. Traditionally you need to allow 30 days from application of a pesticide before a canine can enter a location.  It also depends on the type of pesticide and what the label suggests.

6.  Call US at 1-855-GO-GOTCHA   24/7 Live Customer Care & Service.

What Did You Find In Your Bed?
What Did You Find In Your Bed?

:) Stay Educated and Remember – We are always here to help.

 

 

 

 

How Homeowners and Renters Can Stay Bed Bug Free.

There is nothing like your first night in a new house or apartment. That is, of course, after you have unpacked and organized all of your belongings. The question remains though: Have you checked for those creepy critters called bedbugs?

Now more than ever, new renters and homeowners are becoming more and more concerned with the history of bedbug infestations within their new home. Not all landlords and homeowners share if they have or had a bedbug infestation in the past with prospective buyers or renters. Additionally, the current owner or landlord might not be aware that they currently have a bedbug infestation.

Luckily, there are steps you can take to ensure you are not moving into an infested apartment or home:

1. Call your local, non-emergency information hotline to find out what the laws in your state are regarding tenant notification of current and previous bedbug infestations within your building and apartment.

2. Conduct a pre-purchase or rental bedbug canine inspection. For decades we have worried about termites in our homes. Now you can get the same reassurance by eradicating your house or apartment of bedbugs prior to moving in. Be sure this inspection is conducted before you move to save you time, money, and a huge hassle.

3. Before moving into your new apartment, speak with management and ask how they handle infestations within the building. Do your research online to find out if the building has been previously infested by reading tenant reviews.

4. Don’t be shy! Introduce yourself to your neighbors and get the inside scoop on the building.

5. Create a bedbug barrier within your apartment by using an over-the-counter bedbug spray like Pronto Plus. Pronto Plus kills bedbugs and their eggs on contact and helps you stay bedbug free.

6. Don’t be fooled — Freshly-painted walls and refinished floors will not rid your apartment or home of bedbugs if they are currently living there.

7. Purchase mattress and box-spring encasements, as well as cut down on clutter within your apartment or home. It’s best to keep items out from under your bed, where bedbugs can easily hide.

8. If you are using a moving company, ask it what steps it takes to ensure the truck is bedbug free before loading your belongings. You can even have the truck inspected by a bedbugs-sniffing canine prior to the moving company visiting your home or apartment.

9. Try your best to not bring secondhand or used items into your home. If you must have that item, utilize a bedbug barrier spray on the item prior to bringing it inside.

10. Keep your eyes out while touring a new home or apartment for any telltale signs of having bedbugs.

Lastly, take a deep breath. Moving can be stressful, but if you keep this list in mind, you’ll be ahead of the game. Remember that while this might seem like another task to add to your moving checklist, doing your due diligence will allow you to sleep tight. And of course, don’t let the bedbugs bite.

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GotchABedBugInspectors.com Goes Toll Free – Call 1-855-GO-GOTCHA

Introducing our Toll Free number! GotchABedBugInspectors.com  is proud to announce a great way to get in touch for all of your pest control needs.  Clients can speak with  a client care specialist 24/7 , 365 days a year.

Our  toll-free number is 1-855-GO-GOTCHA.

GotchA! Bed Bug Inspectors offers clients trustworthy, professional, affordable, and fast solutions to their current issue.  We take into consideration the psychological factors associated with having a Bed Bug infestation.  We like to say that we move in while you’re going through your inspection, treatment, and follow-up appointments.   The truth of the matter is getting through a Bed Bug problem requires a partnership. We provide 24/7 live assistance to answer any and all question you might have, even at 2am.  We are available 24/7, 365 Days a year.

GotchA! Bed Bug Inspectors. services the New York Tri-State Area.  Including New York City (All Boroughs), Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens,  Long Island (Nassau & Suffolk),  Rockland County, Westchester County, & Staten Island.

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The Most Commonly Asked Bedbug Questions ANSWERED.

If My Colleague Has Bedbugs, Will I Get Them?
Sometimes there is a stigma associated with having bedbugs, so not everyone is going to share if they are currently experiencing a bedbug infestation. This is why it is always good to be aware of your working environment regarding bedbugs and any other pests that you might take home.

If you have a relationship with a colleague who is dealing with an infestation, ask them if they are currently being treated by a licensed pest control company. Speak with your supervisor and/or human resources department and request a certified bedbug inspection of your office as a precautionary measure. It is also a great idea to carry an over-the-counter spray such as Pronto Plus. These types of sprays kill the bedbugs and their eggs on contact and can be used around your office, work station, at a hotel during business travel and even your car. A bedbug infestation in the workplace is a concern for not only you and your family, but all of your colleagues in the office.

What If I Open A Box From The Mail And One Falls Out?
Remove both the bedbug and the box from your home. Thoroughly vacuum the area where this happened and clean it with warm, soapy water. After the area is dry, use an over-the-counter bedbug spray around the room in which the sighting occurred. Remember to always follow the label. Lastly, phone the company that sent you the package and make them aware of your findings. For future security, call a professional to inspect your home to make sure an infestation did not occur.

What If I Ate At A Restaurant Or At A Friend’s House That Was Later Revealed To Be Infested?

If you find yourself in this situation it is best to have a certified inspection team visit your home to determine if you carried any bedbug eggs or live bedbugs into your home. If you see a bedbug while in one of these locations, remove all of your clothing/items before you enter your own home. Wash the items you were wearing immediately in hot water and dry them in the dryer. Do not place your clothes in the hamper. If you need to wait to wash the items, it is best to put them directly in an airtight, plastic bag. It is also a good measure to spray your car with an over-the-counter spray.

What If I Wake Up In A Hotel Room With Bites?

Call the hotel management and make them aware of your bites. They then should have a certified inspector check your room for bedbugs. Sometimes bedbug bites can be confused for other insects, such as mosquito bites. Regardless of the result, it is best to have your clothing washed prior to bringing anything home. Spray your luggage inside and out with a preventive bedbug spray that is EPA certified. Make sure the spray kills both the bugs and their eggs.
How Do I Know If My Office, Home, Dorm Room Or Even Child’s Day Care Has An Infestation?

 The best advice when visiting places where you live, eat or work is to keep an eye out for anything that looks like a bedbug and to inspect yourself and your family for bedbug bites. Bedbugs are small, wingless insects that feed on the blood of warm-blooded animals including humans and pets. They do not fly and are carried or transferred by crawling from person-to-person and material-to-material. Their eggs are very small, about the size of a poppy seed. Their larvae are the size of a grain of rice. Adult bedbugs are about a quarter of an inch long, reddish-brown in color, and fairly flat. They live in dark crevices, such as those in mattresses and bed frames. They can also live in other furniture, openings in the floor, or in carpeting.

Even if you do not see any signs of actual bugs, their eggs, or larvae, it is still good to check for bites. When it comes to a child’s daycare, check the mattresses used at naptime and speak openly with the school director about whether they have preventative measures in place to protect against this epidemic. It is also helpful to do some research on mattress and box spring encasements, such as Protect-A-Bed encasements. Encasements help ensure that bedbugs or other pests will be kept out.

What If I Can’t Afford A Pricey Dog Sniffer/Exterminator?

It is always best to seek concrete answers to your bedbug questions from a certified expert. My company, GotchA! Bedbugs Inspectors, doesn’t sell you a service–we are consultants. We guide you through the process by educating you to make the best possible choice for your current situation, if you actually have a bedbug problem. Should we detect an infestation, we can help prepare your home, office etc., and discuss your options for determining a solution that will eradicate your specific problem.

Overall, one should work with a certified company and ask if they can offer a payment plan. You should also know if the company personally trained with their bedbug sniffing dog. You might also be surprised at how affordable a K-9 bedbug inspection is. If your infestation is not severe you can also use an over-the-counter product that is preventative and will also treat your current infestation.

How Do I Use Over-The-Counter Options?

 My company offers a detection service and prepares residential and commercial properties for a licensed pest control company to come and eradicate bedbug infestations. If you would rather try to treat your pest problem on your own, there are many products on the market that you can use. However, since some work and some don’t, I recommend doing your research. First, determine if you even have bedbugs. If so, read up on the “do-it-yourself” products on the market and make sure they are approved by your state’s pesticide regulatory departments. Always follow the instructions as per the label–you never want to use a product if you are not sure what you are dealing with.

I frequently recommend an over-the-counter spray, such as Pronto Plus, that is EPA certified to kill the bedbug and their eggs. The most common issue with over-the-counter use vs. professional is misuse of the product. If the product is not used as indicated on the label and sprayed in the specific areas we consider “Hot Zones,” it is not likely to completely eradicate an infestation. It is important to use an over-the-counter spray in accordance to the specific instructions, as well as to repeat use every 14 days to ensure the infestation is eradicated.

What Steps Should I Take If I Purchased Clothing From An Infested Store?

 If you’ve purchased clothing from a store that was found to have bedbugs, there are several steps you should take. If the clothing is still in the bag, take it outside your home and wash it at a laundromat. Be sure to use detergent and wash in warm water. Also dry the item thoroughly on high heat. If it is a dry-cleaning-only item, it is best to take it to a professional dry cleaner. If you have placed the item in your dresser or closet, it is best to vacuum the closet and do your own inspection to see if you identify any live bed bugs on the clothing. You can take it a step further by washing all clothing that was in the closet or dresser with the infested item.

Next, call a professional to inspect your home. A K-9 inspector will pinpoint exactly where bedbug eggs and/or live bedbugs are living. That will give you the reassurance of identifying an infestation stage early on, rather than waking up with bites before you realize you have a problem. You can also use an over-the-counter spray in the area after you removed all of your belongings and vacuumed.

How Can I Protect Myself And My Family When I Travel?

 It is always important to keep your eyes open when renting a car, shopping or sleeping in a hotel. Automobiles are usually not areas that should cause you great concern. You can use an over-the-counter spray if you would like as a preventative measure. There is one coming to market in 3-ounce travel size for this very use. If you are traveling and staying in a hotel, make sure you keep your clothing inside your luggage and use the luggage stand to hold your luggage. Try not to use the drawers or the closet in the hotel room. Check your bedding before going to sleep, paying close attention to mattress seams, headboards and box springs. Look for any stained spots you might find on the sheets, pillowcases and comforters.

Carry a preventive spray with you that you can check in to the hotel to spray your room with. Again, always follow the instructions on the label. If you find something in your hotel room that causes alarm, call hotel management and express your concerns immediately. If there is an infestation, you will want to follow the same steps noted in the above and take care of your items before bringing them back into your home.

 

 

It’s Bedbug Awareness Month

“Happy bedbug awareness month!” I bet you never thought anyone would be uttering those words to you. Well, the month of September is upon us and with that comes a month of education, education, and some more education. At my company, Gotcha Bed Bug Inspectors, we always say, “education is the key to staying bedbug free!” So, we thought we would explore some of the myths and misconceptions about those little blood sucking friends we’re celebrating during the 30 days of September.

In our travels visiting clients from hotel owners, business travelers and school administration, all the way to home owners, we have come across some very interesting methods our clients have found on the World Wide Web to prevent and get rid of bedbugs. These are actual stories and not made up. Stay with us, you just might learn something…

Myth: I put my shoes in the freezer so that should kill all the bedbugs. Right?

Actually, this is not true at all; we wish it was that easy. Bedbugs are a special kind of pest. You must know how to treat them in order to eradicate them. Your common home freezer does not reach the required temperature to act as a killing agent for bedbugs.

Myth: I threw my bed out so I have nothing to worry about. Right?

Wrong! Bedbugs do love beds, but they don’t only infest beds. Bedbugs are not picky pests. Where we are, they want to be. In fact, if you move a bed throughout your home, you may infest other areas of the home where bedbugs might not be living. This is also true for apartment buildings. Bedbugs attach on to things — you don’t want to drop a bedbug in your haste to remove a bed. It could find a new home just by latching on to someone who walks through your building’s hallway.

Myth: I am very clean so I have nothing to worry about. Right?

Absolutely wrong! Bedbugs will infest anywhere from a five-star hotel to the messiest of apartments. The truth is, it is much harder to eradicate bedbugs from a home or dwelling where there is clutter, however, it doesn’t mean bedbugs won’t infest your clean home, too. That is why it’s so important to ask your pest control company about the necessary steps to properly prepare your home for treatment.

Myth: I hung all of my stuff outside. How long do I leave my clothing out in the sun for the bedbugs to be killed?

Unfortunately, the sun won’t do much but give your bedbugs a tan. In all honesty, the best method is to wash all of your clothing as per the label. Using a washer with detergent and dryer on a high heat setting is a tried and true method to eradicate bedbugs and eggs from clothing.

Myth: I don’t have any bites, so I can’t have bedbugs. Right?

Wrong. It is not uncommon for two people to be sleeping in the same bed and both be bitten, but everyone reacts differently to bed bug bites. Not everyone is going to show a bite in the area they have been bitten. Tricky, yes, but definitely not true.

Myth: I don’t have to wash all of my clothing if my home has bedbugs. Right?

This is a great question and one I’m frequently asked. To play it safe, most companies suggest that you wash everything you can. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. The best course of action, though, is to save time and money and have a bedbug dog inspect your home and determine exactly where the bedbugs are hiding. This way you’ll be able to pinpoint their exact location and take the necessary steps to remove them.

Myth: The country I just came from doesn’t have bedbugs. Right?

The truth is wherever we go, they go. There are some countries that have a higher bedbug population than others, but with frequent imports and exports of goods and as travel continues to increase, bedbugs have a good chance of being in just about every country. If you are traveling, make sure you use a bedbug spray to create a barrier around your luggage and make sure you don’t bring anything home with you, regardless of where you go.

Myth: Bedbugs have babies daily. How will you ever stop them?

Each adult female produces about one egg per day; a common housefly lays 500 eggs over three to four days. Bedbug eggs take 10 days to hatch and another five to six weeks for the offspring to develop into an adult.

Myth: Bedbugs transmit diseases. Right? 

Bedbugs definitely contribute to anxiety and stress, but there have been no reported cases of bedbugs transmitting disease to humans.

Myth: I think I have a bedbug in my hair.

Bedbugs don’t like heat, so they are unlikely to be living in your hair or on your skin. They are more likely to travel in luggage, backpacks, and pocketbooks.

These are just the top 10 myths we have come across in our field, there are many more questions as a result of misinformation from websites. Make sure you check the validity of a site before following its suggestions. The best piece of advice I can offer is to find a pest control professional that you feel comfortable with and they should be able to answer any and all questions you might have. Like we always say, questions are free and it never hurts to ask!

Always remember to stay educated. Research bedbug sprays and products you are using within your home. I recommend Pronto Plus Bedbug Spray. It creates a barrier on the inside and outside of your luggage, backpacks, and pocketbooks and kills any bedbugs or eggs on contact.

Michael Colongione is a spokesperson for Pronto Plus, manufactured by Insight Pharmaceuticals. The advice and opinions he expresses in this article are his own.

Have additional questions? Feel free to email me at GotchaBedBug@Gmail.com or tweet us at @GotchaBedBugs. We are always here to help.