November 2004 Edition
A Tale of Two Pests

The Return of Bed Bugs

They’re back! Bed Bugs are old pests that were common in homes prior to World War II - and for the last forty years they have rarely been seen outside of cramped living quarters. But not anymore! In the last five years there has been a resurgence in the proliferation of these nasty creatures. They've become a particular problem for hotels where there is a high rate of occupant turnover, and even 5-Star hotels are having problems with bed bugs.

It's a common problem that is putting hoteliers at risk - of losing their reputation, and more - hotel customers who become the victims of bed bugs are suing - often times winning hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

Preventing the introduction of bed bugs in your facility is difficult. Business people routinely travel to and from countries where bed bugs are common, even in the best of hotels. And, though bed bugs can’t fly, they do travel - they are most often carried from place to place, hitchhiking in a travelers suitcase or clothing.

A bed bug feeds on a sleeper’s exposed skin about once a week, but can survive for several months between blood meals. The bite is nearly painless and is not felt by most people. Some people have no reaction afterwards, but most people develop a hard bump with a whitish centre, which can itch for days.

Bed Bugs can easily be seen with the naked eye, but because they feed at night and spend the day hidden it’s not always so easy to find bed bugs in a room. Their flattened shape lets them squeeze into narrow places in bed frames, headboards, in bedside furniture, behind pictures and switch plates, and in other cracks and crevices. Often times the only physical evidence that can be seen (besides the bite they leave behind on the customer) are speckles of dried blood excrement which can be found on bedding or places where bed bugs hide.

Unfortunately one case of bed bugs in your facility can ruin your reputation, and there's no way to prevent bed bugs because they are carried in on guests clothing and luggage. But if bed bugs are spotted in your facility, there is a way to properly manage the infestation to eliminate them as quickly as possible and prevent them from spreading.

Specific protocols must be enforced to aggressively attack bed bugs. A program such as Ecolab’s Innspect Bed Bug ServiceTM is designed to kill bed bugs in all life stages and remove them from harbourage sites. This intensive and aggressive treatment strategy includes a thorough inspection to locate harbourage sites, treatment of the infested area and a series of follow up treatments and inspections. Ecolab can also provide training for housekeeping and engineering staff on proactive bed bug measures. This partnership will help ensure that all bed bug infestations are located and effectively eliminated throughout your property.

 

Bed Bugs are blood-feeding insects. They are a light tan colour, but turn dark-reddish brown once they have fed. Before feeding, the adult bed bug is about ¼ inch long and flattened. Once engorged with blood, it swells in size. Although bed bugs suck blood like other human parasites, there has been no evidence that they spread diseases.

 

Fruit Fly Season: Always Open

Seasons come and seasons go, but the fruit fly season is never-ending. For the past few years, fruit flies have become an increasingly bothersome pest. Once a breeding population is established indoors, the weather outside has little to do with indoor fly activity.

Fruit flies lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting fruits and vegetables and some breeds of fruit flies will also seek out decaying organic matter, standing or stagnant water, or any other rancid conditions that will support a population. This means that, in addition to fruits, vegetables, and drains, larvae can be found in some of the smallest cracks and crevices as long as the site is continually moist and dirty.

Fruit flies are a nuisance to customers and employees, and a single outbreak can damage your reputation. In addition, they have the potential to contaminate food with bacteria and other disease-producing organisms.

Treatment is essential and Christine Lush, Senior Account Executive with Ecolab's Pest Elimination Division, recommends the S.W.A.T. TM Fruit Fly Service.

"It eliminates fruit flies in all life stages – from egg to adult," says Lush. "It's a three-cycle approach that includes Sanitizing: reducing bacteria in non-food contact surfaces where flies may breed, Washing: removing the food source for larva, and Treating: the eliminating of existing adult populations - providing longer-lasting protection, and most importantly peace of mind." ¨

Adult fruit flies are about 1/8 inch long and usually have red eyes. The front section of the body is tan and the back section is black.