Canine Inspection for Bed Bugs

Thermotech uses an independent source for canine inspection due to the fact it is not a conflict in interest. Meaning if I have my canine, I can create a lot of work for myself. If a company does use their canine to inspect the unit then they should use another source to clear the unit after treatment.

It is very important when getting a canine inspection that the inspector produces physical evidence the pest is present. Bed bugs always leave evidence whether it is the bug itself, spotting, eggs or shells. If a canine inspector cannot produce physical evidence and only goes by their canine indicating then I would be very cautious. We have dealt with various inspectors and treated several units that were indicated to have an issue and nothing was found during treatment. The advantage of doing the heat process is the process does take several hours and the bugs are attracted to the heat. Therefore they will more than likely come out. Also our techs are in there several times during the process moving items around and looking for issues.

One of our canine inspectors we deal with and have had very good success stated the following. "The canine is there to tell the handler where to look". This should be the same as dogs trained for drugs. If you went to court and the handler told the judge that there were drugs in the unit because my dog sat down. Judge would reply "Where is the evidence?" Therefore if they cannot find the evidence then there is no proof the problem exists.

If you hire a canine inspector, ask if they find physical evidence to prove the problem exists. Listen to their response and if they rely solely on their canine then it might be a suggestion to find one that will. They need to produce physical evidence.

How do I protect myself once bed bugs are detected

Once bed bugs are discovered there is always a wait time before treatment can be started. Do not try to deal with bed bugs by yourself. If you are in a Multi-unit environment (Apartments, town homes or Condos), contact the manager or Condo board. Most will have something in place to deal with the issue. If not then check into various options of treatment. Thermotech provides a heat treating process which has proven to be highly effective. We realise that there is preparation for treatment to be done before a treatment can be done and therefore a delay in time which is typically a week or more. The better you can sleep, the more rested you are and the process will go more smoothly with less stress.

The best way to protect yourself is to create an island for yourself so you can sleep at night. Bed bugs are nocturnal which means they only come out at night and will feed on you while you are sleeping. They typically feed in the early hours of the morning as they are attracted to Carbon Dioxide which you breath out. Once they detect this they realise there is food close by and will exert the energy to look for the food which unfortunately is you. Bed bugs only feed on blood as their source for food. Therefore if you can prevent them from getting to you, they cannot get the food. There are commercial products out there such as Climb up Interceptors (which are available through Thermotech - ). However a quick method can be achieved by using plastic containers (old margarine containers or Tupperware as an example) under the bed legs.

To properly create the island follow these instructions:

1) Tear the bed down to the frame and if it has a wood headboard remove it until treatment can be done

2) Vacuum the frame off completely - every little nook and cranny

3) Place the Climb up Interceptors or plastic bowls under each leg making sure to keep the bed about an inch away from any wall. Bed bugs need to climb up to their food. They do not jump, fly or climb up the walls and drop on you from the ceiling.  If the head board has legs that touch the floor, place them in plastic bowls as well or remove it until treatment can be done.

4) Now vacuum the box spring very carefully to make sure you get every little crack or fold.

5) Place it on the frame and do not put any bed skirts on or anything that touches the floor.

6) Then vacuum the mattress and pay close attention to every little nook and cranny

7) Make the bed with clean sheets and blankets.

8) while sleeping, make sure the pillow is not pushed against the wall. This will create the island as the only path to the food is up the legs of the bed which are protected by the interceptors or plastic bowls.

Note: The one unfortunate concern would be if the bed did not have legs. The option maybe to sleep on the couch which can be vacuumed and legs put into plastic containers to create the island effect.

Thermotech's heat process take approx. 7 hrs. to complete and will kill all forms of the pest in a single Chemical Free treatment. You can then put the place back in order. However if the management decides to proceed to treat with chemicals, then this method will protect you for the 6 to 8 weeks it takes to go through their treatment.


Apartment Complexes or Multi Unit Complexes


These structure are more than likely to have bed bugs spread though them more easily than a single family unit. The reason is the closeness of the units and the number of people in the complex. Also they can travel from unit to unit by various openings in the wall and under the common wall between units. One area of particular concern is the Hot Water heating pipe that goes from room to room. The basic setup is a 1" pipe usually going through a 2" hole. This is a large opening the bug can crawl through from unit to unit or room to room. We need these spots closed off before treatment due to the fact if the bug can escape the heat, they can survive. It is recommend to apply Diatomaceous Earth in these areas and then seal the holes with Spray Foam. We recommend to seal the wall to the floor by removing the baseboard, applying silicone along the gap where the wall meets the floor and applying a light dusting of the Diatomaceous Earth before putting the baseboard on. All this is for is to prevent movement from unit to unit and therefore reducing the spread. Another conduit through the building is the water pipes and drain pipes in the building. It is also recommended to seal these holes as well.

Allot of this is for an education purpose and though our process we come across various items that are good to pass along. Education is the big point here and the more we learn the quicker we can respond and treat the situation properly. Here is an scenario we ran into. Treatment of 25 rooms was done to a hotel and all was good for about 6 months. The first treatment was done in May and all was good through the summer and when fall came around, 3 particular rooms kept getting bugs in them every 2 months. It was hard to believe that people could always bring them back into those 3 rooms. A close inspection of the room found mouse dropping behind the baseboard and we traced the problem to a large hole under one of the common walls for electrical service. The hotel arranged to seal this hole, first by packing with steel wool and then spray foaming it in place. The steel wool prevents the mice from chewing the foam and gaining access. These 3 rooms were treated again and the problem was solved. Further investigation on the Internet confirmed that mice can transport the pest through the structure.

Another point I would like to make is the way the Chemical companies are doing their treatment. They must obviously know their product spreads the bug through the complex. This is why they are treating a total of 9 unit to treat one single unit. They are HOPING to trap the bug !! Seems odd as we can treat the one unit and not spread them through the building, provided this is the only unit affected. We are at a facility now that 3 months ago had 28 room that required treatment. I went to talk with the manager and found out that actually they had 6 rooms that had confirmed bed bugs. They had already committed to the chemical treatment and proceeded that route. So 28 units went through the Chemical process procedure of washing and bagging ALL clothing and moving ALL furniture to the center of the room etc. etc. etc. Now I get a call 2 1/2 weeks ago and we have to go to the complex to treat the ORIGINAL units that had the bugs. Expensive live and learn process as we were originally HALF price to do the treatment due to the fact we only had to treat the affected units.

Thermotech does believe our process is effective and more environmentally friendly as way to control these pests and make the whole process easier to deal with. One Time, Chemical Free process seems like a better solution than trying and hoping to trap the bug.