By Rob Ives
Western Territory Manager, Control Solutions Inc.
In an ever-changing world, it’s interesting how some things have a way of coming full circle. Bed bugs are a perfect example. Although they were a significant structural pest until the mid-20th century, it wasn’t so that long ago that this insect was on no one’s radar. I liken it to hanging onto those old jeans or tie, as they might just be back in style someday.
The United States is one of many countries experiencing a growing bed bug resurgence. Even 20 years ago, our industry would have been hard-pressed to predict, let alone be prepared for the challenges we face today. Speaking of preparation, it’s important to have a lot of it when dealing with bed bug accounts. It all starts with:
• Commitment — Bed bug control has evolved to a specialized service. Before you venture down this road, decide whether offering it fits with your organizational culture and goals.
• Knowledge — Participate in local, state and national training programs. Prior to their resurgence, little research was being conducted on bed bugs. Today, thanks to extensive industry and university research, there are a plethora of programs to choose from to keep your knowledge level up-to-date.
• Game plan — Devise a business strategy that works for your organization. This will likely include chemical and non-chemical control strategies, but as always, training will be paramount to a program’s success. Industry peers, as well as support from distributors and manufacturers, are an excellent resource to aid in developing and executing your plan.
To echo those who have gone before me: Bed bugs are here to stay for the foreseeable future.