When managing bed bugs, use all available tools:
- Equipment. This includes personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as a flashlight aimed at a mechanic’s mirror to see in or around furniture; a screwdriver to probe concealed areas; a camera to document findings; and a structure diagram to explain and track bed bug activity. These items are important in helping to speed up the inspection process.
- Inspection. Interview clients; identify potential harborages; take pictures; document conducive conditions; and use monitoring devices to pinpoint activity.
- Identification. Proper identification of Cimex lectularius — vs. a bat bug (C. pilosellus), for example — can help develop an appropriate integrated pest management plan (IPM). Use reference sources, and contact industry experts for clues about the cause of infestation.
- Control. After inspection, determine which treatment(s) to implement, such as heat, fumigation, chemical or a combination of methods. Also consider using exclusion, mechanical and/or cultural controls.