Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why are bed bugs such a big deal?

We've all seen the hype about bed bugs. Rarely a day goes by without another news article about the little bloodsuckers. But why is there so much attention? What's the big deal anyway? That's what many people are thinking.

To be sure, bed bugs are a big deal. They are a very big deal, socially, economically, and personally. First off, we have 3 generations in the US that had virtually no knowledge of bed bugs before this time. And, these generations have enjoyed an unprecedented control and management of pests in general. Secondly, we did not see this resurgence coming. When the first sightings began, about 7 years ago, they were dismissed as isolated and controllable. Nothing to worry about. But, the infestations continued, the bed bugs just kept coming. They spread, they became more frequent, and they traveled. That's when the realization hit.

We are witnessing the rebirth of a pest problem that can alter all our daily lives. For people who have already experienced this miserable insect, it is clear that this is no ordinary pest.

  • For many, the allergic reactions to their bites are miserable and as painful as poison ivy.
  • This pest can affect our health, not only from the allergic bite reactions, but hospitals and doctors are now treating patients for anemia from bed bugs.
  • This pest can dictate where we live now, no one is going to live next to neighbors who tolerate the bed bugs in their home or apartment.
  • Bed bugs will now be a consideration for how we care for and monitor our elderly family and friends. More frequent monitoring and visits need to take place in these institutions. Just because you put grandma in a care unit that didn't have bed bugs last month, doesn't guarantee she's safe this month.
  • This isn't a couple of mosquito bites, this is being fed on up to 500 times per night while you sleep. It's a truly unsettling thought.
  • Then, there's the cost of treatment. It's not cheap and you can expect landlords, universities, and hospitals to pass the cost along to their customers.

In short, it's not time to panic, but it's not time to be dismissive either. If you suspect you have bed bugs, contact a local professional to come out and inspect. Most companies offer free inspection services and free estimates. This is not a problem that goes away if left untreated.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Didn't think the pest management industry was green?

We know, it sounds counter-intuitive, a green pest control company in a green pest control industry? How's that even possible?

For starters, pest management has contributed greatly to the quality of life for just about everyone on earth. Insects and insect-borne diseases that were so common and so devastating to people in the past, have been greatly reduced, in some cases eliminated, by the pest management industry.

Certainly, our food supply would not be what it is today, without the actions taken by the agricultural industry to reduce crop loss due to insects and blights.

Now, we're faced with a new challenge; the recognition that we in the pest management industry have a commitment to not only improve the quality of life for our communities and customers, but a commitment to the sustainability of our communities and the environment.

It's complex, no doubt about it. Definitions for green, eco-friendly, and sustainable change based on who's talking, who's listening, who's buying, and who's selling. But that's not a reason to wait and see what happens, it's an invitation to become part of the dialog and ensure that our voice is heard.