A case of bed bugs at a pub in Sydney shows how a combination of chemical and non-chemical methods can prove effective in tackling heavy infestation.

When the publican of a historic Sydney pub was woken by something biting him during the night, he approached his local pest control company for some advice. The company in turn contacted Wendell Arnett, Bayer’s NSW territory sales manager, and asked him to accompany them on the initial consultation.

The old pub was built in the 1900s, with timber floors and worn-out carpet throughout. The publican leased the bedrooms for temporary overnight stays so was understandably concerned about the situation.

“We conducted a thorough inspection of the room in question and found evidence of bedbugs,” explained Mr Arnett. “They were likely to have been brought in by backpackers, on an article of clothing or in luggage. The bed bugs were present on the mattress, so we then conducted further investigations on the adjoining rooms to determine the level of infestation.

“After we completed a thorough inspection of all the adjoining rooms, we concluded the bed bug infestation was limited to only one room,” said Mr Arnett. Together with the pest control technician they then set about providing a solution.

“We carried out a treatment using Temprid75 Residual Insecticide to all the carpet edges, skirting boards, window frames and reveals, wardrobe, architraves, bedframes, bed head and bed slats. This was followed by a dusting application of Coopex Dust to all electrical power points, including light switches and the ceiling light,” said Mr Arnett.

Temprid75 is a suspension concentrate that combines two powerful and effective residual insecticides: beta-cyfluthrin and imidacloprid. It is a residual insecticide that will control most insect pests, including bed bugs, and which Mr Arnett believes “offers better stopping power and greater long-term residual control.”

A follow-up inspection at the pub one week later found no evidence of bed bug activity. Good news for the tenant and proprietor!

Joseph Sara of Sara’s Pest Control in NSW has seen similarly good results with Temprid75. “We were recently called out to a boarding house with an extensive bed bug issue in one of the rooms,” said Mr Sara. “Bed bugs were starting to spread into the hallway and into the other rooms. We were asked if we could do this work without having to evacuate people from the building, so we chose Temprid75 due to it being odourless and having low mammalian toxicity.”

“The bed frame was pulled apart and treated, and the clothes cupboard, blind cassettes, architraves skirting boards were all extensively treated, as well as the edges of the carpet. We asked them to leave the room vacated for two days due to its extensive infestation.

“Our inspection two days later revealed no live bed bugs. We re-treated all areas lightly with Temprid75 and allowed them to re-occupy the room a day later. Returning a week later to vacuum and clean the area, no live bed bugs were found. I have no hesitation in recommending Temprid75 for bed bug control.”

Mr Arnett advised that bed bug treatments are best done with a combination of chemical and non-chemical methods. A single pesticide application will not be sufficient in most cases, so it is important for clients to understand that there will likely be follow-up inspections and treatments. Pest managers should accurately cost jobs to reflect these follow up visits.

“Educating your clients about bed bug management can be value-adding and can earn you extra dollars by treating adjacent rooms by following the ‘Bed Bug Code of Practice’,” said Mr Arnett.

“Management of customer expectations is also key for success and a happy client. Prior to commencing a job it is important to communicate what a thorough treatment is going to entail. Highlight those areas that will need to be accessed, items of furniture that will need to be removed and possibly dismantled as well as the need to lift up the edges of floor coverings. Items within the treatment zone should not be removed from those areas until they are treated.”

Download the ‘Bed Bug Code of Practice’, a training tool for pest managers that can be downloaded for free.

Bed Bugs: Quick Facts

  • There are two main speciecs of bed bug, Cimex hemipterus, the tropical bed bug and Cimex lectularius the common bed bug
  • Adult bed bugs are about 4-5mm long, wingless and oval shaped, with piercing and sucking mouthparts
  • The average female bed bug will lay 2-3 eggs per day
  • Nymphs go through five instars (moults) and require a blood meal before each one
  • Around 80% of people will develop an allergic reaction to a bed bug bite
  • Bed bugs are not known to be in involved with disease transmission

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