A novel early warning system from Ensystex allows pest managers to detect  – and act upon – bed bugs more quickly than ever before.

One item that drew a great deal of interest from professionals at the recent Ensystex seminars was the Ensystex Environmental Room Monitoring System (ERMS), which provides a proven system for the early detection of bed bugs.

“The Environmental Room Monitoring System has been designed and developed in the field, and proven in more than 29,000 cases of bed bug infestations in Europe and the USA.

It is sensitively guest branded and many thousands of them already go unnoticed in hotels, hostels and halls of residence overseas,” explained Steve Broadbent, Ensystex regional director.

“It is unique system in which the professional pest manager forms a partnership with their client, such as a hotel, hostel or cinema, to create an early warning system to indicate the presence of bed bugs, leading to lower guest complaints.

“At the heart of the system is a very simple yet proven device – the Ensystex Passive Bed Bug Monitor (main picture, above). The monitor measures 120 x 90 mm and is less than 10 mm deep. It has a self- adhesive backing and is simply placed at the head end of the base of each bed, where bed bugs tend to gather. Placed discreetly, the exact positioning depends on the design of the bed.

“To a bed bug, the monitor provides the ideal living accommodation for it to hide in and digest its meal. It is designed in such a way that bed bugs defecate before they enter the monitor, thus providing evidence of an infestation, which is easily visible on the white skirt at the base of the monitor.

“The secret to the success of this system is that the monitor can be easily inspected by the hotel housekeeping team. Once a week, housekeeping checks the monitor for signs of bed bug activity. It takes only a few seconds of their time. If there is no activity they simply tick the weekly check box. This is repeated for the life of the monitor, which are replaced after 12 months.

“Complementing the monitor are the training programs and technical manual provided by Ensystex to ensure compliance with the weekly inspection program and to ensure housekeeping understand the processes and systems in place.”

Early warning system

“Passive monitors are designed to provide an early warning system to indicate the initial signs of bed bug activity in a commercial or residential setting. It is important to understand, that they will not assist with the decontamination of infected locations and should only be used as part of an integrated pest management approach.

The key benefits of this approach are:

  • Catching an infestation early limits its spread where it is easier and less costly to resolve
  • It potentially provides a due diligence defence for a hotel in the event of litigation
  • No glue or chemicals are present to alert the bed bugs and cause them to scatter
  • It works with the bed bugs natural biology and behaviour
  • Bed bugs leave faecal traces and shed skins on the detection skirt – an easy way to confirm if they are present
  • Provides the perfect quality assurance check for bed bug treatments

“For professional pest managers, ERMS provides a new income stream with the ability to provide concerned property managers with an early warning system for the presence of bed bugs, to help ensure that the bed bugs are detected before they bite their patrons.

“The pest manager makes income by selling the system to the hotel and providing training to the housekeeping team on how to place the monitors and check them each week. Additionally, if the monitors display what looks likely to be evidence of bed bugs, the pest manager is called out for a pre-agreed call out fee. If the presence of bed bugs is confirmed, then the room is treated by the pest manager, with the pricing determined based upon the nature of the infestation.”

David Cain of Bed Bugs Limited in the UK has been using the ERMS. “The benefit to both our business and accommodation providers
that has flowed from using these Passive Monitors is unmatched. Their development has really helped us to grow our commercial services division, without the inherent unpredictability of reactive work.”

Steve Broadbent concluded by noting that, “At a cost of less than seven cents a day, ERMS provides a low cost early warning system to hotels that can save them time and money by avoiding serious bed bug issues. With the prevalence of bed bugs on the increase, it promises to be real winner of a system for professional pest managers.”

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