Bed Bug Treatment Gone Wrong

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It appears nightly news is now regularly including stories on bed bugs. Right here in New York, just south of our main office in New York City bed bugs are spreading like crazy. From hotels, movie theaters, stores, hospitals and now schools, it is scary to think where they may show up next.

Our local ABC news aired a story about bed bugs in a NYC School. A exterminator was hired to service a school for bed bugs, however he did much more. Upon returning to the school, teachers found fluid from the exterminator's product on their desks, children's desks, the floors, on books, etc. When reading this, the most important thing to do before hiring a pest professional or anyone, is to check their credentials.

The National Pest Management Association Lists Tips for Finding A Pro:

  • Always deal with a qualified and licensed pest management company. Consider asking to see the license or other credentials of the pest control professional that comes to solve your pest problem.
  • Evaluate pest control companies that are members of national, state or local pest management associations.
  • Consider an NPMA Associated company.
  • Ask friends and neighbors to recommend pest control companies they have used successfully and how satisfied they were with the service.
  • Be wary of the exterminator who comes to your home uninvited and offers to give your house a free inspection for pests. He or she may try to scare you into authorizing immediate and costly treatments.
  • If a sizable amount of money is involved, get bids from several pest management companies.
  • Don't rush a decision. Since you are paying for professional knowledge as well as skillful application of pesticides, look for someone whose judgment you can trust.
  • Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the household pest to be exterminated, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.
  • Find out if the pest control company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment.
  • If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing control, prevention and management are necessary.
  • Buy value, not price. Beware of exterminators that offer bargains that sound too good to be true.
  • Homeowners can call state pest control regulatory agencies for information regarding the status of pest management companies. In most states the regulatory agency is the State Department of Agriculture.

Although those tips apply to general pest control, what about bed bugs? How to you choose a professional, BedBugCentral provides these helpful tips:

Not all pest control companies are created equal and are equipped and knowledgeable enough to treat bed bug infestations. Listed below you will find questions we recommend you ask before contracting a pest control company to treat your bed bug infestation.

Questions to Ask

  • Is the company licensed and insured? Although this question may seem basic, it is a very important question many people may forget to ask. Pest control operators (PCO) may need to work with pesticides and chemicals, which are only effective when used properly by a licensed PCO who has been trained to do so.
  • What experience does the company have treating bed bug infestations at structures or sites similar to your own? Be sure to confirm that the pest control company has not only treated bed bug infestations before, but ones at structures similar to your own. As you learn more about bed bugs, you will realize that the way an infestation is treated varies by site and structure (ie. apartments, rowhomes, etc.).
  • Get references. Make sure to not only ask if they have treated infestations at structures similar to your own, but to ask for references of the previous work they have done. Make sure to follow up with these references before taking further action with the pest control company.
  • What is the plan of action to handle infestations? Do not hire a bed bug company unless they can provide you with some type of bed bug protocol for your type of structure beforehand and/or after the inspection.
  • Does the company endorse or require the use of encasements? We believe that the most effective bed bug eradication plans require the use of encasements on all mattresses and box springs. For more then one reason, we believe this to greatly aid in managing and treating a bed bug infestation.
  • Is the pricing a flat fee does it vary by job? We think that every bed bug infestation is unique and should be treated that way. We may be wary of a flat fee pricing system because depending on the level of your infestation, the pricing may or may not be fair.

Other things to keep in mind

  • IPM. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an approach to pest management that involves using both chemical and non-chemical measures to manage pest infestations. This approach is used to manage and reduce the amount of pesticide damage done to the environment.
  • Vacuum and Steam. The use of vacuum and steam has proven to be a very effective and useful tool in bed bug management program. This is usually part of an IPM protocol, and is an effective alternative to pesticides.
  • Educational Materials. A knowledgeable pest control company will provide you with educational materials educating you on the behavior and biology of bed bugs, and what you can do to aid in the eradication process. They should also provide you with directions, written or spoken, or what to do during treatments.

For more specific information on how to choose a pest control company, you can email BedBugCentral at or contact Thomas Pest Services at

We at Thomas Pest Services are proud to be members of the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). NPMA an organization including many pest management companies, whose many goal its to protect the health, home and/or property from pest. Craig Thomas is even on the board of directors!

We are a licensed and trained in bedbug control and would like the opportunity to protect your health, home and property in the near future. For questions, contact us by phone 1-877-518-2847, twitter or facebook.

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