Bed Bugs

Bedbugs on a bed sheet

For bed bug control the Pest Manager must realise that the normal practice of ‘management’ is not an option and that the client desires elimination.
The cryptic nature of bed bugs means that complete eradication with a single treatment is unlikely, especially in heavy infestations. The inspection process must be extremely thorough and may take considerable time, as all harbourages need to be identified and subsequently treated. Follow up inspections are always required and repeated treatments are usually necessary even in minor infestations. Ongoing surveillance during the control program is essential. Inadequate control often leads to a spreading of the infestation with inevitable
escalating control costs to the client, and potential loss of credibility and business for the Pest Manager. By aiming to achieve complete eradication, the risk of insecticide resistance will be reduced.
The Pest Manager should never undertake a bed bug treatment that does not conform to this CoP as a ‘quick fix’ solution. For example, the mattress should not be treated on one day and the remainder of the room on the next, as this can lead to dispersal of the insect even to adjoining rooms and units. The Pest Manager must attempt to eradicate the infestation with the first treatment. There should be a minimum of one follow up visit (or more with heavy infestations) and the final inspection should determine the success of the treatment.
The Pest Manager should integrate both non-chemical and chemical means of control and aim to minimise the risk of insecticide exposure to the public. Only those insecticides that are either currently registered or approved for use for bed bug control by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) must be used by the Pest Manager.
The Pest Manager must provide quality work as per ‘best practice’ defined in this CoP or warn the client that control will not be achieved. Where the client is unwilling to follow the recommendations of this CoP, the client must accept responsibility for this decision, and this fact must be documented by the Pest Manager, and signed by the client.
Bed bug control can only be achieved if the client fully cooperates with the Pest Manager. Cooperation may include preparing the room for treatment, to possible room closure. If the client is unwilling to cooperate with the Pest Manager, then a successful elimination may not be achieved. In this case the Pest Manager should consider not accepting the work, or include a preparation fee to the service.
The Client
The client can not solely rely on the Pest Manager for the prevention and control of bed bug infestations. For the Hotelier there is a responsibility to undertake preventative measures including, risk management, education of staff in bed bug management, ensuring that appropriate hygiene measures are implemented and maintained, ensuring that rooms are not bed bug ‘friendly’, and that other strategies are implemented to reduce the risk of potential infestations (Section 20). The Pest Manager will require the client to undertake certain activities during a control program. Without this cooperation, the treatment is likely to fail.
The client should not attempt to control an infestation prior to a site assessment by the Pest Manager. Such attempts can spread the infestation, increase the downtime of the premises, present a health and safety risk, and lead to an increase in control costs.
The client must realise that the control of bed bugs is expensive, especially in heavy infestations when rooms may be closed for extended periods. It is not the intention of the CoP to compromise any control activity on the basis of financial impact, no matter how costly. Rather the intention of this CoP is to provide current ‘best practice’ for the control of active infestations, the prevention of spreading active infestations, and the management of future potential infestations. However, research is encouraged to find the fastest control methods in an effort to minimise disruption and possible cost to the client.