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Bed bugs had been almost non-existent for about the last 50 years. Now they have become one of the leading pest issues in the Seattle-Metro area. Dominion's extermination professionals have eliminated bed bugs in various settings. From single bedrooms or apartments to entire dorm facilities, we have the knowledge and the tools to get the job done. Dominion's scheduling department will provide you with a detailed preparation sheet which walks you through the preparations and gets your space ready for treatment. At the appointed time, Dominion's professional exterminator will answer any questions & do a walk through to make sure everything is ready. Then, the treatment is executed and the bed bugs are no more. It's a tried and true method. Whether you have a single room or multiple units, we've been successful at this time and time again. Experience, care and diligence. Dominion is a local company whose associates care for you and are eager to get rid of these pests for you so you can rest easy again.
Dominion Pest Control's founder and COO, Anthony Wurst, has been invited to speak on several topics for public and professional education by the media and the Washington State Pest Management Association. KIRO 1000 talk radio recently invited Mr. Wurst as a guest on their Home Matters radio show which runs on Saturday Mornings to speak about Ants, Rodents and Bed Bugs.
Here is a link to the associated news article:
Mr. Wurst, was also interviewed regarding bed bugs and their control for a magazine. We thought that the questions and answers would be helpful for our clients searching for a professional to take care of the problem as well as for information purposes.
Here are the notes from the interview:
Questions for Tony:
Q: Do you think the bedbug problem will continue to escalate?
A: That is a tough question to answer. In our experience, We have found bed bugs to be mostly associated with travel. We don't feel that the bed bug problem will escalate on the same level as it has in the past 10 years, but we have found that those cities which are more entrenched into international commerce and travel have a higher rate of infestation. We expect the bed bug problem will ebb and flow with commerce and travel.
Q: Do you think homeowners are becoming paranoid about bedbugs?
A: We have an occasional call from someone who is very upset by bed bugs, but most people are very well educated and just want to make sure that the exterminator can, in fact get rid of them.
Q: Do you get a lot of false alarm calls?
A: Maybe not a lot, but there are some. Most people thought that beg bugs were a fairy tale ("sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite"), so they initially have no idea what bed bugs look like. We provide an on site identification for those people who cannot verify that they have in fact found a bed bug and know that there is an infestation. Sometimes they are false alarms, but most people are very happy either way to have a professional making sure for them.
Q: If someone has a bedbug problem, how do they get rid of them?
A: Treatment of a bed bug infestation requires a partnership between the householder and the exterminator. We do not recommend that householders take this task upon themselves as over the counter pesticides are not designed for treatment of bed bugs. Only recently have professional products become available which are designed specifically for bed bugs. At Dominion, we have a tried and true method. Our method starts by sending a treatment preparation sheet to the client. The preparation sheet guides our client through the process of preparing the space for treatment while not spreading the bed bugs around the rest of the living space. Most people choose to do this part themselves, but we do offer complete preparation services as well. The actual treatment involves careful treatment of the area according to pesticide labels with treatments which leave a residual for ongoing protection. Also we employ some physical exclusion methods to make it impossible for a bed bug to get a blood meal. This should only be done by a trained professional.
Q: What are the treatment options available?
A: There are chemical & non-chemical treatments available. Heat has become a trendy non chemical treatment idea. A heat treatment is designed to bring the entire home or building up to a temperature which will kill all bed bugs and their eggs. Sort of like a fumigation, but with heat. It is a great idea, however, studies have shown that bed bugs are able to flee from the heat and go into areas which cannot be brought up the the needed temperature (113 degrees F for 30 minutes). Also, no residual protection is in place, so if one female bed bug survives the heat treatment, nothing is hindering her from starting a new infestation. Another problem with this method is that it does not address the main problem which is that the bugs were brought in somehow. As much as possible, it is imperative that the source of the bed bugs be discovered and the source addressed. There are many other experimental treatments that we hear about in industry studies and clinics, but they are still experimental. One such method is a baiting method. Biologists have been working to reproduce the 'smell' of human blood in order to capture it into a small device which would emit the smell throughout an affected area. The bed bugs would be attracted to the device for a blood meal to become trapped once inside. Another neat idea, but the problem is that bed bugs are able to survive without a blood meal for 3 months (some say 1 year). Also, bed bugs have been shown to prefer a 4 to 5 day feeding cycle. This would lengthen the treatment to an unrealistic time frame. It might turn out to be a nice verification method for hotels, though. So, there are a lot of treatment methods out there. We are obviously partial to ours!
Q: How long do the treatments take to work, and how much can a homeowner expect to pay to get rid of bedbugs?
A: Once the space is prepared, the treatments take around one hour. Results with our method are generally 90% control after the first 1 to 2 days and 100% control after 1 to 2 weeks depending on the level on infestation. Prices will vary based level of infestation and the size of the infested space.
Q: How does someone's home become infested with these pets?
A: Infestations can usually be traced back to travel. Sometimes a hotel stay can be the source. We had one family trace it back to a summer camp.
Q: Does the presence of bedbugs mean a home is dirty or unclean? Or is that a misconception?
A: Not usually. Bed bugs are not associated with filth per se. However, good personal hygiene and general cleanliness are effective aids for controling an infestation. What other misconceptions or misinformation do people have about the bedbug issue? That is the main one.
Q: What can homeowners do, and what steps can they take, to prevent a bedbug infestation?
A: Always check the bed and furniture when you stay at a hotel. Literally strip it down to the bare mattress and look at all of the seams on the box springs, mattresses and frames. Check the couch and chair cushions as well. Look for blood staining (bed bug's fecal matter) and the bugs themselves. Whenever you travel try not to check your luggage and inspect the overhead compartment where your bags are stowed. These are the places where bed bugs have the best chance to spread.
Q: What should a homeowner do if they suspect they have bedbugs?
A: If the homeowner feels confident enough, they could go online and look at pictures to see if they can do an initial identification. Once they feel that they might have a bed bug issue, they should call a professional in order to confirm the identification and get treatment.
Q: Do you have any other advice for homeowners? Should they be sure they're hiring a licensed company? Are there any other credentials they should look for in a pest control company?
A: The main advice I have for customers to find a professional is to use a trusted source. They can check licensing status of a perspective business with the Department of Agriculture in their state. But mainly, they should find a company that has good reviews on a trusted site which filters the reviews for spam. Some sites allow anyone to post a review. Sometimes collusion happens to get good reviews posted online. I suggest a site like Angie's List which only allows members who have used the provider to review the service. THe proof of the company's ability to solve the problem can usually be found there. When the pro shows up, look for a clean truck and a clean technician. Those that care about their appearance tend to care more in other areas as well.
Q: I know the bedbug treatments can be rather expensive, and some homeowners may be worried about being taken advantage of. Are there any redflags they should look out for?
A: Make sure that the technician who comes to your house can verify that you do, indeed have a bed bug infestation. Once you have a price quote, call the office of the company to see if you get a similar pricing structure. Red flags for me would be pressure from the representative of the company to sign up immediately, or fearmonger a client into a service by telling horror stories. The professional should treat your house and family with respect and politeness. He or she is there to help and is at your service.
Q: This is absolutely fantastic! What about other preventative measures, such as not bringing home used furniture and clothing? Is that something people should avoid?
A; I didn't even think of this one! Wow! Yes. People should know that used furniture and especially mattresses should be avoided at all costs unless they have them professionally fumigated in a fumigation chamber. Clothing is actually just fine. A precaution would be to run them through a 30 minute cycle on high heat in the dryer immediately upon bringing the clothing home. This is proven to kill all bed bugs and their eggs.
Q: Also, do you recommend any products like mattress and pillow covers, or those discs that go under the bed posts (preventing the bedbugs from crawling up the bed)?
A: Mattress covers require specific parameters under which they can be a successful aid to a bed bug treatment. As there is only one cover that has been proven to keep the bugs in and it must be sealed in a certain way as well as being guarded from puncture by the frame or anything else, we do not use them. There are too many variables. The discs are coming along. Soon, I believe they will have one which really works.