NATIONAL REPORT—Aside from mattress protectors, heat, steam and freezing, which have been reported on here at Green Lodging News, there are many other eco-friendly ways to address bed bugs—either from a detection or treatment standpoint. It is a challenge keeping up with the number of products available, especially those that do not involve toxic chemicals that can put employees and guests at risk, but with some investigation and comparison, one can find green solutions that work.
Using detection devices can help find bed bugs early and help minimize or even eliminate the use of chemicals down the road—something many hoteliers resort to when there is a bed bug outbreak. Detection devices can be placed behind guestroom furniture, or attached to the furniture itself.
FMC Corporation offers a Verifi bed bug detector. It is a small detection device that operates silently. Inside the detector is a CO2 booster pack that mimics a living, breathing host for about 24 hours using a chemical reaction to generate carbon dioxide. This reaction starts upon activation and requires no batteries or other power source, allowing for discreet placement and operation. The replaceable Verifi lure features two additional attractants: a kairomone that attracts bed bugs seeking a meal, and a pheromone that encourages bed bugs to gather together in the harborage area of the device. These attractants are continuously emitted for up to 90 days.
The carbon dioxide and liquid kairomone attract bed bugs seeking a meal to the pitfall of the device, while the pheromone encourages bed bugs to gather in the harborage area. Bed bugs fall into the pitfall and are unable to climb out, ensuring the pests cannot escape detection.
Bed Bug in a Cup
USBedBugs.com offers ClimbUp Insect Interceptor Bed Bug Monitors that allow for early detection. The monitors are plastic cups in which the bed’s bed feet are placed. The plastic cups are pesticide-free and are coated with a thin layer of talc which makes them too slick for the bugs to crawl out. Bugs approaching the bed from the floor will fall into the outer well while bed bugs leaving the bed will get stuck in the center well. The monitors can also be used below other types of furniture.
USBedBugs.com also offers the Bedbug Beacon CO2 producing monitor. A Bedbug Beacon attracts bed bugs in as little as a few minutes, although it can take up to two weeks for early infestations. It is recommended that the monitor be used for at least five days and in an unoccupied room.
Also from USBedBugs.com is the BB Alert Passive Bed Bug Monitor. An eco-friendly device, it is heat, chemical, fragrance and upkeep free. BB Alert Passive is a monitor that is specifically designed to provide an ideal hiding place for bed bugs. When it is placed near potential feeding sites, any active bed bugs will find its large number of small crevices very tempting. A white band around the sides of the device clearly shows the fecal staining and cast skins of bed bug activity if the insects are present. Bed bugs will travel considerable distances between their daytime resting sites and the host, but will almost always prefer to rest very close to their feeding site if a suitable secure harborage is available. The BB Alert Passive monitor should therefore be positioned as close to the potential feeding site as possible—on the rear of the headboard, for example. The monitor cover includes a calendar grid which should be used to note the inspection date.
BioSensory, Inc.’s NightWatch Bedbug Monitor mimics a living, breathing human body—combining CO2 and a thermal heat source for a two-pronged attractant and trapping system. When bed bugs approach to feed on what they think is a human, they fall into the pitfall traps made of highly polished material and cannot escape. NightWatch can catch both mature and immature bed bugs, and since the monitor’s detection period spans the seven to 10 days bed bugs take between meals, it can detect infestations the very first time they try to bite. BioSensory recommends NightWatch Bedbug Monitor as one part of an integrated pest management program (inspection, treatment, monitoring, reinspection).
AP&G offers a Bedbug Detection System that is a trap that simulates the conditions that bed bugs consider perfect harborage: tight, dark tunneling and rough woodsy material. (Common examples are the small grooves of corrugated boxes, mattress creases and wood furniture.)
Application Treatments to Consider
EPA registered Decon ProGreen’s formula kills bed bugs on contact and destroys the biohazardous materials that bed bugs leave behind. The formula is non-toxic and non-corrosive. The company recommends leaving a room empty for 12 hours after application.
Nature-Cide All-Natural Products and Insecticides offers a Bed Bug Spray made from all natural ingredients. The spray eradicates and prevents bed bug infestations. It can be sprayed directly onto the mattress, box spring, bedding, floor, head board, walls, windows, floor boards, etc. The company also offers a 2 oz. Travel Bed Bug Spray.
McLaughlin Gormley King Company’s EverGreen Pyrethrum Dust contains unsynergized pure pyrethrum—a botanical insecticide derived from a chrysanthemum flower. It controls not only bed bugs but also fleas, ants, German cockroaches, and ticks.
Cimi-Shield with Residulen from Pest Barrier America uses synthesized soybean oil as an ingredient. Cimi-Shield Knock-Out is the preferred formulation for active bed bug infestations in maintained environments. Cimi-Shield kills on contact and the non-toxic residual continues to kill newly hatched and introduced bed bugs. Cimi-Shield Protect is ideal for sites where a future problem is anticipated in areas adjacent to active infestations (apartments or hotel rooms) or where bed bugs are likely to be brought in from outside.
Extract from Geranium Oil Kills Bed Bugs
BugBand’s Bed Bugs No More! uses a Geraniol formulation that kills bed bug eggs, larvae, nymphs and adults on contact. Geraniol is an ingredient extracted from Geranium oil. Geraniol attacks the bed bug’s exoskeleton.
Stop Bugging Me! from Hygienic Solutions US is a water based insecticide that is EPA Registered. It offers 90 day residual pest killing power. It kills bed bugs on contact.
Green Rest Easy natural bed bug spray, available through USBedBugs.com, kills 90 percent of bed bugs within two seconds and the remainder within 30 seconds. It relies on natural oils as the active ingredients.
Bed Bug Exterminator, available from USBedBugs.com, is a spray proven to kill bed bugs on contact. It is an all-natural product.
Bed Bug Barrier tape, also from USBedBugs.com, does not kill bed bugs but it can inhibit their progress. The invisible tape can be applied on vertical surfaces such as bed legs. The tape is guaranteed too slippery for bed bugs to cross on a vertical surface. The tape is not a sticky tape that captures bed bugs.
Bed-Bug-Rid exterminates bed bugs without the use of pesticides. The formula includes diatomaceous earth.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.