Bedbug populations across the U.S. are growing rapidly in most states, according to pest control provider Terminix, which named Philadelphia as 2012’s most bedbug-infested U.S. city.
High-traffic locations like office buildings are most vulnerable, particularly in cubicles, employee lockers, break rooms, electronic equipment, and other personal items brought from home.
Bedbugs are also transferred by people, so as traffic increases, so does the risk of infestation.
Infestations are often discovered through complaints from visitors or employees, explains Paul Curtis, director of service quality for Terminix. Try these five tips for bedbug vigilance:
- Educate staff on how to spot signs of infestation and what to do if they discover bedbug activity.
- Regularly inspect vulnerable areas for signs of infestation, such as eggs, fecal spots, or cast skins. Also train employees to self-check personal items, which are frequently a source of infestation.
- Train staff to handle bedbug concerns from visitors and employees sympathetically, professionally, and according to company policy. Legally, employees’ actions and words can be attributed to their employer.
- Be quick and responsive. If you suspect a bedbug infestation, schedule a professional inspection immediately.
- Preserve samples of bedbug evidence to show the inspector.
Developing an action plan in advance to spot and deal with bedbug activity can minimize complaints, so invest the time in discussing potential infestation with your staff. Watchful eyes and professional conduct can make all the difference in minimizing legal concerns and infestation size.