Industry News




 

06/22/2012

Bedbugs are Bad Business

 
Bedbugs continue to dominate the commerical landscape.

Bedbugs are becoming a bigger problem for building owners and facility managers.  While bedbugs can be a problem for residential customers, data provided by Terminex shows that facilities and businesses are potential hotbeds of bedbug activity and growth.

With the growth in bedbug populations across the U.S., businesses continue to represent a whopping 70% of Terminix’s bedbug customers versus 30% for residential customers.

“In areas with high levels of active bed bugs, it is not uncommon to see a 300% increase in reported incidences over levels reported just a few years ago,” says Paul Curtis, director of service quality for Terminix. “And in areas where infestation is newly discovered, increases can be as high as 1500% over the previous year.”

While some locations are more susceptible to infestation than others, bedbugs are transferred by people: The more people traffic a location has, the more it is at risk.

For office buildings, the high volumes of traffic create a special challenge, as do personal items brought from home. Many areas can harbor bedbugs including cubicles, employee lockers, break rooms and electronic equipment.

“Discovery of suspected infestations or bedbug activity often comes via complaints from visitors or employees,” adds Curtis. “It’s important for facility managers to develop an action plan in advance with their staff.”

Developing a Bedbug Action Plan:

Train and educate all staff members on how to look for signs of infestation and what to do if bedbug activity is found.

Conduct regular inspections of vulnerable areas, and train employees to self-check, since it can be difficult to inspect personal items, the most likely source of infestation. In addition to a bed bug, you may see eggs, fecal spots or cast skins as sign of infestation.

Train staff to handle visitor and employee concerns related to bedbugs sympathetically, professionally and according to company policy.  Legally, employees’ actions and words could be imputed to their employer.

Be quick and responsive – if you suspect bedbugs, contact an expert immediately to schedule an inspection.

Preserve samples of the suspected evidence to show to the expert during inspection.

“Bedbugs continue to plague many U.S. cities and towns and they are able to hitchhike on any item and be carried into any home or building,” said Stoy Hedges, an entomologist with Terminix. “While major metropolitan areas are most at risk, it is important to note that bedbugs have been spotted in cities and towns across the country.”

Hedges cautions that bedbug infestations are not something that schools should attempt handle on their own.  A recent report in the Journal of Economic Entomology reported that over-the-counter foggers have been proven ineffective and are not recommended for use.

 

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Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
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04/23/2014

A key part to curbing emissions is working with local and city officials, tenants, and other groups to help make entire communities more sustainable. BOMA International shares the following strategies for greening your facility and community.

04/21/2014

Lighting fixes target the bottom line.

04/16/2014

The U.S. Army plans to start development of a solar array that will provide about 25% of the annual installation electricity requirement of Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

04/15/2014

The EPA's annual greenhouse gas emissions report is now available.

04/14/2014

Are you what some would call a “climate-change denier”? If so, you'll want to read this.

04/10/2014
Los Angeles has remained the top city for ENERGY STAR certified building since 2008, while Washington, D.C. continues to hold onto second place for the fifth consecutive year, according to a new list released by the EPA.
04/09/2014
Green construction has grown massively over a short period of time.
04/07/2014
Field demonstrations of newly proven energy-efficient technologies are yielding valuable results for the U.S. Navy, helping it meet energy goals.
04/03/2014
Building owners in Chicago now have more options when it comes to getting their building energy data verified.
04/01/2014
According to a new report from Eaton, such outages are up 15% in 2013 over 2012 and over half of those surveyed believe that downtime could have been prevented.
03/31/2014
The newly revised ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 105-2014, Standard Methods of Determining, Expressing, and Comparing Building Energy Performance and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, aims to provide a consistent method of measuring, expressing, and comparing the energy performance of buildings.
03/27/2014
Facility managers face an every expanding array of sustainability choices and challenges, but for the next generation of FMs, green practices could be second nature as sustainability literacy enters the K-12 school system.
03/25/2014
While the economic recession explains the decline in sales in 2008 and 2009, it is much less clear why sales have continued to fall.
03/24/2014
University of Washington (UW) scientists have built the thinnest known LED that can be used as a source of light energy in electronics.
03/21/2014
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed Senate Bill 2378 into law, effectively enacting the state’s first building code.
03/19/2014
In an attempt to improve building energy performance, the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released a web-based tool called the Technology Performance Exchange, or TPEx.
03/18/2014
Could green building practices pose unanticipated life-safety hazards?
03/13/2014
Worried about workplace violence in your facility? Researchers have discovered that “mindfully observing” high-risk employees can avert danger and workplace violence.
03/11/2014
Through the DOE’s Building Energy Codes Program, every dollar the DOE has spent on building energy codes over the past two decades has resulted in $400 in energy cost savings.
03/07/2014
It is possible to harvest energy from Earth's thermal infrared emission into outer space, according to new research from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
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