NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Bed bugs are not just a “dirty little secret” anymore. On April 15, The EPA suggested that the growing U.S. bed bug problem should be classified as an epidemic. And the costs of dealing with this epidemic can be staggering. “Bed bugs are reclusive, their eggs and babies are clear and microscopic, they spread fast through homes and hotels alike and the cost of treating in time, money and mental anguish can become extremely expensive,” said Diana Sosa, co-owner of Tennessee based Dog Inspectors.
“The costs of controlling and treating are much greater than simply spraying a room,” says Sosa. “Take a hotel room for example, treatment protocols require that all adjacent rooms be treated as well, some of the furniture in these rooms should be removed and destroyed, the rooms will be out-of-service for a period of time and then there are the guest costs such as replacing clothing, personal items and luggage as well as reimbursement for the cost of the room, and this is just the beginning.” There is the very real possibility of a law suit resulting in monetary compensation and legal fees along with negative media attention and brand erosion which can be devastating for any hotel or living facility.
Estimates place the cost of a bed bug incident in a single room to be as much as $6,000 to $7,000, not including potential litigation or the cost of negative public perception. And these costs rise exponentially if the problem is allowed to spread.
Chuck Nelson, co-owner of Dog Inspectors says, “The key to controlling the costs is to find them early and often. We have experienced a significant increase in the number of bed bug inspections, both residential and commercial, in recent months. Hotels, apartment complexes, retirement homes, furniture rental companies, college dormitories are all vulnerable. This problem is growing and we don’t expect it to go away anytime soon.”
In the EPA’s National Bed Bug Summit Participant Recommendations (April 15, 2009) it was recommended that, “Bed bugs need to be moved to the top of the list…. Preventative and ongoing inspection is necessary to address the problem….” This is the only way to protect against a widespread infestation and its associated costs.
Nelson explains, “Bed bugs are very difficult to detect with the naked eye by even the most skilled and trained inspector, they lay up to 5 eggs per day and can survive as long as a year on one feeding. Making matters worse, there are no currently effective treatments to kill their eggs. So it is easy to see just how quickly a bed bug problem can get out of hand.” Another factor which compounds the detection problem is that only 30 percent of the population is allergic to bed bugs which can conceal an existing problem for long periods of time. This delay has resulted in numerous cases in which the costs of treating widespread, full scale infestations has run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Nelson points out, “The EPA recommended that instituting regular and on-going preventative inspections is imperative to find and treat problems early. We also strongly maintain that re-inspections after treatment are vital to determine that no eggs have since hatched and that the bugs have been eradicated.”
More than 10 years of research both here and abroad has confirmed that one of the most effective technologies available for bed bug detection is trained and certified dogs. According to Sosa, “…a dog’s keen, superior sense of smell enables them to locate bed bugs that are virtually invisible to the naked eye with better than 95 percent accuracy and to do it very quickly. They can even distinguish between live and dead bugs making them an invaluable tool in the fight against this growing epidemic.”
Dog Inspectors is the first company in Tennessee to use specially trained and certified dogs to inspect both commercial and residential dwellings for bed bugs. This service is the most accurate, efficient and honest method of finding bed bugs. Dog Inspectors provides detection services only and does not treat infestations. They serve surrounding states throughout the mid-west and southeastern United States.
To learn more about Dog Inspectors, visit: www.doginspectors.com or call (615) 771-6842.