Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Is Bed Bug K9 Training Documentation Important?

We have all heard the terms "Bed bug K9 inspections are a scam" and know this couldn't be further from the truth! Bed bug dogs are being used all over the world and have proven to be a very effective tool in bed bug detection. Bed bug dogs are being used by pest control firms, and many have found this as an opportunity to start their own business. 

Bed bug K9's are recognized by the U.S. 9th Circuit court of Appeals as a "scientific instrument" if they are properly trained and certified. Many buy K9 detection dogs from reputable firms and get them ready to sniff bed bugs as being properly trained, certified, and licensed. One such company is the WDDO (World Detector Dog Organization) and there mission simply states: 

     "To improve the accuracy, dependability and performance of detector dog teams and to improve legal defensibility of detector dog team performance. We will achieve  these goals through quality training, education and focused evaluation of detector dog teams and trainers. It is further our mission to help member owners and handlers be the best in the industry. In addition, we are a resource center, bringing inspector K9 teams together for the purpose of better networking and communication."

Many companies go beyond the initial certification and keep good clean records of daily, weekly, and monthly training sessions. This is as critical as the initial training and certification. If good records are kept, and ongoing training is the standard, then a call to court will be a breeze. The judge is going to want to see these records and will most certainly ask for them! 
Some things to consider are:
  • Where and when is the training taking place?
  • What is the accuracy of the K9?
  • Are live/dead bed bugs being used?
  • What are the conditions (temperature, hide types, etc..)?
  • Is one or more trainers being used?
  • In addition: are the actual inspections for customers documented and available?
  • And much more...! Documentation is critical.
CimTrax has developed a platform to handle all of these needs and offers a free trial with no obligation to see for yourself if it is a program that will work for you. Learn more at CimTrax.Com.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Bed Bugs; Homeowner DIY or Hire Pest Management Professional??

Bed bugs in your home? Not good, but you have options! 

What should you do? Get rid of them yourself, or call a professional pest control company? 

Homeowner Do It Yourself (DIY):
  • Clean, clean, clean! A clean environment does not get rid of bed bugs, but it will give them less places to hide, and make detecting them easier. 
  • Talk to a local bug mart or business that sells pest control chemicals to the public, and gain the knowledge it will take to tackle the task yourself. Be careful of buying just anything off the Internet as there are a lot of "miracle cures" that simply do not work!
  • Do as much research as you can to make sure you are using the right products, and have a clear understanding of what it will take to get rid of the bed bugs.
  • Do NOT use any products that require a professional license to apply, and only use approved products for homeowner use with full knowledge of how, where, and when to use the product.
  • Tackling a bed bug problem yourself can get costly, and may even be more time consuming and expensive than hiring a pest management professional!
Hire a Pest Management Professional:
  • Be picky on who you choose! Ask for bed bug specific references, and check them.
  • A few questions you can ask them:
    • Do they specialize in bed bugs?
    • Do they offer a warranty? If so, what are the details of it.
    • How long have they been doing bed bug cases? This may not be dated back several years, as bed bugs are a newer problem in many parts of the world.
    • Do they have a specific plan or protocol for you to follow in preparing for the treatments, and what is your involvement in the process? Be prepared to invest some of your own time in preparation of the bed bug treatment, as it can be labor intensive for you and the pest control technicians.
  • What are their inspection methods? K9s, visual, monitors, etc... If K9s are used, are they certified?
  • Do they do follow up inspections?
  • If you find a reputable company and are willing to work with them, you will have great success in dealing with your bed bug infestation, big or small.
  • There is many options available for bed bug treatments, which also means the price range of services available will fluctuate dramatically. 
Our Recommendation:

If in doubt, Hire a Pest Management Professional!
Be sure to get multiple bids, do your research, and make sure you are comfortable with your decision. Try not to make a decision based solely on price... Sometimes you really do get what you pay for! 

Our Advice:

If a pest management professional comes to your home and says they can fix the problem with one simple, super cheap solution..., we worried! Dealing with bed bugs can be a process of multiple treatments, follow up inspections, and labor. There are one time treatments available such as thermal remediation (heat), but may still require multiple inspections, and possible additional residual chemical treatments.

Sounds Daunting!

Rest assured, I have been working with many pest control professionals and if you find a reputable company who specializes in bed bugs, it will make the process more enjoyable and less stressful knowing you are in good hands.

If you are experiencing a bed bug issue, feel free to contact me through our contact form at I will be happy to assist any way I can!


Ben Forstie

CimTrax Pest & Bed Bug Documentation Software

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bed Bugs in your Apartment? You must know these tips...!

Apartments are seeing growing problems with bed bugs and are becoming more knowledgeable on how to deal with them. Many apartments are being very fair with tenants in dealing with them, but as a tenant there are certain things you must know so you are treated fairly.

Questions you should ask your apartment manager:

  • Has this unit ever had a bed bug infestation before?
    • if so, when was the last incident? 
    • was it the only incident?
    • were the adjoining units inspected/treated?
    • can I see copies of the inspection/treatment records?
      • if not, why?
  • Have any other units adjacent to mine in this building been affected by bed bugs?
    • same sub-questions as above
  • What is your standard protocol in dealing with bed bug infestations?
    • how long has this protocol been in place?
    • who and how was this protocol made?
  • What is the success rate of your bed bug treatments?
    • re-infest rates?
  • What type of treatments will you do?
    • Heat?
    • Liquid
      • both?
  • What type of warranty do you offer?
    • (make sure it is at least 30 days, and any bugs found within 30 days you get free treatments until you can go 30 days without seeing any activity..., even if it takes months)
Documents you need from your apartment manager:
  • When you first move into an apartment, make sure you get a detailed "pest control records" report on the unit you are renting. These records should show past infestations (if any) and show the 2 main pest problems you should be concerned about; Bed Bugs, and German Roaches.
  • If your apartment manager is not willing to show you the historical pest records for the unit you are renting you should be concerned as to WHY!
  • If you do experience a bed bug issue and the apartment management wants to treat your unit you need the following from them:
    • Inspection records from your unit and make sure all adjoining units are inspected (especially if you are responsible for paying for treatment) and you want a copy of the inspection reports. 
    • If bed bugs are found in adjoining units, you need ongoing inspection and treatment records along with the ones for your unit.
*Bed bugs are typically brought in by a tenant, but can come from adjoining units. If they come from an adjoining unit, it will do no good to treat only YOUR unit! Make sure you are very firm on adjoining units getting inspected at a minimum, and treated if needed. 

You NEED documentation for everything. Be educated, be firm, and you will take care of any bed bug issue you may have. They are not difficult to get rid of as long as you understand what needs to be done.

Don't hesitate to contact me if you have a specific question or if you are experiencing a bed bug problem where you live. I will be happy to help!

For more information on bed bug documentation for pest control companies visit


Ben at CimTrax

Monday, May 21, 2012

New Pest Control Software

Finally, a cloud based pest control software used for pest and bed bug documentation, customer management, and so much more! View press release here:

CimTrax is offering 30 Day Free Trials! No credit card or obligation required!

Visit today to start your free trial in minutes!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bed Bugs in your childs school?

I have google alerts setup to come to my email box every day. The alert is setup for "BED BUG NEWS" and I get a quick glance each day of whats happening out there... It blows me away how many days have schools involved and often many different schools per day. And, this is only what comes through on my google alerts! I am afraid we may see the day that we simply just learn to live with bed bugs and deal with them like they did 75 years ago...


Learn more at

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bed Bug Feeding Time!!

Bed Bugs Feeding on a Mans Arm

Have you ever wondered how bed bugs grow and multiply so fast? They need warm blood:) Bed bugs cannot survive without blood, and humans are a convenient source of food for them. I have been in homes where the undersides of beds, and other areas have looked like this. I had to post this video of Lou Sorkin feeding his bed bug populations (or his kids as he calls them)! 

Warning: do not watch if you have a weak stomach!
                                         Thanks to Lou Sorkin for feeding these hungry bed bugs!

Sleep tight! Don't let the bed....


Learn more at

Monday, February 13, 2012

Dormitory Bed Bug Cases Growing

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln was in the news a couple weeks back when a student stated the school had asked her to keep quiet about a bed bug problem she had reported. They hired a bed bug exterminator to come and do a thorough bed bug inspection in there dorm rooms. Since then they have discovered bed bugs in 54 rooms according to 6News 

This is a great example of what the problem is with keeping an issue like this quiet... The more they try to hide it or let it go, the more severe the infestation gets, and very quickly. Bed bugs will not just "go away" and need to be tackled head on if found. The need for proactive bed bug inspections is more important now than ever. Nip them in the butt the second they are found before they spread. Having bed bug protocols in place will help in preventing future infestations, and minimize the effects of them if they do happen!

Have a great day!


Learn more at

Friday, February 10, 2012

Bed Bug Heat Treatments vs. Liquid, fume, etc...

Bed Bug Treatments (Heat Vs. Others)

I was reading an article on the differences between heat and other bed bed bug treatments and though I may as well google "bed bug heat treatments.." I ran into the link to Wikepedia and decided to just post what they have on their site regarding bed bug heat treatments vs. others.
It is a lot to read, but worth it! Enjoy!

The pesticide approach often requires multiple visits and may not always be effective due to pesticide resistance and dispersal of the bed bugs. According to a 2005 survey, only 6.1% of companies claim to be able to eliminate bed bugs in a single visit, while 62.6% claim to be able to control a problem in 2-3 visits. Insecticide application may cause dispersal of bed bugs to neighbouring areas of a structure, spreading the infestation. Furthermore, the problem of insecticide resistance in bed bug populations increases their opportunity to spread. Studies of bed bug populations across the United States indicate that resistance to pyrethroid insecticides, which are used in the majority of bed bugs cases is widespread.  Exterminators often require individuals to dispose of furniture and other infested materials. It is advisable to break or mark these infested items to prevent their being unintentionally recycled and furthering the spread of bed bugs.

Non-residue methods of mattress treatment are desired in place of contaminating mattresses with insecticides. Spraying the mattress with insecticide is undesirable as the room must be suitably ventilated, sufficient time must be given after application before the mattress can be used again and there is a risk of the user having an allergic reaction to the chemicals, not to mention other possible health risks including cancer and acute neurotoxicity.
Concerns over the possible health effects of pesticides on people and pets, as well as the dispersal of bed bugs to neighbouring dwellings due to repellent effects of insecticides, make the practice of chemically treating the mattresses problematic.

Pesticide resistance
Bed bugs are developing resistance to various pesticides including DDT and organophosphates.
Some populations have developed a resistance to pyrethroid insecticides. Although now often ineffective, the resistance to pyrethroid allows for new chemicals that work in different ways to be investigated, so chemical management can continue to be one part in the resolving of bed bug infestations. There is growing interest in both synthetic pyrethroid and the pyrrole insecticide, chlorfenapyr. Insect growth regulators, such as hydroprene (Gentrol), are also sometimes used.
Populations in Arkansas have been found to be highly resistant to DDT, with an LD50 of more than 100,000 ppm. DDT was seen to make bed bugs more active in studies conducted in Africa.
Bed bug pesticide-resistance appears to be increasing dramatically. Bed bug populations sampled across the U.S. showed a tolerance for pyrethroids several thousands of times greater than laboratory bed bugs.[16] New York City bed bugs have been found to be 264 times more resistant to deltamethrin than Florida bed bugs due to mutations and evolution.
A population genetics study of bed bugs in the United States, Canada, and Australia using a mitochondrial DNA marker found high levels of genetic variation. This suggests the studied bed bug populations did not undergo a genetic bottleneck as one would expect from insecticide control during the 1940s and 1950s, but instead, that populations may have been maintained on other hosts such as birds and bats. In contrast to the high amount of genetic variation observed with the mitochondrial DNA marker, no genetic variation in a nuclear RNA marker was observed. This suggests increased gene flow of previously isolated bed bug populations, and given the absence of barriers to gene flow, the spread of insecticide resistance may be rapid.

Physical isolation

Isolation of humans is attempted with numerous devices and methods including zippered bed bug-proof mattress covers, bed-leg moat devices, and other barriers. However, even with isolated beds, bed bug infestations persist if the bed itself is not free of bed bugs, or if it is re-infested, which could happen quite easily.

Inorganic materials

Inorganic materials such as including boric acid and diatomaceous earth may be used in conjunction with other methods to manage a bed bug infestation, provided they are used in a dry environment. Upon contact with such dust-like materials, the insect's waxy outer layer of their exoskeletons is disrupted, which causes them to dehydrate.

Disposal of contaminated belongings

Disposal of items such as mattresses, box springs, couches etc. is a costly process and rarely solves the problem. Instead, new furniture is usually infested. The movement of infested furniture also facilitates the spread of bed bugs.


Vacuuming helps reduce bed bug infestations, but does not eliminate bed bugs hidden inside of materials.

Cold treatment

Cold treatment offers an efficient inexpensive method of control. Bedbugs are highly temperature sensitive. They are adapted to live in sheltered indoor places with stable temperature and no air flow. If subjected to cold air and air flow their population number plummets over approximately a ten day period. To control a bedbug population using this method it is sufficient to place a few desktop fans on the floor around the bed or infested area, positioned to make sure there is a continuous circulating air flow in the whole area for at least 3-4 hours each day. A window should be kept well open, or air-conditioning used. Bite incidence typically goes down to 1-4 per month after ten days and stays at that level.
The advantage of the method is very low cost and effective control with reliable, stable outcome. However it does not appear possible to completely eradicate a bedbug population in this way. It is unclear whether this is because there always will be very small sheltered places left where founder populations can survive, or whether it is due to re-infestation from smaller populations elsewhere in the room, adjacent rooms, or brought in from outside. Bite incidence usually begins to increase around 3 weeks after the cooling regime is discontinued, and returns to the untreated level within a few months.
For complete eradication, freezing equipment is used to kill pests with cold temperatures. An example of this would be Cryonite, which uses the cooling properties of CO2, spraying a snow at a temperature of -78.5°C. Though bed bugs can tolerate a broad range of temperatures, -14 to 44 °C, they cannot survive body freezing or extreme heat.[23] As with approaches such as vacuuming and steaming, freezing sprays may not reach bed bugs that are hidden inside walls, furniture or appliances.

Heat treatments:

Steam treatment can effectively kill all stages of bed bugs. Unfortunately, bed bugs hide in a diversity of places, making steam treatment very tedious, labour intensive and time consuming. There is also the risk of the steam not penetrating materials enough to kill hidden bed bugs. The steam may also damage materials such as varnished wood, or cause mold from the moisture left behind. Requires repeated and very thorough steaming of the mattress, boxspring, bed frame, bed covers, pillows, not to mention other materials and objects within the infested room, such as carpets and curtains.

Clothes dryer
Clothes dryer can be used for killing bed bugs in clothing and blankets. Infested clothes and bedding is first washed in hot water with laundry detergent then placed in the drier for at least 20 minutes at low heat. However, this does not eliminate bed bugs in the mattress, bed frame and surrounding environment. Sterilized fabrics from the dryer are thus easily re-infested. Continually treating materials in this fashion is labour intensive, and in itself does not eliminate the infestation.

Room or building heat treatment
This method of bed bug control involves raising room temperatures to or above the killing temperature for bed bugs, which is around 45 °C. Heat treatments are generally carried out by professionals, and may be performed for a single dwelling or even to heat fumigate an entire building. Some of the drawbacks for heat treatments include the amount of time required to bring core temperatures high enough to effectively kill bed bugs that may have taken refuge within materials. This contributes to the professional heat treatments being generally expensive procedures. Following a heat-treatment, a room may be easily re-infested, as bed bugs are able to retreat into cracks and crevasses in walls, ceilings and floors, where they may escape treatment.
Thank you!
Ben @ CimTrax

References: Received on 2/10/12.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Worst bed bug infestation videos!

I saw many infestations that would shock most people but never took any videos so I found some on youtube worth showing...

It amazes me how some people could ever let it get to this point... blows me away!


And 1 more for before bedtime...:)

Actually I cant resist.. 1 more!
This is one for the people who shop at garage sales, second hand stores, etc... ( I do also, but just be careful!!) I treated a home for a lady and she had bought an alarm clock similar to this one, that was full of bed bugs, and she never knew until it was too late)

Sleep tight, Don't let the bed.................


Friday, February 3, 2012

Bed bugs becoming #1 pest in the world?

I ran into a discussion on Linkedin today about a post talking about this..

I did a quick check on the county health department website and did a 12 month historical search on public 

complaints (to the county health department). I was at a bed bug symposium about a year ago and some 

representatives from this health department displayed a graph showing bed bug complaints vs. roaches. The line 

for roaches was dropping yearly and the line for bed bugs was climbing. Roaches still had the edge on amount 

of inbound complaints... Until NOW! I have attached the link to the site below. You can go in and look at all 

sorts of fun stuff..

Bed bug complaints: 162 

Roaches: 116

That is amazing.. Bed bugs are slowly (or quickly?) becoming the #1 pest in the world.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Do I have bed bugs??

I recently received a book from one of the authors of "Bed Bug Beware- An easy to understand guide to bed bugs, their prevention and control." This is a great book and is a must read if you are in the pest control industry and battling bed bugs. For the non-pest control people out there who are wanting more information it also talks about common bed bug myths, and has a great FAQs section, along with good clear pictures of bed bugs, and infestations. 

Some of the questions covered and answered are as follow: (I will just list a few)

If I get bitten at night does it mean I have bed bugs?
No, there are many different things that could have caused the bite, bed bugs being just one of them.

When I was in pest control, I would go on many inspections of people who were getting bitten, and it turned out it was something other than bed bugs. However, many of these cases WERE bed bugs... If you are in doubt, search for a pest control company that has a specialized bed bug division and many of them will offer a free visual inspection of your residence, office, etc. 

Do bed bugs carry disease?
No, although bed bugs can bite and draw blood they do not spread any diseases. 

I have read articles about bed bugs possibly being able to spread MRSA and other bacterial infections, but have not seen any proof that this is true. It has been found that they are carriers of several diseases but have no way to transfer them from person to person.

How big are bed bugs?
The best way I can come up with to describe them is to look at an apple seed. This is a good indication of the size and relative shape of bed bugs. They can get up to 3/16 of an inch full grown. The baby bed bug is going to be very hard to see due to them being a light cream/clear color, and very small.

Can I get rid of them if they are in my house or hotel room?
Yes, if the infestation is light then you can treat it yourself, but if the bed bugs are well established then you must contact a professional pest management service to eradicate the problem. Do your homework and interview several companies. If you discover them in a hotel room, then report it to reception at once and demand to be moved to another room. Also ask them what their bed bug protocols are.

Still have questions?? This book can be found at Amazon and is well worth the investment.

Or feel free to contact us at any time!

Have a great day!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pest Control in the Cloud!

There are many pest control software programs available today. One problem arising however, is that most they are downloadable software packages, meaning you need to download and install the program onto your computer. That is not such a big deal, but if you want your employees to also use the program you need to install the program onto their computers as well. This process is expensive and can lead to a lot of frustration. For example; at a pest control firm I previously worked for we had a software program installed on all of the office computers at several different locations. All of these computers were linked together on a local server. The local server would decide to crash at opportune times, sometimes several times a month. We would then have to call the computer guy with all the fancy tools to drive out to our office where the server was, find the problem, and then fix the problem (hopefully that day)! Needless to say it lead to frustration and ended up costing the company a ton of money. When the system would crash, (which was often), the office people would not be able to do any work ALL DAY, the salespeople were frustrated, the technicians were frustrated, and the owner (forgot about him...) still had to pay for all of these employees hours, the computer repair guys bill, and equipment to fix the problem. Hmmm... 2 office employees per location, 5 locations, computer repair guy... = $$$$$$.

Don't let this be your business model! Come take the cloud based pest control software for a test drive today!!!

Have a great day!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Who's responsible for bed bug documentation

It is no doubt we live in a litigious society. When a guest stays at a hotel and gets eaten up by bed bugs, "Sue" is turning into the first thought they have. If not "Sue" then it is money (such as reimbursement, free future stays, etc...).

My question is; when the hotels payout for these situations or get sued and hauled to court do they, or will they, turn it onto the pest control company stating they are not doing a good enough job? Maybe they won't blame the pest control company, buy will definitely turn to them for assistance with documentation showing they are being compliant, and do have a pest control program in place, and more so today, also have a bed bug action plan in place.

If you are a pest control company, does it make you more focused on documentation so you can be prepared for this?

I would love to hear from some professionals who have encountered this situation! Any feedback or comments would be great.

Have a great day!