a reply to: Peekingsquatch
The place I work at does the exact same thing. We have them frequently pop up in random places, because students travel and bring them here, or they
hide in walks or PTAC units.
As you already know, they're nasty little critters that hide everywhere, they're particularly hard to kill, and they're faster the you think they
might be. Bed bugs come in a lot of sizes as they develop, often times they are very small until the infestation becomes more advanced. As such,
dismantling rooms can lead to big time exposure. Trust me, I've done it dozens and dozens of times.
Its industry standard to treat rooms with Temprid SC, a white, concentrated, broad spectrum pest killer. It's mildly effective on bed bugs, but it's
the most effective chemical I've encountered that's still relatively safe once it's dry. We use Temprid in conjunction with a heat treatment
process that is successful about 90% of the time on the first try. We also follow up with what I'd argue is a waste of time and money, and that's
applying dietonecious earth, a talcum powder like substance.
I work in a college dorm setting, so we see these a lot. It incredibly important that whatever leaves the room is treated before it's returned to the
room. You may see one bug, but it's a given assumption that where there's one visible bug, there's at least an additional dozen hiding. Don't get
caught in the trap of mentally confining the to beds just because of their name either. I've seen them on ceilings, in bags, and behind pictures and
computers in rooms. They do travel around beyond just the bed.
It's a good idea to look for evidence of them that you may not think is there. Look for blood on sheets, fecal matter around the edges of the bed,
and eggs hidden in cracks in the frame. You may even take a business card and dig into cracks from time to time trying to pull them out.
My advice to you is this, bring up treatment alternatives to your supervisor if you oh aren't doing these things already. Also, if you haven't got
one, maybe it's time to develop a policy for them. We had to do that here, and it's been a lot of help when talking to our customers (students)
about the issue.
If you're concerned about bringing them home, do what I do. Bring an extra set of clothes for the days when you have to deal with them. Do the work
that has to be done, then change into the new clothes and bag the old ones until you can run then through a high heat dryer cycle or two. The heat
will kill the bugs, and that helps prevent them from latching on for a ride!
As far as chemical concerns go, just be prudent in handling anything that's contaminated. Wear gloves if you must, and try not to lick anything
that's been sprayed. Once dry, most if the chemicals we use are safe. I'd imagine your experience wouldn't be all that different than ours here.
If your employer doesn't want to address the issue, it may be time to consider alternatives. I was considering hat myself before I helped draft our
operations policy for these bugs, and since then I've become the person people turn to about them.