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Between 2007 and 2013, the number of bed bug treatments carried out in the UK by Rentokil Pest Control jumped by 108%, with London and the South East experiencing the highest number of cases. Increased frequency of foreign travel by UK nationals as well as visitors from overseas is believed to have played a large role in this increase, with hotels and hostels being notorious hotspots for bed bug outbreaks.
To help combat the number of infestations and protect businesses from the reputational damage that bed bug issues can bring, Rentokil has launched a new service called ‘Bed Bug Monitor’ which is an early detection programme for bed bug activity.
This monitoring service uses a food-based lure which actively attracts bed bugs onto a sticky pad, providing an early warning of infestation. The lures are placed discreetly around the bedroom, such as under the bed or in suitcase storage areas and are serviced every six weeks by a Rentokil technician to check they are still effective. Bed bugs are virtually flat, and as a result can easily stow themselves away in the linings of suitcases, in sockets and light switches or underneath skirting boards.
Each lure should be checked daily by housekeeping staff to ensure that any activity picked-up is reported immediately to Rentokil, so that a treatment schedule can be implemented to combat the infestation before it spreads. As part of the Rentokil Bed Bug Monitor package, Rentokil has developed an online training course for housekeeping staff, which has been specifically designed to educate customers on bed bugs, including how to find them, signs to look out for and what to do in the even of an infestation being found.
Colm Moore, Area Technical Manager, Rentokil Pest Control comments: “Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs are not a sign of poor hygiene; unfortunately, they’re a pest that can be inadvertently introduced anywhere which has a regular turnover of people and luggage. The answer to preventing widespread infestations is early detection and dealing with an outbreak as soon as possible. Bed bugs can pose serious risks to an organisation’s reputation and profitability and the longer you leave it, the more expensive it becomes to bring under control and eradicate.”
Rentokil’s Bed Bug Monitor enables housekeeping staff to be the first line of defence in detecting bed bug activity and the online training programme ensure they know exactly what signs to look out for and what to do in the event of an infestation.