Nobody likes dealing with bed bugs, especially moving and storage companies who risk picking up bed bugs along with furniture and personal items every day. These bed bugs can contaminate not only that person’s furniture but other clients’ possessions in the same moving van or in a storage-to-transit warehouse. This could even lead to other clients’ possessions becoming infested with bed bugs. Luckily, we have picked up some guidelines from the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) on how to prevent the spread of bed bugs from one client to another.
How To Avoid Bed Bug Infestations
If you see evidence of bed bugs either at the pick-up location or during transit, don’t ignore it! Never have untrained employees apply insecticide sprays or fogs to try and control the bed bug infestation. Be sure to document all actions you take, that relates to bed bug control.
How Your Moving Company Can Be Proactive About Bed Bugs
There are a number of ways that you can be productive as a moving company to make sure you don’t carry bed bugs in your moving truck or warehouse, including but not limited to:
- Prior to moving, develop a written “bed bug action plan” that includes specific procedures and personnel responsibilities for how to respond to bed bug incidents.
- Provide information to customers about bed bugs and moving including bed bug biology, prevention and control; bed bug requirements for clients (in service agreements/contracts); actions you are taking as a moving company to prevent bed bug contamination; requirements for clients to ensure their belongings are bed-bug free; company actions and options if bed bugs are found in materials being moved.
- Develop a relationship with qualified pest management professionals who can provide bed bug services.
- Institute a scheduled bed bug inspection and monitoring program for storage facilities and moving vans.
- Lower the risk of bed bugs in moving blankets by reducing the amount of blankets/pads used for moving, washing the blankets/pads between trips or cleaning blankets/pads with high-pressure vacuum extraction.
- Educate anyone involved in the moving process about bed bugs, including their biology and habits, how to recognize them and where to look for them.
- Document and keep records of all actions related to bed bug incidents and complaints.
How To Respond To a Bed Bug Incident
When you see a bed bug infestation in your moving truck or storage facility, it can become overwhelming, but there are certain ways you can respond that will help reduce the risk of transporting them to your customer’s property or building.
- If bed bugs are found at the pick-up point before moving begins, do not begin loading the van unless your company has an option for a professional heat treatment or fumigation process of the moving van and you have the client’s permission.
- If bed bugs are found after loading has already begun, stop loading until you receive direction from your management.
- Collect a few specimens in alcohol in a sealed and labeled vial for identification by a professional.
- If a moving van becomes infested, remove it from service until it has become treated.
- If bed bugs have been transported to the storage-in-transit facility, the van’s contents should be isolated. The site should then be inspected by certified bed bug professionals.
How Your Moving Company Can Prevent Bed Bug Infestations
There are a number of ways that your moving and storage company can prevent bed bug infestations from occurring in your moving van or storage facility:
- Instituting regular, deep cleanings of your moving vans
- Regularly inspect all of your vehicles and storage sites
- Place bed bug monitoring devices around your storage facilities with the help of bed bug professionals
- Consider heat treatment options of empty moving vans
- Require new packing boxes for each move
Please don’t hesitate to contact JP McHale Pest Management, Inc. with any questions you may have regarding bed bug identification, treatment or prevention in your moving vans or storage facilities. We would also be happy to give you a free estimate on any of our bed bug treatment programs.