MM Novato FAQ

One of the most common first steps that our customers take after they discover bed bugs is dispose of their mattress, sofa, or other furniture. The premise behind that action is simple: they found bed bugs on the bed, so throwing away the bed gets rid of them. Even if more are hiding somewhere else, getting […]

FAQ: Why You Shouldn’t Get Rid of Your Mattress

One of the most common first steps that our customers take after they discover bed bugs is dispose of their mattress, sofa, or other furniture. The premise behind that action is simple: they found bed bugs on the bed, so throwing away the bed gets rid of them. Even if more are hiding somewhere else, getting rid of a lot of the population will help, right?

But people who throw out their mattress aren’t going to get the results that they expect. No matter where they sleep now, they are still likely to get bitten. If they purchase a replacement bed, that bed will likely be infested in a short period of time. There are a couple of reasons for this that should illustrate why disposing of your bed is never a good idea during a bed bug treatment:

Bed bugs aren’t just on your bed.

Bed Bug Hiding Places

 

A common misconception about bed bugs (probably due to their name) is that they are exclusively or almost exclusively found on beds. That’s why so many amateur inspection and treatment attempts are limited to the mattress. Unfortunately, bed bug infestations are almost never going to be limited to your bed.

While they are often found in large numbers in the seams and folds of your mattress and box spring, they can also be found in the bed frame, headboard, footboard, nightstands, dressers, and even the walls or floors. Bed bugs can hide in any crack or crevice you can fit a credit card into, and as long as they are still within a short trip to their nearest food source (hint: you), they don’t really care where they hide in between meals.

Because of this likely distribution of an infestation, disposing of the mattress or other furniture has a very low chance of removing the infestation from your home. If you don’t address the bed bugs hiding elsewhere in the bedroom, they’ll still be addressing you in the coming nights.

Bed bugs repopulate and spread really quickly.

Bed Bug Eggs

Let’s assume that you still want to throw out your bed. You know that bed bugs are likely to be elsewhere in your room, but you want to at least cut down on the population. If half of the bugs are on your bed, then removing the bed removes half of the infestation. Sound logic, right?

Sorry, but no. That might be half of the infestation gone today, but that won’t last long. Pregnant females with enough food lay three or four eggs every day until they die. That could be up to 500 eggs in a matter of months. Those freshly laid eggs will hatch within about two weeks, and the newly emerged nymphs will start seeking a blood meal right away.

In any bed bug treatment, you need to aim to eliminate all of the bed bugs entirely. They repopulate so quickly that any losses incurred can be recovered in just weeks. Large treatment steps that only cut down the population are steps wasted unless you follow up with more thorough measures.

You still need a bed to sleep on.

Crashing on couch

The bed you’re thinking of throwing out was probably in use pretty recently. Last night, perhaps. Most likely by a person you know. Where is that person going to sleep after their bed goes missing?

One of the worst things you can do during a bed bug infestation is sleep on the floor. Bed bugs now have an all-access pass to your sleeping body, with no bed legs or frames to make the travel difficult. Worse yet, you have no options to block their travel with ClimbUp Interceptors or similar traps.

An equally unwise, but still very common, choice to make during an infestation is to sleep somewhere else. Many bed bug victims move to another room in their home, or even leave the home completely to stay with a friend or family member. While this might grant some relief from the biting (and even that isn’t guaranteed), it can also cause bed bugs to spread from the original room elsewhere in search of food. This dispersal makes treatment a lot harder, as you now have more hiding places full of bed bugs that could be feeding and breeding.

Replacing a bed is expensive.

Throwing Away Money

How much did you spend on the mattress you want to throw out? What about the box spring, bed frame, headboard, and/or footboard? The average for a queen bed set is over $1,000, and can often go way over that. Do you really want to just throw that kind of money away?

As stated above, you will still need to sleep on a bed, and you will likely still have bed bugs after you dispose of your bed. That means two things:

  1. You’ll need to pay to replace the bed you got rid of.
  2. You’ll still need to spend money treating the remaining infestation.

While the $1,000 average cost for a replacement bed might not cover a professional bed bug treatment (depending on your home size and location), that budget can fund a heck of a do-it-yourself treatment. For less than the price of the average mattress alone, you can buy everything you need to treat the mattress, box spring, bed frame, and all of the cracks and crevices around your room that bed bugs are likely to be hiding in. Throw the average mattress away and you roughly double the cost of a do-it-yourself treatment.

What to do instead:

The issue at hand is not that bed bugs got into the bed, but how they got into the bed. Bed bugs don’t get their name by spawning or manifesting in the bed – they get it by frequently feeding and breeding there. Cutting off their access routes to your bed will stop the biting and block their ability to reproduce, since they need blood meals to become sexually mature or to lay eggs.

Bed bugs can’t jump or fly. They have to crawl up something to reach you. That means their travel routes into the bed are pretty limited: the legs of the bed frame are the most common, followed by the headboard, footboard, and any walls or furniture that might be touching the bed.

To cut off these access points, move your bed away from any points of contact like walls or furniture (even an inch of space is plenty to stop bed bugs) and use ClimbUp Interceptors to elevate the legs of your bed. The ClimbUps are especially important: they can trap any bed bugs that try to sneak onto your bed in a talcum-lined pitfall, allowing you to monitor the population over time to see how your treatment progresses.

Isolating your bed is only part of the equation. If you have bed bugs in your bed, isolation efforts won’t stop them from doing what they do best. Fortunately, treating your bed and killing all of its bugs and eggs is simple with the right products. Step 1 of our 4-step solution is dedicated to this process, which involves a set of mattress and box spring encasements, contact and residual sprays, and a vacuum and steamer for quick killing and cleaning.

Once you’re done with the treatment and isolation steps, your bed will be bed bug free and bed bug proof. You’ll now be able to sleep in the bed without fear of bites, giving you time to focus your treatment efforts on the rest of your bedroom. Take the money you saved by keeping your bed and load up on professional-strength treatment gear with our new 4-step package builder.

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MM Novato News

Officials had to close the Augusta City Center in Maine last week for inspection after an angry man unleashed about 100 bed bugs. After being informed by staff that his bed bug infestation didn’t qualify him for assistance, the man emptied a container full of bed bugs on the counter in front of him while […]

Bed bugs weaponized in dispute over Maine treatment assistance

Weaponized bed bugs in Maine

Officials had to close the Augusta City Center in Maine last week for inspection after an angry man unleashed about 100 bed bugs. After being informed by staff that his bed bug infestation didn’t qualify him for assistance, the man emptied a container full of bed bugs on the counter in front of him while yelling “they’re your problem, now!”

The main had applied for Maine’s “general assistance” program after being rejected from a new apartment rental due to his former apartment’s reported infestation. Employees immediately called the police, who located the man. A pest management contractor arrived later that day to begin treatment, but the entire facility remained closed all day as a precaution.

"They're your problem now!"


“He whipped out a cup (full of live bedbugs) and slammed it on the counter, and bam, off they flew, maybe 100 of them,” said City Manager William Bridgeo. After taking action to try and contain the weaponized bed bugs, Bridgeo called the police and signed a criminal complaint and trespass orders against the disgruntled man.

As with the rest of the nation, bed bugs have been a frequent visitor to Augusta’s government building. They’ve recently been found in local libraries and even the same General Assistance office where this unusual attack occurred.

“It made sense at that point to close the building to make sure the public or employees don’t get exposed and take (bedbugs) home with them,” Bridgeo said. “They’re nasty little buggers when they take hold somewhere.”

Bridgeo said the man apparently showed the cup of bed bugs to his new prospective apartment’s manager, who told him he couldn’t live there and he had to leave. That’s when the man returned to the General Assistance office to seek help.

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MM Novato Reviews

Heat treatments with electric heaters are significantly safer than other gas-powered heat treatment methods. Those may use more powerful heaters, but they carry a real risk to excessive carbon monoxide exposure, in addition to a risk of accidental fires. Fortunately, the new Tri-Flo 15-amp heat treatment system is here to help. This is the first […]

Tri-Flo 15-Amp Bed Bug Heat Treatment Kit Review

Heat treatments with electric heaters are significantly safer than other gas-powered heat treatment methods. Those may use more powerful heaters, but they carry a real risk to excessive carbon monoxide exposure, in addition to a risk of accidental fires. Fortunately, the new Tri-Flo 15-amp heat treatment system is here to help. This is the first complete room treatment solution that can be run on standard, grounded 15-amp outlets. They’re all-electric and ETL-certified to ensure safe operation, and they’re a lot simpler to transport and operate than the traditional propane and diesel-powered rigs normally used by professionals. But can these simplified packages really get the job done? Let’s find out.

Benefits of an Electric Heat Treatment

Regardless of the type of equipment used, a heat treatment can be an effective option for professionals working with many small units. Hotel owners, property managers, and pest control professionals all benefit from rotating through units with heat treatment kits. Hotels can treat rooms faster and get them back in service sooner so they can start collecting revenue again. Less follow-up effort is required per room, and the overall cost can be lower once the same equipment has been used in several treatments.

Heat treatments with electric heaters are significantly safer than other heat treatment methods, such as kerosene or propane. The latter may use more powerful heaters, but at a real risk to excessive carbon monoxide exposure, in addition to the previously discussed risk of accidental fires. The right electric-only gear, such as the Tri-Flo kit, would be ETL-certified to ensure safe operation.

Unboxing and First Impressions

Like other professional-oriented gear we’ve reviewed, the Tri-Flo treatment kits ship out in discrete, flair-free packaging. No bright colors or gaudy marketing material here – Tri-Flo ships only what you need and nothing else. The kit will come in multiple boxes, some for the large heater units and others for the circulation fans included to improve heating efficiency.

While the unpacked arrangement may seem complicated to heat treatment newcomers, Tri-Flo’s packages are much simpler from the start than the heating gear that pest pros are used to. Electric heat setups usually require at least a 3-phase, 20kW diesel generator. Those weigh almost 800 pounds and need to be towed to the job site. In addition to the fuel, hookups, and the (traditionally larger and more complex) heaters and fans themselves, complete setups used to start at over $40,000. Compared to that headache, the eight-piece Tri-Flo rig is a huge relief when it comes to cost and setup.

1400-watt Tri-Flo heaters

The heater units themselves are very sturdily made, thanks to their stamped metal bodies, and the lack of a gas-powered motor keeps the package’s noise, weight, and maintenance needs at a minimum. The included circulation fans are simple and ergonomic in design, and provide side-mounted 110V outlets so that they can be daisy-chained to each other. This cuts down on the total number of outlets your kit needs: rather than needing four separate sockets for your fans, you could cut it down to just one if you can position the fans accordingly.

Using the Tri-Flo Kit

Before hooking up the heaters and beginning your treatment, there are a couple of steps you’ll need to do to prepare the room. Begin by inspecting the room, if you haven’t already, to gauge the severity of the infestation. Remove the sheets on the side of each bed in the room and inspect along the seams of the mattress for black dots (fecal matter), brownish transparent bed bug shells or actual bed bugs. Inspect the box springs as well, including the corner guards, which are a popular hiding spot for bed bugs. Check the sheets for small blood stains, which could be indicative of bed bugs.

Reduce clutter in the room to reduce hiding places and speed up the heating process. Things like clothes, books, drawer contents, and small electronics should be sealed in garbage bags and stored away from the room. Remove any couch seat cushions and lean the mattress and box spring upright against the wall. Open any dresser drawers and closet doors to ensure adequate heatup inside and out.

Once you’re ready to start your treatment, pre-heat the room by setting the thermostat to the highest setting available, ideally 90 degrees or more.

Place the heater units around the bed and other key treatment areas so that they heat up first. In order to hook the heaters up, you’ll need to find separate circuits for each unit. A hotel room will typically have at least two circuits: one in the bathroom, and another in the bedroom. You can use extension cords to reach a circuit in an adjacent room.

Turn the heaters on the high setting and monitor the room’s temperature until it hits roughly 106 degrees. The kits include a handheld laser thermometer to help with this. Once the room temperature has reached about 106 degrees, place the included fans in the room to provide heat circulation. Point the fans at the most heavily infested areas and turn them on the high setting. This will accelerate the convection effect, allowing the overall temperature to rise over the lethal 121 degrees we’re shooting for.

Monitor the room’s temperature until it hits around 130 degrees for 2 to 4 hours, depending on the level of infestation. This temperature will be uncomfortable to stay present in, so check in every 30 minutes or so with the included laser thermometer.

After the heat treatment is finished, you’ll want to follow up with a residual spray application. Look for sprays labeled for the surfaces in the room, such as CrossFire or JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs Plus. Then apply bed bug proof mattress and box spring covers and ClimbUp Insect Interceptors if the bed didn’t have those already.

Wrapping Up

Bed bug heat treatments have been as effective for many users as they are risk- and cost-prohibitive for others. With the prospect of hauling around hundreds of pounds of gear and dealing with diesel or kerosene, in addition to the added noise and chemical exposure, most professionals have resigned to using slower alternative treatment methods that require multiple follow-ups.

The Tri-Flo heat treatment kits are here to change that. These are simple, effective, and safe alternatives to the gas motor-powered heaters in the field today. One plug per heater, and you’re in business; no generators, no fuel, and no extra power equipment. For the first time, hotel managers, property managers, and pest control operators have access to a truly safe and cost-effective heat treatment package.

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MM Novato Reviews

CrossFire bed bug concentrate is the latest and greatest formula used by pest management professionals. Unlike other products on the market, CrossFire is designed and labeled exclusively for use against bed bugs. Insecticide concentrates present a great value for high-volume users, but homeowners and property managers don’t always want to measure and mix insecticides with […]

CrossFire Aerosol Bed Bug Spray Review

CrossFire bed bug concentrate is the latest and greatest formula used by pest management professionals. Unlike other products on the market, CrossFire is designed and labeled exclusively for use against bed bugs. Insecticide concentrates present a great value for high-volume users, but homeowners and property managers don’t always want to measure and mix insecticides with water in a tank; they’d much prefer to use an aerosol product that’s ready to work right away. That’s why MGK came out with CrossFire Aerosol: this is the same leading formula in a convenient aerosol package. No measuring or mixing needed. Just grab a can, shake it up, and start treating.

Dual action formula

CrossFire AerosolCrossFire is the latest bed bug formula from MGK, and has been in development for years. It combines two active ingredients with an insecticide synergist for a potent dual-action effect. The contact killer, metofluthrin, is synergized with PBO to prevent recovery by bed bugs that are resistant to pyrethroids. Clothianidin is the residual, and was to break down very slowly, allowing it to stay effective for months.

Both chemicals penetrate the bed bugs’ exoskeleton and attack their central nervous system. This causes their nervous system to overreact, causing paralysis then death. CrossFire is non-repellant, and kills within 5 minutes of exposure. It’s also been proven effective against resistant strains of bed bugs and their eggs.

What’s interesting is that CrossFire is currently the only aerosol product we offer that doesn’t have a signal word on its label. This means that CrossFire’s ingredients are considered to have minimal toxicity to humans. Even so, we still recommend that you follow the basic safety guidelines suggested by the EPA and the manufacturer. This includes taking care to keep the chemicals off your skin and out of your eyes and mouth.

Using CrossFire Aerosol

Using CrossFire Aerosol

CrossFire Aerosol comes with a high-volume jet nozzle and a low-volume tube attachment. For spot treatments, hold the nozzle about a foot away from the treatment surface and spray for about 2 seconds per foot. For cracks and crevices, use the low-volume tube attachment and insert the injector tip into the space, then spray to fill the void.

Apply CrossFire to cracks and crevices, like on or around baseboards, floorboards, bed frames, headboards, furniture, door and window frames, closets, beneath floor coverings, and the edges of the carpet. CrossFire can also be applied directly to the seams and folds of your mattress and box spring. Spray until the fabric is damp but not wet, and wait for the bed to dry before you put your linens back on. Make sure that you read and follow the product label and MSDS for safe and effective usage.

For best results, combine CrossFire Aerosol with other pest management tactics, such as thorough inspection and non-chemical treatment methods like vacuuming, steaming, and heating. You’ll also want to protect your bed with certified bed bug proof mattress, box spring, and pillow encasements, and isolate your bed frame with ClimbUp Interceptors. For a complete guide to a professional-grade bed bug treatment, check out our proven 4-step solution.

CrossFire Aerosol

CrossFire Aerosol will be the new standard for home bed bug treatment tools. Alongside other methods, using CrossFire will greatly increase your chances of success, thanks to its synergized, resistance-fighting formula and its super-long residual effect. There’s no such thing as a silver bullet for bed bug treatments, but the latest development trend is producing results that come pretty close. CrossFire is the latest fruit of that trend, and we highly recommend it.

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MM Novato Treatments

If you own or manage a hotel, you know all about the current bed bug epidemic. Whether or not you’ve seen one yourself, you’ve seen the news and heard the worries from your guests. Yet most hotels don’t have a plan of action for bed bugs. Don’t wait for disaster to strike; learn how to treat […]

How to Treat a Hotel Room for Bed Bugs

If you own or manage a hotel, you know all about the current bed bug epidemic. Whether or not you’ve seen one yourself, you’ve seen the news and heard the worries from your guests. Yet most hotels don’t have a plan of action for bed bugs. Don’t wait for disaster to strike; learn how to treat a hotel room for bed bugs today so you’re prepared for the worst tomorrow.

A bed bug infestation can be devastating to a hotel’s operation. The room in question needs to be inspected and treated as soon as possible. Traditional treatment methods involve follow-ups lasting for weeks, during which the room can’t be safely occupied. Plus, nearby rooms are at risk of the spreading bed bug population.

Hotels are one of the most common victims of bed bug infestations due to the frequent rotation of travelers. Act fast and get your rooms back in service using this simple plan to treat a hotel room for bed bugs:

Supplies Needed

Tri-Flo 500 Combo

Before you begin to treat a hotel room, there is some equipment you’ll need to gather. First, you’ll need a Tri-Flo bed bug heat treatment kit with the correct connection types available to the room. There are two packages available for rooms up to 325 square feet: the 110 Starter includes three 110-volt, 1,800-watt heaters, while the 220 Starter includes a single 220-volt, 5,000-watt heater.

The 220 Starter needs access to a 30-amp plug; if you don’t have access to that, the 110 Starter is a suitable alternative and only requires access to three 20-amp plugs. Note that the average residential outlet type is only 15 amps, so they won’t be able to provide enough power for these heaters, hence the slightly differently shaped outlets.

Tri-Flo Plug Compatibility

The Tri-Flo 500 Combo package combines a 5,000-watt heater with two 1,800-watt heaters. This is a much more potent solution intended for larger spaces, and will require access to both 110-volt and 220-volt power sources on independent circuits. A typical hotel room will have separate circuits for the bedroom and for the bathroom, and you can use appropriately rated extension cords to reach circuits in adjacent rooms. If your kit needs a 30-amp circuit, one may be in use with the room’s wall-mounted AC unit.

The Tri-Flo kits each come with a handheld laser thermometer, but you may prefer to use wireless temperature probes to more easily monitor the temperature in various parts of the room. Ideally, you’ll have at least two wireless probes available: one for an open-air spot in the room and another for an insulated part of the bed.

In addition to the heat treatment kit, you’ll want to have some other gear handy as well to effectively treat a hotel room. All smart bed bug treatments should start with an inspection, so some basic inspection tools such as a flashlight and magnifying glass can help. After the heat treatment, you’ll need a set of mattress encasements, box spring encasements, and ClimbUp Interceptors for each bed in the room, if they aren’t protected already. You’ll also need a set of residual sprays that are labeled for the surfaces in the room, such as CrossFire Aerosol or JT Eaton Plus.

Inspection

Bed bugs on mattress seam

Begin by inspecting the room, if you haven’t already, to gauge the severity of the infestation. Remove the sheets on the side of each bed in the room and inspect along the seams and underside of the mattress for the following signs:

Fecal Spots are signs of bed bug waste. These look like thin black streaks, and can be seen on sheets and upholstered furniture.

Shed skins are left behind when a bed bug molts, a sure sign that they are progressing through the five instar phases to maturity. Like other insects, bed bugs have an exoskeleton that needs to be replaced by a larger shell as they grow. If you find these golden shells, you’ll know that bed bugs have been reproducing nearby.

Blood spots are dark and red and can be found where bed bugs have been crushed by a moving person or other activity that would open their stomach, releasing the freshly-consumed blood meal.

Bed bug eggs are milky white and about the size of a grain of rice. These are usually deposited two to five at a time, and will be dropped every day while a female is pregnant.

Bed bugs themselves are dark reddish brown, and will grow to about the size of an apple seed (roughly five millimeters). They have six legs, short antennae, and no functioning wings. Their big, segmented abdomen have tiny hairs that give the illusion of dark bands.

Inspect the box springs as well, including the corner guards, which are a popular hiding spot for bed bugs. Move slowly and carefully; if you rush this job, you might miss important signs. Once you’re done with the main sleeping area, expand from there to nearby furniture and flooring. Keep moving further and further away until you’ve covered the whole room.

Room Preparation

Reduce clutter in the room to reduce hiding places and speed up the heating process. Things like clothes, books, drawer contents, and small electronics should be sealed in garbage bags and stored away from the room. Remove any couch seat cushions and lean the mattress and box spring upright against the wall.

Open any dresser drawers and closet doors to ensure adequate heatup inside and out. Pre-heat the room by setting the thermostat to the highest setting available, ideally 90 degrees or more. Help seal the heat in the room by ensuring the windows are completely shut.

Heat Treatment

Hotel room layout

Place the heater units around the bed and other key treatment areas so that they heat up first. Turn the heaters on the high setting and monitor the room’s temperature until it hits roughly 106 degrees. The kits include a handheld laser thermometer to help with this.

Once the room temperature has reached about 106 degrees, place the included fans in the room to provide heat circulation. Point the fans at the most heavily infested areas and turn them on the high setting. This will accelerate the convection effect, allowing the overall temperature to rise over the lethal 121 degrees we’re shooting for.

Monitor the room’s temperature until it hits around 130 degrees for 2 to 4 hours, depending on the level of infestation. This temperature will be uncomfortable to stay present in, so check in every 30 minutes or so with the included laser thermometer.

Final Touches

After the heat treatment is finished, you’ll want to follow up with a residual spray application. Look for sprays labeled for the surfaces in the room, such as CrossFire Aerosol or JT Eaton Plus. Then apply bed bug proof mattress encasements, box spring encasements, and ClimbUp Interceptors if the bed didn’t have those already. This will help prevent bed bugs from reaching your guests in the bed, and will make it easier to routinely check for bed bug activity.

Note: Be sure to launder the encasements with the rest of the bedding every few months – wash using a fabric-safe setting and a detergent that doesn’t include bleach, then tumble dry on the low heat setting to prevent damaging the waterproof membrane.

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