There are many obstacles, hazards, and perils we encounter on job sites as cleaners and restorers. Whether it’s the homeowner’s dog trying to bite you, the hoarder who has trash stockpiled for years, or the wonderful smell of sewage on a category 3 loss, the seasoned veterans of our industry have seen and experienced things that the average citizen can’t even conceive in their wildest imagination. The skyrocketing growth of bed bug infestations in the United States has added another page to the book of things we have confronted, or will likely confront in the future on our job sites. This article is a how-to guide for identifying and handling bed bug infestations.
Being able to identify the bug is the first step to avoid direct exposure. The bug has six stages in its lifecycle. When hatched, they are the size of a pen tip and translucent until they have their first blood meal. Once they feed, they molt and move onto their next stage of development. With each stage, they become a little bit larger, and their appearance eventually becomes a dark brown at full maturity. At the adult stage, they are approximately the size of an apple seed.