Bed bug panic dominates the news

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In this article, BASIS PROMPT says that bed bugs have been in and out of the news for as long as it can remember, but there’s been a notable spike in interest over the past two months.

According to the media, bed bug sightings are on the increase and pest control companies are reporting a surge in bed bug enquiries. Is this an accurate representation of what’s really going on?

The data partly backs this up; searches increased four-fold at the start of October on Google.

This is having a knock-on effect with suppliers as well as technicians. Killgerm’s Dr Matthew Davies says: “We’ve seen the impact of the recent media interest in bed bugs with a notable demand for technical support and bed bug products.

Our advice to pest controllers is that bed bug control is always evolving, so get up to speed on your training, read up on supplier manuals and take the time to understand what products are available.

“Podcasts are also a great source of information and more accessible to those who are on the road a lot.”

One thing is for sure: bed bugs are here to stay. If you’re experiencing more questions and enquiries, BASIS are here to help signpost you to the resources and training to help you manage this.

Before you look into bed bug- specific training, it’s worth checking that you are up-to-date on your knowledge and techniques for insect identification and control. This will help you assess whether a bed bug job is actually a bed bug problem, or something else – they can be tricky to identify.

Plus, a customer may be quick to jump to conclusions if they have been reading about bed bugs in the news.

Killgerm has a Principles of Insect Control course for new pest controllers, plus a Refresher course for established technicians. Its Insect Workshop on bed bugs and fleas is designed for experienced pest controllers to get detailed training on identification and control, and this would be worth looking into if you want to strengthen your expertise.

The British Pest Control Association (BPCA) also has a dedicated bed bug course which runs throughout 2024.

We really rate the Killgerm bed bug manual and BPCA bed bug guide for a reminder of the main principles of bed bug control. These are both a useful references when talking to customers and also qualify for BASIS PROMPT CPD points.

If you’re highly skilled and experienced with bed bugs and you’re confident in speaking on the subject, then consider getting in touch with your local news and radio outlets as a reputable expert.

The recent bed bug panic started with social media reports in Paris, which escalated to the media, with mixed advice.

The media are often looking for comments on topical subjects, and many of our members are well-placed to do this. As well as promoting yourself and your business, expert comments are good for the image of pest control as a professional, regulated industry.

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About Author

With more than 25 years' experience in business-to-business publishing, Simon is editor of LBM titles Pest and OvertheCounter. Big fan of Manchester United.