DTY Bed Bugs
Bed Bugs: What must your inspections detect?

Inspection for, and detection of, bed bugs is essential to a successful, perpetual and intergrated pest management (IPM)-based elimination program. What must your inspections detect?

Inspecting for bed bug infestations

Pest management professionals (PMPs) must be highly competent in the practice of IPM. Simply stated, the IPM template is inspection and investigation, identification, establishing threshold levels, implementing two or more control measures (behavioral, physical, mechanical, bio-rational and chemical) and evaluating effectiveness.

IPM establishes both standard operating procedures (SOPs) and a standard of care for customers. A standard of care is the watchfulness, attention, caution and prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would exercise. For PMPs, the standard of care creates a duty to which they must adhere.

Documenting bed bug inspections

Inspections must detect bed bugs through documentation. Documentation is material that provides official information or evidence or that serves as a record. Lack of documentation is evidence that the PMP did not adhere to professional standards. Documentation must include several essential factor; it must:

  • Be used as part of an SOP.
  • Have a consistent format or template.
  • Be complete or thorough.
  • Include forms and checklists (preferred).
  • Be initialed or signed off.
  • Include the date and time when document was recorded.
  • If it's not in writing, it did not happen!
bed bug photo, iStock/larryrains

Inspection and detection of bed bugs must be represented in documents that are organized chronologically or in reverse chronological order and placed within a binder or entered in a computer system or database. Records must be kept secured and must not be altered, unless approved by upper management (who initial the change). The PMP record custodian must assure both a traceable chain of custody and established authenticity. Documents are strong only if a third party can trust their accuracy, authenticity and legitimacy.

Inspection and detection of bed bugs through documentation establishes that SOPs were followed, and can protect against liability and a finding of negligence (a breach of standard of care). Maintaining documents when a customer does not follow SOP establishes credibility that records are legitimate and not merely self-serving.

Documentation should reflect the effects of departure from recommendation or required compliance. Documentation or recordkeeping is an essential part of quality control as well as the efficacy of any bed bug elimination program. Recordkeeping is:

  • Easy to document.
  • Easy to understand.
  • Easy for a layperson to interpret.
  • Easy and not time consuming.
  • Easy due to the use of industry lingo.
  • Easy as one page (not too wordy).

For example, an audit in the form of a year-end-review is as important as any financial record. Records must be maintained pursuant to any laws or customs. Most importantly, an attorney must review a documentation system.

What should your inspections detect? Not only should your inspections detect bed bugs; your inspectionss should detect competency in the practice of IPM. With competency comes adherence to the standard of care.

Nuvan: The strong solution

Nuvan products feature several characteristics that allow them to play an important role in bed bug management programs. Their uniqueness is derived from the active ingredient they contain. Dichlorvos has a long history of insect control, and it has proven to be effective against all bed bug life stages. It’s a novel mode of action to which there is no documented resistance by bed bugs.

Nuvan ProStrips and Nuvan ProStrips +

Nuvan ProStrips and Nuvan ProStrips + employ a resin strip that is impregnated with dichlorvos to provide continuous release of the active ingredient for effective control of labeled pests for up to four months. Both products may be used to control bed bug nymphs and adults that are exposed to product vapors for 48 hours. In difficult-to-treat areas, a minimum treatment time of 72 hours will provide better results.

Nuvan Directed Spray Aerosol

Nuvan Directed Spray Aerosol is used for localized surface applications. It is applied using a two-second spray to treat four to five feet from a distance of 12 to 15 inches from the surface being treated. This product kills bed bugs at the time of application, and controls bed bug eggs for up to 14 days by direct application and through vapor action.

Stuart Mitchell, D.O., DVM, PsyD, BCE, is a board-certified family practitioner and entomologist, and a regular contributor to Pest Management Professional's Direct to You series.

PMP’s Direct To You provides pest management professionals with educational refreshers on timely and critical topics essential to operational success. This content is not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice where you live. Look for the content-rich PMP Direct To You archives at mypmp.net/direct-to-you-archive.

This newsletter was produced by North Coast Media’s content marketing staff in collaboration with AMVAC.

Photo: iStock/larryrains


Pest Management Professional is a division of North Coast Media LLC.
1360 East 9th Street, Suite 1070, Cleveland, OH 44114
© 2018 North Coast Media. All Rights Reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without written permission.