Monday, January 31, 2011

New NPMA document on bed bugs worth a read

Last week the National Pest Management Association released a document outlining what their panel of experts have determined to be "best management practices" (BMPs) for bed bug control.  If you're interested in bed bugs and think this might make for some interesting reading, guess again. 

Sadly, the NPMA Bed Bugs best management booklet will not be making Oprah's Book of the Month list anytime soon.  The information is in outline form, similar to (yaaawn) bullets in a PowerPoint presentation.  Nevertheless, this is an important read for all technical directors and anyone overseeing a professional bed bug control operation.  Given the leadership role played by NPMA in this industry, the book will be as close to an authoritative guide to bed bug management as you will find.  It will also likely be looked to as a standard by lawyers and others pursuing PMPs for failure to control bed bugs. 

Don't expect any juicy pest control gossip, like what are the best insecticides for killing bed bugs.  Instead, you'll find general principles such as "always read and follow all label instructions when applying insecticides..." and "Choose products labeled for the target site."  There is a checklist of sorts for the places that should be treated, which might be useful in developing your own in-house treatment protocols.  In fact, the document could be used as a guideline to help develop a training program for your technicians.

The two appendices are also worth checking out.  If you have ever considered adding a canine bed bug detector to your company, Appendix A lists minimum standards for certifying a canine detection team (dog + handler).  I believe standards of this nature will become critical for consumers, and any pest management company considering investing in a dog team would be risking a lot by not following an accepted standard for training.  Appendix B provides a listing of research-based exposure times for bed bug heat treatment, important for anyone using heat in bed bug control programs.

Who said learning had to be fun anyway?

1 comment:

Mike Merchant, PhD said...

Greg Baumann, formerly of NPMA and now technical services director with Orkin, just provided his perspective on canine detection certification. Check out his take by clicking here.