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Portland Pest Control Company Makes Summer Travel Safer

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One of the simplest ways to ruin the fond memories of a vacation is to bring home a bed bug or two. With bed bug infestations so prevalent across the U.S. (yes, even in hotels), your local Portland pest control company wants to help you come home from your summer travels with only souvenirs and fond memories. While it might seem odd to associate vacations with pest control, Portland residents can greatly benefit from being too careful.

Why Worry?

Bed bugs are carriers of more than 28 disease pathogens. While transmission from bed bug to human is highly unlikely, an infestation can be difficult to overcome. Bed bugs do bite, and the reaction from the bite varies from person to person. If you are allergic to a bed bug’s saliva, the bites can cause severely itchy, rash-like symptoms. Since hundreds of bed bugs can infest a home, the humans and pets within it become a nightly meal. Consequently, sleep loss is often reported because of the anxiety associated with the infestation.

How to Avoid Bringing Bed Bugs Home

1. Checkout BedBugRegistry.com to learn if the hotels in your destination have had recent bed bug reports. If possible, choose a hotel that uses special anti-bed bug mattress encasements.

2. Use a luggage liner specifically made to keep bed bugs out of your suitcase and clothes, and keep your luggage off the floor and chairs. Keep your belongings within the liners at all times, and use a bed bug-proof laundry bag for your dirty clothes. The special liner and laundry bag help you identify and contain any hitchhikers so they don’t move into other parts of your home after the trip.

3. Inspect your room. Use a flashlight and inspect your hotel room for signs of a bed bug infestation around the mattress, upholstered furniture, box springs, headboards, drawers, closets and wall hangings. Such signs can include dried blood spots, molted bed bug shells, dark fecal spots, insects and bed bug eggs (which resemble small, translucent grains of rice).

4. Inspect your luggage before going home. If you find a hitchhiker, consider leaving your suitcase and clothes at the hotel. After all, it’s cheaper to buy new clothes and suitcases than to pay a Portland pest control company.

5. Wash your clothes and luggage in hot water, and dry them in extreme heat. Bed bugs can’t survive temperatures higher than 140 degrees. 

If you notice or suspect a bed bug infestation in your home, call a Portland pest control company ASAP. The professionals here at Eden will inspect your home free of charge. If bed bugs are detected, our Bed Bug Response Plan involves safe, effective solutions based on scientific knowledge to help control the problem. 

[ Photo by: Highways Agency, on Flickr, via CC License ]

How IPM is Handled in Oregon and Washington Schools

There is no unified approach to pest management in America’s schools. Each state sets its own standards for pest control in educational institutions. For this reason, Portland pest control legislation guiding schools looks very different than Seattle pest control regulations for schools. Below, we’ve compared the pest management approaches of both Oregon and Washington, with a special eye on how each state handles Integrated Pest Management.

Before diving into the details, let’s consider why the question of how schools handle pest management is important. Clearly, no one wants pests in the classroom; does it really matter how those pests are eliminated?

Certainly it does matter when one begins to examine how pest control methods can impact learning outcomes. Multiple studies have linked pesticides to learning challenges. For instance, a national study that was recently highlighted in the journal Pediatrics found that students who are exposed to pesticides are at a higher risk of developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). From Seattle to Portland, pest control professionals are increasingly trading in blanket use of pesticides for the more targeted, holistic practices of Integrated Pest Management.

Integrated Pest Management is a low-toxicity approach to pest control that considers the natural habitats, eating habits and other characteristics of pests in order to eliminate them in ways that won’t harm the earth or the health of nearby humans. Some states have passed legislation specifying how schools should use Integrated Pest Management techniques when combating pests.

Integrated Pest Management in Oregon

For instance, Oregon prohibits the use of most hazardous chemicals anywhere on school grounds. Oregon law also states that pesticides may not be used for purely aesthetic reasons. Furthermore, Oregon codes specify that only “low-impact pesticides” may be used in schools, so Portland pest control professionals must limit which chemicals they use when eradicating pests from classrooms.

To be more specific, chemicals that the EPA labels as category I or II pesticide products may not be used in Oregon schools. (These products are discernable by their labels, which must include the words “Warning” or “Danger.”) Furthermore, Oregon schools may not use any product containing an ingredient that the EPA has decided is a known, probable or likely carcinogen. (Only two states, Massachusetts and Oregon, have this law on the books.) These rules extend to both public and private institutions and apply to preschools and other childcare facilities as well. Overall, Oregon has some of the most stringent anti-pesticide laws governing pest control in schools.

Integrated Pest Management in Washington

Washington, in contrast, has very relaxed legislation guiding pest control in educational institutions. The state requires that signs be posted on school property at the time of pesticide application, and for 24 hours following. Notice that pesticides will be applied must also be sent to parents 48 hours in advance. (Very similar stipulations are also included in Oregon legislation.) Seattle pest control professionals must coordinate with school administrators to follow these rules, but otherwise they may apply any chemicals they deem necessary to eliminate pests.

For the safety of their children, parents should insist that schools use Integrated Pest Management techniques to eliminate pests, even if state codes do not require it.

Commercial Pest Management Companies: What to Look for, What to Expect

When the presence of insects or other pests is negatively impacting your business, it’s hard to know how to choose a commercial pest management company. After all, selecting commercial pest control services is generally not covered in business courses. And although you might normally take your time scouting out vendors, commercial pest management isn’t something that can wait.

If rodents or other pests are bugging your employees or customers, you don’t have time to put together a committee to research best practices for pest control. Commercial pest control selection can’t take days or weeks – it has to happen as quickly as possible.

To help you quickly handle a commercial pest management emergency, we’ve assembled this industry-specific list of what to look for when selecting among commercial pest control services.

Hospital and Care Facilities

You can’t risk having bugs or critters in your facilities – they put patients’ lives at risk. One effective approach to controlling pests in hospitals and care facilities is to first ensure there’s a tight perimeter around the building; this is sometimes called Physical Exclusion. Next, a good pest management partner should improve sanitation conditions and help increase awareness in sensitive areas of your facilities. Finally, a healthcare commercial pest management firm should have good references in the industry.

Food Processing Operations

HACCP… AIB… FDA… It seems there’s no end to the regulating rules and agencies overseeing food processing operations. Not that you’d have it any other way for your customers – finding a pest in one of your products would not only be bad for business, but it could pose a major health risk. Clearly, you need a commercial pest management organization with plenty of experience. Additionally, to bring you and your employees peace of mind, choose a company that can work with your bar code system and provide online reporting. Regular quality audits and inspections are also key.

Dairies and Ranches

The diseases that mosquitoes, flies and other pests carry can be fatal for your livestock. To protect your four-legged assets, choose commercial pest control services that can help you minimize the populations of these flying insects. Lastly, avoid tainting your animals with toxic chemicals – find a commercial pest management vendor that uses earth-friendly Integrated Pest Management methods.

Educational Institutions

Especially considering how much time students spend at school, it’s important to create a clean, safe learning environment. Schools can suffer infestations of rats and nuisance birds, in addition to the bugs kids always seem to be passing around. It’s important to choose a commercial pest management company that can act quickly, since pests can carry dangerous diseases including the Hanta virus. One last tip: As research has shown a connection between the presence of allergens (such as rodent feces) and childhood-onset asthma, it’s key to schedule ongoing quality assurance evaluations. A pest-free school is a healthy school.

Property Management

When a pest problem earns you a panicky midnight phone call from a tenant, you’ll understand why it’s best to choose a commercial pest control company that keeps the channels of communication open 24 hours a day. If you’re hoping to earn LEED certification for your building, it’s wise to choose a green pest control company that can help you earn LEED points.

Bio Tech

A single pest in the wrong place could mean the end of your whole operation. Bio tech facilities must uphold strict hygiene standards to ensure accurate experiment outcomes. Look for a pest control provider that can both exclude pests from your facility and help you eliminate areas where pests like to hide.

Government Facilities

Especially for those who are elected to office, it’s important to choose a commercial pest control company whose methods are ethical, honest and sustainable for the environment. Ideally, your pest control partner should also be able to communicate effectively with your staff, clients and the public. Finally, choose a firm that uses only EPA-registered materials.           

Hospitality

Just one rodent or bug can wreck a restaurant or hotel’s reputation. Look for an efficient, effective pest control vendor that can help you sail through regulatory assessments.

Finally, depending on your corporate culture, you may want to look for green pest control. Commercial organizations here in the Northwest are often environmentally conscientious; such firms may prefer earth-friendly commercial pest control services over traditional “spray and pray” exterminators, who often use heavy amounts of toxic chemicals.

[ photo by: Ted Percival ]