The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required) has an article headlined “New Tactics Take A Bite Out of Bedbugs”.
The article in the Journal provides an excellent snapshot of the state of the war against bugs and their recent resurgence. It notes that “the pest-control industry is rolling out an arsenal of methods that promise an easy yet thorough assault on the bloodthirsty pests”. That is more than welcome news to all hotels of all stripes. “Stern Environmental Group LLC, a Secaucus, N.J., company that serves the New York City area, recently started using a technology that sprays the bugs with icy carbon dioxide to kill them. ThermaPure Inc., of Ventura, Calif., uses devices similar to giant hair dryers to heat up a room and bake the bugs to death. Bedbugs & Beyond LLC in New York will remove people’s furniture from their homes and fumigate it with a poisonous gas. Another method uses specially trained dogs to track down tiny bedbugs and their eggs, helping exterminators target spraying”. In a decidedly new approach “researchers at the University of Minnesota are studying bedbugs’ behavior in an attempt to develop a trap that simulates a typical victim — a sleeping human”.
Over time, bedbugs have become resistant to traditional chemicals used as prophylactics and new solutions ranging from using dogs to heating rooms – a procedure enabled by Thermapure – “between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours” are being tried. The latter may not be entirely practical for hotels both in terms of time involved and cost (approximately $500 – $1000 per room) but turning the heat on the bugs may quiet literally be the way to go.