Protocol in Arizona

Every state most likely has guidelines and policies in place for controlling infestations and other nuisances.  As residents of Arizona, are you aware of the policies our state holds up?  Check out the article below to learn about what you should do if you see bed bugs where you live.

Arizona law outlines bed-bug protocol

Bed bugs are a growing presence in all 50 fifty states, and once they have infested an apartment, it’s important to address the problem immediately. (Photo: The Arizona Republic)

Scoring a great deal from a buddy who is moving, or “rescuing” a recliner from the alley can make furnishing an apartment cheap and easy.

However, free mattresses and couches can bring unexpected guests with them. Bed bugs (and their eggs!), can live on these items, and once you bring them home, they will move in permanently unless you do something about it.

Bed bugs are a growing presence in all 50 fifty states, and once they have infested an apartment, it’s important to address the problem immediately. Bed bugs don’t typically don’t spread disease, but it’s important that you get rid of these bugs. Arizona is one of the few states with in the nation which has passed laws about how to address this problem.

Sometimes you may not even see an actual bed bug, but you may see small blood spots that they leave behind (bed bug poop?), a tell-tale sign that you have bed bugs. Small, itchy bites on the skin are also another sign that you have bed bugs. They feed on humans, and their bites can cause small skin irritations on the skin. They hide in lots of places where people tend to be, couches and beds //in// particular. When they are not active, you might be able to spot them hiding in the seams or in the folds of curtains or cushions, or along the baseboards of in the carpet.

It’s important to work with your apartment management company or owner when you think you have bed bugs, and there are very specific “bed bug rules” under Arizona law which both the landlord and tenant must follow. They say infestations may have already spread to more than one apartment, and your managers must bring in a licensed professional to assess and treat the problem.

Residents shouldn’t try to treat a bed-bug problem on their own. Over-the-counter treatments may make the problem worse, and under state law, you could be legally liable for the costs of treating the affected apartments if you don’t follow the correct procedures.

Here’s what to do if you think you have bed bugs:

1. Notify your apartment manager or owner immediately. They will brief you on their specific bed-bug protocol for addressing bed bugs.

2. Do not try to treat these bugs yourself! Do not buy any hardware//-//store pesticide and spray them. Over-the-counter treatments may worsen make the problem worse, and under state law, you could be legally liable for the costs of treating the affected apartments if you don’t follow the correct procedures.

3. Ask your apartment manager or owner what they recommend about your personal items like clothes and furniture. They will typically recommend washing clothing and sheets in hot water.

Arizona’s bed-bug law applies only to apartments (single//-//family homes are exempt), and the law states that you have three business days to notify your landlord in writing that you suspect that you have bed bugs. The landlord must have a a licensed pest-control professional inspect your unit with//in// seven days of after receiving your written notice. They will have an inspection done by a licensed pest-control professional. Bed bugs move fast, so they will likely also inspect units near yours to see whether if other apartments have been infested, too. Your management company will work with you to treat your unit. In addition, your apartment manager will likely have protocols for you to follow to clean your personal items to ensure that all of the bed bugs are gone. This could include washing clothing and sheets in hot water. If you don’t follow these protocols, and the issue continues, your management company may be able to charge you for the full cost of treating your unit and other affected apartments.

Tom Simplot is president and CEO, of the Arizona Multihousing Association, which represents ethical rental housing providers in legislative, legal and regulatory matters.

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Bed Bug Rash

If you have been bitten by bed bugs and notice a rash start to form there are ways you can combat it at home.  Understanding how bed bugs bite and other signs of rash is important so you can effectively check for and remove the pests, too.  Check out the article below from and follow the link at the bottom for even more information.

How to Treat a Bed Bug Rash

How Does an Individual Get a Bed Bug Bite Rash?

Bed bugs commonly infest summer cabins, especially at camps, hiking trail shelters and parks. Many times, when they are found in an urban home they can be traced back to a visit to one of these facilities.

These parasites are attracted to warmth, which is why they bite us as we sleep. They are also attracted to carbon dioxide, which is what is exhaled by oxygen breathing species.

They reside in dark areas and crevices near the host. Their only food is the blood they obtain from the host. Hosts for this bug are many different species of vertebrates including canaries, poultry, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, mice, bats and unfortunately, man.

How They Feed

These bugs feed on the host while the host sleeps, generally just before dawn. They will usually not be seen during the daylight hours unless the infestation is severe.

This bug will secure itself to the host’s skin using its claws and then inserts it ‘beak’ into the skin of the host. The ‘beak’ consists of two tubes (stylets); one sucks up the host’s blood while the other injects saliva (venom) in the wound.

This saliva assists in preventing the host’s blood from coagulating to keep it flowing. It also has an anesthetic to numb the feeding area on the host. This saliva is what causes the itching sensation on the host’s skin.

Feeding Based on Age

Nymphs (adolescents) feed for approximately three minutes while an adult may continue to feed on the blood of the host for ten to fifteen minutes.

Amazingly, they can survive 18 months without any oxygen and as much as a year without any blood. The bites cause burning, itching and swelling. The degree of symptoms depends upon the host’s susceptibility.

How Common are These Rashes?

The National Pest Management Association has stated that prior to the year 2000, as few as 25% of the pest control companies in the United States had encountered an infestation of these nasty bugs. Currently that number has risen to 95%.

At this point in time 76% of the United States pest control professionals think that this bug is the most difficult pest to eradicate.

Companies that previously received one or two calls per year are now reporting that they receive one or two calls weekly.

Why has the Infestation Returned?

There are various factors that are contributing to the resurgence in the United States. Citizens are frequently traveling to foreign areas that are infested.

Second-hand furniture and furnishings have become extremely popular. Populations have increased their resistance to the various pesticides. Control has been neglected by the pest control industry since the ‘40s.

What Does a Typical Bite Rash Look Like?

When these bugs bite an individual, they can develop a rash. These rashes have the ability to cause an extremely irritating itching sensation. The actual rash is not considered to be detrimental to one’s health.

Many times a rash is mistaken for bites that are caused by insects commonly found in a household. These insects include fleas, lice, ants and mosquitoes. The truth is that the majority of individuals are not aware they have been fed on by these parasites. Many times, they assume the rash is just a skin allergy.

However, once you are aware of what to look for, it is very easily recognizable.

One of the first signs is numerous tiny or raised skin bumps. These bumps will always be in a row or cl ustered pattern. This is because they generally feed more than one time at the same location.

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Comparing The Species of Bed Bugs

As you probably know by now, a rare species of bed bug that has not been seen in the United States in over 60 years has recently been seen in Florida.  This has triggered research and exploration of the similarities and differences to the other species of bed bug that exists across the country.  To learn about the similarities and differences read the article by Brittany Campbell of Pest Control Technology below.

The New (Old) Bed Bugs: Tropical Bed Bugs

Bed Bug Supplement – Bed Bug Supplement

Tropical bed bugs are appearing again in Florida after a 70-year absence.

December 13, 2016
Brittany Campbell

There are two species of bed bugs that have been resurging worldwide in the past two decades: tropical bed bugs (Cimex hemipterus) and common bed bugs (Cimex lectularius). Both species feed predominantly on humans and have similar behaviors; they both hide and aggregate in cracks and crevices; they both suck blood; and they both have the same life cycle — starting as eggs, developing into five different instars and finally molting to an adult.

Both of these species also are important from a public health perspective because their bites can cause itchy, rash-like reactions and many people who experience bed bugs often suffer from psychological distress. This distress has been reported as ranging from loss of sleep, anxiety, to even depression. Although tropical bed bugs and common bed bugs are similar, these species do have some marked differences.

First, both species seem to dominate in different areas of the world. The tropical bed bug, as the name suggests, lives in more tropical regions. This species dominates in areas of Asia, Africa and South America. The common bed bug dominates in more temperate climates and is the species we are the most familiar with in the United States. Thus far, the common bed bug has spread to all 50 states. A recent survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association with the University of Kentucky showed that two out of three pest management professionals in the United States believe that bed bug infestations are still increasing in number.

Bed bugs, regardless of the species, are moved around by people. The resurgence of bed bugs has been attributed to travel, increased insecticide resistance and changes in pesticide practices. Undoubtedly, the introduction of one species is similar to the other; they are both moved around the world in people’s luggage, backpacks, purses and other belongings. Therefore, tropical bed bugs certainly have been brought into the United States periodically, but have yet to either skyrocket in number like the common bed bug or they may have just been overlooked.

The common bed bug is on the left with the U-shaped pronotum, The tropical bed bug is on the right with a less U-shaped pronounced pronotum.

HOW THEY’RE DIFFERENT. A tropical bed bug infestation would look just like a common bed bug infestation. You would see live bugs potentially, depending on the level of infestation, and these live bugs would look just like a common bed bug to the untrained eye/without a microscope. You may even see the dark black fecal spots as well as the exuvia, or shed skins — remember both species are similar. However, once you get the bed bugs under a microscope — or maybe even a good hand lens — then you would see the tell-tale difference. The tropical bed bug’s “neck” or pronotum, just behind the head, is a different shape than the common bed bug. The common bed bug has a more excavated, or u-shaped pronotum.

The tropical bed bug has often been said to be in the United States, but no recent publications or documents have reported this since the 1940s until recently. After a 70-year absence, we (University of Florida researchers) received a sample of bed bugs that didn’t look quite like we were accustomed to seeing. After careful examination, we realized we had tropical bed bugs and then contacted the homeowners. According to the homeowners, no one in the house had traveled out of the United States or Florida. Thus, it seems like the tropical bed bug had established elsewhere in Florida and the homeowners had unknowingly brought them into their home.

Identification can be accomplished when the bed bugs are magnified. However, the differences are not pronounced, so it would be best to send samples to an extension office associated with a university. Many of the identification keys are not very straightforward and require the pronotum to be measured to ensure positive identification, especially in specimens where the pronotum shape cannot be easily differentiated between the two species.

FINAL THOUGHTS. There is still little known about tropical bed bugs. Much less research has been performed with this species compared to the common bed bug. It has been suggested that tropical bed bugs lay fewer eggs but develop faster than common bed bugs, potentially explaining their distribution differences world-wide. However, bed bug development times can vary when temperatures fluctuate or fluctuate even when bed bugs have been exposed to different insecticides. For instance, bed bugs with high levels of pyrethroid resistance have been shown to lay fewer eggs than their less-resistant relatives.

A tropical bed bug.

For now, until more research has been conducted, the same control measures that are are used against common bed bugs should potentially work against tropical bed bugs. Their similar biology should still allow many of the tools that we have found to work previously to be effective, including heat treatments, fumigation and chemicals. Of course, resistance is still an issue with tropical bed bugs, so rotating products may be necessary to gain control.

While tropical bed bugs have been documented in Florida, they have the potential to spread to other areas of the United States. Subtropical areas in other southern states could harbor this species, and homes with temperature-controlled climates inside also could help this species spread beyond its normal tropical distribution. Proper identification and awareness will help researchers and the industry alike determine whether this species will continue to spread and to determine if it is currently prevalent in other areas and potentially has been overlooked.

The author, Brittany Campbell, is a UF/IFAS doctoral student in entomology.

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If Someone Claims They’ve Seen Bed Bugs at a Hotel…

We like sharing articles that help people in the service industry (e.g., restaurant and hotel employees) deal with claims of bed bug sightings.  This new article explains what to do if a hotel guest complains of seeing the pest on property.  While different hotel chains may have different protocol for instances like this, the tips in this article for handling this situation are extremely useful for any hotel employee.  As always, follow your protocol, but consider these suggestions too to ensure the guest(s) know you care and are handling things at your highest ability.

How to Handle Bed Bug Complaints

Tuesday December 6th, 2016 – 9:11AM


A negative experience by a guest, such as uncovering bed bugs, can quickly go one of two ways: it can be a non-event if handled correctly or it can turn into a public relations nightmare resulting in your appearance on the local news, and Bed bugs are unquestionably one of the worst complaints any hotelier wants to experience!

The thought of a guest uncovering a bed bug infestation before an employee may keep you awake at night. But preparing your staff to handle such a situation is one of the most important proactive steps you can take. Establish a written action plan so your employees are prepared to handle a bed bug complaint and reduce your chances of it turning into a public relations nightmare. Make certain that once established, this action plan is followed precisely as deviations/omissions can result in significant legal consequences. However, nothing is worse than the absence of a clear action plan addressing a bed bug issue.

The following tips can help you create your own unique bed bug complaint action plan to ensure that as the hotelier, you are empowering your employees to properly handle the situation and the affected guest when a bed bug incident arises:

• Seriously consider compensating (‘comping’) the room for their entire stay.

• Always apologize profusely for the inconvenience. Gently remind the guest that bed bugs do not discriminate and while you have a best management practices pest control protocol in place (mandatory requirement) they may have been introduced by the guest immediately before them and missed by housekeeping. Assure them that you are taking every precaution you can to protect them and their belongings from bed bugs.

• If evidence of bed bugs is confirmed in the room, immediately take the room out of service and contact your licensed pest control professional to service the room and the surrounding rooms for bed bugs.

• Follow the advice of your pest management professional to determine how long each room (target and surrounding) should be taken out of service and when it is safe to rent the room back out.

• If bed bug infestations are of high concern, costing you money in lost revenues and high pest control costs, and you fear loss of brand reputation, consider how a proactive preventive measure such as an active mattress liner might positively impact your bottom line. A hotel savings calculator can help determine your best installation solution.

While some of the above precautions may seem extreme and expensive for a hotel to adopt, just imagine how news about the hotel having bed bugs could impact the bottom line. Internet sites such as and make it extremely easy for guests to speak to the masses about a negative experience, truth notwithstanding. Having trained personnel ready to handle a potential bed bug incident/infestation will pay enormous dividends and support hotel profitability.

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