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Why it is difficult to resolve workplace bed bug problems…

According to the Baltimore Sun, the state Highway Administration’s Baltimore headquarters have been struggling with a 14 month battle against bed bugs. It appears just when they think they are in the clear, bed bugs start popping up again.  

workplace bed bug problemsSo why is the State Highway Administration having such a hard time maintaining a bed bug free workplace?

First, and probably the biggest challenge in fully eradicating a bed bug problem is that you have to identify the source of the bed bugs.

And that, unfortunately, can be a tough nut to crack in your typical residential bed bug situations, and even tougher in the workplace.

Bed bugs are hitchhikers and typically come to work with employees — in  bags, clothing, even computers.

Generally you are only talking about a couple of bugs that are coming in this way, but unfortunately it only takes a few bugs to cause a big problem.

After a bug has been identified, the affected areas will be treated and the problem in the office may be resolved, at least temporarily.

The problem is that if the original source (whatever way the bugs got there in the first place) isn’t resolved, there is a very strong likelihood that bed bugs will pop up again.

Take that problem, and then think about the hundreds, even thousands of people who work or regularly go through a busy office, and it is easy to see why it is difficult to maintain a bed bug free work environment.

So what do you do if you work in an office that has regular bed bug spottings?
If serious enough to warrant changing your regular routine, try keeping a smooth plastic tub by your door (a kitchen or garbage bag would work as well) to store anything that goes to work with you, as well as a tub or bag at work to store your  personal belongings  at work.
The idea is to prevent the bugs to getting into your personal belongings at work and then to prevent them from coming into your home.
In reality, there are many situations where it might help to think of the fight against bed bugs as bed bug control with the goal of early detection and elimination.
Creating an environment where employees can be open about a bed bug problem going on at home is always helpful and many employers have even found that helping with the cost of bed bug elimination in employee’s home (if necessary) proves cheaper than dealing with ongoing bed bug battles in the office in the long-run.
While completely unscientific, have experiences an increased numbers of calls from employees with bed bugs at work and employers needing treatment in recent months.
Whether this will continue to become a bigger workplace challenge in the Washington DC, Northern VA and Maryland region remains to be seen.