By: Sherri VanScoit, Head of Marketing, Target Specialty Products
This week of June 4-10th 2017 marks Bed Bug Awareness Week. The Professional Pest Management Alliance has designated this week as an ideal time to educate the public on the threat of bed bugs to their summer travel plans. Join the online efforts and maximize your marketing this week and throughout the summer with the following tips on bed bug awareness:
- According to the NPMA’s 2015 Bugs Without Borders Survey, 25% of travelers have checked a hotel room for bed bugs. This statistic shows us that travelers are becoming more aware of the threat of this hitchhiking pest and its ability to infest our belongings while we are away from home. Educate your client base on how to conduct a simple bed bug inspection, what to look for and what some simple telltale signs of bed bugs are.
- Use visuals in your marketing. According to University of Kentucky research, ‘more than two-thirds of travelers were unable to distinguish a bed bug from other household insects.’ Photos that your technicians are able to capture from their fieldwork are really valuable educational materials for your customers and can assist them in what to look for while traveling and in their homes.
- Create a checklist of what travelers can do after a trip. There are many precautions that traveler’s can take upon returning home to prevent an infestation should they be exposed to bed bugs. Create a short video, infographic, simple checklist or blog to educate your customers on ways in which they can protect their homes and their belongings against these skilled hitchhikers.
- Let bed bugs take over your social feeds. For one week allow bed bugs to be the main focus of your content. Focusing on just this one pest for a week will ensure that readers understand the importance of it and pay attention. Use hashtag #BedBugWeek to join the national conversation and have your content be found more easily in social threads.
- Consider offering a bed bug prevention program to your customers. Mattress covers, bed bug detection tools, glue boards and other products are available to detect a bed bug introduction early on. For those customers at high risk of bed bugs (those who travel often for business or leisure, have a child that sleeps away at college or boarding school, those who live in a multi-unit housing scenario or those who have had a previous infestation) consider offering a program where you can uncover and treat bed bugs that may be introduced.