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A CODE OF PRACTICE
For the Control of Bed Bug
Infestations in Australia

Click on the front cover below to download
the Fourth Edition of the Code of Practice for the
Control of Bed Bug Infestations in Australia

Preface to the Fourth Edition

Bed bugs continue to be a major problem in the developed world including Australia, and management technology has evolved at a rapid pace, hence the need for an updated edition of the 'Code of Practice for the Control of Bed Bug Infestation in Australia' (CoP). Up until recently in the modern bed bug resurgence, encounters with the insect were mainly in areas where people slept. However, bed bugs have had a broader societal impact with infestations occurring in shops, offices, hospitals, physician waiting rooms, public transport systems such as planes, trains and buses, and cinemas. You no longer need to stay in an infested bed to pick up bed bugs.

One of the major factors for the degree of the bed bug resurgence has been poor pest control and the failure of industry associations around the world to provide guidance to their members on 'best practice' in the management of modern insecticide resistant strains of bed bugs (Doggett et al. 2011). Thus it is encouraging to see the release recently of two major industry standards.

The 'European Code of Practice Bed Bug Management' was initially developed from the third edition of the Australian CoP and has been adapted for the European market (Madge 2011). This has become a quality document such that the current edition of the CoP has cherry-picked the best from the European CoP. The organisation behind the European CoP, the Bed Bug Foundation (BBF), has joined forces with the Working Party for the Australian CoP, in an information co-sharing arrangement to better improve standards on bed bug management. The chair of the BBF, Oliver Madge, is especially acknowledged for his collaboration.

From the US, the 'NPMA BMP Bed Bugs Best Management Practices' was released in 2011 (NPMA 2011). While more limited in detail and scope then the European Code, it is a welcome edition to the fight against bed bugs and does contain useful information that was used to enhance the Australian CoP.

As mentioned in the previous editions, bed bugs are an international problem and infestations can only be reduced in number worldwide if best practice management options are undertaken globally. The adoption and promotion of this CoP by other organizations and stakeholders, especially those in the pest management and accommodation industries, is welcomed.

Many of the updates within this version represent knowledge refinements and there are few major amendments or additions. One of the big trends in the US is the use of thermal heating to control bed bugs which is now included in this CoP(Section 17.1.4). If done properly thermal heat can result in the very quick eradication of infestations, unfortunately however, there has been a recent series of fires resulting in the complete destruction of buildings with the use of heating and so such technology should only be employed by the most experienced. To help assist those in the accommodation industry and to minimise the impacts of bed bugs, the development of Proactive Management Plans is encouraged (Section 16.1). These plans should be part of an overall Bed Bug Management Policy and Procedural Guide; such a guide has been developed in Australia and is freely available from www.bedbug.org.au (Doggett 2011). Pest Managers are encouraged to produce an 'Eradication Declaration' report at the end of the treatment process and to list any impediments to a successful treatment (Section 19.1.2). There is also an update on new insecticides registered in Australia (Section 17.2.3). Of the new actives, amorphous silica (Diatomaceous Earth Dust) is likely to offer additional benefits to the Pest Manager.

Despite the market being flooded with bed bug management devices and products since the last edition of the CoP, very few have been verified as efficacious by an independent scientific body. Accordingly, the use of any management device not specifically supported in this CoP is not recommended.

The CoP is the culmination of the hard work of many and sincere thanks must be given to the CoP Working Party (listed in Appendix A), those who provide feedback, and to the individuals listed in the acknowledgements.

Stephen Doggett
March 2013

 

Click here to download all the submissions to the Draft Fourth Edition of the Bed Bug Code of Practice.

Click here to download all the modifications to the Fourth Edition of the Australian Bed Bug Code of Practice.

Click here for the 'Guidelines for the Establishment and Management of AEPMA Code of Practice Working Parties'

Click here to download the Draft Fourth Edition of the Australian Bed Bug Code of Practice.

Click here to download the modifications to the Draft Fourth Edition of the Australian Bed Bug Code of Practice.

Click here to download the Third Edition of the Bed Bug Code of Practice

Click here to download the modifications made to the Third Edition of the Bed Bug Code of Practice

Click here to download all the submissions to the Draft Third Edition of the Bed Bug Code of Practice

Click here to download the Draft Third Edition of the Bed Bug Code of Practice

Click here to download the Second Edition

Click here to download the list of modifications made to the Second Edition of the Bed Bug Code of Practice

Click here to download all the submissions to the Draft Second Edition of the Bed Bug Code of Practice

Click here to download the Draft Second Edition of the Bed Bug Code of Practice

Click here to download the First Edition.

Click here to download all the submissions for the First Edition.

Click here to download the Draft Code of Practice of the First Edition.