Bed Bug Prevention

Our Commitment to the Health and Well-Being of our Staff and Guests

Bed bugs pose a significant challenge for the hospitality industry. With the rise in global travel, hotels, airplanes, university dorms, and summer camps are increasingly affected by this issue. Bed bugs are notorious for hitchhiking on luggage, clothing, and personal items, making it easy for guests to unknowingly bring them onto properties. Due to their resilience and ability to hide in small crevices, bed bugs can quickly spread if not detected early. Addressing this problem requires a comprehensive and proactive approach to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all guests.
At Muskoka Woods, the safety and comfort of our guests are our top priorities. We understand the importance of maintaining a healthy, bed bug-free environment, and we take proactive steps to ensure our facilities remain pristine. Here’s a look at the comprehensive process and tools we use to prevent bed bugs at camp:

Comprehensive Monitoring

Weekly Inspections:

  • Our camp counsellors perform thorough inspections of all bed bug traps every Saturday, fitting within the schedule between guest departures and arrivals. This ensures early detection of any issues and prevents disruptions to our guests’ experiences.

Advanced Bed Bug Traps:

  • SenSci Volcano Traps: These traps are strategically placed at the base of each bunk bed. The lures in these traps are replaced at the beginning of summer by our housekeeping department to ensure maximum effectiveness.  (See SenSci Volcano Traps below)

Immediate Reporting and Investigation:

  • Any bed bugs caught in traps are immediately reported to our Director of Resort Operations. The bed bug log is updated with incident details. The Director of Resort Operations then inspects the trap, verifies the presence of bed bugs, and determines the stage of development. Based on the inspection, a decision is made to either allow Aprehend™ time to eliminate the aggregation or proceed with heat treatment if a larger aggregation is detected.

Bed Bug Response Protocol

The Bed Bug Response Protocol at Muskoka Woods is paramount in ensuring a secure and enjoyable environment. By promptly addressing bed bug reports, documenting incidents, and maintaining transparent communication with staff and parents, we effectively manage any issues. This proactive approach protects our guests’ health and ensures a rapid response to bed bugs, restoring the cabin to a pest-free environment quickly.

Highlights of the Protocol

Rapid Response:

  • Upon a report of bed bug bites, our Director of Resort Operations is immediately notified. An incident report is filled out according to Muskoka Woods standards, and details are logged in the bed bug log. Our team gives the highest level of priority to any suspected bed bug case.

Clear Communication:

  • The CEO, Health Care Centre and executive team are immediately notified about any report of bed bug bites.  They are updated on inspection results, remediation actions (if necessary) and parent/guest communication.
  • The Director of Operations, along with the Director of the Summer Program, handle all parent communication. Muskoka Woods is dedicated to maintaining transparent communication and supporting families through education.

Detailed Inspection:

  • Our team conducts a thorough inspection within a 5-metre radius around the reported bed. Using a UV flashlight, magnifying glass, packing tape, and knife, we meticulously check mattresses, bunks, walls, and crevices for signs of bed bugs. Any findings are documented and marked for immediate follow-up.
  • Traps are placed beneath each bunk to provide evidence of any bed bugs present in the cabin.
  • The Director of Resort Operations has a decade of experience in pest control.
  • Muskoka Woods collaborates with Muskoka Pest Control for support and advice on pest control decisions.

Extensive Remediation & Monitoring Tools:

Heat Treatment:

  • If necessary, we deploy our Heat Assault™ 500X machine to treat the room, ensuring the complete elimination of bed bugs. This powerful equipment is used to heat the affected area for a minimum of 12 hours. Learn more about Heat Assault™
  • This equipment is owned by Muskoka Woods and operated by our trained staff, enabling an immediate response without relying on the availability of external contractors.

Preventative Aprehend™ Spray:

  • We apply Aprehend™ spray in all cabins at the start of the summer season. This proactive measure provides long-lasting protection against bed bugs, minimizing the risk of aggregations. However, if heat treatment is applied, Learn more about Aprehend™

Enhanced Monitoring:

  • SenSci Volcano Traps: These traps are designed to attract and capture bed bugs. They use a lure that mimics the scent of human skin to draw bed bugs into the trap, where they become stuck and can be easily monitored. Learn more about SenSci Volcano Traps
  • BEAPCO™ Traps: BEAPCO™ traps are placed under each mattress by our maintenance team. These discreet and effective traps use a non-toxic lure to attract and capture bed bugs. The traps must be inspected daily by counsellors for seven days to ensure that any remaining bed bugs are detected and dealt with promptly. Room inspections will be conducted at 7 and 14 days after the initial treatment to certify the cabin as clear. Learn more about BEAPCO™ Traps

Continuous Improvement and Communication

Digital Logs:

  • We maintain detailed digital logs to track and analyze bed bug incidents, ensuring our processes are effective and continuously improving.

Regular Training:

  • Our staff undergo regular training on the latest bed bug remediation techniques to stay ahead of any potential issues.

Guest Communication:

  • We are committed to transparency and promptly inform guests about any bed bug incidents and the steps we are taking to resolve them. This ensures peace of mind and confidence in our management practices.

At Muskoka Woods, we are dedicated to providing a safe, fun, and healthy environment for all our guests. Our rigorous bed bug prevention process is a testament to our commitment to maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness and safety.

Bed Bug FAQ

What are bed bugs and how can they affect my child at camp?

Bed bugs are small, reddish-brown insects that feed on human blood, causing itchy bites. They can lead to stress, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. Bed bugs do not transmit diseases but can cause allergic reactions.

What do bed bug bites look like?

Bed bug bites often appear as small, red, itchy bumps, sometimes in a line or cluster. Not everyone shows evidence of bites, and the Muskoka region is full of insects that can produce similar bite marks. For images of bed bug bites, you can refer to this link.

Are bed bugs only a problem for certain types of households?

No, bed bugs can affect anyone, regardless of cleanliness, income, or race. They spread through luggage, clothing, and furniture, making them a common issue across all sectors of society.

How do bed bugs appear at a summer camp, hotel, airplane, etc?

Bed bugs can be brought into the camp via guests’ luggage, clothing, and personal items. They can also hitch a ride on visitors. Once inside, they hide in mattresses, furniture, and crevices, incubating quickly.

How does Muskoka Woods prevent bed bug aggregations?

We use several preventative measures, including applying Aprehend™ spray to all cabins at the start of the summer. This treatment kills bed bugs within 4-10 days and remains on surfaces to continue killing bugs as they track the spores back to the aggregation. Additionally, we regularly monitor with SenSci Volcano™ traps and employ a Heat Assault™ solution for effective bed bug control. As an escalated measure of bed bug monitoring, we also use BEAPCO™ traps.

Can bed bugs be completely eradicated?

Bed bugs are difficult to eradicate due to their hiding abilities and resilience. Our prevention and treatment strategies aim to control and eliminate aggregations effectively.

How often are rooms inspected for bed bugs?

Traps are inspected in every cabin on Saturdays by trained camp counsellors. Enhanced monitoring protocol requires traps to be inspected daily for a period of 7-14 days.

How will I be notified if there is a bed bug issue?

You will receive a courtesy call outlining any bed bug reports and actions taken to address the issue. Sometimes, your child may inform you before all information and inspections are completed. Please be assured that prompt and transparent communication will occur as rapidly as possible.

What is done if my child reports bed bug bites while at camp?

If your child reports bed bug bites while at camp, they will be evaluated at our health care centre. We will evacuate the affected room, inspect it thoroughly, and, if evidence of bed bugs is found, treat the cabin and luggage of all guests. We will keep you informed about the situation and the steps being taken.

What should I do to prevent bringing bed bugs home from camp?

Inspect your child’s belongings before bringing them inside. Wash clothes in hot water and dry on high heat. Vacuum and inspect luggage, and consider sealing it in plastic bags during the camp stay.

What measures can I take at home if bed bugs are found?

Contact a professional pest control service for thorough inspections and treatment using chemical and non-chemical methods.