Detecting bed bugs early in sheltered housing

Bed bugs are a costly issue for sheltered housing, impacting residents and the business in multiple ways. Residents may feel ashamed and embarrassed, while the pests cause ongoing disturbances to their sleep and comfort of living. The larger a population of bed bugs gets before detection, the further they will be ingrained into the fabric of the building. This can make them extremely difficult to remove and can result in lasting damage to your organisation’s reputation.

The financial impact of bed bugs on your business can also increase depending on the amount of treatment needed, which can include replacement of furniture and closure of rooms and buildings while you deal with infestations. There’s nothing you can do to prevent bed bugs arriving; it’s simply a case of when, not if, you have to deal with them.

The Cost of Bed Bugs

For many housing providers who are responsible for resolving pest issues on their properties, bed bugs can often be over half of the total pest control spend. However, even that is far from the whole story.

The immediate costs of treatment, staff time, and short-term lost revenue are bad enough. However, the longer-term impacts of recurrent problems when infestations spread throughout buildings – reputational damage and the impact on building occupancy and potentially depressed rent revenues – can amount to much, much more.

Identifying Bed Bugs

Bed bugs grow to around 5mm in length. They can hide in mattresses, lamps and furniture in rooms or public spaces. Sheltered and residential housing offers them plenty of places to hide! They often come out at night, while your resident is sleeping.

Conventional monitoring techniques include sniffer dogs, pre-scheduled visits from professional pest controllers, and housing maintenance conducting manual inspections. However, the bugs’ small size and skill at hiding makes them very hard to spot and correctly identify with the naked eye, resulting in missed identification often only happening when infestations become large.

Spotta’s Smart Pest System

Designed for accommodation providers, Spotta is an easy-to-use technology solution to detect bed bugs. Spotta can identify the pests in the very early stages of infestation, notifying you before an infestation takes hold.

On average, properties that have deployed Spotta have seen the system detect 94.2% of bed bugs and have reduced the number of cases being reported by residents to just 6.6% of the levels seen prior to the introduction of Spotta.

Benefits of Early Detection

Spotta’s smart pest system is ‘always-on’, monitoring and identifying bed bugs in occupied or empty rooms, at all times of the day or night. By detecting bed bugs early, you can act quickly and treat them in a targeted way. This will reduce both the reputational and the financial damage bed bugs can cause your organisation.

Early detection also brings environmental benefits because smaller populations mean less chemicals are needed to treat the problem.

How Spotta Works

Spotta’s solution for bed bugs caters to the unique design and layout of your property. You will receive a Pod for each room, which is placed under the head of the mattress – where bed bugs are most likely to be found. The Pods wirelessly connect to Spotta’s online Console, where users can see at-a-glance what is happening in the properties they manage.

Bed bugs are attracted into the Pods by a pheromone, and they trigger a small sensor which is processed by Spotta’s algorithms, confirming if it is a bed bug or a different type of insect. The Pod then triggers an alert, automatically notifying you of the bed bug’s location. This lets you quickly isolate the problem and target your treatment, before an infestation can grow.

Proactive Monitoring

Spotta’s CEO, Robert Fryers, says:

“Sheltered and residential housing managers can find dealing with bed bugs a challenge, particularly when warning signs come too late to deal with the pests quickly and efficiently. This leads to high costs in treatment, negatively impacting budgets, as well as harming the welfare of residents. Our system helps prevent this by proactively monitoring bed bugs in a cost effective way.”

Find out more about Spotta at