Bug Sweeps for Vacation Homes – AirBNB, VRBO, Etc.

Holiday travel makes for great quick cash for those in the market to rent their homes on a temporary basis. Unfortunately, their desire to keep an eye on renters can leave you in precarious position of being watched 24/7, exposing your most private moments while trying to relax on vacation.

AEGIS Security & Investigations can help you have a safe trip and a safe home if you’re on either side of the issue. Yes, it is important to ensure your home is safe when renting out. And, yes, you as a renter have a right to privacy. With a bug sweep and consultation, you can make your home, office or hotel safer for you and those who rent from you.

Bug sweeps, professionally known as Technical Surveillance Countermeasures (TSCM), are incredibly helpful in revealing whether or not you are being tracked by an unapproved source. Because the goal of a bug sweep is to locate and eliminate (remove or counter the signal) of “bug” devices that are gathering, recording and transmitting your information covertly, they are essential for those who have found evidence that their space is bugged.

So, how can you prevent getting bugged? Having a security expert come in and perform a broad bug sweep can reveal hidden, illegal, and unwanted devices in your home, car, office or other space that may be used to spy on you. These include hidden cameras, GPS trackers, cell phone spy software, tapped landline phone wires and microphones or other audio surveillance devices.

AEGIS Security & Investigations’ bug sweeps are conducted in a variety of environments for a variety of clients. We have provided comprehensive bug sweeps in private estates and personal residences as well as for various business, corporate offices, and government entities, including sole practicing attorneys, law firms, and financial management firms. Bug sweeps can be conducted in offices, vehicles, on a person or in any private space.

An AEGIS Security & Investigations bug sweep is typically conducted after business hours in order to keep from raising suspicion and provide confidentiality to the client. The process involves a total of five steps, which we’ve outlined below.

  1. AEGIS Security & Investigations bug sweeps start with a spectrum analyzer examining frequencies emitting from the target area beyond of the normal commercial spectrum. It works by graphing the frequency and power of signals, distortion, harmonics, wavelength and other determining factors. The graph resembles that of an oscilloscope with the frequency on the horizontal plane and the amplitude on the vertical plane. This device detects the difference between cell phone transmissions both of the voice and data variety, cordless phones, WiFi signals and bugs transmitting wireless signals.
  2. The target is examined with a wideband receiver designed to pick up any low power devices that could have been missed by the spectrum analyzer. Low power devices are designed to go short distances, typically point to point. This may include radio waves emitting from smaller, more portable devices. A comprehensive bug sweep is not complete without the use of a wideband receiver.
  3. Electrical outlets are examined for carrier currents that would permit listening through electrical lines. A carrier current is a low power, hard wired audio transmission sent through an electrical line. They do not go long distances, as the current is adjusted as it passes through a transformer. The transmissions can be easily picked up a commercial grade scanner by an individual sitting outside of a building, hence the necessity to examine the outlets during a bug sweep.
  4. A non-linear junction detector is used to locate electrical components of devices whether they are on or off. It blasts a high-frequency radio transmission and from the receiving pad. When it detects a return on the frequency, the operator is alerted to electrical components within the search radius. This device works much like a bat would use echolocation. Some bugs can be set to have burst transmissions or only operate while it is picking up voice or video. This allows us to pick those devices up during our TSCM bug sweep, even when they are off.
  5. A phone analyzer is used in conjunction with a physical examination of the phone system to detect phone and wiretaps. Wiretapping occurs digitized or audio conversations is sent to an unauthorized third party. This may be done through a Trojan horse in a fully digital phone, an inductive coil attached to the handset, a physical recording device, splitting a line, or creating a manual recording. The phone analyzer can assist in detecting if a signal is being rerouted, spliced or copied.

AEGIS Security & Investigations specializes in high end, customer service focused security, investigative, training, and consulting solutions. Since our inception in 2007, our goal has been to meet and exceed our client’s expectations. We accomplish this by actively utilizing both internal and external active management techniques and focusing our services tuned to our clients’ hierarchy of needs, resulting in a high quality service our clients and employees appreciate and respect. Our goal is to provide a high return on investment by providing high quality, efficient, and effective services, exceeding our client’s expectations. AEGIS Security & Investigations is fully insured and is licensed by the State of California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services.

Additional services include computer and IT security, hardening against viruses, trojan horses, worms and keyloggers. We provide custom solutions created for each client. Our goal is to provide a high return on investment by providing high quality, efficient, and effective services, exceeding our client’s expectations. For more on our bug sweep services, visit our website.

AEGIS Security & Investigations is a Los Angeles region company that is licensed and insured in the State of California to provide high-end armed and unarmed regular and temporary off-duty police officers, bodyguards, security officers, loss prevention agents, and event staff. Additionally, we offer services for private investigation, consultation, people tracing, and background investigation. Our trainings and workshops in the field of security licensure and counter-terrorism have been featured in news media and are renowned for their efficacy. For more information or to contact us, visit www.aegis.com.


By Chelsea Turner & Jeff Zisner