Steps to Take if You Have Bed Bugs
Steps to Take if You Have Bed Bugs
1. Call in Professional Assistance
Bed bugs are a massive infestation problem. Within a single year, bed bugs can produce three or even four generations with each female laying up to 500 eggs within her lifetime. In addition to their impressively fast procreation, they are insanely durable pests that can survive an entire year without eating and are highly resistant to most pesticides. Even effective chemical treatments require a minimum of 2-3 visits to target bed bugs as they mature. This is because chemical treatments are not effective on bedbug eggs and some bed bugs could even be avoiding the treatments by hiding in electrical outlets, vacuum cleaners, and other extremely obscure places (yes this actually happens!). So, while it may appear as though the problem has disappeared once the adults stop biting, it’s only a matter of time before the eggs begin to hatch and the nymphs start searching for their blood meals.
As such, bed bugs can be insanely difficult to deal with on your own and, in some cases when people have tried, they ended up spending far more time and money on DIY attempts that ultimately failed.
Calling for professional help is essential for quick and effective bed bug removal. Technicians will conduct full inspections in order to root out as many sources of bed bugs as possible prior to forming a treatment plan to suit your particular needs. Furthermore, professionals can help you confirm that your problem is, indeed bed bugs, and not fleas, ticks, or other insects.
Make sure to call as soon as possible to schedule your inspection and treatments.
2. Inform Others
While it can be embarrassing to admit to your friends and family that you have bed bugs, it is exceedingly more embarrassing to be the cause that they have them as well. It is important to inform anyone who has been in your home recently or who exchanged any furniture, clothing, or other items with you. By simply providing them with a quick warning call, you could help prevent a world of headache for them as they may be able to take the steps to ensure the problem hasn’t/doesn’t spread into their home.
Furthermore, cancelling any events that you were supposed to host or any kind of guest visits in your home is also important for limiting the spread. Luckily, in this case you don’t necessarily have to cite bed bugs as the reason if you don’t want to, as these future potential visitors won’t be in contact with them.
3. Controlling the Problem
While ultimately, eradicating the bed bugs with an extermination company is the ultimate goal, prior to your professional treatments there are several steps you can take to help control the infestation:
- Vacuum carefully and frequently. Make sure to seal your vacuum bags extremely well and dispose of them directly in dumpsters.
- Wash and dry any clothing, sheets, blankets, stuffed animals, etc. in hot water and heat-dry. This will kill any bed bugs hiding in these items.
- If you do not want to keep some infested items, be sure to dispose of them safely, wrap things tightly in bags prior to throwing them away and mark any furniture with clear signs stating they have bed bugs to prevent anyone from potentially taking the “free furniture” on the curb.
- Tidy your home and reduce clutter, this will prevent bed bugs from having further areas to hide.
These tips will help stop your current infestation from spreading and can keep it somewhat under control until your appointment with your local pest control company.
4. Prepare for Your Treatment
Depending on the type of treatments you decide on with your pest control company, there will typically be a series of steps that you must complete prior to treatments. These preparations will help your technician, protect your items, and set up ideal conditions for the most effective treatments.
For example, our preferred method of choice to combat bed bugs is heat. While this treatment is highly effective and ecofriendly, it can be problematic for other things in your home. Suggestions prior to such treatments include:
- Remove any pets (including fish) and plants from the home
- Either remove or place meltable items in your fridge such as candles, crayons, cosmetics, etc.
- Remove aerosol cans and other combustible items
- Foods and beverages should be placed in the fridge in order to preserve them
5. Focus on Future Prevention
The last thing you want just after you have achieved a bed bug free home, is to find yourself at the mercy of these blood-sucking pests once again. Bed bugs can hide nearly anywhere, from hotels and movie theaters, to airplanes and hospitals, so how do you avoid them?! The best thing to do, is to be vigilant and cautious when visiting areas that may have bed bugs.
For hotels, a fantastic first step is to check the Bed Bug Reports (https://www.bedbugreports.com) for your intended hotels. These reports will not only inform you if the location ever had an infestation, but they include the dates and sometimes even photographs and room numbers of where the bugs were spotted. Even if your hotel isn’t listed, it doesn’t mean you’re completely in the clear. When you first arrive at your hotel room, inspect your room carefully, even using a flashlight if possible as bedbugs will try to hide in dark areas. Some of the key areas to look include the creases of the mattress (underneath the fitted sheet), the crease between the headboard and mattress, and the cracks and corners inside drawers or closets. During your stay, avoid leaving any clothing or bags directly on the floor and try to instead use tables or luggage racks that will make your bags more difficult to reach. Also, you may be putting yourself at risk by unpacking your clothing into any dressers, so avoiding this when possible can help you stay bed-bug free.
Other ways you can help avoid a bed bug problem include:
- Vacuum carefully and frequently
- Reduce clutter
- Use a mattress cover
- Avoid using moving blankets
- Inspect any pre-used furniture that you may purchase
Stay safe, Stay bed bug-free, and don’t hesitate to contact us anytime for bed bug help!