What should I do If I Find Bed Bugs?

So . . . you have realized that you have a bed bug problem. Worse, you have figured out that they are not going to leave on their own as long as they have a safe place to hide and a nightly meal.  It’s going to be up to you to get rid of them.  Right off, you’ll have two choices:

  • Do-It-Yourself
  • Hire Professionals

About Hiring Professionals

This approach has several strong advantages:

  • Professionals Are Trained and Certified
  • Professionals Know What to Look For
  • Professionals Know How to Instruct You
  • Professionals Have Modern Equipment

Professional Pest Control Services are Trained and Certified

The best pest control companies trains and certifies their employees and guarantees their work.  Depending on the plan you purchase, they may be responsible for returning periodically or on your say so to check and treat as needed.  With a professional service you’ll have the peace of mind that your problem is being taken care of by someone who has already done this work successfully.

Professionals Know What to Look For

Professionals will come in either with a bed bug sniffing dog or C02 monitor or a passive interception device to find out exactly where the highest concentration of bugs are.  By knowing where to concentrate their efforts, they’ll have a better chance of getting them all on the first treatment.

Professionals Know How to Instruct You

Professionals will know best what to tell you to do when it comes to preparing your home for bed bug eradication treatments.  They do most of the work, but some of the preliminary work will be up to you and they’ll be able to tell you what works best.

Professionals Have Modern Equipment

Professionals can do the job with equipment that isn’t always available to the consumer.  They have equipment that can freeze the bugs instantly without harming anything they spray.  Alternately, they can heat your entire free standing dwelling to a high temperature and kill them through dehydration.  They also have access to pesticide and pesticide application equipment that consumers may not be able to buy.

Though hiring a professional team is arguably the best solution for many, it isn’t for everyone.  The price is high, your privacy is non-existent, and you may wish to have more control over what pesticides and other treatments are used in your home.

For those reasons and more, many people choose to do the work themselves.  It is possible if you’re willing to put in the time and effort.

Do-It-Yourself

If you decide to handle the problem yourself, you will have to consider several issues:

  • Equipment Needed
  • Prepare Your Home
  • Treat Your Home
  • Encase Your Mattresses and Pillows

Equipment Needed

Doing the job yourself means assembling several indispensable items before you proceed:

  • Decent quality plastic garbage/trash bags that tie shut completely
  • A vacuum cleaner with disposable bags
  • Sponges and a bucket with a mild soap,
  • Bed Bug proof certified encasement covers for mattresses and pillows
  • Your choice of insecticides, either chemical or organic, or a combination

Prepare Your Home

You can’t just start treating immediately. First, you’ll have to prepare the house in several ways:

  • De-clutter
  • Launder
  • Sponge Down
  • Vacuum

De-Clutter

The first thing you’ll need to do to prepare your home for bed bug treatment is to thoroughly clean and de-clutter it.  Anything you can live without should be disposed of in a plastic bag that can be tightly closed so no bugs can escape to re-infest.

Launder

Bed bugs can be killed with heat, so all fabrics such as clothing, curtains, and bedding should be bagged according to wash load.  Then each bag should be opened only when it’s their turn in the wash.  They should be dumped in and water as hot as the clothing can take should be used for a normal wash cycle.  Then the clothing should be put into a normal dryer cycle, which is sufficiently hot and runs a sufficient length of time to kill all bed bugs.  The clothing should then be re-bagged in a fresh, tightly closed bag and kept there until the room has been treated and is free of bugs.

Sponge Down

Bugs can be killed by pressure, so everything that hasn’t been sent to the laundry room should be wiped down with a damp cloth.

Vacuum

A vacuum with a disposable bag is one of the best tools against bed bugs.  Every part of the infested rooms should be thoroughly vacuumed.  The hose and wands can get you into many of the tiny areas the bugs prefer like in cracks, along seams, in folds, between the floor and ceiling, and within the joints of furniture.  Be sure you use only parts that don’t have brushes so the vacuum itself isn’t infested.  Then throw away the bag inside a plastic bag to be sure no bugs get out.

Treat Your Home

There are many insecticides available to the consumer.  They can be purchased all over the Internet and at many large brick and mortar stores.  The decision as to which to use is one of the main reasons that do-it-yourselfers do it themselves.

Basically, there are two types of treatments; sprays and powders.

  • Sprays
  • Powders

Sprays

Sprays come in either squeeze handle bottles or aerosols, and range from organic and safe for everyone, to ones that are deadly to pets and can cause awful reactions in humans.  You should research the different types of insecticides and their delivery systems before your purchase is made.  Many of the safer sprays claim a very high success rate, but you may choose to be more thorough and get something stronger.

Sprays are either contact killers or they leave a short-lived residue that kills over a short length of time because the product evaporates.  It must be re-applied frequently.

Research shows that bed bugs are showing some resistance to 80% of the insecticides on the market from repeated exposure.

Powders

Powders are not contact killers.  Bed bugs walk through the powder as long as it lays there and it will die by dehydration.  The powder, diatomaceous earth, is safe for most everyone and lasts for weeks.  Occasionally someone with a breathing problem such as asthma will have trouble with the powder.

Encasement

Once all areas of infestation are treated, covers should be placed on pillows and mattresses to help deny any remaining bugs a feast and to keep any more from laying eggs and growing.

 

 

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