Preparing Your House for Bedbug Treatments
Bedbugs can be difficult to eliminate when they infest your home unless you do your part by cooperating with the pest control company. The following tips will help YOU and your pest management company get rid of bedbugs quickly:
- Don’t move any of your belongings to another home during or before the treatment unless you know they are not infested. You might spread bedbugs to another home or to your car or workplace in a backpack or box and then re‐infest your home after it has been treated. Move as few items as possible and have them checked for bedbugs (or heat them) before removing them.
- Wash all sheets, blankets, pillowcases, and other bedding in hot water. Place the items in a dryer set on the highest setting that won’t damage the items. Dry the items thoroughly and then place them in trash bags. Keep them separate from items that may be infested.
- Wash all clothing in hot water and then dry on the highest setting allowed for the clothing. Clothing that can’t be laundered and dried (including coats and jackets) can be dry‐cleaned or need to be inspected carefully. Do not place clothing in infested rooms/areas until treatment has been completed and the bedbugs have been eliminated.
- Place curtains, pillows, towels, stuffed animals, etc. in the dryer set on the highest setting that won’t damage the items for at least 30 minutes. Double bag these items immediately after drying.
- Carefully inspect all Items that cannot be washed: books, electronics, picture frames, plastic toys, etc. If insecticides are going to be used, place children’s toys into plastic bags or storage bins (only if they are bedbug free). If heat is used, the pest control company may want these items left in place so they are exposed to the heat treatment.
- Store cleaned and dried items in plastic bags until your home has been treated and the bedbugs eliminated.
What Does a Bed Bug Bite Look Like?
Bed bugs love fast food. They like to feed and then scurry back to their hiding places. They try to avoid crawling all over their food for fear of waking it/us. They usually bite the bare skin they find closest to the mattress. That’s why it’s common to see two or three bite marks in a line along the skin that was in contact with the mattress or pillow. When this happens it’s time to learn how to get rid of bug beds fast.
Everyone reacts differently to a bed bug bite. Some will develop small itchy bumps like mosquito bites; others will suffer from large, puffy red lesions the size of a quarter. A lucky few will have no reaction at all. Other signs of bed bugs are bloodstains on your sheets, pillows and blankets. Are you scratching yet?
Vacuuming To Capture Bed Bugs
Vacuums can be helpful in reducing the numbers of bed bugs in certain locations especially where there are groups or clusters of bed bugs. Vacuuming is not 100% effective, but will help capture bed bugs. There are some key tips that you should follow to make sure you capture the most bugs possible and that you do not spread the infestation.
- Make sure you make the suction as strong as possible. Use a crevice tool attached to the vacuum. Bed bugs have the ability to cling to fabric and wedge themselves in cracks and crevices.
- Make sure that you concentrate on those areas.
- Do not press to hard against the fabric. There is a chance that you can “flick” bed bugs and eggs off a surface instead of capturing them.
- Bed bugs can survive a trip through a vacuum hose. it is important to remove the bed bugs from the vacuum when you are done so that they do not escape.
- When you are finished, remove the vacuum bag and seal the bag with tape. Then place the vacuum bag into a plastic bag and seal this outer bag. This bag can be disposed in the trash.
- If the vacuum does not contain a bag, empty and discard the contents in a sealed plastic bag. Wash the removable container in hot soapy water to ensure any remaining bed bugs are killed. There is usually a filter attached to this container. This filter will have to be washed, frozen, or discarded and replaced by a new filter. DO NOT use water on electrical components of the vacuum.
Proper Bagging Technique
The bugs in the bedding or clothing nearby the bed must be quarantined and destroyed using the heat of your clothes dryer. To be sure bedbugs cannot escape from the bags, the bags should be tied as follows:
Step 1: Place items in a large sturdy garbage bag, to fill the bag about ¾ full.
Step 2: Twist the bag as far down as you can.
Step 3: Tie a single knot and tighten it.
- Use twist ties
- Use the ‘easy-tie’ garbage bags
- Use the drawstring type garbage bag
Step 4: Once the fabrics have been put through a dryer for at least 20 minutes, place them in a new bag. Be sure to discard of the old bags immediately in an exterior garbage bin.
Step 5: Do not put clothing back in dresser drawers nearby the bed. It is best to keep the clean clothing in bags in a separate room until the final treatment is completed.
Think you have bed bugs? Here are some dos and don’ts.
DO NOT throw away your mattresses and/or furniture.
Doing so will result in only two things:
- You will waste a lot of money.
- You will make the problem worse because bed bugs and their eggs will spread throughout your home as the furniture is carried out.
DO NOT move yourself or your furniture from room to room.
Bed bugs will not go away if you sleep in another room. Instead, they will follow you and create new colonies wherever you move. Remember:
- Always stay in the same room while your home is being treated for bed bugs.
- If you must move a small item such as a child’s stuffed toy, run it through the dryer at 120 degrees prior to moving it to another room.
DO NOT attempt to treat bed bugs yourself.
Do-it-yourself treatments for bed bugs are ineffective at best, and dangerous at worst.
- Many products that are advertised for home use and sold in hardware stores are not actually safe. Many contain chemicals which can cause physical harm to you and your family members.
- Insecticide sprays and “bombs” WILL NOT kill bed bugs. All they do is cause the bed bugs to relocate. If sprayed, bed bugs will flee the immediate area, meaning they will resettle elsewhere – all over the rest of your home.
DO NOT assume you are the only one being bitten.
People often rule out the possibility of bed bugs because they think no one else in the household is being bitten. Unfortunately, this is faulty logic. If a housemate or family member is not visibly experiencing bites, by no means should you rule out bed bugs. According to the research:
- About 30% of people do not display ANY symptoms when bitten by bed bugs.
- The other 70% exhibit symptoms that range anywhere from barely noticeable, mildly itchy spots to large, painful red welts
DO use bed bug encasements for mattresses and pillows.
Doing so will prevent bed bugs from entering and breeding in your mattress, pillow, or box spring. Conversely, bed bugs that are already inside will be unable to escape and bite you at night.