How to Get Ready for Your Bed Bug Service
Bed bugs can hide anywhere and in anything. : on the floors, in drawers, closets, on counter tops, furniture, beds, frames, on the walls, window sills, in cabinets. Bed bugs will travel up to 100 feet and they are excellent climbers: up into drapes, headboards, pictures/decorations on walls, ceilings, lights, closet shelves, book shelves, plants, behind paneling, outlet covers, etc. They can survive 18 MONTHS between feeding, so you cannot starve them out or get rid of them by keeping a home vacant.
Wash ALL clothing, towels, linens, and strip your beds – Wash all clothing, towels, linens, sheets, blankets, comforters, mattress covers, pillowcases, skirting, etc. in hot water (at least 140 degrees) for at least 30 minutes and dry using the hot air cycle. This will kill any eggs & adults in these items. Once all these items are cleaned, store them in airtight containers or airtight bags. Plastic garbage bags with wire ties are NOT airtight-you take a risk with these. Those items that cannot be washed in hot water should be dry cleaned or stored in airtight containers for at least 18 MONTHS or thrown away.
Remove the cover from underneath all box springs and furniture – Bedbugs love to hide in the batting; because of this the cover must be removed to treat the batting. In some cases, especially in severe or long-term infestations, the box spring may need to be thrown away or sealed in a vinyl, zippered cover for at least a year. Type in “bed bug mattress covers” on the internet and you can find lots of companies that sell them. The thicker, more expensive covers are less likely to tear. If it tears or rips or develops any type of opening, it is worthless.
Remove everything from bedroom and hall closets and from dresser and night stand drawers – Your closets must be empty. Empty all dresser, night stand, cabinet, console, and computer stand drawers and suitcases, backpacks, etc – bed bugs will hide in the crevices, joints and contents of these. Store these items from the drawers in airtight containers. Inspect items first for bed bugs before storing them in the airtight containers.
Remove all clothing, toys, boxes, books, bags, etc. from the floors in all rooms – These items should be stored in airtight containers – inspect FIRST before storing. The only things remaining on the floor should be furniture or beds. If you have rugs on floors leave them, as both sides of the rugs must be treated. .
Vacuum – Vacuum floors, furniture, inside closets, dresser drawers, and bed stands; also vacuum mattresses and box springs. Use a vacuum crevice tool along tufts, seams, crevices of furniture, closets, baseboards, drawers, and window sills. Bed bugs hide in these areas during the day. Then dispose of the vacuum bag by sealing it in an airtight bag and throwing it away.
Make sure the technician(s) can get into all areas – all closets, all rooms throughout your home. If possible move furniture 2-3 feet away from walls. Again, inspect items before storing. Items stored in airtight plastic bags or containers can be set on vinyl or tile floors out of the way, or outside. Once things dry (about 2-3 hours from the end of the service) you can sit and sleep on them.
This guide provides advice on how to get rid of bed bugs safely.
Inspecting for Bed Bugs
Look for bed bugs, blood stains, droppings and eggs (a flashlight and a magnifying glass will help). Start by looking in an area 10-20 feet aroundwhere you sleep or sit. That’s the distance a bed bug will usually travel.Keep a written record of every room and location where you find signs of bed bugs. Share this record with a pest control professional
Preventing Bed Bugs from Infesting Your Home
Bed bugs can enter homes by latching onto used furniture, luggage and clothing, and by traveling along connecting pipes and wiring. • Never bring bed frames, mattresses, box springs or upholstered furniture found on the street into your home. • Check all used or rented furniture for bed bugs. • When traveling, inspect the bed and furniture.Keep suitcases off the floor and bed, and inspect them before you leave. • If you suspect you have been around bed bugs,immediately wash and dry your clothing on hotsettings or store it in a sealed plastic bag until you can. • Seal cracks and crevices with caulk, even if you don’t have bed bugs. This will help prevent bed bugs and other pests from coming in.Checkmattresses, box springs,bed frames and bedding • Check the top and bottom seams, tufts and any rips in the covers of mattresses and box springs. • Look underneath the bed and along the bed frame and headboards. • Use a flash light to inspect cracks and crevices of furniture, windows and door frames. • Swipe a putty knife, an old subway or playing card into cracks and crevices to force bed bugs out. A hot blowdryer on a low setting will also work. If live bugs do come out, crush them with a paper towel and throw them away outside your building. • Remove drawers from furniture and check the inside, top and bottom,joints and even screw holes.Check cracks and crevices in bedroom furniture, floor boards and baseboards, windows and door frames
The Health Effects of Bed Bugs
Although bed bugs and their bites are a nuisance, they are not known to spread disease. • Bed bug bites can be very itchy and irritating. Most welts heal in a few days but in unusual cases, the welt may persist for several weeks. Usually an anti-itching ointment will help, but if bites become infected, people should see their doctor. • The anxiety about being bitten can lead to sleeplessness, which can affect one’s wellbeing. Properly and effectively responding to bed bugs helps to keep anxiety in check. Some people become so desperate that that they use illegal or excessive amounts of pesticides that can lead to poisonings.
Clean areas where bed bugs hide
Thoroughly clean all bedding, linens, curtains, rugs, carpets, and clothes.Washing items in hot water and drying them on the highest dryer settingwill kill bed bugs. For those items that may be harmed by washing and drying at high temperatures, soak in warm water with lots of laundry soap for several hours before rinsing. • Wipe away or vacuum all dust from the bed frame, nearby furniture, floorsand carpets. Vacuum mattresses carefully. After vacuuming, immediately place the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag, seal it tightly, and throw the bag away in an outdoor container. • If you find bed bugs on the mattress, buy a waterproof zippered mattress cover. These covers often say “allergen rated,” or “for dust mites.” Scrub the mattress seams with a stiff brush to dislodge bed bugs and any eggs.Then enclose the mattress in the cover for at least one year. This will trap any remaining bed bugs inside the cover, killing them. • Throw away and replace an infested box spring if necessary. • Remove all clutter from bedrooms and any other furniture that people may sleep or nap upon. Place this clutter into a plastic garbage bag, seal it tightly, and throw it away. If you need to save it, make sure it stays sealed up for a year. • Repair any cracks in plaster and all loosened wallpaper, especially in bedrooms.
Controlling Bed bugs in multi-property dwellings
Provide tenants with information about bed bugs. • Encourage everyone to report bed bugs as soon as they know of a problem. • Notify tenants, and inspect all units adjacent to, above and below apartments found to have bed bugs. • Consult with pest management professional to treat for bed bugs. Be wary of companies that make unrealistic claims that bed bugs can be controlled with one visit. • Help tenants if they cannot move furniture themselves or need help to get rid of clutter. • Give advance notice of the planned use of pesticides. • Inspect upon vacancy and if necessary treat units to ensure they have no bed bugs or other pests before renting.