Bed bugs. The words can send chills up our spines. If you have had them, you understand. If you have never had them, you’ve heard the stories. If you currently have them, you need to get rid of them now. But bed bugs are stubborn little things. Cleaning alone won’t rid you of them; you may need professional exterminators. Whether you and your family act as your own bed bugs exterminators or if you get professional exterminators to do the job, you still need to prepare.
Do I need to do anything to prepare before getting rid of bed bugs?
Yes. Preparation is key to full elimination and obtaining control over your home again. Regardless if you are doing it yourself or having a professional bed bugs exterminators do it for you, you need to prepare your home for the extermination.
- Reduce clutter. Do not put stuff from known contaminated areas into another location that may not be infected. Do get rid of cardboard boxes, unwanted magazines, clothes, etc. Place it all in a trash bag, secure it, and throw it away immediately.
- Treat your bed as though a moat is around it. Push bed at least six inches from the walls. Remove all items under the bed; anything you don’t want, throw away, and anything you do want, store in the same room. Make sure there are no bed bugs, eggs or larvae on the bed. Place a bed bug proof mattress cover over it — one with a zipper. Place bed bug interceptors under each leg of the bed and inspect daily — discard any bed bugs in a trash bag and remove from home immediately.
- Clean. Clean. Clean. Again, washing alone won’t eliminate the problem, but it helps prepare you for the elimination. Other cleaning measures to take include: using a hair dryer to treat any clothes, drapes, bedding and other items that can withstand the heat, and then placing treated items in plastic ziploc bags to prevent re-infestation; use a vacuum with a bag, vacuum thoroughly and once done, place bag in another sealable bag and throw in trash outside.
- Destroy all bed bug habitats. Bed bugs love clutter, cracks, crevices loose wallpaper, electrical outlets, among other similar hiding places. Reduce clutter and caulk or seal all cracks, crevices, loose outlets, etc.
- Inspect. The above-preparations, if done well, will get you well on your way to eliminating bed bugs. Sometimes, these measures may be successful alone as a pest control, depending on the infestation. Mostly, however, you’ll need to treat your home with something stronger to ensure all bed bugs are killed.
What do I do to fully eliminate bed bugs from my home?
To complete the process and fully eradicate your home of bed bugs, you will likely need to use a pesticide. Follow the below tips when deciding which pesticide to use.
- Use only EPA-registered pesticides.
- Make sure the label on the pesticide clearly states bed bugs.
- Foggers are usually not successful with bed bugs because the pesticide isn’t directly sprayed into bed bug habitats (e.g. crevices, cracks).
- Desiccants are good as a pest control so long as it is a registered pesticide; pool or food grade desiccants will not be strong enough.
If you follow these instructions and utilize the tips for elimination, your home should soon be clean and clear of bed bugs. The process may be long and tedious, but the result will be well worth it: no more infestation.