You may have done everything to protect your home from bed bugs. On a regular basis, you vacuum, seal cracks, and check everything including yourself when arriving home. That doesn’t mean these little pests can’t get inside and wreak havoc. There may come a time you have to know what to do about bed bugs in order to make your home livable again.
Remove them Yourself
If you see just a few, then you can just kill bed bugs like you’d do with any other insect. They’re easily crushed, although this leaves stains. An even better alternative is to vacuum them up. Use attachments to clean up the mattress and box spring. Just be sure to clean up the vacuum bag, seal it, and throw it away outside because the inside is a perfect place for bugs to fester and lay eggs.
Also inspect the hose and the vacuum housing. In bagless vacuums, wash out the canister after emptying the contents into a trash bag and sealing it.
Do an Inspection
Inspecting vacuum cleaners is not a pleasant job. Nor is looking in every nook and cranny of your house for bed bugs. They can hide inside mattresses, bedding, clothing, curtains, and even furniture and carpets. The cushions of sofas and chairs are perfect hiding places. Even peeling paint and wallpaper, appliances, and electrical sockets are places to check for bed bugs. From walls and ceilings to places as inconspicuous as the heads of screws, you need to be vigilant in your search.
Get Professional Help
Bed bug elimination is tricky, and requires ongoing work. There are trained and licensed professionals who know everything about bed bugs. If you decide to go with chemicals, let a pro handle it, but there are many other remedies such as heat treatment that are far more effective and safe. Some pest control companies offer warrantees on their service so if the bed bugs bite again, then you can receive additional help at no cost.
Clean up the Mess
To avoid bed bugs again or prevent them in the first place, it helps to get rid of clutter. Piling things up just gives them an exponentially larger number of places to hide. This also makes it nearly impossible for a pest control professional to do their job effectively. Make some effort to clean up and it’s more likely they can eliminate the problem.
Similarly, storing belongings under your bed is a bad idea. Stuff under there is rarely touched, giving the bugs more opportunity to fester. It also gives them shelter from many treatments that even a professional would do, so it’s a wise idea to keep the underside of your bed free from clutter as well.
Bed bugs and their eggs are killed in temperatures found in laundry dryers. Heat is one of the most effective ways to eliminate bed bugs and you can do this by regularly washing your clothes and linens. A thorough washing will kill and remove bugs and their eggs. Even at standard temperature settings, at a low dry cycle, you can achieve success. A simple laundry run may be all you need to solve the problem.
Don’t Provide Opportunity
If you decide to sleep in another room, this just tempts the insects to seek out new areas and expand their territory. Don’t avoid the problem either. Some people live elsewhere temporarily, but your uninvited guests may hitch a ride, plus the others will be there when you get back. It’s possible for some to survive months without feeding.
Throwing everything away also gives them a chance to thrive. They can spread just by moving discarded items through the home, while people might pick up your items outside not knowing they are laden with bed bugs. If it can’t be cleaned up professionally, then have the pros discard items properly.
Another recommendation is mattress encasements. While not completely foolproof, they can help you detect bed bugs early and remove them.
If you need to know what to do about bed bugs, this article should help you get a head start. The idea is to not panic, be smart, and consult a professional when necessary.
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