Anyone who has had to live with bed bugs knows how dreadful of an experience it can be. Although they rarely impose any danger to your physical health, the mere thought of being bitten by them while you are sleeping in the comfort of your own bed can drive anyone mad. This is a reality that everyone who has had a bed bug infestation has to face until these awful pests are completely exterminated from the home.
If you suspect that bed bugs are in your home you can try some of these bed bug detection techniques to verify your claims. Keep in mind, bed bugs are very elusive creatures, so even if your bed bug detection efforts are unsuccessful, but you still believe they may be present, hire a professional bed bug exterminator for a more qualified opinion as they have tools and resources that go beyond what the average person can do.
Once you have firm visual confirmation that bed bugs are present in your home, you should act quick in putting together an extermination plan with an experienced bed bug control company. Do not, under any circumstances, try to exterminate bed bugs on your own. Without the necessary tools and experience, you will most likely miss some of the bed bugs and their eggs, causing them to find better hiding spots and spreading deeper into your home. This will cause in a more severe and costly infestation to treat in the future.
Preparing Your Home For Treatment
Prior to exterminating the bed bugs from your home, you will need to follow the preparation instructions of your bed bug exterminator carefully to ensure a successful treatment is accomplished. This is a very important step in the bed bug treatment process that will be unique to your situation based on your exterminators diagnosis of the infestation level in your home.
Based on their thorough inspection of your home to determine how severe the infestation is, an exterminator will ask you to perform several tasks prior to treatment which usually includes washing clothing & linens on high heat and reducing clutter around the infested areas.
Washing Clothing & Linens
Since bed bugs are so tiny that they can essentially hide in plain sight, one of the places they tend to hide is in your clothing, linens or other soft items near your bed like pillows and stuffed animals. Therefore, in order for your exterminators treatment methods to be successful, all of these items must first be treated by you and left outside of the infested area until treatment of the area is complete. Here are the typical steps that would be required to ensure all bed bugs or bed bug eggs hiding in your linens are killed:
- put all clothing, linens and other suggested items into tightly sealed plastic bags and take them to a laundromat. Immediately throw out the plastic bags once they are emptied.
- place all items that can be washed into a washing machine on a hot water cycle followed by a high heat drying cycle.
- place all items that can not be washed in a washing machine directly into a high heat dry cycle for at least 40 minutes.
- put all of these heat treated items into a plastic bag that can be sealed.
The high heat used in the washing machine and dryer should kill off any bed bugs and their eggs so when you return these items to your bed bug free home there will be no chance of them infesting your home again.
Reducing Clutter In Infested Areas
Now that you have removed and heat treated all clothing, linens and other soft articles from your room, you must reduce any other clutter remaining in your room that can present easy hiding places for bed bugs. By doing this, it will ensure that the exterminator can focus on the most difficult to reach areas such as behind baseboards and inside your bed frame.
Some of the most common items that are considered to be clutter which can harbor bed bugs include:
- magazines, newspapers, books and cardboard
- backpacks and luggage
- comforters and pillows
- alarm clocks, radios and other electronic devices
When removing clutter from an infested areas, never move them into an area that is not infested by bed bugs. Your exterminator will give you proper instructions on what to do with these items.
Bed Bug Extermination Options
The last step in the bed bug treatment process is, of course, the extermination itself. Based on your specific situation and your budget constraints, one of three options can be used, each of which is highly successful if applied by an experienced professional. The three bed bug treatment options include:
This is the least costly option available for bed bug extermination. Exterminators use carefully selected insecticides that are fatal to bed bugs but harmless to humans and their pets. These insecticides are applied to all infested areas of the home, given several hours to take effect. Before re-entering your home, the exterminator will clean all remnants of the insecticide, making it completely safe for you and your family.
This is a more effective method than insecticide treatment, but also has a higher cost associated with it. Using eco-friendly solvents that are heated until they are literally steaming hot, your exterminator will apply this steam to all infested areas of the home. The high heat generated from the steam will be too much for bed bugs and their eggs to handle, killing all bed bugs in it’s path.
Usually reserved for severe infestations or commercial jobs, heat treating is by far the most effective, and likewise, the most costly option available. This method requires heating up the entire infested room(s) to 45°C using specialized equipment, and keeping it at that temperature for a few hours. Any bed bug exposed to temperatures above 40°C will not be able to survive, thus killing all bed bugs within the heated rooms. No chemicals or solvents used in this method, just good ol’ heat.