So you have discovered that you have bed bugs. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts that you should be aware of before and during the treatment process. Use this as a guide. We are here to help!
1.Do call a professional licensed exterminator. Many people are concerned that they themselves don’t know what to look for when inspecting for bed bugs. Some situations aren’t as obvious as others. A licensed exterminator has a trained eye and is looking for up to 7 different signs, just to start.
- Their scat (blackish dots) located around the corners of sheets, around pillow tags, seams of the mattress etc..
- Blood stains on the sheets (size will vary) from rolling over and squishing them.
- exoskeleton or casing, from them shedding their skin as they grow. These may found in the corners or the slats of the bed frame. They shed their skin 5 times before they become an adult.
- Bed bug eggs. These eggs can be tucked inside screw holes of bed frames, behind the head board of a bed, and more. They are pretty hard to see and they resemble a “pearly” mini grain of rice. They are laid in clusters and stick to the surface they are laid on.
- Nymphs, which is a tiny bed bug in it’s early life stages. Translucent and beige in colour.
- Bed bugs of any instar (age). An Adult bed bug is reddish and brownish in colour, 6 legs, no wings, is about 5 mm long and is flat when unfed.
- Bites, on a host that appear in clusters of 3. “Breakfast, lunch and dinner” their typical meal plan. Not everyone reacts to bites.
Act quickly. Just one female bed bug can lay more than 300 eggs in her lifetime, about 5 a day. After some time, an infestation can become a very big problem.
2. Do de-clutter and get rid of items you no longer want, use or need. Whether it be a pile of stuff from a corner of the bedroom, junk in the closet or just odds and ends sitting in the living room. If you haven’t used it for some time, get rid of it. Having an excessive amount of clutter before or during treatment can give bed bugs a place to hide and make remediation more difficult. Use a large garbage bag and tie it off for removal.
3. Do vacuum often. Vacuuming is just one of many important steps in preparing for extermination. Bed bugs hide everywhere. They sneak into baseboards, tuck into bed frames, hide in couches and so much more. By using a good hepa vacuum with strong suction and a long crevice tool, you are sure to mechanically remove many bugs which is ideal before any treatment. Remember to empty the contents of the vacuum outdoors, tie up the bag nice and tight and place it in the garbage. Make sure the vacuum is brought back inside for treatment.
4. Do purchase and install your own mattress and box spring zippered encasements. These certified bed bug mattress and box spring encasements are going to keep these pests from being able to get in or get out. By trapping them inside, they will no longer be able to feed on you and will eventually die. Once the encasements are installed, do not remove them. If they rip, replace them!
5. Do be careful when you travel, sleep at hotels, use public transportation, child sleepovers and how about day cares? Anywhere people are, bed bugs may be waiting. Take precaution! Stand while on a city bus when or if you can, don’t put suitcases or overnight bags on the floor or next to beds at a hotel/motel, and when in doubt do not enter your home with the clothes or shoes that you are wearing. Keep a spare set somewhere, maybe in your vehicle, in a shed or garage. Of course this seems extreme, but have a plan. Leave the items of concern outside until you are able to inspect them carefully. The dryer is your best friend and tossing any articles of clothing on a high heat cycle for 1 hour will kill all stages of bed bugs.
1. Don’t try and escape a bed bug problem. Some will throw out beds, dressers and couches and think….Problem solved and go buy new. Think again. By throwing out furniture not only is it a complete waste of precious time and hard earned money, the bed bugs will NOT be gone. Without proper treatment the bugs will be hiding in places that aren’t as obvious as furniture and will eventually re surface and re appear in all your brand new furniture. Some people will even try and move away from an infestation. The dilemma there is that most cases of the “midnight move” is that the bugs come along for the ride and surprise you in your new dwelling! So don’t panic, don’t unnecessarily throw out furniture and don’t move.
2. Don’t sleep in other areas of the home. This one is tough. Of course once you discover bed bugs, why would you want to crawl back into that same bed night after night. People try and avoid getting bit by going to sleep on a couch or even another bedroom. Bed bugs will stop at nothing for a blood meal for survival. It may not happen right away, but within days they will find a new host or find your new location therefore spreading to other areas of the home. Bed bugs are attracted to the carbon dioxide you exhale, body warmth and depend on that blood.
3. Don’t attempt to throw away your infested furniture without the advice of a professional. Furniture that you no longer want that is infested should be handled and removed properly so you don’t spread the bed bugs to new areas. Hammering furniture apart or dragging it through the home or moving it into anther part of the home puts all the occupants at huge risk. This also goes for apartment buildings. There are common areas in apartments that everyone shares such as hallways and elevators and an infestation can move into other units if it isn’t done right.
4. Don’t ignore the problem. Bed bugs do not go away on their own. Many people will try and treat themselves which could scatter the bugs and make things worse. Sprinkling some store bought powders or using pesticide aerosol cans just aren’t going to do the trick. In fact a bed bug infestation starts out quite slowly, so you may not notice much is happening and you may think you have fixed it. Next thing you know they have made their way into other living spaces. The sooner you deal with the issue professionally the better the outcome, being bed bug free.
5. Don’t buy second hand furniture. Thrift shopping is a hobby or a lifestyle for some folks, but buyer beware. Whether you have always done it, or want to continue to do it, any exterminator will recommend that you just don’t do it ! Bed bugs are becoming a major problem and can be difficult to get rid of once you have them. It’s just not worth picking up that steal of a deal used sofa or dresser. You just never know where it has been and what can be lurking inside.