The Complete Bed Bug Treatment – Step-by-Step.
Bed Bugs are a growing problem in the United States, and we continually get questions from customers on how best to eradicate them. Treating bed bugs can be intense and sometimes requires several treatments, but you can effectively and safely erradicate them from your home and save a substantial sum of money when compared to having a professional treat your home.
- Do Some Investigative Work – When looking for Bed Bugs, pay close attention to where people have sat or slept for long periods of time. Be prepared to inspect all areas using a bright flashlight and a magnifying glass if you have one available. Bed bugs, eggs and fecal deposits will go unnoticed with just a casual inspection. You should leave nothing unturned when doing your inspection and no site should be ignored that may be a bed bug harborage. Bed Bugs could be hiding anywhere! Examples are: wall sconces, behind electrical switch plates, behind wall posters, between books and magazines on shelves and in racks. Be prepared to inspect all the places near sleeping areas, which may mean taking the bed frames apart!
- Prepare The Area – A thorough cleaning of the premises will make control efforts much more effective. Strip all beds down to the bare sleeping surface. Bedding (sheets, blankets, comforters, covers, and shams) should be laundered or professionally cleaned. Personal items (stuffed animals, soft toys, blankets) should be removed and cleaned. Clutter should be removed from furniture tops and bed stands. Open up the clock radio and phone (that’s right, Bed Bugs may be hiding in there too!). Tap the open ends into a bag or on sticky tape so the bed bugs can’t jump and hide.Clothing should be removed from dressers and chests. Utilize a crack & crevice tool to remove bed bugs from deep harborage such as: under baseboards; under carpet edges (pull up along the tack strip); around switch plates (you may have to remove the plate first); from the bed frame; inside box springs; inside furniture; and from floor cracks.Use a hand-brush attachment to vacuum: mattresses and box springs (especially along seams and folds); upholstered furniture; and behind drapes. After vacuuming, remove the bag from the vacuum, tie it tightly, and remove it from the premises. If you have anything that can’t be cleaned, vacuumed, or treated then consider either freezing it for a week or two, or putting it in a dark bag outside for several days where the temperature inside the bag will reach at least 120 degrees.
- Attack the Bed Bugs Where They’re Hiding – “In other words, treat all of the perimeter walls/voids of the infested room first”. This is accomplished by removing the switch plates and wall fixtures to gain access between the wall where bed bugs like to hide. If it is possible to gain access underneath the baseboards so no dust will remain in the living space, inject dust under the baseboards using a hand duster for safer and easy application of the dust.TIP: Treat perimeter wall voids on adjacent rooms first. This will prevent the bugs from escaping out the other side into rooms that are not infested.Dust may also be applied more easily along baseboards by pulling the carpet up from the tack strip and then putting it back into place. DO NOT spread dust over the carpets or under the carpets. Dusts are only for cracks and crevices, in wall voids and under baseboards, not where people or animals are.Certain liquid insecticides that we sell will provide quick knock-down and long residual control of bed bugs with low hazard to occupants when applied correctly. Liquid residuals can also be applied as a crack and crevice treatment under baseboards.Another critical step in treating bed bugs is the application of an insect growth regulator. These come in a concentrate or aerosol. It will stop the Bed Bug from maturing and reproducing and will be a great aid in stopping the infestation.
- Next, Treat the Bed – The bed area needs to be treated next. Inspect mattresses, especially around seams, folds and tufts in the mattress. If you find something, clean the area with a small brush and treat the mattress with a product formulated for quick knock down of adults and bed bug eggs.TIP: After treatment of the bedding and after it has dried thoroughly, you might want to cover the mattress with a plastic or allergy-proof cover which will help prevent re-infestation.
- Last, Treat the Furniture (Night Stand, Chests, Dressers, Couches and Chairs) – The last step is to do a very thorough crack and crevice treatment of the furniture in the room. For wooden furniture pieces, you can not miss any cracks. Use a similar treatment as the mattress and box spring. Always turn infested furniture over and treat from the bottom. Look carefully underneath all the legs of the furniture! Some furniture may have hollow metal framing (children’s bunk beds are an example). Treat inside the metal tubing with dusts, aerosols or liquids as discussed in the bedding paragraph above.TIP: Please read the label carefully when applying directly to furniture. You may want to spot treat in an area of the furniture piece that is not visible to make sure that no staining occurs.
- Finally, Follow Up – You will need to plan on retreating within 2 weeks. Do a thorough inspection again and treat any area where Bed Bugs are persisting or where they have moved. If you treated your bedding properly and covered it in plastic, you may just need to retreat spot areas of the room.TIP: Heavy infestations may need more than a second treatment. Be persistent!
For more information on bed bugs, products, or application instructions, contact any of the store locations below.