There is a lot of information out there about getting rid of bed bugs. Some of it is true, but a lot of it isn’t. And when you’re trying to get rid of a bed bug infestation as quickly as possible, you want to make sure what you’re doing really works.
The experts at Scherzinger Pest Control are here to help. Here are our top 10 tips for getting rid of bed bugs.
#1 Identify the problem.
The first and most important step to tackling a bed bug problem is determining the extent of the problem. If you see a live bed bug, blood stains on your sheets, or other signs of an infestation, consider the following:
Are they bed bugs at all? Take the bug to a local pest control professional or ask for an in-home consultation.
Do you live in a home or an apartment? If you live in an apartment, you should notify your landlord so that neighboring units can be checked and treated.
#2 Take action immediately.
Typically, a bed bug infestation starts in one room (often the bedroom) and slowly spreads throughout the rest of the living areas. If you find what looks to be a bed bug, don’t wait to take care of it.
#3 Don’t panic or rush.
Bed bugs are disgusting, and you want them gone—fast. You might be tempted to rush, but this is the wrong approach. Instead, develop a plan and check off each item as it’s completed. This will help you stay calm and eliminate an infestation successfully and permanently.
#4 Don’t move to a new sleeping area.
We understand how disturbing it can be to sleep in a bed that’s full of bed bugs—but changing sleeping arrangements will actually make things worse. The bed bugs will simply follow you to your new bed or couch. Instead, move your bed at least six inches away from the wall and place encasements on your mattress and box springs.
#5 Remove clutter (and bed bug habitats).
Bed bugs are small and able to hide just about anywhere. By removing clutter, you’ll remove many of their hiding places and make it easier to treat the affected rooms. Replace cardboard boxes with plastic ones, keep clothing off the floor, and get rid of items you no longer use. Make sure that you put items in plastic bags when moving them out of the room, and throw them away immediately into an outside trash bin.
#6 Keep furniture and other items in the affected area.
Resist the urge to move everything out of the affected rooms: you will spread bed bugs further throughout your house by doing this. Instead, keep the items in the affected area and treat them there. If you must move the items (such as laundry), put them in sealed plastic bags.
#7 Clean and heat treat everything you can.
Clean furniture and baseboards to remove visible bugs and eggs. Vacuum the room, and throw away the vacuum bag in an outside bin after each use. Wash clothing, bedding, curtains, and other cloth items on your washing machine’s hottest setting. Then, dry it on your dryer’s hottest setting for 20-30 minutes. Bed bugs can’t survive in extreme heat, so this should kill the bugs. (Make sure to look at your item’s care instructions).
#8 Use heat, not foggers, to kill them.
The problem with foggers is not that they don’t kill bed bugs: it’s that they don’t kill all the bed bugs. Foggers won’t reach bed bugs that are hidden in cracks and crevices, which actually make up the majority of the infestation. On top of that big disadvantage, foggers can be dangerous to use (improper use can cause a fire or explosion) and hazardous to your health. A much better way to kill bed bugs in all areas of your house is with a heat treatment. A heat treatment will kill all bed bugs in the infested rooms without any harmful side effects.
#9 Include multiple approaches.
Eliminating bed bugs is a tough job that takes time and effort—so beware any “miracle cure” advertised to you on the Internet. It’s almost guaranteed to be snake oil. To successfully get rid of bed bugs, you’ll need a combination of approaches, including cleaning and heat treatment.
#10 Keep up with pest control.
Unfortunately, the United States has seen a resurgence of bed bugs, and you can bring them home with you at any time. Make sure to continue to inspect for bed bugs once a week for the next several months after the infestation is eliminated. Also, put preventative measures—like checking for bed bugs in hotels and inspecting secondhand furniture before bringing it into your home—into place. You don’t want to have to do an extermination all over again!
Concerned you might have a bed bug infestation on your hands? Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.