bed bugs

Pest Control and Bed Bugs: Tips and Tricks

4 minutes, 56 seconds Read

During treatment, it’s important to prepare the area being treated. This includes vacuuming up all the bed bugs you can see, washing and drying clothing and quarantining items in plastic bags.

Avoid throwing away items that can be saved because it will only spread the problem and could result in a higher bill for pest control.

1. Inspect Your Mattress

pest control and bed bugs like to live within 8 feet of where people sleep, which is why you’re likely to find them in beds and hotels. They also hitchhike into homes from crowded public spaces, such as daycare facilities, schools and hospitals. Symptoms of an infestation include red, itchy welts and dark spots on bedding that resemble blood or fecal marks.

To check for bed bugs, start by stripping back the sheets and inspecting the mattress. You can also use a flashlight and magnifying glass to detect eggs, first-stage nymphs and shed bed bug skins. Look for these stains along seams, piping and handles, and around the corners of the mattress.

Next, flip the mattress over and inspect the underside. Bed bugs love to hide in folds and creases, especially on pillow-top mattresses. If you have a box spring, inspect it as well. You can also purchase encasements that enclose the entire mattress and eliminate hiding spots, but these don’t necessarily kill existing bed bugs. Using interceptors underneath your bed, couch and plush chairs can also help prevent an infestation by detecting and stopping the spread of bed bugs.

2. Inspect Your Furniture

In addition to mattresses, bed bugs can live in upholstered furniture. This includes couches, chairs, beds, armoires, dressers and other similar pieces of furniture. Oftentimes, secondhand furniture comes with bed bugs from the person who donated or sold it, so if you are shopping at yard sales or thrift stores, be sure to look for signs of infestation, including dark spots and fecal droppings.

Ideally, you should vacuum every piece of furniture in the room to remove any bed bug eggs or adults. Make sure to use a brush attachment, especially on the seams and crevices of the furniture. Also, consider using silicon caulk to seal cracks and crevices in the furniture and around baseboards.

If you find any items with zipper enclosures, such as mattress or cushion covers, unzip them and examine the fabric folds for bed bugs and fecal droppings. Also, inspect any nooks and crannies where the furniture meets its frame, such as corners, joints and screw holes. Also, don’t forget to check decoration pieces like picture frames and wall hangings.

3. Inspect Your Walls

Besides the obvious places like beds, drawers and closets, bed bugs can hide in small cracks and crevices all around your house. This means you must thoroughly search for them and keep your eyes peeled for traces of skin shedding or bloody smears.

Start by searching the sides of your bedroom wall. Look behind dressers, nightstands and furniture pieces to find cracks and crevices they could be hiding in. Inspect the corners of wood paneling, the tiny spaces between furniture and wall surfaces and the face plates of electrical outlets and switches.

Also, search for them in the backs of pictures and frames hanging on your walls, as well as in the crevices of curtain rods and in the creases and seams of fabric draperies. Be sure to check for them behind the vents on used electronics (clocks, phones, smoke detectors and televisions). If you find signs of bed bugs in these hidden areas, be careful when removing items from rooms that will receive treatment because removing furniture and moving around can stress out the insects and send them into deeper hiding before the treatment starts.

4. Inspect Your Floors

Bed bugs are expert hitchhikers and can easily transfer from one room to another. This is why detailed inspection and treatment are so important if you suspect you have a problem.

Before your technician arrives, be sure to clear away items that may serve as hiding spots. This includes removing books, magazines and other clutter from the floor, cleaning or discarding any discarded clothes that could be carrying bed bugs, sealing any cracks in baseboards and caulking around electrical outlets or switches.

Your professional will first conduct a visual inspection of your entire home. They will look for traces of bed bugs on furniture, walls and even on the face of your light switches or outlets. They will also check under furniture, inside drawers and behind picture frames.

Using specialized tools, your technician will also apply a residual insecticide to all floor surfaces, including your baseboards and behind light switch covers. They may also use a special product called an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) that will stop the life cycle of bed bugs by interrupting their reproduction.

5. Inspect Your Closets

If you suspect your closets may be infested with professional bed bug exterminator, they should be vacuumed, paying special attention to the seams and crevices. Any clothes that are infested should be sealed in plastic bags until you can wash them and sanitize the bags.

Clutter can also provide hiding places for bed bugs, so you should clear your closets and organize the items inside them. This will make it easier to spot them when they’re hiding, as well as reduce their population.

Clothes that are worn regularly should be kept in dressers and closets that are close to the bed. They should not be moved to other areas of the house until after they’ve been laundered and treated with a combination of pyrethrins or pyrethroids (which are derived from chrysanthemum flowers and act on the bugs’ nervous system).

Any other items that you store in your closets should be double-bagged and set aside until they can be carefully treated, cleaned or inspected. This includes curtains, stuffed animals, pet beds, futon covers and anything else in your home that may hide bed bugs during the day.

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