Bed bugs are tiny pests that can spell big trouble for you and your home.
One bed bug sighting could mean there are thousands of unseen bugs lurking in the cracks and crevices of your house. Apart from wreaking havoc on your mattress, a bed bug infestation can also lead to you and your family dealing with painful and itchy bug bites. And, what’s worse, once bed bugs decide to move in, it can be a nightmare to get rid of them.
If you suspect you have a bed bug problem and aren’t sure what to do, we can help. Here’s your eight-step complete guide on how to get rid of bed bugs.
1. Assess the Infestation
As we said before if you see a bed bug that means there are several more hiding just out of plain sight. On top of that, despite their name, bed bugs can infest any part of your house, not just your bed.
If you haven’t spotted a bed bug yet, but wake up covered with what could be bug bites, there are a few other tells you can look for to help you make the call.
Reddish brown stains on sheets and an unfamiliar odor can also be signs of a bed bug infestation.
Bed bugs are active at night, so if you’re trying to find them during the day, you’re going to have to do some digging.
Aside from checking your mattress, you should also check your bed frame, inside drawers, and in any other small dark spaces, you can think of.
2. Create a Plan
Once you’ve assessed the extent of your infestation, you’ll need to figure out how you’re going to deal with it. It’s worth noting that bed bugs can be difficult to get rid of. And, before doing anything you should consider bringing in a professional to help you get the job done right — and safely – the first time.
Your plan should include a list of the equipment you’re going to need and a detailed itinerary to help you make sure you don’t miss any bed bugs.
It only takes a few survivors to start another outbreak. So, you’re going to want to do everything in your power to make sure you knock them all out in your first go.
3. Remove Small Items and Loose Linens
You’ll need to start by taking all small and removable items out of the affected area. But, this doesn’t mean throwing everything into another room. Pack everything up in garbage bags or sealable plastic containers to prevent any bed bugs from spreading to other rooms of your house. While you should consider throwing away replaceable things like sheets, you can help rid them of bed bugs by washing them in hot water. Heat is the key to killing bed bugs. So, you should put any objects that you can’t wash in the dryer on high heat for at least 30 minutes.
4. Kill the Bugs
While some people recommend simple cleaning as an effective treatment for bed bugs, that is usually only a temporary solution. To make sure you’ve rid your house of bed bugs once and for all, you’ll need to use some form of chemical treatment. While you can buy bed bug killer at most hardware stores, using a chemical agent to take care of pests can be highly dangerous. If you live in a home with small children or pets, you should consider hiring a professional.
You should also invest in a sealable mattress cover, to make sure that any bed bugs that remain can’t get out.
Once you’ve wiped out your bed bugs, it’s time to get cleaning.
5. Clean Any Affected Areas
Even when the bugs are gone, their mess can remain.
Use caution when cleaning up after bed bugs. It’s imperative that you don’t miss anything or spread bed bug remnants through the rest of your home.
Vacuum the affected area to remove any leftover eggs, skin, or bed bug remains. Once you’ve finished, be sure to empty your vacuum cleaner outside into a fresh plastic garbage bag.
After ridding your home of any bed bug remains, wipe down any surface the bed bugs may have touched. These surfaces can include everything from your bed frame to your walls.
Remember, there’s no such thing as being too thorough, especially when dealing with bed bugs.
6. Don’t Get Comfortable
You killed all the bed bugs and scrubbed down your entire house — that’s it, right? Nope. Unless you brought in a pro, there’s no guarantee you got every last bug, and there’s a chance your infestation can return. Stay vigilant and check your mattresses regularly.
If you think the bugs have made a comeback, you’ll have to start the entire process over again from the beginning.
7. Bring In A Pro
As we’ve said multiple times in this article, bed bugs can be difficult to get rid of permanently.
The best way to get rid of bed bugs for good, and without having to tear apart your home, is by bringing in a professional at the first sign of trouble.
A licensed exterminator will be able to diagnose your problem and knock out the entire job in one fell swoop. And, you won’t have to worry about waking up itching ever again.
Our technicians have years of experience dealing with bed bug infestations and will be able to help you get your home back to normal in no time.
8. Take Preventative Measures
Finally, once you’re sure that you’ve taken care of your bed bug infestation, it’s time to take a few steps to make sure you never have to deal with them ever again.
The EPA recommends keeping your house clean and clutter free. By doing this, you’ll cut down on the number of places bed bugs can hide. You should also vacuum your carpeting and mattress, and wash your bedding frequently.
Seal up any cracks in your baseboards, sockets, or windows frames that bed bugs could sneak in through.
Also, if you plan on traveling anywhere, check your hotel room for bed bugs before you unpack. By doing this, you can avoid bringing any unwanted visitors back to your home in your luggage.
How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are much more than a minor nuisance — especially if you don’t take the necessary steps to deal with them right out of the gate.
While there are steps you can take to deal with a bed bug infestation yourself, the best way to deal with them is by bringing in a professional as soon as you can.
Now that you know how to get rid of bed bugs, it’s time to take action.
If you’re dealing with bed bugs or any other sort of pest infestation in your home, we can help.
Contact us today to learn more about our available services, or to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians.