What to do, and not to do, if you find bed bugs in your home.
The realization you have bed bugs in your home is sickening. You can’t sleep at night for being woken up by their bites and you itch all day from the bites. If you try sleeping on the sofa, they’ll find you. They’ll even find you if you try sleeping in the bathtub. Why? Because you are their food source and they’ll track you down wherever you go. They’re relentless.
Look on the internet and you’ll find all kinds of advice, as well as hucksters selling bed bug treatments. Buyer beware! Most, if not all, of these treatments are worthless. At best, you may get a temporary reduction in your bed bug infestation, but once their eggs start hatching you’ll be under a full-scale attack again. The only way to win the battle is to get a professional bed bug exterminator on your side.
A Landlords Pest Control has been treating homes and businesses for bed bugs for over 25 years. It’s become our specialty. Our proven effective treatments will eradicate your bed bug infestation and you will be able to sleep through the night without being tormented by bed bug bites.
What NOT to do if you have bed bugs
- Don’t move to a spare bedroom or the living room sofa.
It may seem like a good way to escape the bed bugs, but they WILL find you. In the process, they’ll infest yet another area of your home.
- Don’t try to treat the infestation on your own.
Spraying an insecticide or using bug bombs may kill some bed bugs, but most will just scatter. which makes it even harder to treat the infestation. Also, bed bugs are very adept at hiding in places where sprays and bug bombs can’t reach them.
- Don’t wait to contact an exterminator.
Each female lays up to 4 eggs per day. This may not seem like a lot, but multiplied by hundreds of females in an infestation it adds up to a major problem in short order. The longer you wait to get an exterminator to deal with the problem, the bigger the infestation will be.
What TO do if you have bed bugs
- Contact an experienced bed bug exterminator.
This should be your first step. The sooner you get someone who knows how to treat for bed bugs, the sooner you’ll be free of bed bugs. Learn more about why A Landlords Pest Management is the best exterminator for bed bug infestations.
- Wash clothing and linens in hot water.
You may not see any bed bugs on your clothing, but there’s a good chance there are bed bug eggs on them. Washing in hot water will kill any bed bugs and their eggs, and running them in the dryer for at least 30 minutes
- Vacuum everything.
You can vacuum up bed bugs you find on and under your mattress (or anywhere else), but beware that bed bugs can infest vacuums. There’s less chance of this happening if your vacuum has a bag instead of a filter since bed bugs and their eggs can get trapped in a filter. With a vacuum that has a bag, they all go into the bag and you just put the bag into a trash bag.
- Wrap your mattress.
A mattress encasement designed to protect against stains isn’t enough. You need one designed for bed bugs. Any bed bugs trapped inside will die because they’ll be deprived of food, but you’ll need to leave the cover on your bed for at least a year.
*Mattress encasements are not without problems, though, and the biggest one is that even a small tear or rip in the material can provide an escape route for bed bugs trapped inside. Most of the time, people who use these encasements don’t even realize there’s a tear in the material. They just notice the problem isn’t going away.
- Tape the perimeter of your mattress.
Using double sided tape along the perimeter of your mattress can trap any bedbugs trying to crawl up your mattress to get to you. In the morning, peel off the tape and dispose of it in a tightly sealed plastic bag. The drawback to this, however, is that the tape can easily lose its adhesion to your mattress, allowing bed bugs to get past this barrier.
- Avoid second-hand items.
Thrift stores and garage sales are great places to find deals, but there can be bed bugs or bed bug eggs on anything—furnishings, luggage, and clothing. It's just not worth the risk.
- Use bed bug interceptors.
These are small containers placed under the legs of your mattress and furniture to trap bedbugs attempting to climb up them. The inside of the cup gets a light coating of talcum powder, which makes it difficult for the bed bugs to escape the moat. These are often used to assess the extent of an infestation but are also helpful for controlling an infestation.
About Bed Bugs
Bed bugs have been a scourge on humanity since the days of ancient Egypt, and likely before then. Archeologists have found what appear to be fossilized bed bugs dating to 3,500 years ago. Over the centuries, they’ve evolved to develop a resistance to most pesticides.
Today, about 90% of bedbugs are resistant to the most commonly used insecticides. Because of this, A Landlords relies on a variety of treatments and follow-up applications to ensure we get every last one.
Bed Bug characteristics
- Flat, oval-shaped, approximately 4.5mm in length, in colors ranging from light gold to dark brown (nymphs are nearly translucent)
- Can survive as long as a year without blood, but usually feed every 5 to 10 days
- Are nocturnal feeders
- Females lay up to 4 eggs per day
- Are difficult to find because they hide in small nooks and crannies