It’s crucial to act quickly if you find bed bugs in your home, see signs of them, or think you are being bitten by them while you sleep. Preventing a bed bug infestation will become more difficult the longer you delay.
These are six steps you can take.
1. Wash all your clothes and bedding in hot water. Temperatures above 120 degrees will kill any bed bugs that have made a home in these items.
2. Inspect your beds, furniture, walls, and floors for any holes or cracks, no matter how tiny, and seal them up. If you properly seal up an opening in which bed bugs have made a home, you’ll entomb them, thereby preventing a bed bug infestation from spreading elsewhere.
3. Clean up any clutter. While bed bugs aren’t due to messiness, clutter can give them more places to hide and breed.
4. Put an Active Guard mattress cover on your mattress. If the bed bugs are already living in the mattress, this product will trap and kill them. It also will kill any bed bugs who are trying to crawl onto the mattress. For humans, however, the cover is comfortable and odorless.
5. Take out any furniture you know is infested with bed bugs. If the weather will remain below freezing for one to two weeks, putting the furniture outside (in a dry place, of course) will probably kill the bed bugs. But in most locations, if a piece of furniture is badly infested and is not expensive, the best option is often to discard it.
It’s a good idea to wrap the infested piece in plastic before moving it out of the house, so bed bugs don’t jump ship before you get out the door. Also, if you discard it in a place where someone might pick it up, it’s considerate to put a sign on it warning of bed bugs.
6. Call a pest control company that specializes in bed bugs. All of the above steps can help you in preventing a bed bug infestation, but even if you take them all, you still may not have rid your house of all the bed bugs and their eggs—leaving yourself vulnerable to worsening infestation. The surest way to keep bed bugs from spreading is to report the problem to your landlord if you’re renting or to call a bed bug removal specialist yourself if you’re a homeowner.
Remember that bed bugs are not a sign of dirtiness and sloppiness, so you shouldn’t be afraid to report the problem if you’re renting, thinking it will reflect badly on you. Likewise, if you’re a homeowner, don’t think there’s any reason to be self-conscious about calling an exterminator.
Photo Credit: Washer And Dryer