Once considered a pest of the past, bed bugs now infest homes, hotels, and dormitories worldwide. As bed bugs spread, more people are worried about them and want to address this problem.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no association between bed bugs and filth. Bed bugs feed on human and animal blood. As long as there’s a source of blood available to them, they will happily take up residence in even the most pristine home. Dirt does not cause bed bugs.
Similarly, bed bugs don’t care how much money you make. Being poor does not put you at greater risk for bed bugs, and having wealth does not immunize you from a bed bug infestation. Poverty does not cause bed bugs.
For bed bugs to infest your home, they’ve got to become attached to someone or something. Bed bugs don’t usually stay on their human hosts after feeding, but might hide in clothing and inadvertently go along for the ride to a new location. Most often, bed bugs travel in luggage after someone has stayed in an infested hotel room. Bed bugs may even be found in theaters and other public spaces, and spread to new locations via purses, backpacks, or coats.
Once in your home, bed bugs can scurry quickly to a new hiding place: behind baseboards, under wallpaper, inside switch plates, or in furniture seams. Then it’s just a matter of time before they begin multiplying. A single female may arrive at your doorstep already carrying enough eggs to produce hundreds more offspring. And while filth does not benefit bed bugs in any way, clutter does. The more cluttered your home, the more hiding places for the bed bugs, and the harder it will be to get rid of them.
Bed bugs have become a widespread problem, but there are certain preventative steps you can take to help prevent a bed bug infestation in your home.
Bed Bugs Have Become an Epidemic for a Number of Reasons:
Bed bugs are tiny. They are often too small to notice until you already have an infestation and it is too late.
They can live for up to a year without blood.
They are mobile. Bed bugs do not have wings, so they crawl to get around making them less noticeable. Because they are so tiny, they can climb into bags and onto clothes without you even realizing they are there. This occurs in normal settings such as when you are seated at a movie theater, doctor’s office or while riding public transportation.
How Can You Prevent a Bed Bug Infestation?
Don’t put your purse on the floor.
Put clothes in washer and dryer immediately after returning from places like movie theaters or hotel rooms.
Buy a protective mattress and/or box spring cover that is approved for bed bugs prevention. This will keep your actual mattress and box spring clean if bed bugs do make their way into your property and will make them easier to spot because there are fewer crevices for them to hide in.
Inspect all hotel rooms for signs of bed bugs. Do not leave open luggage on the floor or near the bed.
Thoroughly inspect all second hand items, such as sofas or other furniture, you receive for signs of bed bugs.
Never bring a mattress or box spring that has been thrown away into your home.
Check all seats before you actually sit in them. For example, on movie seats, lift the seat up and look underneath, check any crevices. Bed bugs love to hide in crevices. Look for any holes where they may be hiding.
Wipe your clothing or shake it off before you enter your home.
It can be difficult to control the actions of the guests that enter your home. You may want to vacuum once they are gone in case they have brought anything into your home.
Remember, Bed Bugs have become one of the most serious pest problems, and are one of the most difficult to control. However, the part that the homeowner or resident plays in the treatment program is just as important to the success of the treatment.
Prior to having our company come in and give your home a bed bug treatment, or any service, we will generally provide you with a specific list of preparation activities, to be completed before we arrive. This list should be followed exactly as described. Any deviations could result in the failure of your treatment and your Bed Bug problem will not go away. Because of the lack of preparation, this could make a treatment unsafe or cause reinfestation of the entire home or building, we will not treat areas that are not prepared to specifications.
Preparation Steps Prior to Removal
You can help us rid your home of a bed bug problem by doing the following things:
Be prepared to leave the home during treatment and for a minimum of 12 hours afterwards.
Remove all pets from the home during the time of treatment excluding fish tanks. Fish tanks are to be covered with plastic wrap, and pumps turned off until reoccupying home.
Remove all sheets, covers, dust ruffles, or any other bedding covers from the mattresses and box spring in all bedrooms. Wash all bed linens in the hottest water possible. Do not replace the bed linens until 12 hours after treatment.
If any mattresses, box springs, or other furniture are in poor or ripped condition and infested, they should be placed in large plastic storage bags available at moving or storage stores, then removed from your home and discarded.
Remove all personal items including clothes, toys, shoes, stored materials, etc., from the furniture and floor area throughout the home.
Remove everything from ALL closets. Completely empty all bedroom drawers and empty all books and items from bookcases prior to treatment.
Clean or launder all clothing in the hottest water possible and store in clean storage bags for up to three weeks after treatment. Any stuffed toys or other fabric-based personal items should be run through a pre-heated, hot dryer cycle for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Vacuum all of carpeting, bedding, bed frame, backs of pictures, and other areas bedbugs are seen. Immediately empty the vacuum cleaner bag and dispose of it in an exterior dumpster or trash.
To give the treatment time to work, do not shampoo or clean floors or carpet for at least three weeks after the treatment. The vacuum may be used as desired.
Move all items and furniture away from walls. Our technicians will need access to all baseboards and behind all furniture. (Everything may be returned to its original location after the treatment is completed.)
The bathtub, kitchen counters, dining room tables, and coffee tables can be used to place items during treatment.
Allow three weeks from time of treatment for it to be completely effective.
We hope this information has informed you on the cause – effect – and removal of Bed Bugs.