As annoying as bed bugs are, getting rid of them is no walk in the park either. The process of eliminating the bed bug presence in a residential home is a long and troublesome one, so preparing for bed bug treatment is important. There are lots of steps to cover and lots of things to do in your bed bug preparation, and we will try to go over all of them in our bed bug treatment preparation checklist.
So, how to prepare for bed bug treatment procedures? Whether you are going to use a full-house heating treatment or chemical treatment, the key thing to note is that bed bugs could have spread in a lot of unexpected places. Not only can they hide in the cracks and nooks of your home’s floor and walls, but they can also take up residence in books, shoes, and other seemingly unlikely places. So, in order to make sure that the process will be effective, you need to be as thorough as possible. As a lot of entomology experts from places such as the NC State University or the Michigan State University point out, the key to getting rid of bed bugs for good is treating every single item in your house, regardless of how unlike it is that there are bed bugs hiding in it.
Bed bug treatment preparation checklist
- Treat any items that you’ve identified as infected separately by whichever method you prefer – chemically, at -18.0°C (0.00°F) temperatures in a freezer for several days, or through heat. Things such as toys, shoes, books, picture frames, electronics (with no LCD screens), etc., can all be subjected to a cold treatment without being harmed. Once you’ve treated a specific item, put them in air-tight sealed back to make sure that they don’t get infected again and separate them from the rest of your belongings.
- Separating your treated belongings doesn’t mean that you should move them to another home. Even if you’ve already treated an item it’s still risky to bring it to someone else’s house as even a couple of bed bugs can bring an entire new infestation to their bedroom.
- Wash all beddings in hot water – sheets, pillowcases, blankets, and so on. When you place them in the dryer use the highest possible setting that wouldn’t hurt the fabric itself. Both adult bed bugs and bed bug eggs die at temperatures of 54.8°C (130°F) so this is a good way to clean your bedding and clothing. All clothes that can’t be laundered or dried such as jackets, coats, and so on, should be brought to dry cleaning. After you get them from the dry cleaners inspect the clothes carefully. Place all treated fabrics plastic bags and separate them from the rest of your belongings as well.
- Use the drier for all curtains, pillows, towels, stuffed toys, and other such items as well. Again, use the highest possible heat setting that wouldn’t damage the items. Once the process is complete, place them in plastic bags and put them away.
- Vacuum and wash all floors and other surfaces. This will eliminate a significant amount of the present bed bugs on those surfaces. Remember to put the vacuum bags in sealed plastic bags before throwing them away – the fact that you’re getting rid of your bed bugs doesn’t mean that others should be infected in your place.
- Vacuum your mattresses, box springs, couches, chairs, recliners, and other such furniture. Try to cover all sides of the furniture, including in between its different segments and underneath the dust coves – this is where bed bugs most commonly hide. Again, don’t forget to isolate the vacuum backs to prevent the still-alive bed bugs from to your neighbors’ homes.
- If you are going to encase your mattress or couch, make sure that the encasing is bedbug-proof. Such encasings are meant to make sure that no bed bugs can bite or get through them which is a great preventive measure for future possible bed bug problems.
- Make sure that your home isn’t cluttered as well as possible. A home with a lot of unnecessary stuff in it is not only a haven for bed bugs and other parasites, but it is also difficult to treat. Whether you are going to use a heat treatment or a professional chemical treatment, too much clutter can give individual bed bug adults or eggs a chance to survive and make it harder for the treatment to be effective. Throw away everything that you don’t really need – you can use this as an opportunity to clean up your home – but remember to bag the items you throw away to protect your neighbors from the bed bugs that are still alive in them. Treat any items that you intend to keep but that can be treated separately and put them aside in protective plastic bags.
- Make sure that your floors, walls, ceilings, closets, and the areas around your furniture are all easily accessible. This will make the inspection of these places easier and more effective, and it will also make their treatment more effective and efficient as well.
What should you do after a bed bug treatment is done
The name of the game from this point on is “Prevention”. Using protective mattress and couch encasements is a great way to make sure that there will never again be bed bugs living inside of them. Even more important, however, is to make sure that you don’t bring any bed bugs from outside your home – always make sure to check the places you’re staying in (hotels, motels, etc.) for bed bugs, and also remember to check and treat your luggage every time you get back home from traveling. After all, bed bugs don’t just manifest themselves out of thin air and unlike a lot of other pests, they rarely enter our homes on their own. So, to make sure that you don’t have any bed bug troubles in the future, make sure that you don’t bring them yourself.