Any level of bed bug infestation should be handled by licensed pest control professionals. We have seen so many cases of homeowners battling against bed bugs for months or years with home remedies that only ever endanger your health, risk spreading the infestation and breed pesticide resistance in a persistent bed bug population.
In addition to a professional bed bug treatment however there are some things you can do right away to cut into the number of bed bugs in the home.
- Manually kill as many bed bugs as you can find around your beds and couches before we come to apply the bed bug treatment
- Every bug you kill is a bug that can no longer bite or reproduce.
- Use a damp cloth or paper towel and wipe them up
- be sure to squeeze them with enough pressure to kill them
- If they have had a recent blood meal they may leave a blood mark on the towel
- Dispose of these bugs in a sealed bag
High temperatures are very effective for killing bed bugs at all stages of their life cycle. The lethal temperature for bedbugs is between 50ºC-60ºC (approx 120ºF-140ºF).
Heat can be applied in a number of ways:
- Anything on, under, or within three feet of the bed that can be washed should be laundered on a HOT wash and a HOT dry cycle.
- If an item cannot be washed but can be put through the dryer, the heat from an extended dryer cycle on the high heat setting is sure to kill any bug or egg present, this method is effective for treating items like quilts, stuffed animals, slippers, shoes, bags, etc.
- Handheld steamers are somewhat effective for killing live bugs and eggs.
- The hot steam will kill anything it comes into contact with.
- Unfortunately steaming alone is almost never sufficient, you will need other methods to kill bugs and eggs hiding in areas you cannot access with the steaming head.
- Turning up your thermostat or space heaters will not produce enough heat to kill bed bugs and eggs.
- Even if you can get the ambient temperature up very high, you cannot be certain of the temperature inside wall voids, underneath beds, or in a back corner far away from the heater or heating vent.
- Beware of companies that advertise a bed bug service that heats your entire home up to the lethal temperature for bed bugs. These whole-house heating techniques are very expensive, can cause extensive damage to furniture and art, and can cause bed bugs to spread through the walls to adjacent homes or apartment units.
Cold temperature is also an effective way to kill bed bugs. There is much debate among entomologists as to the necessary temperature and length of time necessary to freeze and kill all bed bugs and eggs present. Anecdotal evidence has shown that a few days in freezing cold temperatures will indeed kill bugs and eggs. A few different methods for applying cold.
- Winter & Outdoors
- In climates where winter temperatures reach well below the freezing point, placing boxes or bags of items outdoors in a freezing cold garage, porch or balcony is an economical way to sanitize these items of bed bugs and eggs.
- Deep Freezer
- Items should be frozen for at least 2 days. The longer the better.
- another home remedy is to place items in your refrigerator’s freezer or chest style deep freezer.
Sucking up bed bugs in a vacuum is a quick way to get them off your bed. Be sure to empty the vacuum contents into a sealed bag and treat the inside of the vacuum with a powder insecticide.
Vacuuming is not effective for picking up bed bug eggs because bed bugs cement their eggs to the surface on which they are laid.
5) Throwing Out Furniture and Belongings
Bed bugs are just as likely to hide around the bed as they are to be on a mattress, box spring, or bed frame.
Throwing out items will eliminate any live bugs and eggs contained within those items from your home. However, it can be an expensive and often unnecessary task. Items can be salvaged if they are treated with a residual insecticide.
DO NOT throw out your bed or box spring after we have treated your home. If you replace furniture after we have applied treatment to it, you are introducing untreated items into the infested area and bed bugs can freely infest these untreated surfaces.
6) Store-Bought Insecticides
The insecticides that we use at Addison are not available to the wider public. The products we use are the highest quality, safest, and longest acting available on the market that are only available to fully licensed
and insured pest control companies.
All too often we have encountered customers who have used store-bought insecticides, bug bombs, or powders such as RAID, or diatomaceous earth. These control methods are never successful in eliminating a bed bug infestation.
These products can cause bed bugs to spread unpredictably, can endanger your health, and will eventually establish pesticide resistance in the bug population in your home.
In order to effectively address a bed bug infestation, it is important that a licensed pest control company uses high-quality, long residual insecticides applied in the proper concentration to the infested surfaces.
ANY other method could cause bed bugs to establish pesticide resistance and will end up causing escalating expense, persistent infestations, emotional distress, constant sleep deprivation, and frustrating re-infestation.