When you find out that your beloved home has been overrun by bed bugs, it can be hard to keep the panic from washing over you. People say that bed bugs are a huge pain to eliminate and can take a long time to get rid of, and they’re definitely not lying about that. The truth is, most people take the wrong approach when they’re faced with bed bugs and simply make the problem worse. This step-by-step attack plan will help you know what to do when you’re up against the tiny terror that is bed bugs.
1. Stay Calm
Yes, bed bugs are difficult to get rid of. However, it is not an impossible task. There is no reason for you to start acting irrationally and doing things that will hurt your chances of getting rid of the bed bugs later on.
2. Notify a Landlord
If you live in an apartment or condo, you should notify your landlord immediately if you’ve found bed bugs. This way they can let the other tenants know if there is any action that they will need to take as well. Additionally, they can pay for or help you pay for the cost of an exterminator.
3. Do an Investigation
As much as you’ll want to avoid the pests, you need to get to the heart of the matter to see how severe the problem is. Investigate every bedroom in your home to see which have been infested with bed bugs and which are safe areas. Also check suspicious furniture like couches and large chairs. If you often sleep on the couch or anywhere besides your bed, the bed bugs may have followed you to a different location.
4. Make an Action Plan
After you know where the bed bugs are and how serious the problem is, decide what your best route of action will be. For smaller infestations, you can possibly take care of the treatment on your own. However, if it is a multi-room problem you should probably seek help from a PCO (pest control operator).
Route 1: Self Treatment
Isolate the Problem
The most important step you can take is isolating where the bed bugs are located. Keep infested objects and even people away from your designated safe areas. When you discover which furniture or beds are infested, move them away from the walls and direct contact with other furniture. This will keep the bed bugs from spreading around. You will also want to invest in Climbup Insect Interceptors, which will keep the bugs from travelling up and down your bed frame.
Treat Your Bedding
Treating your bedding when you have bed bugs is no small order. It takes time and a lot of patience. The first step is washing your sheets. Double bag your sheets beforehand and wash them on a hot setting. Cover your mattress and box spring with a plastic protector (which you can purchase online or at major stores like Walmart). You then need to meticulously spray your bed frame with insecticide or insect-killing dust. Make sure to get every corner and any possible spot where the bed bugs could be hiding. Whatever you do, don’t change where you sleep. If you move to an unaffected room, the bed bugs will simply follow you there and you’ll have double the problem that you did before.
Separate the Treated From the Untreated
As you treat the necessary parts of your home, keep the treated items a safe distance from the untreated items. Never let one or the other go into the opposite space. This will undo much of the work that you have already done.
Anyone who has had bed bugs agree that if you are going to do a treatment on your own you need to be persistent and diligent. It may consume your life for a time but ignoring the problem at all or giving a partial effort will only give you more heartache in the end.
Route 2: Hiring a PCO
Save a Couple of Bugs
If you do decide to hire a PCO, save a couple of the bed bugs you find to show them. They will likely know more about the specific type of bed bug and what kind of treatment will be most effective. Save the bugs by using clear tape and sticking it to an index card or cardstock or by catching one in a zip tight clear bag.
Select an Exterminator
You’ll want to be careful about what company you choose to help you with your bed bug extermination. Vancouver and other big cities offer several options but you’ll want to choose a company that offers an extermination plan that you are comfortable with. Make sure that they use more than just pesticides to fight the infestation and never go with a PCO that uses bug bombs (they are extremely ineffective and dangerous).
Follow the Recommendations
Once you hire a PCO, stay up to date on their treatment plan. Follow all of their recommendations and ask what they suggest you do about isolating clothing and other belongings.
Get a Warranty
Most PCOs will offer a guarantee or warranty for the bed bug problem. Typically, 90 days is expected. This way if the bed bugs return you can have the exterminator come back and try again to get rid of them.
Fighting bed bugs can seem like a horrifying battle. Take comfort in knowing that bed bugs can’t actually physically harm you, aside from a few tiny bites, they will just take a toll on your sanity. Work quickly to take the necessary action and protect your home against this pesky invasion.
Theo Schmidt enjoys spending time in the outdoors, and he is passionate about protecting the environment. He spends time on the weekend improving his home and teaching others how to do the same. Theo learns information about bed bugs from the Pest Detective website.