Eliminating bed bugs in a home is a monumental task, but not impossible. The sooner you detect them, the easier it is to control the problem.
Many apartment homes battle bed bugs for months. One complex recently threw out residents’ furniture in an attempt to cease the infestation.
Here are some general pest management practices.
Heat chambers or whole-room heat treatments, direct-contact steam or dry ice snow, insecticide or a combination of some or all of those are the industry standard. Putting bed bug-infested clothing, bedding or stuffed animals in a dryer cycle at 120 degrees (most reach 130 degrees) should kill them.
The first step to getting rid of bed bugs is finding and identifying them through inspections. Dogs used by many pest control companies to detect bed bugs are about 97% effective.
Bed bugs can live for months without feeding, though they usually eat every couple of weeks. Otherwise, they stay hiding in that rip in a mattress or crack between the baseboards.
Bed bugs have been found in books, clothing, wheelchairs, you name it. They have also been found in some strange places like TVs, sewing machines and antique picnic baskets. Recliners with all their crevices are especially tough to treat. There’s so many places for them to hide.
People often decide — of their own volition — to throw out infested furniture. It is important that mattress and box spring encasements are bed bug-proof.
Getting rid of bed bugs from a multi-family building requires the cooperation of management, residents and the pest control company. Even when people are cooperative, even when everybody’s in sync, sometimes it takes multiple visits. If you aren’t thorough and everybody’s not on the same page, everybody loses.
Bed bugs are drawn to carbon monoxide — people breathing — and live within 4 to 6 feet of their blood meal. That’s you. Bites usually appear on arms and upper legs, but they might not show up for 24 to 48 hours.
Sometimes you have to trace back your steps. They often come home in luggage, travelers should put their luggage in the tub while they inspect the hotel room.
Bed bugs carry no disease, but they can be a source of mental and physical stress, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Bed bug bites can lead to secondary infections and, in rare cases, severe allergic reaction.
For more information on Bedbug eradication, contact EHS Pest Control.