The word “bed bugs” can strike fear into the heart of anyone. While it may be tempting to run out and spray the entire house, resist the urge. Why? Because you may make matters worse. You may kill some bugs, but not all, and those who survive may repopulate with a vengeance. In addition, make sure that the pest control company you contact has bed bug experience, because if they don’t know what they are doing the problem may only get worse.
So how do you get rid of bed bugs? The first step is finding out what a bed bug is. There are many other bugs that look similar to bed bugs, but bed bugs are tiny, no bigger than an apple seed. They look similar to cockroaches but are flat so they can fit into crevices. They are brown before feeding and are reddish brown with a larger abdomen after feeding. Bed bugs have a sickly sweet, unpleasant smell and can be found in groups. They are most commonly found in beds and mattresses but can crawl up to 10-20 feet away to hide in furniture, behind wallpaper and light switches, and hardwood floors. Sometimes, bed bugs can be found in movie theaters and upscale clothing stores. If you think you have bedbugs, then catch them with a piece of packing tape and bring them to a pest control to verify.
What’s the second step? Isolating the infestation. Anything that can be washed has to be washed at a temp of 120F. Anything that can be dried in the dryer should go for several hours at low heat. Even if you think they’re dry, throw them in for a few more hours. Heat kills bedbugs. Anything that can’t be laundered should be sealed in a plastic bag and placed in a hot location for at least five days; or placed in a below freezing location for two weeks. Chuck any mattresses and box springs, and seal your new ones in a “bed bug free” cover. Take apart your furniture and wash every crack and crevice with warm, soapy water followed by rubbing alcohol to help kill the eggs. And vacuum and steam your carpets.
The third step in how to get rid of bed bugs is to do a little prevention. Clean up clutter, seal all cracks in flooring and plaster. Don’t pick up anything on the side of the road. Even if you have to buy new furniture, inspect it before bringing it home. New furniture showrooms have been infected with bedbugs, too.
Bedbugs are often a problem that cannot be handled on your own. Contact a qualified pest control expert like Absolute Pest Control if you need help.