How to prepare for your bed bug service.

How to Get Ready for Your Bed Bug Service

Bed bugs can hide anywhere and in anything.  ANY TYPE OF CLUTTER ANYWHERE IS THE BED BUG’S FRIEND: on the floors, in drawers, closets, on counter tops, furniture, beds, frames, on the walls, window sills, in cabinets.  Bed bugs will travel up to 100 feet and they are excellent climbers: up into drapes, headboards, pictures/decorations on walls, ceilings, lights, closet shelves, book shelves, plants, behind paneling, outlet covers, etc. They can survive 18 MONTHS between feeding, so you cannot starve them out or get rid of them by keeping a home vacant.

Remove the switch plates from all outlets and light switches in the bedrooms and family/living rooms – bedbugs hide in these, especially in the rooms where people sit, rest, or sleep a lot.

Wash ALL clothing, towels, linens, and strip your beds – Wash all clothing, towels, linens, sheets, blankets, comforters, mattress covers, pillowcases, skirting, etc. in hot water (at least 140 degrees) for at least 12 minutes and dry using the hot air cycle. (Commercial dryers at a laundromat work well).  This will kill any eggs & adults in these items.  Once all these items are cleaned, store them in airtight containers or airtight bags. Plastic garbage bags with wire ties are NOT airtight-you take a risk with these. Those items that cannot be washed in hot water should be dry cleaned or stored in airtight containers for at least 18 MONTHS  (yes, 18 months is correct) or thrown away.

Remove the cover from underneath all box springs and furniture – Bedbugs love to hide in the batting; because of this the cover must be removed to treat the batting.  In some cases, especially in severe or long-term infestations, the box spring may need to be thrown away or sealed in a vinyl, zippered cover for at least a year.  Type in “bed bug mattress covers” on the internet and you can find lots of companies that sell them. The thicker, more expensive covers are less likely to tear.  If it tears or rips or develops any type of opening, it is worthless.

Remove everything from bedroom and hall closets and from dresser and night stand drawers – Your closets must be empty.  Empty all dresser, night stand, cabinet, console, and computer stand drawers and suitcases, backpacks, etc – bed bugs will hide in the crevices, joints and contents of these. Store these items from the drawers in airtight containers.  Inspect items first for bed bugs before storing them in the airtight containers.

Remove all clothing, toys, boxes, books, bags, etcfrom the floors in all rooms – These items should be stored in airtight containers – inspect FIRST before storing. The only things remaining on the floor should be furniture or beds.  If you have rugs on floors leave them, as both sides of the rugs must be treated.  .

Vacuum – Vacuum floors, furniture, inside closets, dresser drawers, and bed stands; also vacuum mattresses and box springs.  Use a vacuum crevice tool along tufts, seams, crevices of furniture, closets, baseboards, drawers, and window sills.  Bed bugs hide in these areas during the day.  Then dispose of the vacuum bag by sealing it in an airtight bag and throwing it away.

Make sure the technician(s) can get into all areas – all closets, all rooms throughout your home.  If possible move furniture 2-3 feet away from walls.  Again, inspect items before storing. Items stored in airtight plastic bags or containers can be set on vinyl or tile floors out of the way, or outside.  Once things dry (about 2-3 hours up to 2 days from the end of the service) you can sit and sleep on them.

This sounds excessive but it must be done to eliminate bed bugs in your home.  With proper preparation you can get rid of bedbugs.  Anything less and YOU take a risk.

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