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Bed Bug Preparation
This guide will provide you with the knowledge and help, and guide you through the steps you need to take to do Advanced Bed Bug Preparation before our Bed Bug Pest Control Expert comes to your residence, to provide you with Bed Bug Extermination.
Fact: The biggest mistake most people with bed bug infestations make, is trying to solve their bed bug problem without a Professional Pest Control Exterminator. Most people who try to solve their bed bug infestation by themselves end up making the problem significantly worse and causing the bed bug infestation to dramatically spread. Don't make the mistake of trying to solve your bed bug problem without a Certified Pest Control Expert.
Let's tell it like it is: Be ready for one of the biggest challenges of your life! Bed Bugs are more resilient and resistant than any other pest, including rats and cockroaches! However, we are going to be providing you with the most comprehensive information possible to ensure you win this battle with our help.
Good Bed Bug Preparation Requires Teamwork!
Be ready for some very serious, exhausting, detailed, hard work! Get a friend or friends to help you, if possible, because the amount of preparation can sometimes be mind-boggling. Do it right the first time; do the necessary hard work. You can't skimp when it comes to preparing for bed bug treatment. Follow your Exterminator’s customized instructions carefully, for achieving the best results.
More specifically, these are some of the detailed steps you need to take before a State-Registered, Bed Bug, Pest Control Specialist can come to your home and properly treat your living space. Some of the things you will be doing during this bed bug preparation plan might seem repetitive, and they surely will be; in fact, some of the things you do personally, will also be repeated by the Bed Bug Exterminator, but you must understand, repetitiveness is the most vital element in a properly designed, vigilant and long-term Bed Bug Eradication Program. We also intend to emphasize certain concepts, in different ways, to insure the necessary preparations are clearly understood and employed.
"Bed Bug Treatments Require Repetition"
It usually takes more than one treatment to eradicate bed bugs! So be prepared to repeat the advanced bed bug preparation process!
Repetition -- Repetition – Repetition!
Bed bugs are tremendously difficult to eradicate, and you are more likely than not, to find yourself in the drudgery of repeating the steps in a bed bug extermination preparation plan, over and over again, because exterminator treatments must be repeated. But, this is what it takes if you want to live bed bug free – repetition! You also need to realize, not only will you possibly be doing this bed bug preparation plan more than once in a given amount of time, but after your preparation, and treatment, you should religiously and repetitiously follow our advice of post-bed bug treatment and removal, to ensure bed bugs are kept away - even that is no guarantee.
"Pre-Emption and Long Term Vigilance"
The reality is, bed bugs have become such a powerfully resilient and resistant bug, that pre-emption and long term vigilance are the only options we have been left with.
The Bed Bug Preparation List: Always start with the BED! This is usually the root of the infestation.
Tip: Get a tape measure and measure your mattress and box spring; length, width and height – record full dimensions, and which room (if you have more than one bedroom) on paper.
- 1. Before a Bed Bug Extermination, please make sure you remove all bedding from all mattresses, collect all the cloth, materials, linens, various quilts, blankets, etc. Everything associated with your bed must be removed from the entire living space of your home or apartment. This includes any and all fabrics, and/or materials that are machine washable and dry cleanable, including pillows (don’t forget pillow cases), mattress covers, towels, everything you can possibly think of associated with your bed. Also, special fabrics and cloth materials that are in storage or closets should be collected and properly cleaned. Just because it wasn't on your bed at the time of infestation, doesn't mean it is not at risk of harboring bed bugs or bed bug eggs. Once you have a bed bug infestation you must understand that everything in your entire living space can possibly provide safe harborage for bed bugs, even things you might have never thought of. Don't forget to remove all the items from under the bed.
"If it has threads in it, it needs to be washed or cleaned, to ensure bed bugs or bed bug eggs are eradicated.”
- 2. Wash everything, literally everything, including bedding and any clothing/fabrics that may have come in contact with bedbugs, in HOT water (if it won’t get ruined), and dry in Hot dryer if possible (if it won’t get ruined) - otherwise be prepared for a big dry cleaning bill. Make sure you wash all other linens and fabrics as directed so they don't get ruined. Everything has to be washed, but follow the instructions, so they don't get ruined (this can't be said enough) - and everything means everything that has threads in it, including rugs (steam if possible) and curtains/drapes have to be cleaned as instructed.
- 3. Make sure you completely empty all storage areas and closets in all rooms in your living space, including anything fabric; towels, curtains, table covers, miscellaneous linens, etc., even if you haven’t used it, or it’s in the room next door, it has to be cleaned and properly stored and sealed afterward as will be explained - no exceptions. This intensive procedure has to be done if you want the maximum chance of success. Keep closets and storage spaces empty, so they can be treated fully by a Bed Bug Exterminator.
The whole point of this initial process, is to kill off any bed bug eggs, bed bug nymphs, baby, teenage, adult or grandparent bed bugs, hiding in these items. Please know, bed bugs are incredibly good at hiding in the tiniest of cracks, crevasses, seams and folds of bedding, cloth, curtains and rugs, etc. Don’t underestimate bed bugs, ever.
"Bed bugs will hide even in places you would think seem impossible or unthinkable."
- 4. After a thorough washing and/or cleaning, be sure to place all your fully dry items in some kind of FULLY SEALED bins or garbage bags. You have to thoroughly seal as much as possible to prevent sneaky bed bugs from re-infesting your belongings by entering and hiding in the clean fabrics. Bed bugs will take the opportunity, if you give it to them, to re-infest safe items, especially since cloth materials are least likely to have pesticides or harmful toxins in them (bed bugs are clever).
Important Reminder: After a bed bug treatment, the safest place for bed bugs will be in your clean clothing, bedding, curtains and cloth materials, etc., so those items have to absolutely, positively be fully sealed up in plastic bags or plastic sealable bins.
Bed bugs are notorious for hiding in receptacles (electrical sockets), therefore, be sure to unplug all electronic devices in rooms being treated for bed bug removal. This will make the area more easily accessible to the Bed Bug Pest Control Technicians. Please do a thorough cleaning including a Vacuuming with a brush attachment; Vacuum floors, cracks, seams, carpets, every possible nook and cranny which you can fit a screw driver in, could harbor bed bugs, including ceiling moldings, wall moldings, chair railing, baseboards, floors, walls and ceiling cracks.
Important Reminder: Please remove all hanging pictures from walls, gently and carefully vacuum the back of these items and then place them in one area of your home for treatment by our Expert Bed Bug Specialist.
Rugs, Carpets, Furniture and Floors
- 1. Rugs should ideally be steam cleaned. Rent a good steam cleaner and clean the rugs, sofa, love seat and couch cushions (depending on the material), any other kind of furniture (if it won’t damage the furniture) which humans and pets use. If you can get a hand held steamer, you can much more efficiently clean furniture, including furniture that is upholstered, mattresses, box springs and so forth.
- 2. Clear a path around the walls. In order to allow the Inspector to properly treat all rooms, you must please move all objects away from the perimeter of your treatable rooms, including any non-permanently attached wall items such as art work, which must be inspected and possibly treated. For Example: If your loveseat, sofa or bed is up against a wall, you need pull it far enough away from the wall, so the certified bed bug pest control extermination expert with bed bug equipment, can easily treat the area.
Important Reminder: Make sure you have a really good, working vacuum cleaner, with good bristled attachments, and plenty of fresh, extra vacuum cleaner bags. Be sure that after you finish vacuuming, you immediately remove the full vacuum bag and seal it up in a black plastic bag, so that the bed bugs can’t sneak out at a later time when no one is looking!
Double vacuum from top to bottom, your entire bed, mattress, box spring and bed frame. It can't be emphasized enough: mattresses and box spring frames should be vacuumed twice with the bristled vacuum attachment, especially around the tufts and seams. Also inspect for blood stains and bed bug harborage locations.
Important Reminder: On the box spring, look for holes and leaks, pull back the cloth on the bottom of the box spring, and inspection and vacuum in there.
I know this all sounds so exhausting, but it will be significantly more exhausting if you don’t do an extremely thorough bed bug preparation. Everything you do helps to increase the probability of bed bug treatment success.
This will prepare these items for the Bed Bug Exterminator, who will be doing a comprehensive treatment of these items (even repeating some of the things you did during preparation, but with proper treatment chemicals or green solutions).
Mattress Covers, Box Spring Covers and Pillow Case Covers
Make sure you get good physical measurements of your mattress and box spring for the Exterminator, ahead of time, as the beds are going to have to be sealed after treatment, or if the beds are old and worn out, and it’s within your budget, it might be time to buy a new mattress and box spring. However, the items still need to be treated so they do not spread bed bugs. One of the fastest ways that bed bugs get spread is through people abandoning infested items on the curb, it is better to treat the existing furniture than to throw it away.
Empty all shelves, metal or wooden bookcases, desks, dressers, nightstands and every possible piece of furniture. Turn furniture upside down if possible (make sure you wear a weight belt or back support, get help so you don't throw out your back, or get someone to help you if you can't do it yourself) and vacuum those items really well with the vacuum cleaner bristled attachment.
Important Reminder: It can't be emphasized enough: Make sure you remove every drawer, vacuum it with a bristled vacuum attachment from top, bottom, up, down, left and right, every nook and cranny on them (especially the backs and bottoms of them). Look for black bed bug feces, tiny white/translucent eggs, and bed bugs, themselves.
Bed Bugs and Smell
Take a deep sniff near infestation sites; do you smell something sweet and death-like smell? Be familiar with that smell, so you can easily spot that smell in the future.
“Do you own a scrub brush?”
A good, tough, bristled brush tip is important. A dab of warm water on the end of the bristles (if it won’t damage your furniture) can sometimes help to loosen things, such as tiny bed bug eggs which are attached to furniture and beds with natural bed bug “goo” (They are almost impossible to see without a magnifying glass). The more detail-oriented you are, the better prepared you make your home for our Professional Bed Bug Exterminator, the better the chance for success!
Important Reminder: After vacuuming your furniture, you need to leave it available and away from the wall for the Exterminator who will treat it.
Outside the Room Infested with Bed Bugs
- 1. Vacuum outside of the infestation rooms along the perimeter of the rooms with a strong attachment that has bristles to help loosen any possible attached eggs or "dug in" bed bugs. Vacuum hallways, kitchen, living room, bathroom, closets etc.
- 2. Leave no perimeter un-vacuumed. To help remove debris, hopefully suck up any loose eggs or bed bugs, and make those areas ready for full bed bug treatment as described, and be sure when you are done vacuuming, to seal those vacuum bags not just once, but twice, in heavy black plastic bags. Make sure bags are sealed well. Tie them up and use a good contractor, or duct tape, if necessary. You don't want any bed bugs sneaking out of the trash, and returning to infect you, or even your neighbors. If they don’t re-infect you, but infect your neighbors instead, they will surely come after you next! Bed bugs reproduce at explosive rates, in mathematical terms their numbers grow geometrically or exponentially.
Bed bugs seek to hide in hard to reach spots, such as between the boards of wooden furniture and in box springs, couches, bottom part of drawers, in spots you might have never thought of before! Bed bugs like the wood on the underside of furniture because it is sometimes rougher, especially on desks, tables, coffee tables, television stands, bed frames, nightstands, art, walling hangings and photo frames, and they definitely like mattresses and box springs, as you already know from reading our Bed Bug Preparation Guide.
Travel: Bed Bugs are International Travelers
Even if you don’t Travel, please read our Travel Recommendations anyway.
Travelers: First things first: Visually inspect mattresses and beds before sleeping on them, as well as your luggage before leaving and heading home. Your luggage is a five-star hotel for bed bugs! Keep your luggage wrapped in large, black contractor’s bags (sealed!) when it’s in your closet, and if you travel, inspect it often, especially before you come home with it, because that’s the number-one way you are going to bring hitchhiking bed bugs home. Even better, consider keeping your clothes in your luggage when you travel, and keep that luggage in a large plastic bag.
Bed bugs travel from hotels, hostels, guesthouses, motels; anywhere there is high volume of human traffic, where there’s people sleeping or lounging. Bed bugs are bound to come in and go out at some point.
The quickest way for bed bugs to get around are by Trains, Planes and Automobiles. Bed bugs love to travel, and are world travelers and as such, exist almost everywhere in the world. We have been experiencing a bed bugs epidemic, worldwide. The biggest surge in 60 years.
How Bed Bugs Get Around in a “Nut Shell”
People pick up bed bugs in hotels, motels, guest houses, hostels and other “rooming situations” The bed bugs are then transported home in clothing and luggage. People also pick up bed bugs through used furniture and mattresses they find or buy. Be wary of buying and/or picking up used or old furniture.
Be very careful with second-hand furniture or items you see on the street. People also get bed bugs from their neighbors who treated their living space and now the bed bugs are running away and have come for you!
“Take Pre-emptive Measures Against Bed Bugs!”
Post Treatment Reminders
- 1. Make sure after bed bug pest treatment to leave your living place for no less than four hours and let the treatment do its work!
- 2. Wait for all hard and soft furniture, such as upholstered chairs and sofas, mattresses and everything else to fully dry before sitting or using them in any way, as an extra precaution.
- 3. Pre-order your Bed Bug Mattress, Box Spring and Pillow Case Covers, by getting accurate measurements of everything.
Be prepared to follow-up with Professional Bed Bug Pest Control Exterminations. Usually more than one treatment is necessary, because bed bugs are ruthless, and sometimes extremely difficult to contain and kill. A second treatment is sometimes necessary at a later date of your convenience.
Eternal vigilance is a must with these little critters, be sure to keep your clutter to a minimum and/or bagged up, and vacuum everything often. Each member of the household should thoroughly inspect their bodies each and every day. "Seal Your Bed! Stop Bed Bugs from Climbing Up or Down with Double-Sided Tape." In the aftermath of our detailed Bed Bug Extermination, it is absolutely essential to seal your mattress, box spring and pillows in special covers. We can order these items for you. Also, as a precautionary measure, you should purchase some double-sided tape, and wrap the legs of your bed, sofa, loveseat, or any other major piece of furniture that has legs, with it (only, of course, if the tape won’t ruin your furniture). This provides an excellent detection method and prevents them from climbing up and reaching you or infecting your future.
Bed bugs Love beds and upholstered furniture! These are typically the “hot spots” typically for them, therefore, keep a close eye on these pieces.
“Sky-Diving Bed Bugs”
This however does not stop them from climbing up the walls, across your ceiling and then diving into your bed. Therefore, another barrier can be made with double-sided tape around the perimeter of your rooms at around eye level or higher so you don’t bump into it. Putting that double-sided tape in a perimeter around your room at a height you can see but won’t bump into it, will give you an excellent detection method to determine if bed bugs might have been attempting the sky diving method of getting to you when you sleep at night.
Go to the Hardware Store!
You will also need to go to your local hardware store, not only for double-sided tape for legged furniture (if it won’t damage it), but also for wall-plug safety blockers. If you are not using an outlet on the wall, then seal it up. This will hopefully block those bed bugs from getting in, out or into your walls where they often hide.
Important Reminder: Be sure to purchase wall-socket blockers with the correct fit, to seal your sockets tightly.
Also look for any cracks crevices before you leave your house and document them meticulously. You will also want to purchase a caulking gun and caulk (obtain permission from your landlord first) and seal up any cracks and crevices in the walls, floors, moldings, baseboards etc. Your landlord should actually do this, but if your landlord is not cooperative, and gives you permission for you to do this on your own, then do it, as you need to seal the bed bugs up as best as possible, locking them in, to hopefully die.
If you own the house, you can take matters into your own hand or hire someone to help you. Bed Bug Pre-emption usually requires help and team work.
You may also want to consider taping the legs of dressers, as well. Wrap the legs in double-sided, sticky tape, so the bed bugs can't climb up. Using the double-sided tape method is the effective “poor-man’s” way of preventing bed bugs from climbing up furniture with legs. It is also very efficient.
“Climb up Interceptors”
However, if you want to spend a little money, you can purchase “Climb-up Interceptor Dishes”, which cost approximately$5-$6 each. The “Climb-up Interceptor Dishes”, work by capturing the bed bugs when they climb up or down your furniture, beds, etc. These tools help you to capture, identify and monitor infestation levels, as well as the direction bed bugs are climbing both either up or down.
More Clutter Means Higher Chance of Infestation
All that endless “stuff” you collect -- the shiny baubles and trinkets, knickknacks, tchakas, luggage, old books, clothing, shoes, etc., -- things you don’t frequently use, those items also need to be sealed up in black contractor’s bags. Don’t create a luxury dwelling for bed bugs! This is exactly what these items can become when clutter and a pack-rat mentality permeates your living space! Either strive to seal everything up or go for minimalism.
“Seal it! Is the Best Policy!”
Keep your clutter sealed up to the best of your ability! We are not suggesting you to live in an empty house, but in terms of bed bug preemption, less is more!
Over and Over - the Bigger View
Sealing up receptacles (electrical outlets) not being used with plastic, electrical outlet blockers, sealing up all the nooks and crannies with caulk, doing everything you can to keep your clutter bagged up and sealed in containers or plastic bags, and taking every precaution you can, such as wrapping legged furniture items with double-sided tape, blocks bed bugs from climbing up or in, to re-infest.
Important Tips and Reminders about Post Treatment
- 1. Definitely keep your bed pulled away from the wall so bed bugs can't climb the wall and re-infest your bed.
- 2. Consider white bedding. This will make detecting bed bugs much easier than dark-colored or patterned sheets. Those sexy black silk sheets can tend to hide blood stains! White bedding is always the best for spotting blood stains or bed bug feces. White is the color which makes spotting bed bugs and their telltale signs much easier!
- 3. If you use double-sided tape (with painters tape underneath it if you don’t want to ruin furniture) on your bed legs, at night, make sure you don’t have a quilt or sheet hanging off the bed creating a ladder or “highway” onto your bed. Let the bed bugs get trapped on the double sided tape around all the legs on your bed.
- 4. Don't just keep your bed pulled away from the wall, so that bed bugs can't climb in from the walls, also keep your other furniture slightly away from the walls. Make it so that the only way bed bugs can get into your furniture is climbing up the legs, this way the double sided tape will catch them when they try to climb up or climb down.
- 5. If you have Asthma or any other breathing problems, consider staying out of the treated living space for 24 hours, instead of the normal 4-5 hours.
Bed bugs are very difficult to eradicate, and are persistent with great resilience. However, if you study the information we provide on our website, listen to our Technician’s recommendations, read up on the subject, and even consider getting on one of our Maintenance Plans (available monthly, quarterly, bi yearly and yearly, or customized to your specifications), we promise to do everything in our power to keep them from coming back!
We take our job very seriously and we care about you! We treat your living space the way we would our own families’. We want you to be so satisfied with our treatment, that should someone in your family, or a friend, neighbor, associate etc., have an infestation, you will recommend us.
The fastest growth of our business has always been word-of-mouth! We aim to keep our clients like you, Bed Bug Free!