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Believe it or not, bed bugs are becoming a major problem across the country. In fact, 20% of Americans have either dealt with an infestation or know someone who has in the past.
If you’ve found signs of bed bugs on your property or are worried that you might have them in your house, the sooner you start getting rid of them, the better. All it takes is a little bed bug prep and determination.
Here are a few proven tips to help you get rid of bed bugs for good.
1. Find Out Where They’re Nesting
One of the first steps you’ll need to take when dealing with a bed bug infestation is to identify their main nesting areas. Bed bugs don’t take up residence throughout your house.
Instead, they prefer to hide in dark, warm areas. The most common spots are along the seams of your mattress, under the cushions of your furniture, inside drawers, and even in electronics.
Walk around your house and look for the telltale signs of bed bugs. Infested areas will have brown smudges, shed bed bug shells, and some living bugs crawling around. Make a note of the location of each major hotspot.
2. Block Off the Area
Once you’ve identified the infested areas in your home, you’ll want to do what you can to contain the infestation. Vacuum the area if you can. This will get rid of many of the living bed bugs.
Then, seal the vacuum bag inside a plastic bag and toss it in the trash.
If you’ve noticed bugs in your sheets, on your mattress, or in your clothes, place those items in a sealed plastic bag until you can wash and dry them on high. The high heat will kill most bed bugs quickly.
Any items that you can’t clean or treat for the infestation, you may want to throw away. Otherwise, the bugs may come back and your issue with an infestation will start all over again.
3. Research Treatment Options
Believe it or not, there are many different treatment options to help you get rid of bed bugs. The best option for your home largely depends on the size of the infestation and your budget.
DIY treatments using bug bombs or steam cleaning can work, but they’re best for small infestations.
If the bed bugs are running rampant in several rooms of your home, you’ll want to look for a professional treatment option. Exterminators and pest control experts have the tools and training needed to get rid of bed bugs for good.
The methods they’ll use will vary based on your home’s unique needs. But most homeowners can benefit from a bed bug heat treatment which heats the interior of your house to a high enough temperature that it kills the bugs. This, combined with other preventative measures should keep the bugs from coming back.
4. Shop Around
Different pest control experts charge for their services in different ways. This means you’ll want to get quotes from several companies before you make your decision.
If you can, schedule an on-site estimate with at least three pest control companies. This will allow the pest control expert to accurately assess the infestation on your property.
Once you have the estimates in hand, compare them in detail. Look at the types of treatments they recommend, the cost of those treatments, and their suggestions for future preventative treatments.
Choose the pest control company that you’re most confident in working with. Remember, you may end up paying a slightly higher price for a more comprehensive bed bug removal service.
5. Prep Your Home for the Appointment
There are a few things you’ll need to do as part of your bed bug prep prior to the appointment.
Leave your furniture and linens in place before the pest control team arrives. They’ll be able to treat them for you. If you have pets of any kind, remove them from the house and consider boarding them overnight at your veterinarian’s office.
Have a plan for you and any other family members to stay away from the house for at least four hours or until the pest control team declares your home safe to enter.
6. Monitor for New Bugs
After the treatment, you’ll need to keep monitoring for new bed bugs. Believe it or not, some homes require multiple treatments before the pests can’t come back.
If you’re not sure what to do, ask your pest control expert. They’ll walk you through what to look for and how to deal with any subsequent infestations that may pop up.
Just make sure to follow their advice closely. The last thing anyone wants is to have an infestation that never goes away.
7. Be Proactive in Future Bed Bug Prep Efforts
It’s always best to prevent bed bugs in the first place. And it’s easier than you might think.
If you travel and stay in a hotel, avoid putting your suitcase on the furniture in the room. When you get home, unpack your suitcase outside and immediately wash your clothes, even if they’re already clean.
Avoid buying used furniture and never pick up items left on the street corner. The original owner may not even be aware that bed bugs are inside the items.
These should be enough to prevent the worst infestations from becoming a problem in your home.
Follow These Bed Bug Removal Tips
Removing bed bugs can take time, but the sooner you start following these bed bug prep tips, the easier it will be to get rid of them once and for all. Just remember to always consult with a professional pest control expert as soon as you find the first bed bug.
They’ll be able to recommend the most effective treatment options for your home and your budget.
Once you get rid of the bed bugs, you’ll want to do what you can to keep the rest of your house insect-free. Check out our latest posts for more tips and tricks to help you keep your home free and clear of unwanted pests.