How to Solve a Bed Bug Problem
bug problem treatment involves a decision to either treat your
home or apartment yourself or to hire a professional. In an apartment
building, a coordinated effort is
needed among all tenants, as a bedbug problem can spread from one room
to the next. In a private home,
a do it yourself kit will help with smaller problems, while larger
infestations require a pest control professional. A step by step
guide to treating and preventing bed bugs is below
Bed Bug Problem Overview:
Bed bugs are typically spread by tourists or anyone that enables a
bed bug to hitch a ride from one room to another. Typically, a person
will stay in an infested hotel room or apartment, allowing the bed bugs
to hide in their
luggage. When returning home, the insects jump off. An infestation has
nothing to do with cleanliness,with even the
best hotels sometimes having a problem.
Once in a room, bed bugs need to feed on a human host in order to move
through their life cycle. They do not spread disease,
with the most common human symptoms being an allergic reaction that
results in a round red raised area on the skin. Multiple bites
will result in multiple red bed
bug bites. Most people have no allergic
reaction to the bites and at best will just show two small
skin punctures where the bite occurred. Feeding occurs at
night and lasts for 10 minutes on exposed areas of the body with most
bites occurring on the arms and legs.
Treatment involves chemical and non-chemical approaches. The advantage
of a pest control expert is that they know where to look, and
may have equipment and chemicals that is not sold to consumers. Many
professionals, college dormitories and hotels use
a heat method to kill bed bugs and their eggs. They seal a room and
then super heat it to 120 degrees F for several hours as an effective
for getting rid of bed bugs. Consumers who are treating a home
themselves use a combination of sprays, special dust, vacuuming and
to kill the bed bugs.
to see our list of bed bug pest control experts who have the experience
to solve your bed bug problem. They will provide a free
evaluation, provide information on how to get rid of bed bugs..
Bed bugs can move approximately 20 feet+ in any direction
including rooms next to and above the one being treated, which is why
adjoining rooms or apartments need to be inspected.
A professional bed bug treatment can cost up to $100 for a home
inspection (more if a bed bug sniffing dog, which detects their
distinct odor is used), and then over $750 for the
treatment, depending on the size of the home. A do it yourself kit,
such as the one offered by Naturasil
for Bed Bugs
costs approximately $160. Kits are the most economical
way to address a bed bug problem as they contain the multiple products
needed to do the job
right including a spray, bedbug dust, steamer and mattress cover.
If going the professional route, call several bed bug pest
control experts for a quote. A
good source is Angie's List which can be called at 1-877-670-3742 for
local recommendations and homeowner reviews. Ask specifically
about their bed bug experience, guarantees and specialized equipment
including the use of a bed bug sniffing dog. While not
required, a dog can detect a bedbugs raspberry like odor and detect all
areas where there might be a bed bug problem.
Bed Bug Problem Identification
Bed bugs have a distinct appearance, although they can be confused with
other insects. They change in appearance at each stage of their
life cycle, starting as an egg, which is small, white and the size of a
and move on to be an adult. Nymphs or young bed bugs are straw colored
while older bed bugs are reddish brown.
If you are not sure you have a bed bug problem, you can send a
for a small fee to the Cornell University Insect Diagnostic Laboratory
for a bed
of Bed Bug Lifecycle
Treating a Room for Bed Bugs
The keys to bed bug treatment is knowing where to look and
then having the right tools. The key is to be thorough with the bugs
easily hiding in every available crack in the room including the back
of the headboard, behind pictures and even inside electronics such as a
clock radio. Studies show that approximately 50% of bed bugs in a room
will be within 10 feed of the bed. Places to inspect include:
- Treat the
Mattress Seams and Box Spring: Check all over the mattress
and box spring. Use a mattress safe spray and lightly treat all seams.
If there is fabric covering the bottom of the box spring
consider removing it and inspecting the inside of the box spring, also
with the spray. Use a pump spray such as Bug
Patrol which is all natural and contains plant extracts. It
is not necessary to throw out a mattress or box spring that is in good
condition. After the mattress dries from the spray,
use a zippered mattress and box spring cover which indicates that it is
made to prevent bed bugs. This will trap any bugs inside that you might
Sprays will not kill bed bug eggs, only heat or a hand
steamer will work. Often, a bed bug infestation returns due to missed
- Wash All
Clothing and Linens in Hot Water: Wash anything you can in
the room in the washing machine using hot water followed by placing
items in the dryer for 20 minutes. Before removing clothes from the
room, be sure to place in heavy duty plastic outdoor garbage bags to
avoid dropping any bed bugs while transporting items.
- Throw Out
What you Can: Bed bugs like to hide in newspapers, books
etc. Throw out any disposable item. Place them in a plastic bag and
dispose outside of the house. If you are disposing of a
mattress mark it as having a bed bug problem. In many
apartment buildings, homeowners bring used furniture and mattresses
back into the building without knowing that they are spreading bed bug
problems to others.
- Vacuum and
Disinfect Carpet: The vacuum can be an effective way to
pick up any bugs that you can spot. Be sure to use the crevice tool and
move along the baseboards of the room, carpet etc. If you have carpet
consider using a carpet cleaner on the high heat setting. Mix a quality
disinfectant into the carpet cleaner such as PuraCleenRx
to ensure that any bedbugs are killed. Test this in an out of the way
area of the carpet to make sure
that the mixture doesn't stain your carpet.
Dispose of the vacuum bag outside of the home. Empty the
vacuum in the room that was treated to avoid spreading the bed bugs and
creating more bed bug problems.
Use a hand held steamer to kill any bed bug eggs. A bed bug
tends to lay eggs on rough surfaces. They will look like
clusters of white specks. Steam into cracks, spaces where the
bed frame joints meet etc. Be sure to crack a window open a
bit to help with drying and to avoid mold.
Do one final inspection when complete. By this time you
should have checked every inch of the room including out of the way
areas such as behind pictures, underneath dresser drawers, under
electrical plates, around the baseboard etc. When in doubt
use the steamer to make sure you treated every surface.
- Apply Fossil
Dust: Fossil dust, which is a natural product
(also called diatomaceous earth), can be sprinkled into cracks, along
the base of
the walls and under dressers. When the dust comes in contact with a
just hatched bed bug, it will eventually kill them. It's another layer
of protection that
is even being placed into walls of new construction or remodeling in
Manhattan apartments to help keep bedbugs spreading from apartment to
apartment. This product
can be purchased inexpensively from Amazon.com
apply a thin layer of dust in a well ventilated room. You may want to
purchase an inexpensive applicator which makes sure that the dust
spreads correctly. It it is too think, bed bugs may avoid the
Remember, bed bug extermination is hard work and may take 2 to 3
treatments to get any eggs that you might have missed. The only
way to kill eggs is with heat or possibly with a strong insecticide
applied to an entire sealed room.
Is Your Bed Bug Problem Gone?
Here are some tips to use after treatment to ensure that your
bed bug problem is gone, or if you missed a few, how
you can be sure they are killed.
- Move and
Protect the Bed: Bed bugs crawl up the wall and
then jump onto the bed. Move the bed 6 inches from the wall and any
nearby furniture. Use double sided tape on each leg
to keep bedbugs from moving up the legs.
- Put a Bed Bug
Bowl or Interceptor Under Each Bed Leg: This is a great
to see if you still have bed bugs. One home bed bug remedy is to place
a bowl under each bed leg. Glue a piece of fabric to the
outside of each bowel to allow the bed bugs to climb up. When the reach
the top they will fall in. Place an inch of rubbing alcohol into each
bowel to kill the bugs. After using them, if you see
no bedbugs in the bowel, then you are bug free. Leave it for a week or
2 to be sure that no new bedbugs have hatched. You can also buy
inexpensive bowls called Climbup
Interceptors that are
specifically made for this purpose./
- Use Mattress
and Box Spring Covers: Since most bedbugs hide
in and around the mattress, putting a zippered
cover on the mattress
and box spring will trap any bedbugs you didn't kill that are hiding on
the mattress. Between the mattress covers, taped legs, and Bedbug
interceptors, your bed
should be well protected.
When to Hire a Bed Bug Exterminator
The best approach is to call in a bed bug pest control professional,
who has the knowledge and experience to do an inspection, assess the
extent of the bed bug problem and then recommend a treatment plan.
Don't wait or the problem will get much worse and possibly more
expensive to treat. We have a list of pest control companies
that are specifically qualified to treat bed bugs. These companies will
provide a quote at no charge to you.
Be sure to use a bed bug specialist, as they will know where to look
and may have specialized equipment such as heating units.
this link to find a qualified local bedbug exterminator near
you. Please keep in mind that if the bed bugs are not treated
correctly, insects missed will begin to multiply and the problem will
return. Don't use a pest control company unless they have
extensive experience treating bed bugs.
hiring a professional, be sure to get a guarantee, a description of
chemical and non approaches that will be used, and whether
treatment products are pet and child safe.
Ask a Question or Share Your Bed Bug Experience With Others
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