How to Deal with Bed Bugs: 4 Steps You Have to Take Right Now
97% of pest control professionals treated a bed bug infestation last year. With numbers like that, the odds of your encountering a bed bug problem of your own aren’t insignificant. Knowing how to deal with bed bugs will keep you and your family sleeping safely.
Here’s a primer on bed bugs: what they are and how to deal with an infestation.
What Are Bed Bugs?
Bed bugs are small, flightless insects that feed on the blood of animals, including humans. Adults of the species are about the size of an apple seed while their eggs look like specs of dust.
They get their name from their preferred habitat: our beds. They’re typically found in mattresses, bed frames, box springs, and headboards. They choose these areas for the easy meal we humans become at night.
Because bed bugs feed on blood, their presence isn’t an indication that your home is dirty. They thrive just as well in immaculate homes as cluttered ones. They also don’t spread disease so, while a pain to deal with, they’re not life-threatening.
1. Vacuum the Area
Using a vacuum to get rid of bed bugs is a good way to cull their numbers quickly.
That said, bed bugs can infest vacuums as readily as they do your bed. To reduce the risk of this you should use a vacuum that empties into a bag rather than a filter.
You should also avoid using vacuum attachments that have bristles or brushes. These are ready hiding places for bed bugs. Instead, use the open end of your vacuum on the affected areas.
Once vacuumed up, you need to work fast to dispose of the vacuum bag. Ensure it’s sealed in a plastic trash bag and disposed of outside the home.
2. Eliminate Clutter
Though bed bugs aren’t attracted to dirty spaces, clutter can provide them with multiple areas to hide. Clutter also reduces the chance of any pest control efforts being successful as they cannot be effectively treated.
Before calling in a professional, you should work to spring clean the affected area. Just be mindful that if you move infected material to another room, you’re just spreading the infestation.
3. Do Regular Laundry
Bed bugs don’t survive temperatures in excess of 120 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. This is why hot laundering can be an effective method for dealing with infected items such as clothes and bedding.
When tackling bed bugs, regular laundry cycles are a must. Even if you can’t see any bugs on your bedding, it might still carry eggs.
4. Call in a Professional
Bed bugs are insidious so the odds of you being able to eliminate the problem yourself are small. When in doubt, call a professional in.
Emergency pest removal services will be able to treat the area with formulated chemicals designed to kill bed bugs. They’ll also be able to advise you on preventative measures and maintenance steps going forward.
Now You Know How to Deal with Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are a nuisance but there are steps you can take to deal with an infestation. With savvy vacuuming, regular decluttering, and weekly laundry you can help cull their numbers. The gold standard of how to deal with bed bugs remains the same, though: call in a professional.
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