Twenty years ago bed bugs were relegated to nursery rhymes. Today every major city in the country has had bed bug breakouts mainly in hotels and not just motels found in the seedy parts of town. Some of the best hotels in the county have been caught with bed bugs. Those most at risk are business travelers which are the main reason for the spread of bed bugs in the United States. Since the start of these bed bugs infestations a number of products have been developed to effectively combat these pesky bugs. The following is a # step process of eradicating little annoying bugs. We’ll give you a number different solutions you can use to quitely rid your home of bed bugs.
Step 1 – Bed Bug Inspection
Determine where the bed bugs are coming from so you can evaluate the extent of the project. You’ll need a flashlight to do your inspection and we suggest you focus your search within five feet of the bed. In the pest control industry profession speak of the 95/5 rule. Which say 95% of your bed bug problem will be within 5 feet of your bed. Five feet may not seem like much but when you mark off five feet from the edge of your bed you have a pretty large area and if you have a king size bed that may cause the whole room to be treated.
If your aren’t able to find bed bugs with your inspection but still suspect you have them we suggest getting some Catchmaster Bed Bug Early Detection System which provide the bed bugs with a place to hide which is what they like to do best when they aren’t biting you at night.. You can check them after a few days and see if you have any caught.
A third and final option to determine if you have bed bugs is a clear hard plastic monitor that can slide between your mattress and box springs which allows the bugs to climb in but not escape. with both the Catchmaster and the clear plastic monitor they can be used even after professional treatments to see if your bed bug issue is resolved or if it remains.
Inspect possible fabric tears in the mattresses and box springs as these are ideal locations for bed bugs to hide. Caulk and seal any holes where pipes or wires enter floors and walls and be sure the fill cracks in baseboards and molding to reduce hiding locations.
Step 2 – Remove, Reduce, Clean, & Treat Clutter
Once you’ve done your inspection you need to remove and treat your clutter around your bed. Clutter can be anything; from electronics, nightstands, toys, boxes, decor, books, stuffed animals, plants, picture frames, basically anything that the bed bugs could hide in. You will need to remove and isolate the your clutter. If you don’t do this bed bugs can easily return even after a treatment. Bed bugs are very small and it’s a good rule of thumb to consider that any crevice that the edge of a business card can slide into could be a hiding place for bed bugs. So to be on the safe side remove everything around your bed. The best way to treat clutter that can’t be thrown out is to place it in an airtight plastic container or storage container with a Nuvan ProStrip which releases a vapor that kills the bed bugs. If your container isn’t air tight seal the edges with duct tape. The Nuvan ProStrips are a great solution for riding electronics, like laptops, that may have been on a bed the could carrying bed bugs. Once your storage container with the Nuvan ProStrip is sealed store it in the garage or out of the way area for three to seven days. The duration depends on the life stage of the bed bugs.. If you don’t use the Nuvan ProStrips you can leave the items in the isolated bag or container for six months.
A second option to treat clutter are bed bug ovens/infrared heaters. These solutions head a bagged or enclosed items up to 155 degrees which kill bed bugs at all stages of life. Obviously everything can’t be treated in this type of solution but it’s certainly an effective way to kill of bed bugs.
Be sure to vacuum areas of infestation. Then vacuum along baseboards, furniture, bed stands, rails, headboards, foot boards, bed seams, tufts, buttons, edges of the bedding, as well as the edges of the carpets. If possible pull up the carpet edges and vacuum the tack strips. A through cleaning will help allow the insecticides greater reach. Bed bugs cling to surfaces so it may take a few swipes to pull them free. While a bristle attachment can help dislodge the bugs its not something we advice since the bugs will cling to the brush and you could transfer the bugs to other areas of your home. After you are complete with vacuuming you can move forward with Step 3.
Step 3 – Bed Bug Chemical Treatments
In order to kill bed bugs in the open you use CimeXa Insecticide Dust which is 100% Amorphous Silica Gel. This dust attaches to the bed bugs as they crawl through it and silica gel causes the bugs to dehydrate. The CimeXa can be applied with a Bellow Duster into cracks and crevices. Another way to apply the dust is with a makeup brush. Two great things about CimeXa dust is that its not poisonus, It kills the bug by dehydration and can last up to 5 and even 10 years. There are also an aerosol options which sometimes are easier to get into cracks and crevices due to the straw that comes with the aerosol. The straw on the aerosol will give you better control at applying the product. A few aerosol options are 1) Temprid Ready Spray 2) Bedlam Plus and for a green option 3) Essentria Bed Bug Broadcast Insecticide.
Spraying insecticide around your bed is not going to kill bed bugs. Bed bugs have a pointy foot that they walk on and this limits the amount of insecticide that will attach to them as they walk through the treated area so spraying an area around the bed and waiting for them to walk through it and die is an ineffective approach. You are better off treating cracks and crevices than trying to create a barrier. The reason being is the insecticide in the cracks and crevices will surround the bed bugs body and gets all over them verses just hitting the bottoms of their pointy feet.
Bed linens should be thrown out or treated with insecticides. After treating linens with insecticide they should be washed in hot water reaching 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Infested areas should be scrubbed with a stiff brush to ensure any bed bug eggs are dislodged.
Step 4 – Bed Bug Encasements
Proper bed bug encasements will completely cover the mattress or box springs and will prevent bed bugs from entering the encasement or leaving the encasement. Also avoid the cheaper encasements which have cheaper plastic which can cause mold and ruin your mattress. A quality bed bug encasement should be breathable and has locking mechanism on the zipper to prevent it from sliding open as you use the mattress. Now if you’re only going to encase either the mattress or box sprints we suggest encasing the box springs since it’s a big hollow structure that is a perfect hiding place for bed bugs. One other item to consider are pillow encasements as they especially good for folks with dust mite allergies. As an alternative to full enclosed encasements are Active Guard Mattress liners and they are treated with Permethrin which is an insecticide that is strong enough to kill bed bugs for up to 3 years. This is also a could preventative measure for travelers that are often in hotels which are a high risk area for bed bugs. These liners can be used on both mattresses and box springs.
Step 5 – Preventing and Trapping Bed Bugs
The Climb-Up Bed Bug Interceptor is basically a plastic tray that your leg of your bed sits in and the outside has a grip-able tape which allows the bed bugs to climb the outside of the tray and then the bug falls down on the inside where the plastic is smooth and treated with Talcum powder which prevents the bed bugs from climb out. Bed bugs can remain in the trays for days before they die. The Climb-Up trays are a green solution as there is no insecticide in use with them. Its important to note that lack of bed bugs in traps does not guarantee that you are bed bug free. These traps serve more of an indicator of the severity of the infestation. Traps and monitor should be checked daily over the course of weeks to determine if treatments are working.