While they might carry a stigma of someone living in a dirty home, bed bugs are so common that they affect more people than you might think. With one out of every five households getting bed bugs at some point, you’re likely to run into this problem, even if you’re just staying in a hotel. So what do you do when bed bugs invade your home? There are some simple steps to take to make sure that the problem goes away quickly and allows you to keep all of your furniture and clothing.
5. Locate the Source
Since bed bugs are so small, they can hide pretty much anywhere, unfortunately. Still, you will want to do your best to try and find the source of the problem. Identify areas that may have black droppings or smear marks, as well as the small eggs and blood stains. The bugs may also be large enough to the point where you can see them. Some of the areas where bed bugs like to hang out are in power outlets, your bed frame and other furniture in the room.
4. Quick Containment
Once you’ve identified the source, your next step is to vacuum anywhere that you’ve found a strong infestation, as well as any places where there may be smaller infestations. Areas that you’ll want to check out include your dresser and even the television stand if you have one in your room. Make sure the vacuum collection is sealed and thrown in the trash, while items such as clothes and towels should be vacuumed and washed immediately on high heat.
It may have been a while since you tidied up your room, but it’s something that you’ll have to do to eliminate bed bugs and prevent them from coming back. Declutter the best that you can, and anything that can be sealed in a plastic bag should be sealed. Allow these items to sit in bags for a couple of weeks as the bed bugs will die and won’t be able to spread. You’ll give them fewer hiding spots overall in the process.
Now you’ll want to work on killing the bed bugs, and there are specific ways to do so. Some forms of killing are actually illegal and potentially dangerous, so look for EPA approved bed bug pesticides during this process. If you don’t want to go the chemical route, and we don’t blame you, using both head and cold are also effective, but heat will be easier. Using a steam cleaner with a diffuser is the most effective treatment, and anything that was sealed in a bag can be thrown in the dryer on high heat.
1. Evaluate/Contact Professional Help
You might not be out of the woods yet after killing the bed bugs as there could be a hidden infestation. For that reason, keep monitoring the situation for up to seven days. If there are no more bed bug bites, you likely fixed the issue. If not, then contact a professional exterminator to evaluate once more as there could be some areas you missed out on the first time.