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Bedbug Treatment Help

How to Prepare for Bedbug Extermination

A bedbug infestation does not mean you have an unclean living space, and they are very common in areas with high population density. Bedbugs are extremely difficult to eradicate, the key to an effective extermination is proper and thorough preparation!  Without your preparation an infestation may have to be eradicated with a fumigation or heat treatment which can cost thousands of dollars!


Things You'll Need:

  • Vacuum
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Washing Machine
  • Dryer
  • Garbage Bags or Sealed Storage Bags/Bins and duct tape
  • Steam Cleaner
  • Patience!

Once the bedbug infestation has been identified by a professional you will have some work to do before the treatment begins.

If bedbugs are found only in one room be careful not to remove any items from that room without taking precautions or you will spread them to other rooms in the house.

Prior to extermination, remove all bedding from mattresses, gather all linens, clothing, etc. from living space. This includes any textile materials that are machine washable - pillows, mattress covers, anything - and those that must be dry cleaned. Even fabric that is in storage should be collected. Wash bedding and any clothing/fabrics that may have come in contact with bedbugs in HOT water with detergent, and dry in the dryer if possible. Wash all other linens and fabrics as directed.

After washing, place items in storage bins or bags, or garbage bags. Seal as much as possible to prevent bugs from entering and hiding in the clean fabrics (use tape around bag openings that are tied and around lids of containers.

Empty closets in rooms where bugs have been found, or closets in which fabrics, linens, towels, etc. have been stored. The exterminator will need access into these spaces.

Unplug electronic devices in rooms being exterminated. This will make the area more accessible to the exterminator.

Vacuum floors, carpets, nooks and crannies. Steam clean, if possible, floors, rugs (if not machine washable), couch cushions, etc.

Move objects away from perimeter of rooms. For example, if your sofa or bed is positioned against a wall, pull it away from the wall. The exterminator will need access to the perimeter of the rooms where bugs have been found, (probably bed rooms, living room, den/study). Vacuum along the perimeter of the room, if you were unable to before.

Empty wooden bookshelves, desks, dressers, etc., and remove drawers if possible. Bedbugs can and will seek refuge between the boards of wooden furniture. This may include coffee tables, television stands, bed frames, photo frames, and box springs.

Make sure to leave a contact number at which the exterminator can reach you, as you probably will not be allowed inside the space for about 4 hours.

Wait for all mattresses, sofas, etc. to dry before sitting or laying on them. The chemicals used to exterminate the premises will irritate your skin.

Tips & Warnings

  • Using large trash bags to seal your personal items in will go a long way to helping the exterminator have a successful treatment, inspect each item carefully for bedbugs before putting it in the bag, tie the bag shut and then seal the tied end with tape.  It is better if these items are placed in a storage area away from the infested rooms, like a garage, so the infested area can be thoroughly treated.
  • Following extermination, seal your mattress, box spring, and pillows in airtight protective 'bags', often carried by mattress sellers.  Your pest control company may be able to order bedbug proof mattress and box spring protectors also.
  • Be prepared for follow-up exterminations. Bedbugs are persistent, and they don't care how much time and money you spend trying to get rid of them.
  • Many bedbug infestations are the result of travel - people pick up bugs in hotel and motel rooms and transport them home in their luggage. Visually inspect mattresses before sleeping on them, and your luggage before settling in at home after a trip. Bedbugs are easier to avoid than to get rid of!
  • Suffering a bedbug infestation does not mean you keep an untidy home, or that you live in unfit conditions. They are extremely common and indiscriminate - presence of bedbugs does not speak to your personal hygiene habits or socioeconomic status.
  • If you plan on staying someplace while your home is being treated you should take every precaution against the spread of the infestation.  Use bags instead of luggage and carefully inspect every item you remove from your home for the presence of bedbugs.  Even shoes and purses can contain them.  Wash your things in hot water before you leave.  And check your car.  Bedbugs could have been dropped off in your vehicle unintentionally with purses, luggage, shoes, or other items you recently transported.
  • Be sure to follow exterminator's instructions. You cannot be too thorough. Yes, it is annoying and time consuming to prepare, but it is best to do it right the first time and avoid repeating the process should the extermination fail because the space was not prepared!
  • Call your exterminator if you have any questions.
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