Self-Help Tips

Here are some tips and tidbits of information you may find helpful in detecting and getting rid of bed bugs!

Pay attention to your mattress…

Occasionally you may see evidence of a bed bug infestation without actually seeing any bed bugs. Bed bugs leave fecal stains in the areas they inhabit. As the blood is digested it turns black, bed bug droppings usually consist of several black spots in one area. The fecal spots will not flake off if rubbed and will smear if wiped with a wet rag. The idea that bed bugs are the result of poor sanitation and/or poverty is a misconception.

Use mattress covers…

Commercially available bed and box spring covers, at least 0.08 mm thick, with a zippered edge, can completely enclose a mattress or box spring and prevent any bed bugs harboring in them from accessing hosts. Originally developed to reduce human exposure to allergens in mattresses infested with house dust mites, such covers both seal in and exclude bed bugs. Once sealed inside a void or harborage, living bugs are effectively removed from the pest population and will die in place.

Reduce clutter...

Clutter is a bed bug's best friend and a pest management professional's worst enemy. Clutter provides an infinite number of areas for bed bugs to hide and creates areas that cannot be effectively treated by the pest management professional. If cluttered conditions persist, your pest management professional may only be able to reduce the number of bed bugs and never completely eliminate the problem. Storing clothes and other items in plastic bags or tightly sealed containers can greatly reduce potential harborage sites and aides in streamlining treatments.

Hot launder items regularly...

Heat is deadly to bed bugs. Hot laundering can be a highly effective method for dealing with any item that can be safely placed in a clothes dryer on high heat. Linens should be laundered regularly (preferably weekly) in hot water and dried in the hot cycle of your dryer to kill any bed bugs or eggs on the items. Even of you do not see any bed bugs on the items, female bed bugs drop eggs randomly as they roam.

DO NOT throw items away...

The immediate reaction for most people to a bed bug infestation is to throw the infested items away. This is unnecessary and could possibly make the problem worse. As items are carried through the home to be discarded, bed bugs can fall off of the item and be spread throughout the home to un-infested areas. Also, you are eliminating the harborages for these bed bugs and disturbing them. This may cause the bed bugs to move to find other places to live and spread the problem. Your discarded items are often picked up by other people (maybe even your neighbor), spreading the problem to new areas. In some circumstances when the item is in poor condition or is highly infested, discarding the item is the best option. It is imperative for you to contain the item(s) and dispose of it properly preventing further spread /infestation to other areas. - Contact a licensed professional pest control operator that specializes in bed bugs to clearly identify the pest and prescribe the appropriate treatment program for your situation.