Bed bugs are a nuisance and are notoriously hard to get rid of. They are usually brought home from high-risk infestation areas where people come and go frequently, such as hotels and shelters. They can also hitch a ride on second-hand furniture and other items. Early detection is critical since it makes eradicating bed bugs easier. The longer an infestation is left undetected, the more difficult and costly it becomes to eliminate. In the event of a bed bug infestation, the following tips can help you stop the critters in their tracks.
If you suspect you have an infestation, immediately do a thorough investigation around your home. Check potential hiding spots with a flashlight. Areas to search include the mattress seam, behind the headboard, inside cracks and small crevices, and around window casings.
Cleanse your home as much as possible, especially where you suspect there are bed bugs. Wash bedding, carpets, rugs, towels, clothes, and curtains -- basically anything that’s fiber. Heat is the key to killing these pests. Use hot water and the highest dryer setting for machine washable items. Use a steamer to clean your mattress and carpet. Dislodge any eggs that have been laid in your mattress by scrubbing the mattress with a thick brush. Start fresh and throw away your box spring and mattress if they’re actually infested.
As you clean, dispose of all infested items. It is crucial to be thorough so you don’t get a reinfestation. Bed bugs are quite mobile and will jump onto anything close by. Keeping that in mind, don’t leave clutter on the floor -- especially dirty clothes, bags, and brushes -- while you attempt to clean your home. Use a tightly sealed plastic bag to dispose of suspected infested items.
Once you have done a thorough purge of your home, it’s time to start anew and begin replacing and repairing. Bed bugs are opportunists, which is why it’s important to fill any cracks with caulk or plaster and take down any loose wallpaper. Get a fresh start and celebrate your liberation from bed bugs by replacing the items you lost when you cleaned out your home.