Bed Bug Treatment:
Why You Should Call a Pro to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
Oh, no—you’ve found signs of bed bugs in your home! Don’t panic. Professional bed bug exterminator companies can provide bed bug treatments to wipe out the nasty blood-sucking pests.
Trying to find bed bugs yourself is a daunting proposition because they naturally seek to live in nooks and crannies protected from human sight. It takes a veteran pest control specialist—often using a dog trained to sniff out bed bugs—to adequately examine a home for all bed bug nests.
The first step is inspection and once the troublesome creatures are located, there is two basic bed bug treatment methods—chemicals and heat.
The most common method of bed bug treatments used by professional exterminators is to use a liquid or dust spray containing chemicals that will kill bed bugs. The pest control specialist will put these chemicals in all areas where they find bed bugs or suspect they have been crawling. This spot treatment eliminates the need for a fumigation of the entire home.
In this bed bug treatment method, you will need to prepare your home for the treatment according to the exterminator’s instruction. If you’re worried about the effects on humans or pets, don’t be—the chemicals used will put an end to bed bugs but they don’t harm the occupants of the home.
Thermal treatment is a non-chemical alternative. Bed bugs die at temperatures above 120 degrees, so some exterminators use thermal remediation techniques. They will place high-powered space heaters in your home to bring it to the necessary temperature.
This is definitely a job for pros because the heaters used are very powerful and precautions need to be taken to ensure that the home doesn’t become too hot—damaging the home itself. And even with professional heat treatment, you’ll need to carefully follow instructions to prepare your home. Obviously, items that will be damaged by high temperatures need to be removed away from the heat.
The Next Step for Bed Bug Treatment
Having bed bugs is annoying and stressful, however, it is a very solvable problem and can be remedied without throwing everything away, dry cleaning and washing everything you own and living out of plastic bags for the next 90 days (or longer). Here are the next steps for bed bug treatment:
- Stop reading horror stories on the internet!
Most of what you read on the internet about bed bugs and bed bug treatment is the worst cases, which in reality is the opposite of what we see as professionals. Most of the time when a bed bug exterminator is called in, the problem is not that bad and is remedied within 30 days with minimal impact to a customer.
- Don’t throw out everything you own. This can actually make an exterminators job harder.
- Hire someone you can trust, a referral from a friend or a highly Yelp reviewed bed bug exterminator (like us!) or some other another 3rdpart site.
We offer low preparation approach where 99% of the time our clients do not have to bag up all of their belongings, empty all closets and dressers, dry clean or wash all of their clothing, etc.
It includes a three treatment process that kills all cycles of the bed bugs, the adults, the young, the pregnant, etc. We also use encasements for the mattress and especially box springs. However, be careful here, there are many encasements on the market that say they are bed bug “proof” but most are not.
“Pesticides can definitely be effective when you apply them to your mattress and box spring, but only as part of a more intensive treatment plan.”
-Rest Easy Pest Control
Over-The-Counter Bed Bug Treatment Methods
There’s nothing quite like having a bed bug infestation in your home. Between the bloodsucking and itching, it’s enough to make any homeowner go bonkers. Trying to get rid of the nasty critters is even worse.
Bed bugs treatment prevention is often a time-consuming, costly process. Of course, this can depend on how many bed bugs are in your home. There’s a good chance that you might have a low enough number that you can use an over-the-counter bed bug treatment for the problem. But which ones work and which ones don’t?
Utilize Non-Chemical methods: Bed Bug Steamer and Bed Bug Trap
There are several old school ways to rid your house of bed bugs that don’t involve chemicals. You can start with a simple vacuum. Give those blood-suckers a taste of their own medicine. Just don’t use a brush attachment, where eggs can get caught in the bristles and move the infestation elsewhere.
A more effective method that even professionals are utilizing is steam cleaning. In fact, there are bed bug steamers on the market, designed with bed bug eradication in mind. These cleaners don’t use harmful chemicals, which means treatment is safe everywhere, which is especially great if you have young children who might be affected.
Quality steamers come with a series of attachments, enabling you to treat not only furniture without the use of any chemicals but small spaces where the bed bugs might be hiding. Just remember that you’ll need to be diligent and spend some time on this method to make sure they’re all gone.
Bed bug traps can also be helpful. These are designed to capture bed bugs so that you can dispose of them. You can choose either an active or inactive version. An active trap will entice the bed bugs to enter the trap and keep them there. An inactive trap, on the other hand, is positioned under the legs of your bed so that when the critters come to feed, they get stuck inside.
What Doesn’t Work As a Bed Bug Treatment
Just because you bought a reputable brand of insecticide from a reputable store doesn’t mean it’s actually going to work. Poisons can work extremely well with certain bugs. But think about the application of these poisons for a moment … you spray around the perimeter of your house, along the edges of each room, behind furniture, and wherever else you can think of.
Bed bugs, however, are top-notch hiders. They will stay hidden in all the little cracks and crevices in your home while you’re spraying. Bed bugs can often survive up to a year without feeding, so good luck on waiting for them to come out so you can “zap” them.
That being said, pesticides can definitely be effective when you apply them to your mattress and box spring, but only as part of a more intensive treatment plan.
Same goes for bug bombs. Many homeowners use these bombs as a way to get rid of an infestation of bugs in one fell swoop (or possibly two). With bed bugs, though, their aforementioned ability to remain hidden makes these bombs ineffective as a bed bug treatment.
How about boric acids? It’s long been known that boric acid treatment with the form of dust is useful to treat bed bugs. However, a recent report from North Carolina State University showed boric acids are only beneficial on killing bed bugs only if the bloodsuckers ingest the chemical. The researchers found that bed bugs that consume boric acid at concentrations larger than 2 percent die instantly, while bed bugs that eat the chemical at concentrations below 2 percent suffocate slowly. On the contrary, it has the opposite effect if bed bugs have external contact with the chemical. Even if they’re exposed to high concentrations of boric acid dust, more than 85 percent of bed bugs in the experiment endured external boric acid exposure.
The Dangers of DIY Bed Bug Extermination Products Around Your Home
For one thing, bed bugs are difficult to locate and eradicate. They are one of the most challenging jobs exterminators face. Even the professionals use specially trained dogs to pinpoint their location.
So you might follow all the label directions of the extermination products but never even reach the bed bugs you’re trying to kill. Then, you’ll have to hire a professional exterminator anyway and you’ll be out that cost plus what you spent on the pesticides—not to mention your time.
There’s also the issue of safety. DIY extermination products can be very dangerous if used improperly. It’s easy to pooh-pooh this—and many competent DIY folks may have that reaction—but pesticides aren’t something to play around with.
The cost of making a mistake is not just lost money and time. It’s not overdramatic at all to say that you’re putting into jeopardy the health of everyone in your home unless you’re trained to use pesticides. If you’re thinking about trying to exterminate bed bugs from your home on your own, consider these dangers—both financial and physical.
Most off-the-shelf extermination products don’t have the residual strength to permanently eradicate bed bugs—they’re a waste of money? Many extermination products are labeled for bed bugs but aren’t actually effective on bed bugs?
Even following label instructions, it’s easy for an amateur to make a mistake in the application that can cause health problems for pets as well as people, particularly children or those suffering from certain medical issues?
DIY enthusiasts tend to like to think of creative solutions, but there’s no room for that with DIY extermination products—if you don’t follow the label exactly, you’re asking for trouble. Never try to mix up your own bed bug “cocktail” or treat areas that aren’t specified on the label.
If you really want to be involved with the pest control effort, focus on integrated pest management—seal up entry points, take care of any problems with excess moisture, and eliminate any food sources.
But unless you’re highly familiar with extermination products and procedures, your best move is to call a professional pest control company as soon as you suspect you have a bed bug problem. That company will be able to find them where you probably wouldn’t have been able to. And they’ll know how to safely and effectively get them out of your home for good.***
Last updated on January 2, 2019.
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