Many homeowners believe it is their fault that they have bedbugs at their place. First of all; know and understand that that is not the case. Bedbugs can enter your home in numerous ways and hitchhiking through guests’ luggage is the most common one. You can also get bed bugs from your neighbors especially if you live in close quarters or apartments. It is a good thing that you have scheduled a bed bug pest control treatment. The exterminator company you have enlisted will give you complete bed bug treatment preparation checklist. Additionally, do keep the following pointers in mind as part of bed bug preparation services.
Things to buy
You will need to shop for a few things before you begin to prepare for bed bug heat treatment or chemical pest control treatment. Here is a handy list:
- Strong trash bags with ties
- A large washer/dryer or a commercial Laundromat
- A vacuum cleaner with strong suction. If you are using a bag less one then there is no issue. For a bag-based cleaner, buy disposable bags.
- Mattress encasements
- Pillow covers with zippers
On the day of the treatment
Next is the most important bed bug checklist for tenants and homeowners:
Start collecting fabrics in each and every room you are planning on treating. Collect the bed-sheets, covers, throws, rugs, curtains, and all other bedding items in the trash bags. Seal the bags and place them outside. You will need to take them to the commercial cleaners/Laundromat to wash them. If you are planning on washing them at home, then make sure the fabrics can withstand high heat, detergent and mild bleach. If not, you will need to wash the delicate ones with hand. Toss the rest of the items in the washer with mild bleach and detergent and wash them on the highest setting. After the wash cycle, you will need to dry the items on the hottest setting the fabrics can withstand. Once dry, seal the clean items in bags. You will not use them until your home has been completely treated. So place the clean items in a bed bug free area such as the bathroom, garage or another home.
Remove all the clutter from the rooms before the exterminators come to treat the house. You can throw away infested items and place useful ones in trash bags. If the items are not delicate (such as non electronic stuff), freeze them. You can also place the items outside in the sun. If you are planning to discard infested furniture, label it as “Bed Bug Infested’ so no one will pick it up. You can also slash/destroy them if needed or at least wrap them up in plastic before disposal.
If possible, move the furniture away from the walls so that the exterminators can access hard to reach areas behind it.
Bed bug treatment preparation kitchen
The kitchen is one area where bed bugs may not appear. Nevertheless, you should follow precautions and clean and prepare this area as well. Bed bug extermination can also get rid of bugs in the kitchen area so it makes sense to prep it as well.
- Clean the kitchen thoroughly. Use a rag to wipe the countertops, stove, floor, inside and outside appliances, etc. All the cleaning should be done before the bed bug treatment. Pull the fridge away from the walls.
- Wash and clean cupboards and cabinets.
- Clean areas under the sink.
- Throw out trash.
- Vacuum the carpet. Wash and dry the curtains and rugs with hot water and highest heat settings of the dryer.
- Avoid keeping food exposed in the kitchen area.
- Remove and clean pet bowls.
Allow the exterminators to do their job. Make sure you do not have any expensive stuff lying about. Lock all cupboards and cabinets. You can choose to go away for a few hours while the pest control team does their job. It is important to remove pets to safety. Kids and elderly people can get affected by fumes of the chemical bed bug treatment as well as bed bug bombs. So it is important to make arrangement for them elsewhere.
Seal mattresses and pillows
Once the treatment is over, use mattress encasements and vinyl pillow covers to cover up the bedding. You will need to keep them sealed for a year to ensure that all trapped bugs die off due to starvation.
What to do after the bed bug treatment?
As a part of the bed bug treatment preparation checklist, observe the following dos and don’ts:
- Avoid re-entering the treated rooms for at least 4-5 hours. People with lower or compromised immunity may consult their physician before entering the treated premises.
- Once you are allowed to enter the house, open all doors and windows.
- Wash and clean all surfaces, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms.
- It is important to vacuum the house every day for the next 3-4 days to ensure capturing the remaining bugs.
- If you continue seeing bed bugs after treatment, call your pest control company. You might have to repeat the treatment one month down the line.
- Many exterminators have a warranty based service which includes monthly treatments for 12 months. You can sign up for these packages to ensure keeping the home bug free. The advantage of these packages is that the treatments get rid of all kinds of bugs and pests in addition to bed bugs.
We hope these tips help you prep up for the exterminator.