Bed Bug Exterminator Company
You might think that bed bug exterminators wouldn't want to share their knowledge with anyone. After all, if they tell you how to prevent or kill these bugs, then you won't need them, right? Sharing tips means money that won't end up in their pockets.
On the other hand, several bed bug exterminators have decided to share suggestions and tips on bug management since the bed bug issue has greatly escalated in the past few years. New York, Toronto and several other large cities are dealing with serious bug infestation problems.
Bed Bug Exterminators' Tips to Prevent Infestations
The easiest way to control these bugs is to prevent them from coming home with you in the first place.
Bed bugs are a small (a full grown adult is about the size of a grain of rice), very mobile critter. They can walk easily. Their bodies are flat, which means that they can hide in very small spaces.
Most infestations start very quietly, bed bug exterminators report. You may stay at a hotel where the bugs have nested. You may bring them home from a friend's house in your suitcase or on your clothing.
You could be Mr. Clean and it would not matter. These bugs are not deterred by disinfectants or strong cleaners. If they can hitch a ride with you, they will. They're like cockroaches in this respect.
Most bed bug exterminators recommend that if you suspect the bugs where you're staying, take a good look around. Examine the cracks and crevices of the beds and furniture, particularly the stuffed sofas and chairs. Look for evidence of the bugs through small dark red or brown spots, which can either be blood or bug excrement. These will be small spots in a localized area.
If you see evidence of the bugs' presence, or even think you do, then keep any personal items away from that area. Put your suitcase(s) in the bathtub. The same goes for additional clothing and purses.
Bed Bug Exterminators' Tips to Combat Infestations
The bad news is that you think you've found bed bugs. The good news is that there is help available!
Of course, your best bet is to retain one of the bed bug exterminators in your area. They can reduce the hassle and inconvenience, and they will keep coming back until they have your bug problem solved!
Sometimes, though, you don't have that luxury. In that case, here's what you do:
Remove all bed clothing and all of your clothing from any affected room(s). Bed bug exterminators advise that these critters can live without food for as long as one year (yes, really!), so you want to take decisive action.
These critters can also survive temperatures of up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. This means you will want to wash all of your clothing and bedding, and even curtains, in HOT water, or dry clean them. This is a MUST! If you miss even one breeding pair, this is all a useless exercise.
These bugs do not like light. Bed bug exterminators recommend searching for bugs in any dark, quiet spot, since they typically sleep during the day and only emerge in the safety of darkness. This can be under the mattress, so you'll want to check the box spring carefully. These bugs have even been known to hide behind light switchplates.
The next step is to vacuum. Vacuum everything and everywhere! Use a vacuum that has a disposable bag. Take a crevice wand and vacuum the bare mattress seams and cracks. Vacuum the crevices where the wall and the floor meet. Vacuum anyplace you see those small reddish brown spots. Vacuum the cracks in the sofa and other furniture, and you can even vacuum the curtains.
When you're done vacuuming, take the vacuum outside and remove the bag. Place it immediately in a plastic garbage bag and tie off tight. If you have an incinerator, use it. Otherwise, dispose of the trash bag right way.
Bed Bug Exterminators' Tips to Kill These Bad Bugs
Buy, borrow or rent a steam cleaner. Make sure the steam will get to more than 113 degrees, or you'll just annoy the bugs and not kill them. Steam clean every area that you just vacuumed, the crevices and cracks of the bare mattress, the seams, the cracks where carpet and floor meet, the furniture.
Be thorough! You don't want even one bad bug to escape!
Buy a few pounds of diatomaceous earth. This is a fine powder that is harmless to humans but will kill bed bugs (and other bugs). Diatomaceous earth, or DE, is made from the shells of prehistoric diatoms. The shells are very tiny and they have very sharp edges. The bugs will walk through the ground shells and the sharp edges will cut them, causing them to bleed to death.
Sprinkle the DE everywhere that you've vacuumed and steam cleaned, once the items have dried after the steam cleaning. If there are any bugs that you've missed, bed bug exterminators advise that the DE should catch them and kill them.
That's it. Hopefully your thorough bug removal program has caught all of the bed bugs and eggs. If you still find evidence of these critters after following your bug extermination program, then you may want to call one of your local bed bug exterminators.